The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Succession Planning to LMS, EPM Integration

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Integration between the various functional “modules” that make up a talent management suite (TMS) are numerous, and in the next couple of days, I’ll cover a couple variations. The first is data integration that revolves around a succession planning process.

In my humble opinion, succession planning is not an activity that requires a huge amount of data interactivity to begin with, but is incredibly interactive and hard to automate once the process is in full swing. Succession is really a task that occurs at infrequent intervals (quarterly or yearly) and it pulls data from other talent modules such as HRMS, learning, performance, and the general competency base that resides in the TMS. This is not to say that it’s a simple presentation of data. For succession to really work, all of the data from multiple (possibly disparate) sources must be aggregated in a meaningful way. But the presentation of talent data is just the beginning. Succession also must include various metrics from operations data sources such as production data, efficiency, safety, etc. How qualified an employee is, is only the first indicator of succession eligibility, the second indicator is actual job performance.

Once again, we’re not talking about the simple drilldown by managers into a performance or learning module. We’re talking about a necessary reformat of data to make it usable. Once done, and succession candidates are ranked (or whatever you do with them), it’s time to start sending data back to the root systems you just collected from. Learning, performance, skills training that tie directly back to gaps the employee needs to fill need to flow forward from the succession data point. In a perfect world, a missing competency identified in the succession planning process will automatically trigger a set of learning exercises populated back towards the talent systems, which are then measured by the operational systems over time. (unfortunately I’m not sure any perfect world systems exist in practice).

Again, the key here is manager ease of use. While initial consumption of succession planning data may be made by HR practitioners, the final succession plans are executed by committees or executives of non-HR people. To these audiences, easy to read and digest metrics, single screen views of aggregated data, and the ability to complete processes without launching other applications are fundamental necessities.

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