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HRD Gathering Kota Medan

In Organizations on Desember 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

Dokumentasi Talent Management Workshop bersama HRD Community Kota Medan. Membahas tuntas Talent Management, Assessment Plus 32 dan Behavioural Analyst menggunakan DiSC.

Jambore HR – Sibolangit (10-11 Nopember 2012)

In Organizations on November 12, 2012 at 2:30 am

Sibolangit, 10 Nopember 2012
Di Hari Pahlawan

100 Praktisi SDM Indonesia Mengikat Janji

Bertekat, bersama, bahu membahu,
Memajukan SDM Indonesia.

Semoga, langkah ini meng-inspirasi,
Melangkah bersama,
Kesuksesan bersama.

Jambore HR @ Sibolangit, Sumatra Utara.


Baca entri selengkapnya »


In Organizations on Februari 19, 2012 at 12:57 am


[BSD CITY]. Selamat sukses buat HOS Jakarta Gathering, sebanyak 40 orang praktisi HRD berkumpul di Swiss German University, Sabtu 18 Februari 2012 (09.00-16.00). Diskusi dan pembahasan berlangsung cukup “HOT”.

Baca entri selengkapnya »


In Organizations on Februari 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

Silahkan hadir…
Di mangga,
Di mangga,
Ayo bergabung,
Update & Upgrade,

Sabtu 18 Februari 2012 di Kampus SGU, BSD City, Serpong. 

Di-click aja gambarnya, biar jelas yah…!

Brosur_HOS Gathering  HR Scorecard  KPI 18 Feb2012

Case study: A fresh approach of the Balanced Scorecard in the Heathrow Terminal 5 project

In Organizations on Desember 6, 2009 at 9:16 pm
1. Introduction

Heathrow Terminal 5 opened on 27 March 2008 with high expectations. It represents a major step in the transformation of Heathrow and it is now a major gateway to the UK. From the start T5 was different and it needed to be due to its size, complexity and proximity. Despite some teething problems on opening, T5 was a catalyst for new and improved ways of working. One such initiative is the application of a Balanced Scorecard approach in managing quality in major projects.

For nearly two decades organisations in both the manufacturing and service industries have been working arduously at trying to bring the power, discipline and rigour of performance measurement into their organisations based on the Balanced Scorecard. The concept of a Balanced Scorecard by Kaplan and Norton (1996) is a strategic measurement system organised in four perspectives (financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth) that aims to establish tangible performance indicators in all functions of the business. One of the proven virtues of this system is that it proposes a balance between concepts that could be contradictory to managers. For example, it aims to balance between short-term and longer-term objectives, financial measures versus operational measures, internal performance versus external performance, enabling indicators versus results indicators and between leading and lagging indicators.

As might be expected, it is soon recognised (Zagrow, 2003; Project Management Institute, 2004) that the same benefits an organisation as a whole can derive from the deployment of a Balanced Scorecard based performance measurement system can also be acquired by a project’s management. Performance measures enable project managers to track whether the projects they are managing are moving in the right direction. Furthermore, projects do not only provide financial benefits: many of the outcomes of a project are intangible in nature. Project leaders are beginning to come out of the box of traditional project objectives, such as time, cost, risk and safety, and are moving towards the softer issues of project quality (Basu, 2008). This also means that many traditional performance measurement tools do not capture these benefits. The Balanced Scorecard approach enables us to identify the intangible drivers and project outcomes. So the application of the Balanced Scorecard in project management is becoming attractive to project managers.

However, a customised application of a performance management system based on the concept of the Balanced Scorecard in Heathrow Terminal 5 Project has created a fresh approach to involve all key stakeholders, including major consultants and contractors, to move towards a project quality culture.

