Operational Excellence at the HR department

VRT

The HR-department of VRT held several questions, related to the efficiency and effectiveness of its internal operations. In order to solve these questions, the department was interested in the application of Operational Excellence principles. Möbius was thrilled to work together in order to identify points of improvement, to work out ideas together with the employees and to implement these on a project-based manner.

Suzanne Schöningh mobius
Suzanne Schöningh

Strategic moment

The results of an internal employee survey indicated there was room for improvement on the level of information flow, the way decisions are made and the efficiency of internal operations within the HR-department. We looked for an answer, based on the following questions:

  • Which processes are running within the HR-department and at what frequency?
  • Who is responsible for which process?
  • What types of wastes are currently part of the process? Where are we able to free up time to prioritize other or new activities?
  • Where would it be possible to organize the operations in a uniform way in order to achieve quality gains?
  • Where is the information stored and how can employees consult this information?

Approach

We started from an analysis of the current situation. Based on these insights, we worked out the desired outcome in the future and draw up an implementation plan. During the execution of the implementation plan, we were also driver of several specific projects.

Gaining insights into the current operations of the HR-department

Striving for a holistic approach, we mapped the internal operations and its domains of expertise. We made up an overview of both the governance and operational processes and the roles and responsibilities involved per team. We complemented this with our knowledge systems that are in use and the way information is stored. We paid special attention to the collaboration between the different HR-departments as well as towards clients of the HR-departments. For each of these elements, we also collected the strengths, bottle necks and wastes. We did this via a bottom-up analysis where information came from conversations, observations and work sessions with a selected group of employees from different teams.

Defining future operations

Based on the results of the analysis, we made up an overview of the opportunities of improvement within the HR-department, as well as the mutual cooperation. These results were structured on different axes of the operating model (namely suppliers, locations, value delivery chain, organization, information and management system).

After defining the starting points for future collaborations and operations, we prioritized the possible actions. We did this by scoring each action on a number of criteria, together with internal stakeholders and by assessing the interference with other ongoing projects to then plot everything on a timeline. This resulted in an implementation plan for the realization of quick wins and other bigger projects with the ultimate goal to work more efficiently and effectively.

Supporting the roll-out of the implementation plan

The actions of the implementation plan were clustered in clearly defined projects. For each project, we looked for a motivated project leader at the HR-department, assisted by a project leader of Möbius. The level of support from our side varied, depending on the time and room that was available by the internal employees. At the one hand, the project leader of Möbius took care of acquiring a project-based approach within the department and at the other hand, he/she offered methodological and content related support to the project team. A few examples related to the implementation plan:

  • Administrative support within HR: in a project group with administrative employees, we reorganized their operations based on the measurement of workload, interviews and work sessions
  • Information storage: we worked organization-wide to uniformize the storage and sharing of information. Also, we looked for a way to organize digital collaboration.
  • Policy elaboration: a transversal project where we defined the standard procedure for working out and implementing the new HR-policy.
  • Other examples of concrete projects are the decrease of administrative workload for HR advisers, evaluating the current knowledge sharing moment, assessing new methods for informal contacts and optimizing the onboarding process within the department.

We involved representatives from different teams and paid special attention to on-the-job knowledge transfer, working on a project-based manner and operational excellence techniques. By doing so, the HR-department can implement this further within the own organization, targeting a sustainable result.

Results

Now, the VRT HR-department has its own project work, a project coordinator, a project methodology, as well as corresponding tools (like a project sheet, an action list, a reporting template, an evaluation sheet, …) tailored to the department.

Each project of the implementation plan resulted in concrete results:

  • A new collaboration model through centralised operations with a clear task division and back-up system for the administrative employees.
  • Implementation of a new approach towards information storage. A clear framework within which the tools and outlines are defined and every team is now making the transition towards a digital and central way of collaboration.
  • A written and validated method for the development and roll-out of a policy theme. Tested in practice, useful templates and an internal training.
  • A continuation of project-based work at the department with a methodology and tools that were extensively tested and refined in other projects.