In this paper I will assess the types of changes and new developments in technology and government regulation that should be considered in long-range planning requirements for updating or replacing a HRIS. I will identify three disadvantages of using interviews and focus groups for data collection during the analysis phase when determining HRIS needs. I will recommend three approaches to overcome these disadvantages. I will assess three critical sources of data-gathering initiatives for an HRIS needs analysis and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using each of these sources. I will identify a process in my organization’s HRIS that could be improved and compare the current process with the envisioned future and create a gap analysis report that identifies the discrepancies between the current state and the future desired state. Long-range Planning
Recent developments in technology have made it possible to create a real-time information-based, self-service, and interactive work environment. Personnel information systems have evolved from the automated employee recordkeeping from the 1960s into more complex reporting and decision systems of today. Today, managers and employees are assuming activities once considered the domain of human resource professionals and administrative personnel. Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) meet the needs of a number of organizational stakeholders (Ankrah, 2012). An HRIS system will give the HR management division a more strategic role in the company. Some of the capabilities of a HRIS that should be considered in long-range planning are the capabilities it will bring such as HR ad hoc reporting, legal compliance support, and data sharing and integration with other essential business systems. Data Collection
One disadvantage of using interviews and focus groups for data collection during the analysis phase when determining HRIS needs is that a focus groups is low trust or in cultures where a misstep can hinder one’s career. Another disadvantage of using interviews and focus groups can be the difficulty and labor intensiveness to analyze the large amount of qualitative data collected. And finally, focus groups can be difficult to schedule and organize because they require the physical presence of selected people in the same place at the same time. One approach to overcome these disadvantages is to employ facilitators who are highly skilled in working with groups to encourage full participation and interaction among members. Another would be to plan how the collected data will be analyzed while you are planning the discussion questions. Lastly do not underestimate the time and coordination involved in scheduling multiple focus groups. Data-gathering
Three critical sources of data-gathering initiatives for an HRIS needs analysis are interviews, focus groups, surveys and online tools. Interviews are particularly useful for getting rich sources of information (Kavanagh, 2012). A drawback of interviews is that they are time-consuming (Kavanagh, 2012). An advantage of focus groups is that you can involve many more people in the data-gathering effort, increasing the likelihood of a more thorough analysis (Kavanagh, 2012). A disadvantage of focus groups is they take too much time to schedule and coordinate with the multiple individuals. Surveys and online tools are a good source because they can be done in a timely and efficient manner. A disadvantage of surveys and online tools is that you lose the two-way exchange that interviews and focus groups provide. Improving a Process
A process that I am responsible for is the tracking of our employee’s continuing professional education (CPE) credit requirements. Currently, our e-Learning system, Skillsoft, does not communicate with our CPE tracking software, CE Manager. Due to the systems not being integrated I manually enter the courses employees complete into CE Manager which sometimes ends in simple errors such as typos, and duplicate information. If the two systems were integrated whenever an employee completed a course through Skillsoft the CPE information would automatically upload to CE Manager therefore lessening the errors made by manual inputting. This would also increase the time the information is available for viewing by the employees. This would decrease the time I spend on such an administrative task that would allow for me to focus on other task that are more valuable to the firm as a whole. It limits the additional responsibilities I can take on because of the time commitment I have to commit to data entry. If this process was improved by allowing the two systems to be integrated it would save time and possibly decrease our turnover rate. In exit interviews with staff we have been told that employees are not satisfied with our training options. If given more time to spend on researching and constructing training programs we could improve the likelihood of retaining employees that feel they are not having their training needs met.
Ankrah, E., & Sokro, E. (2012). HUMAN RESOURCE INFORMATION SYSTEM AS A STRATEGIC TOOL IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Problems Of Management In The 21St Century, 56-15. Kavanagh, M. J., Thite, M., & Johnson, R. D. (2012). Human resource information systems. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Marrelli, A. F. (2008). Collecting data through focus groups. Performance Improvement, 47(4), 39-45. doi:10.1002/pfi.201