2. Heathrow Terminal 5 project

BAA’s Terminal 5 Programme at London Heathrow Airport was one of Europe’s largest construction projects. Terminal 5 caters for approximately 30 million passengers a year and provides additional terminal and aircraft packing capacity. There are 42 aircraft stands (in phase one) including stands to cater for the Airbus A380. T5 features a world-class transport interchange connecting road, rail and air transport. The Heathrow Express from London Paddington and the Piccadilly Line have been extended and a new spur road links T5 to the M25 motorway. Passengers move from the terminal to satellite buildings by a driver-less tracked transit system. The new 87-metre control tower will meet the longer term demands of air traffic control at Heathrow. The facility opened to the public on 27 March 2008 and represents a £4.3 billion investment to BAA.

The project was delivered by BAA working in partnership with suppliers and the airline operator British Airways. By 2008 around 50,000 people, employees and key stakeholders, have been involved with building T5, working both on and off site. Only about 120 employees were directly employed by BAA. The project has deployed circa 100 first-tier contractors and consultancy firms, of which only three contractors (Laing O’Rourke, AMEC and MACE) were designated as principal contractors.

The mission and key objectives of the project included to:

  • set new standards in delighting the traveller at T5;
  • develop and deliver T5 to new industry standards of health safety and security;
  • earn the proactive support and trust of key stakeholders;
  • achieve exceptional performance to ensure value for money, on time delivery and an efficient and productive T5; and
  • leave behind a legacy of quality.

The need of supplier partnerships in line with the T5 Agreement (Little, 2005) and the complexity of rail, road, construction and systems requirements of the project were additional drivers.

To achieve these audacious targets in money and programme BAA had to consider a novel contracting and procurement strategy supported by a performance management system. Suppliers signing up to BAA agreements are expected to work in integrated teams and display true partnering behaviours and values akin to partnering. Before embarking on the Terminal 5 (T5) programme of works, BAA looked at a number of major UK construction projects to ascertain lessons learned, particularly where they had gone wrong. BAA decided that they had to have an agreement that could deal with an adaptable and dynamic approach dealing with the uncertainties and embracing integrated teams. So BAA wrote its own bespoke agreement or contract. The same conditions of contract applied to all key suppliers irrespective of type or usual position as a subcontract. And to support the governance of the project in line with this agreement a Balanced Scorecard based performance management system was developed for the T5 project.

3. Drivers of the Balanced Scorecard

It is recognised (Basu, 2004) that the comprehensive approach of a well-designed performance management system is underpinned by three fundamental criteria leading to the success of a performance management system including the Balanced Scorecard. These are:

  1. rigour in purpose;
  2. rigour in measurement; and
  3. rigour in application.
3.1 Rigour in purpose

Depending on the business objective, the metrics would vary in different industries. The metrics should be derived in alignment with company objectives and an emerging area for the four inter-linked perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard. The metrics should be clearly defined, validated and accepted by users during a pilot exercise.

3.2 Rigour in measurement

The success of established metrics will depend on the effectiveness of data collection and monitoring systems. This could vary from a manual process on a spreadsheet to a sophisticated ERP system.

3.3 Rigour in application

The value of a well-designed and monitored Balanced Scorecard will be lost if the data is not used to improve and sustain performance. A review process should be in place to review the metrics continuously and take action for performance improvement. Each measure should have a target both for the current year and the “best in classes” for the future.

In keeping with the above criteria of good practice of performance management there were both generic and specific drivers of adopting a customised Balanced Scorecard approach for the T5 project. No doubt the application of a Balanced Scorecard approach and key performance indicators (KPIs) to T5 were influenced by some traditional primary factors, such as:

  • the KPIs give everyone a clear picture of what is important;
  • the KPIs enable the project leadership team to view all projects at a glance in a consistent way; and
  • the KPIs complement the measurement of financial performance.

However, the need of supplier partnerships and stakeholder management in line with the T5 Agreement and the complexity of rail, road, construction and systems requirements of the project also generated collaborative (Basu, 2001) secondary drivers of customising the Balanced Scorecard in the T5 performance management system. It aimed to address some key management questions:

  • Do we have adequate measures to monitor interface arrangements with key stakeholders?
  • Do the design solutions have the required technical and functional approvals?
  • Have we agreed what to inspect and test and who will verify compliance?
  • Have we benchmarked the quality standards?
  • Are aiming to do it right first time?
  • Is the work complete, reliable and maintainable at handover?
4. T5 performance management system
4.1 Key performance indicators and measures

The performance management system of T5 is underpinned by well thought out key performance indicators and measures. As shown in Figure 1, there are five key performance indicators (KPIs), ten key measures and 37 performance data.

