We are all familiar with the well known urban tale about the successful CEO, which started his long career as a young intern replying “The restroom” to the seasoned CEO question “What do you want to see to be able to tell me how my company is doing?”
If I would be an intern in today’s world and I would be asked the same question by the company CIO, I would reply ‘the On-boarding process’.
On-boarding looks like a simple process, but in reality it’s a long and complex process which requires coordination between many roles in the enterprise. Yes, the results are simple and obvious. You join the company and a computer with all needed applications and permissions to perform your role is waiting on your new desk together with your new phone, business card, company credit card, iPad, etc’. Simple, yet I never had such an experience, and I’m willing to bet that the majority of the readers had the same experience as mine.
The root cause for our current on-boarding experience is accountability. This process shares responsibilities between the hiring manager, HR and IT. Sharing responsibilities is the perfect recipe for no responsibility and accountability ( “it’s not IT responsibility, it’s HR”). therefore the first step that we took to fix our on-boarding experience is to take ownership and responsibility for this process. It doesn’t matter if the new position just entered to the system 3 days ago or if the new hire name just got added to the the HR systems yesterday, our responsibility as IT group is to make sure that he will have everything that he needs to be able to start his first day at work without any (IT) issues.
The second step was capturing the current process steps which include : defining roles, defining needed applications and authorized access to share drives for roles, define needed hardware and software for a role to perform his work, define which roles new hire is going to perform, order the right equipment for the new hire, create user ID in our corporate LDAP, set up new hire in corporate systems (HR, Exchange, Sharepoint, etc’), set up the new hardware, install needed software, grant needed permissions to access internal and external resources, ship the new equipment to the new hire location and set it up on his desk and sort orientation to the new hire. Once we captured all the steps and the number of different applications and systems involved in the process, we started to simplify as much as we can the process and the existing applications, which support it.
After understanding the complexity and the number of different roles involved in this process we developed an “On-boarding tracker”. This small but efficient solution has all the different on-boarding steps and the agreed SLA to finish them. The tracker simply tracks the progress of the on-boarding process from new requisition or separation of existing employee to on-boarding new employee and sends notification when certain task SLA is about to be missed. Simple but efficient.
The above steps enable us to on-board many associates in the last 3 months without any miss, which increase significantly the positive perception of IT. While writing those lines we are busy converting all of the existing applications and excels into one application that will enable us better measurement. This measurement is essential to be able to continuously improve our on boarding process.
Last but not least, let’s look at the DevOps angle of this work. This work executed successfully by ad-hoc team that was build from service delivery manager and professional, desk side engineer, sys admin, SharePoint developer and lotus notes developer.