What you need to know before you begin...

...more to come :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Case Study #8 Response


You are an HR Generalist/Recruiter for a small for-profit organization and you have been invited to demo Taleo Business Edition as a potential recruiting solution for your organization. You discover that Taleo was brought in because they are a partner of Paychex, your current payroll vendor. You didn't know that there was a need for a recruiting solution since you're not that busy. How do you approach this demo?


Luckily, at this point I would have an HRM Certification from UC Berkeley under my belt and through the HR Systems and Technology course, I would have learned that the key to implementing any technology solution is ensuring that the system addresses the need/ problem at hand. With the scenario above, Taleo is being sought out simply because it integrates with other current systems - not because it meets the need and addresses the issues at hand.

With that said, the first thing I would do is get more background as to why this demo was sought. Who is the driver behind this demo internally? What current state issues have led to the demo? What do they hope to solve with the implementation?

Answers to these questions will help me to understand why we are where we are. The next step is to offer my knowledge to help try and help influence next steps. Perhaps a recruiting system is warranted for future growth and if a system is being sought, integration with current systems is definitely a plus. But if the need is to solve issues with current payroll processes, I would try and influence the project sponsor with that information.

As the subject mater expert for the recruiting function, I can share my experience with recruiting volumes and the current state process, citing that there are no issues with current procedures and that current workloads do not warrant the purchase of a system that does not meet an existing need. The next step is to then consult with payroll to determine what the issues are. Perhaps we are in the need of an HRIS system? 

If the need is not necessarily issues with current payroll processes, perhaps seeing the demo is warranted. If the system meets the exact needs that help to feed Paychex the information it needs, perhaps this situation can turn into a win-win. I can document areas in the current recruiting process that could use some 'sprucing up', and come to the demo with that information. I can ensure it meets my needs, is viable for the needs of the recruiters, and can go above and beyond in regards to its offerings.

Ultimately, I would approach the demo depending upon the findings of the exploration into the reasons for he demo. I could use the situation to my advantage and make a win-win scenario, or I could save the organization from a costly mistake, literally. The key is information...after all, It's All About The Data!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The keys to a successful problem solution implementation...

Assuming that the problem solution implementation is a technology based solution, I would identify the following as some of the core keys to success:

1) Involve the right people

An implementation is only as successful as the end users deem it to be. So involve them! Subject matter experts from the business should be involved from the start, from documenting needs and the existing process to UAT and train he trainer sessions.

Additionally project sponsor(s) should be involved at all stages of the process as the project sponsor is the liaison between the executives and the success of the program.

IT, both in-house and from the vendor should obviously be involved at all stages.


Testing the implemented process from start to finish is critical to ensuring success of the system. From making sure the system addresses the problems it set out to meet and ensuring system access and security is correct, to ensuring basics like system functionality and links work - UAT is critical to the success of ANY implementation.

3) Communication!

Communication with project stakeholders helps to set up expectations and helps to address questions before they become questions. Pre-implementation communication including system functionality, system overviews and anticipated time lines are critical. Post-implementation communications like FAQ's, support logistics, and ongoing updates ensure that users know the support is there from the top down and that the implementation is being driven and supported from the top down.

4) Post Implementation Support

Utilizing the tools in the communication plan is important, but for a large, enterprise level implementation, having a support plan in place is critical. Who will answer questions? How will questions be addressed? Who will provide on the floor support if needed?

While these are just a portion of an overall successful implementation, the caveat is just that...we are at the implementation stage of the process. So many moving parts must be effectively managed and brought together just to get to the implementation stage but once there, keeping the 4 points above in mind will surely help to ensure overall success.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


**Caveat: Keep reading because this blog DOES have a technology twist!!

First, I work for a great organization. They provide one additional PAID day off per year dubbed a, "civic day", which is basically a paid vacation day you can use for any volunteer experience you choose - from volunteering at your church to spending a day helping out at your child's school. Well, this weekend I chose to spend my volunteer day doing something I do every year - volunteering at Camp Okizu, a place for children and families affected by childhood cancer.

