Phase 1: Current State Assessment

Core Team Members

We have established a Core Team who will be involved in Phase 1 and potentially throughout the initiative including:

Phase 1 Core Team (March - June 2013)
Name Title
Melissa Bard Director of Human Resources, College of Agricultural Sciences
Susan Basso Vice President for Human Resources
Mary Beahm Senior Director of Recruitment and Compensation
Sue Cromwell Director of Center for Workplace Learning and Performance
Ken Forstmeier Senior Director of Administrative Information Services (AIS)
Rob Harris Manager, Human Resources, University Libraries
Gerald K. Henry Jr. Manager of Human Resources and Administrative Services, College of Education
Galen Lentz Project Manager, IT
Robert Maney Senior Director of Employee Relations
Robin Oswald Director of Employee Benefits
Susan Rutan Manager, Human Resources, Office of Physical Plant
Steve Selfe Director of HRIT
Ron Swope Director of Business Services, Mont Alto

Work Completed

Phase 1 of the HR Transformation initiative focused on laying the groundwork for the transforming, including assessing the current state of HR, building the future state framework, performing stakeholder analysis and creating the HR Transformation business case and roadmap. Phase 1 accomplishments included:  

Completed a current state assessment where the team conducted numerous stakeholder interviews, deployed the HR Online Survey to determine how HR work gets done and evaluated documentation

  • We confirmed that HR work is highly distributed amongst both HR and non-HR employees, and many of the activities are administrative in nature. The findings also reiterated the need for technology to automate processes, enable accurate data to be available and free up employees to spend time on non-administrative activities
  • The findings from the current state assessment supported development of the business case for change 

Created our high level operating model based on the findings from the current state assessment and best practice. Key aspects of the operating model include:

  • Strategic Partners, Centers of Expertise and HR Services
  • Alignment of routine, transactional and administrative HR activities across the university
  • Implementation of effective HRIS technology
  • Standardized and streamlined processes
  • Effective self-service solutions for managers and employees that increase self-sufficiency in appropriate transactions and inquiries

Created a new HR vision and guiding principles

  • Vision: We are an agile, trusted, strategic partner who delivers sustainable services and solutions that contribute to Penn State's success through the attraction, retention and engagement of a talented and diverse workforce.
  • Guiding principles
    • Processes will be standardized and technology-enabled with a focus on consistency, simplicity and limited customization
    • Policies will be governed at the University level, with variations and exceptions governed centrally.
    • Line managers will have access to online tools, data and information to manage their teams; HR will support complex people management issues.
    • HR Strategic Partners will be aligned with University leaders to act as advisors, consultants and coaches on workforce planning needs, talent management, change management and employee engagement.
    • HR Services will provide focused delivery of day-to-day operational support as well as consulting support for LR/ER, employee development and recruiting
    • HR will provide a balanced customer experience with strategic and highly sensitive discussions occurring face-to-face and routine queries being addressed through self-service.
    • Outsourcing will be considered as appropriate.
    • HR’s governance processes (for prioritizing, decision making and delegation of authority) will be clear and consistent.
    • HR will operate as one team.
    • Technology will enable 24/7 mobile access for HR, employees and managers.
    • Reporting will be decentralized to recognize needs of academic and non-academic units; tools will be intuitive and easy to use.

Developed and launched a request for proposal for HR technology

  • Engaged experts, within and beyond HR, in determining the critical components of the RFP and ensuring the proper requirements were included as well as the appropriate process was followed
  • Final components included:  HR Information System/HCM, Case Management and Portal & Knowledgebase

Developed a change/communication plan

  • Developed a robust change and communication plan with targeted communications — by audience — drafted and sent in regular intervals to ensure our stakeholders are kept up-to-date and engaged with the work