The KPIs are selected as high-level quality indicators to steer the major project objectives and requirements, ensuring that stakeholders are identified, requirements and benchmarks agreed, inspections and tests are planned to get them right first time and work is complete. The KPIs, supported by linked key measures, provide overall snap shots to direct the project through enablers, monitoring progress or assuring results. The performance data are the metrics that are measured for each part of the project by team members, including suppliers, to monitor performance as a target or planned versus actual. The key measures are the chosen ten measures to report and publish regularly.

As shown in Table I, as an example of metrics for the manufacturing and assembly stage of the project, each KPI is linked to relevant key measures and each key measure is supported by a number of performance data.

4.2 Guidance notes

It is important to recognise that all metrics must be tried and tested with worked out examples and also validated by collecting trial data under different conditions before communicating to the project team. It was helpful to provide a guidance note for each metric which are then explained to team members in workshops to gain their understanding and acceptance. A similar process was followed for T5 performance metrics and a Quality KPI Workbook was prepared. The workbook contained description and definition of each indicator and measure supported by guidance notes and individual or team responsibilities. For example each key performance indicator and performance measure (also called Data Table Heading) was supported by guidance notes for data collection and reporting as shown in Table II for the KPI, “Verifications Planned & Work Supervised”. An example of how a description is presented is shown in Table III.

In order to clearly assign responsibility and accountability for each KPI a simple RACI (responsible, accountable, consult and inform) format was used. Each team member or leader either as an individual or as a team was aware of the role as a sponsor (responsible), owner (accountable), contributor (consult) or participant (inform). Table IV shows an example of RACI for key performance indicators.

5. Performance monitoring and improvement
5.1 Embedding performance management in the T5 project

The roll out and implementation of the Balanced Scorecard based performance management for the T5 Project were enabled and enhanced by two major initiatives of the project:

  1. the T5 Agreement; and
  2. a four-tiered approach of quality culture.

The T5 Agreement was agreed between BAA and the major consultants and first tier contractors. Under the terms of this T5 Agreement, BAA took a single insurance policy to cover the multi-billion pound project. And because BAA had shouldered the risk, it expected the consultants and suppliers to work together. People from all stakeholders were encouraged to raise issues at the earliest opportunity. This helped the reporting and discussions on performance and non-conformance issues. “ When you align people’s objectives, stuff happens. The agreement has allowed us to work with our consultants and suppliers in a refreshing new way”, says Andrew Wolstenholme, T5 Project Director.

As shown in Figure 2, an inter-related four-tier approach (Millard, 2005) of embedding quality culture to project team members and suppliers was introduced in 2005.

This four-tier approach is an on going process and is primarily driven by focussed discussion groups and workshops. The stakeholder engagement and commitment process is supported by the project executive’s commitment to engage with project leadership and suppliers (principals) to introduce a right first time quality concept and get their buy-in and commitment. The culture and behaviour change process has been iterative, comprising regular workshops, briefing, awareness and feedback on quality KPIs and right first time behavioural change programme. This is further supported by the third-tier communication campaign, which includes quality logo branding, quality commitment workshops, quality booklets, quality walkabout, quality awards and posters. The fourth tier on quality best practice started with research and interviews with experts to establish best practices and align them with quality KPIs. This was followed by supervisor training and workshops to ensure understanding and ownership from supervisors.

5.2 Monitoring and Improvement

Each project team (such as airfield, baggage, rail, TTS, etc.) record, measure and monitor each performance measure, and on a monthly basis the ten key performance measures are reported as a Balanced Scorecard. Table V shows an example of a Balanced Scorecard.

The overall T5 results for Key Performance Measures are also presented graphically as the quality management profile shown in Figure 3.