This camp is WAY up in the hills past Oroville (for those of you who know where that is). At night, open your tent to see a field FULL of roaming deer the size of a VW Bug. And deer are not the top of the food chain. The bottom line is that, while the camp has electricity and running water, it isn't a place for TV's and X-Boxes. It is a place when children and their families can come to escape the hardships of the realities of their world for a weekend free of charge to them. Everything is provided - food, drinks, housing, showers. During the day us counselors take the kids and just play. Play for plays sake. No worries in the world for the 3 days dedicated to play.

Now organizations like this do not survive easily. They rely on gracious donations and funding that is geared to help programs like these survive because they provide crucial services. The weekend goes on, we sing, we make s'mores, we build campfires - we even weave friendship bracelets and fish in the little pond down the dirt walkway.

What happens at the end of the weekend as we look back on the fun times had and the memories shared? A shout out to technology! Mercedes-Benz is giving back to the community via a program they call 'Commuity Stars'. Their tagline, "Bright ideas deserve to shine. Help us find the best and the brightest", is the forefront to the $25,000 they are offering to the organization with the most votes! So we ended camp with a call to arms (of sorts) urging all families and volunteers to go to www.vote.okizu.org to help the organization win $25,000 they so rightfully deserve.

So if you are reading this, click the link. Go online and vote for Okizu (will take you to a FaceBook interface to vote). So get out there and make a difference using technology. Just one more example of how technology is making the world smaller.

A review of success metrics from Week 1...

My success metrics from week 1 were broken down into three major buckets - all of which were addressed...AND THEN SOME.

1) A better understanding of the current state of the industry
  • I know a dozen + more software solutions now than I did coming in, including:
    • Zoho
    • Jobvite
    • Success Factors
  • I feel like I have a much better understanding of the current state of the industry but what has become likely more important is that I have a better understanding of the future state of he industry. That is, what we are going, not where we have been. And that is an important designation because technology is changing the way we do business - and the way we support them too.
2) Insight into specific technologies
  • Well, let's start with the obvious. Twitter and Blogger are two resources I had NEVER used pre HR Tech, and now, I'm 14 blogs in and at least another 25 tweets on top of that! Exposure, experience and education are worth their weight in gold.
3) Learning from the experiences of others
  • Be it the demos or be it the classroom discussion - learning from others has been a critical part of this certification program. You learn what others are doing, the experiences they have had, and even some insight to the things they have done (which ultimately ends up sparking hundreds of ideas in my mind as to how I can solve a problem or a software/ solution I should explore). The great thing about that is that I'm only halfway through the certification program! The downside?? I'm only halfway through the program... :-)

What I learned on 10/12 and whats to come 10/19...

10/12 brought on more software knowledge, including demos from yours truly (Taleo and LinkedIn Recruiter). New on the plate was software demo'ed (if that is a word) called 'DevonWay'. DevonWay provides many software solutions to multiple organizations spanning multiple industries and needs, but what we learned is that if you are a nuclear power plant and need to track regulatory safety reporting, then DevonWay has a product for you. And 99% of the rest of the industry is probably already using it!

For 10/19, I'm very excited to get to know more about Workday. With solid foundings and a history of success in its short lifespan, I'm eager to see what this solution has to offer. But for now, back to preparing for my class presentation and trying to ace this course exam!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Case Study #6 Response


You are new to HR and have been hired on as an HR assistant. Your company is doing well and wants to invest money in technology. You have been asked by your boss to research HR systems as a way to develop your skills. How do you approach this request?


The first step in any technology solution is to first, understand the problem that you are solving for. Without knowing the problem, it is impossible to find a solution that meets the needs and addresses the concern. With that said, my first step would be to have a brainstorming session with my boss (since he/she is likely considered the project sponsor in this case) to find out from his/her perspective, what things in the current process need improvement, or in other words, where are our pain points? Through the brainstorming session, we could articulate the current issues and utilize process mapping exercises to gain a step-by-step understanding of current processes to help us identify questions like:

  • Who are we solving this problem for? (HR? Employees? Managers?) 
  • Who are the primary stakeholders involved?
  • What’s the nature of the current gaps? (Communication? Process? Knowledge?)

Once our problem is identified and we have a better understanding of the problem at hand we’d like to target, the next step is to create a formal project charter to keep the project on track and to ensure things like ‘scope creep’ do not go un-addressed. In addition, we would want to know things up-front to ensure that there are no real ‘knock-out’ questions, like:

  • Does the deliver model matter? (SaaS vs In-House?)
  • If a technology solution is the option, what is the cost ceiling?
  • Do we have the in-house IT backing to support the solution?
  • Is there integration required? Customization?

