My sweet Lord, what's become of my memory?

Posted: January 29th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

After more than a decade of legal wrangling, George Harrison was found guilty in 1981 of “subconscious plagiarism” for using music strikingly similar to the Chiffons’ 1963 hit, “He’s So Fine” in his own 1970 hit song, “My Sweet Lord”.

Am I in hot water? I see Jason Corsello’s post The End of Job Boards As We Know It? and I’m struggling to recall if I saw that last week or not…(probably yes to be honest, you’re in my RSS reader). Jason, honest mistake! Let’s call it a meme and move on? Please don’t sue me…

In any case, I still wonder what’s the driver. I don’t think it’s just the new-pretty-shiny factor, there must be a dissatisfaction with the status quo. See the comments on Jason’s blog to get some sense of that.

Thomas saw the light!

Posted: January 26th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Design & UX, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

In my last post I made reference to Thomas’ reference to enterprise systems as akin to broccoli – not as much fun as ice cream, but way more nutritious. I want to comment a bit more about his post and the Redmonk Radio podcast he was on. Go read and listen, it’s good stuff.

Thomas, I enjoyed your posts and the podcast, even though it took me 3 days to get through it all! In the work you’re doing with the Design Services team you’ve experienced firsthand how empowering it is to take a user-centric perspective to solving business and application challenges. Folks new to the process usually come out revved up and excited. And you’ve discovered what fun we can have if we take that approach into as many situations as possible.

Thomas comments in the podcast how he imagines UI to be like fashion, and he’s on the right track. UI, like all graphic design, is subject to the tastes of time and place. I know many designers who have excellent usability sensibility but even with that in place it’s a single yet key component of the total experience. In the same way, it’s not about Web 2.o widgets or shiny logos. It’s about getting rid of some of the messy and annoying administrivia with elegant, unobtrusive interfaces that don’t call attention to themselves but blend into the process.

At our company we’re deep in the goal-setting process. As an aside – it’s interesting to be responsible for delivering the service as well as taking part in it. I have an exciting set of goals for this year. We’re to be change agents, sharing the secrets of user-centered design with our business relationship managers and the development teams’ business analysts. We’re to continue our work in enhancing the user experience past the user interface layer out to the training, learning and support materials, down into the service centers and voice response systems. We’re embedding our practice in the development lifecycle to ensure that it becomes part of the fabric. I didn’t expect it but this year it seems I’ll be a teacher.

Mobility revisited

Posted: January 12th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Design & UX, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

In mid-2006 we launched our global “mobility” offering – not an expat program (which of course we have), but standardized guidelines for changing jobs inside the organization integrated with Taleo on the back end. It was a fairly simple bit of work intended to raise awareness around internal opportunities coupled with an attempt to improve on the Taleo search interface. We’re picking up again, and today I attended a kick-off with folks from North America, EMEA and Asia. Someone from LATAM is involved but couldn’t attend.

We have about 16-18 months worth of work on our high-level wish list just to start with, I’m excited about the more strategic thinking around how this fits into other offerings towards a set of career management tools – policy alignment, link and/or integrate with learning, development, talent, branding. I’ll report back on what gets priority.

Anonymous HR BloggerCon NYC 1.0!

Posted: January 10th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

Tonight I thoroughly enjoyed dinner with Double Dubs of Our wide-ranging converstion covered food, technology, food, cycling, food, HR strategy, food, Web 2.0, and did I mention food? We also talked about our blogging community and how we’d like to extend the conversation among us. I’m sure we’ll be woking on it. Dubs, if you’re wondering how I got this post up so fast, it’s via Blackberry on the train home…not too shabby, eh? Thanks for the good time, I’m looking forward to our next session!

The Other Systematic

Clear vision

Posted: December 7th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, HR, Social Media, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

I’ve spent a fair amount of bandwidth moaning about how difficult to impossible it is to get to mashup nirvana with a mixed HCM vendor environment, so don’t miss Jim Holincheck’s post Really Achieving User Centricity if you want a clearly articulated vision of how I would like to deliver services. Thanks, Jim!


Posted: November 28th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

Tomorrow I’m reviewing an upgrade approach with my technology team (the one I used to manage) for moving the PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal from 8.46 to 8.9. I need to dynamically mix transactions and content with awareness of context, person, function and process. Having measured the delivered functionality against my needs for almost a year I’m pretty sure that I’ll decide to pass.

I’ve been in a love/hate relationship with this product since I deployed 8.3 three years ago. From the very start we needed to modify it to do things that it can’t easily do. I run one of the largest implementations on the planet and have pressured Oracle to be more forthcoming with me about the road map for the Portal line and Fusion, but I don’t get a lot to go on.