The key performance measures provide a snapshot of the performance of each project team, which are also highlighted by RAG (red, amber, green) colour codes according to their status with regard to targets. However improvement projects are acted upon more by individual performance measures at the specific project level. The most significant contributors to improvement projects are non-conformance reports (NCRs). There are nine performance measures related to NCRs as part of one KPI, viz. compliance assured. These measures enable the quantification of a part of COPQ (cost of poor quality) given by estimated cost of NCRs. Root cause analyses by type of non-conformance and supplier lead to continuous improvement in design and processes and savings. Figure 4 shows an example of NCR report analysis.

Overall, circa 6,000 non-conformance reports were raised on T5 and the cumulative cost of non-conformance was only 0.6 per cent of the budget. Analysis of the data showed that 70 per cent of the total cost of non-conformance resulted from just 150 reports. A no-blame culture resulted in speedy and effective resolution of all issues.

6. Comparison with aspects of the Balanced Scorecard

As discussed in sections 3 and 4, key performance indicators and key measures of the T5 project were customised to meet the requirements of the T5 Agreement and the complexity of the project, spanning rail, road and air infrastructures. The key balancing principles of the four aspects (financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth) of Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard have been incorporated into the T5 KPIs as shown in Figure 5.

In Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard the enabling or leading indicators are provided by learning and growth. In the T5 Balanced Scorecard, the enabling indicators are “Benchmarks Agreed” (which also include some financial benchmarks) and “Verifications Planned & Work Supervised” (containing “Supervisor Training”). As regards the lagging or results indicators, “Handover Agreed & Work Complete” in T5 relates to the customer aspect of Kaplan and Norton, while the T5 KPIs “Inspected & Protected” and “Compliance Assured” relate to the internal process aspect of Kaplan and Norton.

On a closer analysis, not all the key measures as a group in each of T5 KPIs conform to specific aspect of Kaplan and Norton Balanced Scorecard as shown in Figure 5. For example “Total Estimated Cost of NCRs”, which is a key measure of the KPI “Compliance Assured”, also relates to the financial aspect. The matching of T5 metrics is more appropriate at the level of key measures as shown in Table VI.

It is arguable that there are some gaps in T5 key performance indicators and key measures related the financial and growth (innovation) aspects but the manufacturing and assembly stage KPIs would not be expected to address this.

7. Learning points

It is evident from the preceding analysis that the fundamental principles of the Balanced Scorecard have been gainfully adopted and customised to the performance management systems of T5 meeting the specific requirements of this complex major project. The best practices of project performance management arising from this case study include:

  • encouraging supplier partnership and proactive involvement of contractors in monitoring and improving project quality and conformance to standards;
  • providing indicators and measures in three main themes as enablers, monitoring progress and showing results along the project life cycle right up to the handover and completion of work;
  • the metrics and processes are validated and then embedded by extensive discussions with stakeholders followed by documentation, communication campaign and training workshops; and
  • the ongoing reporting of non-conformance reports (NCRs) supported by the estimation of cost of non-conformance and improvement projects based on root cause analysis is a strong point of the process and opens the opportunities for Six Sigma and innovation.

The application of the T5 Balanced Scorecard over a few years has also focused on areas of further refinement. These include:

  • incorporate Six Sigma training and methodology in the project quality strategy and link them with NCR-related measures;
  • explore and then extend a Balanced Scorecard approach and metrics to the design phase (including conceptual and preliminary engineering) of a major project (this is now in place for BAA major capital projects); and
  • align the key performance indicators and measures to a formal self-assessment of EFQM (European Foundation of Quality Management) type excellence process.

In Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard the enabling or leading indicators are learning and growth. In the T5 Balanced Scorecard the enabling indicators are “Benchmarks Agreed” and “Verifications Planned & Work Supervised”.

8. Summary and conclusions

This case study is an important first step in providing support towards measuring, improving quality standards in major projects. Initial research work (Basu, 2008) indicates that in spite of formal quality plans supported by PRINCE 2 and ISO 9000 many projects managed to “tick many boxes” but failed to deliver expected quality criteria. The performance management system of the T5 project, having learned from other major projects, has established a “best practice” of the application of a Balanced Scorecard approach in major projects by involving major stakeholders and contractors.

