The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Competencies and Collaboration Models

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Does HR participate in the identifying who is in a project team and who collaborates?  All too often, project teams are identified by people knowing other people and thinking that skill sets exist.  The problem with this is that collaboration models and the internal professional network can stagnate without necessarily new ideas or practices being added into the mix.  The even greater problem is that there are performance and development plans that may not be accounted for when creating the project team.  Indeed there may be high potential employees with certain growth targets that may be ignored when HR is not involved.  Often, the ad hoc creation of project teams inhibits the ability of the organization to grow new talent.

First, talented individuals should have every opportunity to participate in projects they are qualified for even when there might be a more “obvious” candidate.  Indeed, the new person, or the individual with the highest growth curves are often ignored for people who have performed at average levels in prior projects, but who are “proven.”  As we all know, often the employees who are given opportunities to grow excel and do indeed go the extra mile.  After all, what engages employees if not learning opportunities that make them excited about their work?

Second, inclusion of new talent into project teams allows that individual and the organization at large to build new collaboration network nodes.  This is critical to the organization as ideas for new techniques, products, processes and innovation in general flow through the collaboration network.  Not only is it good to build the collaboration networks of individuals to be more broad, but when the collaboration network of the organization is extensive, ideas flow to the right places more easily.

We achieve this by making sure that the formal PMO’s of our organizations are clearly aware of our datapoints and ability to offer them competencies that they think are scarce.  After all, they do not have a detailed database storing performance plans, goals, and competencies.  I think HR spends too much time diagnosing the dysfunctions of other functions not realizing that those same functions don’t realize the power we hold in our data – in fact, they don’t realize what data we even have.  Would it not be reasonable to empower ourselves to propose and bring data to those organizations?  I’d suggest that the PMO is a prime example of an organization that could benefit from good HR data, but don’t know it’s accessible to them.  We should not wait around for their request, but should be able to offer data to them.

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