Starting Small Doesn’t Mean You’re Thinking Small; Embrace the HR Journey and Walk Before You Run

Starting Small Doesn’t Mean You’re Thinking Small; Embrace the HR Journey and Walk Before You Run

I’ve participated in and consulted on numerous greenfield HR technology projects, each of them aiming for the stars. As you’d expect - how else would people gain excitement about the new project? It usually goes something like this: senior leaders have identified a solution that will increase HR productivity and enhance the user experience, they begin rounding up their project team and selling it like it’s the Tesla Model X, the project begins and excitement is roaring. And then we get into the weeds of what’s truly needed to create a top-notch process and experience, only to learn that the scope of work barely scratches the surface of what the project team had envisioned.

What should project teams know and focus on when they’re implementing a brand new tool?

  1. Setting up a strong, scalable foundation is of utmost importance.

  2. Aim for progress, not perfection.

  3. Settle in! You’re on a journey.

Setting up a strong, scalable foundation.

Failure to overlook this important step will lead to small cracks that increase over time, ultimately breaking down everything you’ve built to increase productivity and enhance the user experience.

How can you avoid this misstep? Adopt the crawl-walk-run mindset. You don’t run before you walk. Just like you don’t add walls to a home on bare, uneven dirt. Foundation is everything. The best long-term approach isn’t going to include “quick-fix” solutions. Mitigate technical debt and potential rework down the road by avoiding shortcuts and designing based on a technology you are still learning. Steer clear of prioritizing speed over “the right solution.” Learn more about ServiceNow’s Common Service Data Model (CSDM) (foundation, crawl, walk, run, fly) here.

Aim for progress, not perfection.

You know you’re on the right track for setting up a strong, scalable foundation when you aim for progress over perfection. Here’s an example of aiming for progress.

Today: You have no process for HR intake - meaning your colleagues have no clue how to contact HR to ask a question or make a request. Or, you have email addresses your colleagues can use to submit a question or request, but that experience is like sending something to a black hole.

Phase 1 of your project: Set up a simple form that your colleagues can intuitively access, complete, and submit which creates a case assigned to HR for fulfillment and provides the colleague with a case number so they can track progress or follow-up if needed.

This is still something to be excited about! It’s better than what you had yesterday and taking this approach is helping you learn what is possible. Using a term from Jason Averbook I recently heard and was inspired by, think about what your minimum lovable product (MLP) will look like (minimum effort to set up - mitigating potential technical debt and enabling quicker delivery, and lovable because it’s a terrific starting point and moves you closer to something grander over the long-term) and aim for that.

Settle in! You’re on a journey.

You’ve implemented your MLP, what’s next? Start collecting data! What’s working, what’s not? How much time is it taking to fulfill HR requests? What do your colleagues think of your new processes? What gaps can you identify from the data you’re collecting? Just like with everything else in the world, nothing stays the same forever. Use data to determine process gaps and colleague sentiment, and practice continuous improvement efforts to fill those gaps and evolve as your colleagues and the world evolve too.

About The Author: Jen has over 10 years of experience in HR operations and technology, and executing successful implementations as part of HR transformations. As a people-centric design leader, Jen focuses on enabling exceptional experiences for all employees and activating greater process visibility through a centralized platform so leaders can use relevant data to drive decisions on continuous process improvements.

Want to chat with Jen? Connect with her on LinkedIn, here.

About The Anti: In 2017, we realized traditional HR technology consulting desperately needed an overhaul. So, we flipped the script on consulting culture.

  • We grew a team with expertise in real world HR process design and technology implementation
  • We aggregated and refined the best practices we’d already proven elsewhere
  • We rejected traditional friction points and changed consulting culture for the better

It caught on, and we have since delivered 250+ ServiceNow HRSD engagements as the only elite ServiceNow Partner committed to the employee experience workflow products. The Anti brings a unique blend of HR Consulting experience, HR Technology backgrounds, and HR Practitioner expertise to every engagement.

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