The metrics of the T5 Balanced Scorecard have been designed to reflect specific requirements of the project as enablers as well as showing results leading to continuous improvement. The experience of the project team indicates that NCR (non-conformance resolution) related data have been most effective in identifying the cost of poor quality, to improve design and processes by analysing root causes by task or supplier and also to attract the attention of the project board.

There are variations of performance metrics depending on variable quality requirements and expectations of stakeholders and therefore among many learning points two key pointers emerging from theT5 Balanced Scorecard are:

  1. that metrics can be customised for major projects, showing the value of customising measures within the framework of Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard; and
  2. that suppliers should be empowered to own the monitoring and improvement process using their performance data.

Figure 1T5 metrics triangle

Figure 2Four-tiered approach

Figure 3T5 quality management profile

Figure 4Sample NCR charts

Figure 5Aspects of the Balanced Scorecard

Table IThe relationships between key performance indicators, key measures and performance data

Table IIGuidance notes for the “Verifications Planned & Work Supervised” KPI

Table IIIDescription of a KPI

Table IVRACI for KPIs

Table VT5 Balanced Scorecard for December 2007

Table VIT5 key measures in the aspects of the Balanced Scorecard


Basu, R. (2001), "New criteria of performance management: a transition from enterprise to collaborative supply chain", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 5 No.4, pp.7-12.

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Basu, R. (2004), Implementing Quality, Thomson, London, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Basu, R. (2008), "A third dimension of project quality", Quality World, Vol. May pp.34-8.

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Kaplan, R.S., Norton, D.P. (1996), The Balanced Scorecard, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Little, C. (2005), "BAA Terminal 5", paper presented to IQA Conference, Bali, 18 May, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Millard, C. (2005), "Make T5 quality", internal BAA document, February, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Project Management Institute (2004), A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 3rd ed., Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Zagrow, H.W. (2003), "Applying the Balanced Scorecard in project management", AllPM Project Manager Project Management, November, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

Further Reading

Yin, R.K. (2003), Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Sage Publications, London, .

[Manual request] [Infotrieve]

About the authors

Ron Basu is currently a Visiting Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and also a Visiting Professor at ESC Lille. Previously he held functional and executive roles in Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. Ron Basu is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:

Chris Little is BAA Capital Programmes Quality Assurance Leader. Previously he worked for Stanger Science and Environment (Tarmac Professional Services), providing advice on quality assurance for highway structures and building projects.

Chris Millard is a Programme Director for BAA. Previously he was BAA Technical Director, Head of Engineering for Terminal 5 and held senior programme and technical appointments in the automotive industry.

The HR Business-Partner Model: Past Learnings and Future Challenges

In Organizations on November 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

The informal business-partner model has existed for well more than 100 years, when effective support functions, including HR, have contributed to business results. Formalizing how HR professionals can create more value as business partners has been the focus for the last 10-15 years. Many HR professionals are doing exceptional work. One is continually amazed at the number of hard-working HR professionals and leaders who are serving and being recognized as business partners by their company executives. In thousands of companies around the world, HR professionals are making enormous progress toward delivering business value. In the future, the ways in which HR professionals will serve as business partners will continue to morph. The bar has been raised, and some HR professionals will — and others will not — make the grade. Those that do will help businesses manage the enormously difficult and exciting challenges of the 21st century.

» The informal business-partner model has existed for well more than 100 years, when effective support functions, including HR, have contributed to business results. Formalizing how HR professionals can create more value as business partners has been our focus for the last 10 to 15 years. Now we can reflect on what we have learned in the past decade about the relevance of the business-partner model and see clearly the challenges that lie ahead.

Looking Back: Nine Lessons Learned

First, the business-partner model is not unique to HR; all staff functions are trying to find ways to deliver more value to top-line growth and bottom-line profitability. If they are not delivering definitive and sustainable value, they have been given the mandate to change, or face elimination or outsourcing.

Second, the intent of the business-partner model is to help HR professionals integrate more thoroughly into business processes and align their day-to-day work with business outcomes. This means focusing more on deliverables and business results than HR activities.

