I was recently having coffee with a colleague who works
in Human Resources and they were relating a challenge that they had around the
rate of onboarding a new employee. Without even much thought I replied “I know
that pain point.” My friend gave me a strange glance and then I realized that
while I have never worked in HR is there much of a difference in the way that
HR and IT provide services to their customers?
For some time IT Service Management has talked about how
it needs to drop the “IT” and really focus on providing service, period. I
began to think about this and wondered what similarities existed in the
provision of services for both IT and HR and where my experience could help my
The first thing I thought of was the top challenges many
HR and IT teams face. While they have their own departmental nuances, they also
share a common theme which needs to be addressed.
What makes the interaction between the business and IT
and the business and HR the same?
To be able to provide top notch service to your business
you need players on the team which can deliver results. This could apply to IT,
HR, Finance or any shared service.
In a broader sense when communicating to a large audience
we need to ensure a consistent message is delivered to and our business
informed. While doing this we need to make sure that we convey messages in
terms which all business customers understand. This is true whether it is in a companywide
communication or if it is day to day in personal dealing from an HR service
center. It can be easy to revert to jargon from our fields which may not be common
with finite resources
Like IT, HR faces the challenge of carefully watching its
budgets while also managing the staffing constraints it faces associated to
that budget. There are times where, like IT, an outside resource may be able to
better provide service for a lower cost than doing it ‘in house’.
a strategy based on reporting
For me the ability to continually improve service comes
back to reporting. Utilizing data to make decisions can be a challenge mainly
because both IT and HR either have so much data that they cant make real sense
of it, or, that they are not gathering the right information to give them the
data that they need.
on business outcomes
To be a successful HR or IT department really we need to
ensure that we are aligning our goals against what the business is trying to achieve.
At the end of the day if we don’t do that we will always fall short of success
in the eyes of your business.
In IT there may be service level agreements which provide
guidelines on how service should be provided. In reality we need to understand
what our services are and what they mean to the business so that we can meet
expectations around service delivery and how to best manage those expectations.
It may be through email and phones, tools or social media. Whatever the mode
may be it should be reviewed regularly to ensure we are still on top of it
Both IT and HR have access to sensitive information which
needs to be managed. There are processes in place to ensure that the data which
needs to be locked down remains that way. From a service delivery perspective
have we validated that the integration of this information between teams has
lined up. Have we looked at the bigger picture from a business perspective and
ensured we are all on the same page?
To manage the barrage of questions that makes their way
into a queue each and every day we need to have a process to collect, share and
retire information with our customers where it makes sense. To be able to
effectively do this a knowledge management strategy should be looked at to
manage the lifecycle of the data.
Yes, it’s true IT and HR are different, but they exist in
the same ‘business solar system’. I’m sure that there are plenty of other
examples of how these two are more similar than they are different. So why does
it seem that they function in two different universes?
I love feedback and questions, leverage my service management
experiences. Let me know your challenges and successes.
me on Twitter @ryanrogilvie
or connect with me on LinkedIn
Labels: BRM, Business Relationship Management, Continual Service Improvement, HR, Human Resources, ITSM, Service Management