Once the charter is designed, I’d present it to my boss to ensure that we are on the same page in terms of expectations and results.

The last step is to execute the research outlined in the charter to be able to articulate potential solutions and why they are viable. Whether it is the ‘do nothing solution’ or outsourcing, to a SaaS solution or an In-House suite vendor, the results will be well defined and will identify the strengths and weaknesses when looked at as the solution to the problem. If available, demos of the software will have been completed as well to ensure viability of the solution. My ultimate goal would be to provide a comprehensive view of potential solutions to provide an accurate picture of the benefits, costs, and even short-comings to be able to independently assess the merits of each solution as well as to present a look into the future of the organization and where the solution might play into the growth strategy and future stages of where we are, and where we would like to be. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I learned on 10/5 and what I look forward to on 10/12...

Today was filled with two primary buckets of information...SuccessFactors and the HR Technology Conference...both great learning opportunities!

If there is one thing I will take a way from this class, it is a better understanding of many players in today's technology game - from HR Strategy to Social Media. SuccessFactors, as a suite vendor, was a very interesting demo to see (especially as a user of Taleo). They are fundamentally different in their deliver model, but similar in their product offerings and the problems that they try to solve for organizations. I enjoyed seeing the approaches SuccessFactors especially when compared to Taleo. The use of modules are readily apparent in both, but Taleo feels a bit more segregated when it comes to the interaction of the overall platform. Both have ditched the antiquated look of the 'PeopleSoft' UI, but personally, Taleo's 'eye-candy' appeal tops that of SuccessFactors (again...personally :).

What I learned after though kind of trumps all demos, which is, for every one vendor for any particular solution, there are likely a dozen others out there to consider. And dozens-squared opinions as well. Companies like Knowledge Infusion won't be going away anytime soon (consulting companies that take a look at these issues for organizations from an 'outsider looking in perspective' to provide their suggestions to the issues at hand). The Tech Conference seemed to be a data dump of the movement in the HR technology space today...and what companies like FaceBook foresee the future to look like. Full of shiny objects and confident sales people, the sky is the limit for what the future holds...but the key is, and will always be, what best solves the PROBLEM at hand?

For next week, I still look forward to grilling someone at Taleo and hearing what they have to offer :). So more to come.

Charter: Performance Management Solutions

Problem Statement

Performance Management within our organization is currently a dreaded task that ends up being a scramble at the fiscal year end to get completed, when it should be an ongoing process throughout they year that is easy to facilitate and truly supports the organizations ‘Pay for Performance’ philosophy. The model is geared to recognize and reward top performers across the business, help identify and facilitate performance improvement when needed, and helps employees and leaders stay connected in regards to performance metrics and actual achievement.


The key stakeholders in this process include the following groups:

1)      Business Leaders w/ Direct Reports
·        This tool should help business leaders facilitate the career development for their associates as well as track, monitor, and measure ongoing performance in close partnership with the employee.
2)      Employees
·        As users of the tool, it should be accessible, easy to use, and should clearly outline development/ performance goals and metrics.  
3)      HR/ System Administrators
·        The system administrators should be able to easily do real-time reporting, control security and easily navigate basic administration functions.

Business Case

Performance Management is a critical component to the success of an organization long-term. Effective performance management serves two critical purposes. First, it allows an organization to proactively manage and develop internal talent by providing the tools and the processes to facilitate the conversations and the documentation. Secondly, it provides risk mitigation tools for the organization in terms of formal documentation of both performance and performance that needs improvement. 

In Scope

The scope of this project will be limited to a review of technology applications that can help manage, streamline, and revolutionize the current performance management process. The preference would be an in-house held solution we could potentially customize and integrate with other HR systems, but are open to all solutions, including SaaS options, regardless of cost.

Out of Scope

At this point in time, suite vendors will be considered and the merits of the suite possibilities will be addressed, but the scope of this project will not branch out into other areas of HR including recruitment, onboarding, benefits, compensation, etc.