Third, being a business partner may be achieved in many HR job categories, typically in one of four positions:

1. Corporate HR

2. Embedded HR, working as HR generalists with line leaders

3. HR Specialists, working in centers of expertise to provide technical expertise

4. Service Centers, building or managing technology-based e-HR systems

Fourth, business success is more dependent today than ever on softer organizational agendas, such as talent and organization capabilities.

Fifth, just as general managers turn to senior staff specialists in marketing, finance and IT to frame the intellectual agenda and processes for these activities, they also turn to competent and business-focused HR professionals to provide intellectual and process leadership for people and organizational issues.

Sixth, our research shows that the HR profession as a whole is quickly moving to add greater value through a more strategic focus. At the same time, some HR professionals are not able to live up to the new expectations. In any change effort, there is typically a 20-60-20 grouping. The top 20 percent of individuals asked to change already are doing the work that the change requires. The lower 20 percent will never get there. With training, coaching and support, the other 60 percent can make the move. And we see this majority moving toward, rather than away from, business relevance. They see customers as the real, external ones rather than the historical internal ones.

Seventh, being a business partner requires HR professionals to have new knowledge and skills that connect their work directly to the business. Traditionally, HR professionals have tended to focus on negotiating and managing terms and conditions of work and facilitating administrative transactions.

Eighth, the inevitable failures in the application of the business-partner model may stem from both personal and organizational factors:

1. Asking HR professionals who have focused on policies and transactions to do talent and organization audits and massive change efforts may be too great a shift for some.

2. Personal interests and abilities may deter some HR professionals from engaging in the business-partner role. Their focus on administrative detail may not allow them to embrace the larger and more complicated perspective of the business as a whole.

3. Some HR professionals simply may not know how to proceed. Substantial empirical evidence shows that HR professionals who are provided exposure to such information quickly can apply that information in adding greater value to the business.

4. HR’s impact on business may vary by business setting: A particular firm’s business conditions may not require talent and organization as keys to success. Under such conditions HR professionals who push for alignment, integration and innovation in talent and organization are less likely to contribute to business success.

5. Some line managers have trouble either accepting the importance of talent and organization or accepting HR professionals as significant contributors to these agendas. This may be because of their having a limited perspective on the changing nature of business or because of past bad experiences with a specific HR professional.

Ninth, there are really few other options. The reality is that the HR professionals must evolve into being the best thinkers in the company about the human and organization side of the business. The human side of the business is a key source of competitive advantage.

Looking Forward: Challenges Ahead

As we look forward, we need clear thinking, effective practices and insightful research. Many of the critics of the business-partner model look at today’s problems through yesterday’s solutions and wonder why they do not work. The HR business-partner model of the 1990s has changed in recent years to adapt to today’s business challenges.

Our firm, the RBL Group, in conjunction with the University of Michigan and a variety of HR professional associations from around the world, has studied the competencies and agendas of HR professionals as business partners for more than 20 years. We recently completed the fifth round of this ongoing global study of HR professionals and developed a clear picture of what business leaders expect from their HR business partners. We project five trends that will continue to evolve the HR field and how it delivers value.

1. There has been steady progress in the HR field as it has moved toward greater strategic understanding and relevance.

HR professionals will increase their knowledge of their companies’ wealth-creating activities, become more knowledgeable about internal operations and increase their knowledge of critical external realities such as customer requirements, supplier relations, competitive market structures, domestic and international regulatory issues, globalization and the requirements of capital markets.

With this foundation in business knowledge, they will bring to strategy discussions their personal visions for the future of the business. They will work with their management teams to formulate unique business strategies and develop the organizational capabilities to implement the business strategy and serve as the longterm sources of competitive advantage. They will continually innovate to develop HR practices, polices and processes that link directly into the business strategy and create measurable business results.

2. Companies will continue to require fewer HR professionals to do transactional administrative work.

Newly emerging information and communication technologies will continue to be applied to improve the efficiency of HR administrative work, directly facilitate greater transaction processing at lower costs and indirectly promote efficiencies by allowing the transfer of transactional work to internal service centers or to external outsourcing firms. Nice-to-have but strategically unnecessary HR activities will be eliminated.