Right now I have a very expensive, slightly intelligent link farm. Bottom line is I’m not inclined to take the time and budget for an incremental upgrade that isn’t going to bring me a whole lot of business value. The most likely scenario for 2007 is I’ll tweak the UI and look to replace it entirely in 2008-9.

More on Enterprise RSS, Web 2.0 and HR

Posted: April 10th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

It seems that everyone’s joining the conversation started on Enterprise RSS, Web 2.0 and HR by Thomas Otter. Michael and Double Dubs have weighed in, and it”s high time I woke up and added my two cents. Dubs has most recently said:

“…I’ll be completely honest with saying that I’m not sold on RSS and OPML as enterprise business technologies. Perhaps I don’t get it, or I don’t have the same level of vision, but I do see potential. .….. My big hope for the future of HR technology actually lies with Oracle Fusion and SAP Netweaver. .….. The value that these SOA (service oriented architecture) platforms provide is an integration of process that goes outside of the core application suite.”

I agree. Global enterprises are generally allergic to emerging technologies and standards. We don’t ignore them, we lock them up in a lab for a while and make sure they don’t grow into anything ugly or dangerous. Services represent a huge advantage to those of us who see HR technology mashups in the future, but most large organizations are still busy laying the secure, high-availability plumbing to enable us to manage services at a global level. There can be stepping stones, for instance we pass workflow messages to the Portal in SOAP and have a core ”employee info” service available for non-HR apps to consume. When Oracle and others get to robust built-in support for SOA, we”ll be ready to exploit that flexibility.

I”m working on re-architecting our integrated worklist on the Portal and more than once I’ve wondered about leveraging RSS. But there are more questions than answers. I love my RSS feeds and I’d love to have that level of interaction on certain products I deliver but:  how does it become aware of whether I’ve inherited a new task in Taleo, or the HRMS, or Oracle EBS, or 14 other integrated systems only seconds after I finished a prior one? How do I remove the alert for a completed task off the Enterprise Portal without the user having to refresh a screen for someone who gets dozens of approval messages daily? How does RSS scale to a source system that sends out upwards of 40,000 messages a day? How come I have to explain what RSS is to my technology partners, those who would have to maintain this when it stops working, somewhere in the world that is inevitably dinner or sleep time somewhere else?

It”s frustrating to see potential and have limited resources. The conversation is wonderful and I hope it’s moving the experience forward but I see it as years off, at least in the type of environment I’m dealing with. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s doing something with RSS beyond pushing headlines out.

Don't miss this

Posted: March 8th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

Boy, I’ve been slowly recovering from my vacation and in the meantime Double Dubs has been a very busy guy! He’s been filling his blog with all good things. Read all three parts of It’s all about the user and join the conversation.

This time it's for fun

Posted: February 17th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Design & UX, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

Packing up again, this time it’s a Caribbean cruise with the family. All I can say is: I’m so ready.

But before I go, a quick request. A project came up to build a quick and dirty knowledge base for expats and every time the model is seen someone wants to bolt on another function. We’ve decided to do the expat piece as a proof of concept and build a reference architecture model for a process tool in parallel.

There are a lot of choices for process modeling tools around here, ranging from homegrown to dedicated teams that claim to be centers of excellence. Anyone with practical experience in HR process modeling, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll be back on shore on the 27th.

Back Home

Posted: November 28th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Business, Design & UX, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

I’ve made it back to New York. Tokyo is a fascinating city, I enjoyed it very much. We stayed until Sunday morning, which gave us some time to sight see on Saturday and get a bit of the flavor of the city. On Friday we ran two intranet usability sessions which were very much on a par with all the others to date. I must say that I’ve experienced far less regional variation in the response to our prototype and types of issues raised than I anticipated. The anecdotal evidence points to people (at least those within my company) being more similar than different. While I treasure differences around the world it’s assuring to see that in some way the web has enabled us to provide people tools that can be used with a degree of consistency globally.

I was able to chat up one of our senior HR people and some of his team, although it was not a full a session as I’d hoped. But just being there and meeting them ensures that future telephone exchanges will be more productive. In mid December we’ll cover some sites in Latin America which will wrap up our ‘four corners’ tour. For my part I see that our HR self-service deployment has greater complexity than I’d realized. At one level we have enough flexibility in our systems to allow for local variation but there will be many challenges as we go along regardless. I wonder if it’s ever possible for an organization our size to move to truly global standards? I believe it would have to be more of a command-and-control environment, and I’m not aware of many multinationals that successfully operate in that manner. In any case there’s much to do and now I have a few more personal connections with which to do business.