5 causes why HR transformations fail
The university WHU Koblenz investigated the interdependency of technology and (HR) productivity. Its findings could be summarised quite simply:
“Without productivity and technology, businesses will fail. But just with technology, they will not succeed either.”
So, it is more about what we do with technology than the technology itself. Hardly rocket science you might say. Perhaps not, but for an IT transformation to deliver optimum results, it requires ‘rocket scientists’ to fine tune the vehicle — in this case the HRIS platform — into an agile (HR) ecosystem.
It requires the realisation of multiple levers to design, deliver, measure, innovate and maintain the core technology. This approach is the only way to really ensure the HR ecosystem continues to deliver against changing objectives and goals of the business and its stakeholders.
According to McKinsey, 70% of IT transformation projects fail. Not exclusively HR projects, but the principles for failure are the same. The research I was involved in with the university, and subsequent studies and analysis we’ve done at Alight, point to these common causes:
- HR transformation is considered a one-off investment
- C-suite is not fully invested in the sustained evolution of the HR function
- Adequate skills or time resources not available in-house to drive the project to achieve its greatest potential
- Personal value of the HR transformation and the advantages it brings individuals are not well communicated
- Change management processes including communication and learning resources are lacking