3. As business partners, HR professionals will increase their focus on creating value for key external constituents: customers, capital markets, competitors and communities.

* They will do this by directly involving customers in the design of HR practices such as performance measurement, reward allocation, training recruitment and promotions. They also will provide linkages to external customers by continually conceptualizing and creating the organizational capabilities that influence the buying habits of external customers: this is what we have called "the HR wallet test."

* HR professionals likewise will become more attuned to the requirements of capital markets. The recent burgeoning research in finance and economics on intangible assets is emphasizing the increasing importance of human capital assets and HR practices that create and sustain those assets. The investment community has begun accounting for practices such as succession planning, leadership development, corporate culture and executive compensation as considerations in buy-or-sell decisions. Companies that are able to create a credible leadership brand are more likely to enjoy P/E ratios above those of their competitors. We have suggested that the new ROI for HR is return on intangibles.

* As HR professionals account for customer and owner requirements in the design and delivery of organizational capability and related HR practices, they will do so with greater awareness of competitors. They will recognize that forward-looking and innovative HR practices have relatively little value unless they create greater value than those of their dominant competitors. Internal measures of change must be viewed from the perspective of change relative to external competition.

* A final emerging trend in HR’s external focus is the role of HR in representing companies to their communities and in accounting for community requirements in their companies’ value proposition. The mandate for greater corporate social responsibility (CSR), which originated primarily in Europe, appears to be quickly taking root in North America, China, India and in many countries with emerging economies. Concerns about global warming, air and water pollution, local employment regulations, ethical treatment of indigenous populations, endangered species, and land utilization have moved up the list of corporate priorities. HR departments increasingly are given the mandate to work with local communities in addressing these complex and important issues.

4. As HR professionals become more effective as business partners, they will become more balanced in their approaches to their work.

In the most recent round of our competency research, we found that effective HR professionals function in the following six roles. If HR professionals fail to function in any of these roles, they significantly detract from their contributions as business partners.

* Credible activists build relationships of trust based on business knowledge and have a point of view not just about HR issues, but about business issues.

* Strategy architects contribute to the development, execution and communication of winning strategies.

* Culture and change stewards support the organization in identifying and facilitating important changes that improve the capabilities of the organization to compete and grow by turning what is known into what is done and linking external firm identity to internal employee actions.

* Talent managers and organizational designers provide important support and counsel in building both individual competencies and organization capability.

* Operational executors do the operational work of HR effectively and cost efficiently, using information systems and external vendors when appropriate to ensure better, faster and cheaper HR delivery.

* Business allies demonstrate a firm grasp on how the organization operates, makes money and competes.

5. HR business partners-as in other key functional areas-will be expected to base their activities on solid empirical research associated with business results.

Because the best HR practices are emerging from all parts of the world, HR research increasingly will be conducted on a global scale, and will focus on the practices and competencies that result in individual and company performance.

By Way of Summary

Many HR professionals are doing exceptional work. We are continually amazed at the number of hard-working HR professionals and leaders who are serving and being recognized as business partners by their company executives. In thousands of companies around the world, HR professionals are making enormous progress toward delivering business value.

In the future, the ways in which HR professionals will serve as business partners will continue to morph. The bar has been raised, and some HR professionals will-and others will not-make the grade. Those that do will help businesses manage the enormously difficult and exciting challenges of the 21st century.


The intent of the business-partner model is to help HR professionals integrate more thoroughly into business processes and align their day-to-day work with business outcomes.


The reality is that the HR professionals must evolve into being the best thinkers in the company about the human and organization side of the business. The human side of the business is a key source of competitive advantage.

[Author Affiliation]

Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank, The RBL Group, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

[Author Affiliation]

Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank are partners at The RBL Group and professors at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Dave Ulrich, Wayne Brockbank. People and Strategy. New York: 2009. Vol. 32, Iss. 2; pg. 5, 3 pgs

Hiring? Laying Off? What You Must Know Now

In Organizations on Oktober 25, 2009 at 6:00 am

Framroze Virjee, Adam KohSweeney. Business Week (Online). New York: Oct 9, 2009.

