One of the best things about working for new clients is seeing how they employ essentially the same Kronos software differently to solve very similar, if not identical, business problems. Over the years this has given our technical specialists a variety of different perspectives—not just on how to get the configuration to work in certain situations but also what it can be like to maintain and change these structures over time.
Since my role is focused largely on the governance of these systems I get an in depth look at the diversity in the HR/PR/IT governance configurations in all the organizations that invite us in. Quite often I see technical environments that suffer, not because of the developers but rather because of the governance structures under which the systems were designed, implemented and/or maintained. To turn this around, I’ve noticed three aspects of good governance in the HR/PR/IT arena that tend to produce the best technically sound, robust, and maintainable Kronos environments.
Third on the list (though one might make a case it drives everything) is a management group that has and can articulate clear technology and business strategy road maps. In short, everyone knows the big plan, their contribution to it, and the critical paths and metrics involved. It is often these macro structural and economic factors that decide in the long term if a particular implementation model is and stays well-suited to the organization. For example, if the corporate objective is toward consolidation and vertical integration, a Kronos environment that compartmentalizes divisions within the pay and work rules will prolong the alignment effort and thus run counter to the business strategy. Configuration and maintenance schemes hyper-customized for single locations rarely scale across multiple groups.
Second is a high-participation/high-authority management team. High participation means that all the stakeholders come around the table to bring their issues, needs, and capacities to light. High Authority means that this doesn’t become a perpetual debating club where everybody has a ‘No’ vote and no one has the authority (and responsibility) to move forward. These groups are grounded in the overall corporate road maps but maintain an appreciation for the diversity of their constituents. The best of these groups have a highly evangelical member (or at least sponsor) from the senior management team that gets people out of the ‘but that’s the way we’ve always done it’ inertia.
Lastly, is having clear policy ownership on HR/Pay & Benefit policies. Believe it or not, we’ve been in more than one company where the leadership team wasn’t sure who had global responsibility for pay policies and/or ensuring they were implemented properly across the organization. The best organizations create strong HR/PR leadership hierarchies that have an authority within their state but then also at a regional, then national (country) level before a global head is given oversight. Tax and other regulations concerning governance often preclude foreign management of U.S. entities. For these ‘dotted lines’ to work there needs a ‘buck stops here’ person a level that mirrors local, state and federal boundaries first and then someone at the upper-most HR spot in the organization.
That’s really it. If you have all that going on in your organization I can just about guarantee you Improvizations can make the technical side of things hum. If you don’t—invite one of our Sr. Management consultants in—we love re-configuring governance structures almost as much as we love fixing Kronos.