Note: Many employers are concerned about today’s big-picture labor initiatives. Perhaps a better focus: three key points involving staffing decisions

Nine months into the Obama Administration, and 20 months [or so] into the current recession, the business community is justifiably asking itself: "What’s next?" Many business leaders are tracking the long list of potential labor-friendly [aka "business-hostile"] initiatives and litigation trends, including: an expected increase in audit and enforcement activity by the U.S. Labor Dept., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state and federal agencies brought about by increased funding; proposals for mandatory paid medical leave and required health and welfare benefits; more equal pay discrimination claims based on the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; a seemingly endless uptick in individual and class-action lawsuits, as millions of laid-off employees explore their options with emboldened plaintiff attorneys; and the resurgence of organized labor in the private sector, regardless of the final form of the Employee Free Choice Act.

While each of these initiatives is of valid concern, they are generally beyond the control of individual employers at this juncture. So perhaps a better concern for employers these days is: "What am I missing as I lay off or rehire employees?" Here are three key possibilities.

Pay Mind to Disparate Impact

First, employers need to properly assess the statistical effect of their employment decisions. Both the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ricci v. DeStefano [the firefighter promotional-testing case] and the confirmation hearings of now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor have pushed "disparate impact" issues front and center in the current national debate.

Discrimination against minority employees is often thought of as an issue of intent — "As long as my motives are not discriminatory, I am not discriminating and I will be fine, right?" Not necessarily so. Unlike disparate [discriminatory] treatment cases, disparate impact claims are based on statistics, without regard to intent. The question at the heart of these claims: Did the employer’s policy or practice disproportionately affect a protected class of employees? This means that employers need to consider carefully the statistical impact of layoff decisions. And, on the other end, when rehiring after a layoff, the same issue should be considered. Enterprising plaintiffs’ lawyers may argue disparate impact if the minority makeup of your company looks markedly different post-rehiring compared with pre-layoff.

It is worth noting that the Ricci case has left many employers in a no-win situation. In that case, the New Haven Fire Dept. would almost certainly have been sued by minority employees if they had used the promotional test results at issue [a test on which minorities disproportionately scored lower]. Instead, they were successfully sued by white employees when they didn’t use the results — highlighting the need for careful consideration of employee testing issues.

Read Up on Compensation Law

Company compensation practices present another area of vulnerability when hiring or firing employees. Despite the well-publicized explosion of lawsuits alleging failure to pay overtime and other "wage and hour" violations, many employers remain blissfully unaware of the complicated, treacherous, and arcane rules surrounding employee classification and compensation. Importantly, federal law in this area has no preemptive effect — which means employers must consider federal, state, and sometimes even local law when deciding such issues.

When terminating employees, key concerns include whether the employee is owed commissions or bonuses [forfeiture provisions or policies are not always lawful] and how quickly final wages must be paid [several states require immediate payment in some circumstances]. With regard to hiring or rehiring decisions, recognize that this is the single best time to assure that all planned compensation approaches — including whether the employee is entitled to overtime under applicable law — are lawful or at least defensible.

In the End, It’s About People

Lastly, perhaps the most important consideration when hiring or terminating an employee is not really a legal issue at all — it is the so-called "human touch." The fact is, plaintiffs’ attorneys rarely file suit over the issue that first drove the employee to visit them. Rather, they leverage the opportunity that a disgruntled employee presents to explore the employer’s practices and the employee’s experiences to identify and isolate those factors that can be "spun" into a claim. Thus, employers should consider whether their decisions could drive the employee into the arms of a plaintiffs’ lawyer [or, for that matter, the arms of organized labor].

The best advice: Treat employees with respect and civility, and don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. It is often prudent to be flexible and meet employees halfway where possible, even when not strictly required. Keep in mind that a minor concession, an accommodation, or a little extra effort early in the process will often head off the major issues before they surface.