Success Metrics

Success will be defined by the following goals:

-         Adoption of the program by the organization (70% of employees have accessed the system within the 1st QTR of the fiscal year)
-         Pay more accurately matches performance numbers across the organization (track current spend by rating and future spend by rating)
-         Qualitative measures show ratings increase (implement pre & post implementation surveys to show qualitative improvement in the solution)

-         Communication Plan
o       Communication to all employees will commence 30 days before the program conversion. Communication to managers will begin 60 days prior to conversion.
-         Training Plan
o       Web-based trainings will be created to train system functionality for the employee and manager user levels.
o       Admin training will be completed in ‘train the trainer’ sessions conducted by the solutions representatives.
o       FAQ’s will be designed to answer all basic questions identified through UAT to help alleviate the initial flow of questions and to provide users additional tools to seek resolutions. 

-         Functional/ Technical
o       UAT Team (comprised of key leaders and employees)
o       Training coordinators
o       Internal & External IT/ Tech Support
-         Sponsors
o       Project Sponsor(s) & Project Manager
o       HR Leaders
-         Core Team
o       Key business leaders (buy-in sought way ahead of time)
o       Testing & Training Leads
o       Project Manager

Solution Options
-         Keep existing solution (do nothing)
-         SuccessFactors (www.successfactors.com)
-         WebFOCUS Performance Management (www.informationbuilders.com)
-         Enterprise Performance Management (http://www.oracle.com/)
-         Infor Performace Management (www.infor.com)
-         Silkroad (www.silkroad.com)
-         Taleo (www.taleo.com)
-         Rypple (www.rypple.com)
-         Sonar 6 (http://www.sonar6.com/)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Some of the pluses and the only deltas...

  • Branching out into unknown territories (ie. Blogging, Twitter, RSS, etc)
  • Learning new systems (Zoho, Rypple, ADP, etc)
  • Meeting new people
  • Building an understanding of the wave of the future (Web 2.0, utilizing 'the cloud', forms of social media, etc) and where that wave is taking HR
  • Driving from Folsom for class each night....and
  • Wanting to see a bit more into the newest PS platform. Unfortunately the first night was ridden with connectivity and system issues, but as a current user of PS, I'm interested in seeing what the newest version has to offer...if nothing more than an enhanced UI :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A bit about 9/28 and what I hope 10/5 brings...

Well...I know everything I need to know about ADP! ;-) But in all reality, the 1 hour demo was fantastic. Although the system lacked the flash and sexiness we all look for in systems today, it was surprisingly robust for a system that purports to be a one stop shop for the major HR technology needs. It is the dream of most organizations to have credible data all in one place - it helps facilitate smooth processes and makes for reporting possibilities most executives only dream of (well, without needing to run a macro that joins 6 tables of data...or more realistically finding someone who knows how to do it).

If ADP isn't my thing, well the 18 step HR Software Analysis model sure will help with that. From defining the problem and understanding integration to running reports and utilizing regional-specific functionality, I feel much more comfortable in my ability to not get sick on the rug. If you get my drift...which is only possible if you have taken Jun's HR Tech Class BTW :-).

And lastly, what I still look forward to is the Taleo demo. As a current user of the Enterprise Recruiting and Onboarding modules I'm eager to see what the latest and greatest is...as well as having an SME at my disposal for the questions I currently have.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How does HR Technology help the business thrive, you ask??

I work at an organization where HR truly is a business partner. We have the proverbial, "seat at the table" when it comes to strategic decision making and business modeling. Thus, the technology we use to drive our business is CRITICAL to driving the overall business.

I can list a million reasons (literally) why HR Technology is crucial but for the purposes of this blog, I'll focus on my top 3:

1) Managing Talent

This is increasingly important as the size, diversity, and geographic span of your organization grows, but knowing who can do what and who has done what is extremely beneficial in overall talent management. For example, Finance is in dire need of a project manager to help implement an expense management system but they don't know where to turn. Little do they know that a PM in IT is wrapping up their current project and before their time with our company, their IT experience was specific to finance at another organization implementing the exact same system. With an HR Technology system that helps managers identify and tap into that talent, both HR and the business can save money and seek qualified talent to help the business grow and evolve.

2) 'Making the World Flat'

Yes, another Friedman quote :-). But very relevant here. If you are in HR for a company that operates in 30+ countries, HR systems are almost necessary to provide any sort of unity or standardization in terms of business processes, workflows, tools, forms, etc. Heck, even corporate branding can be HUGELY affected by a unified system that is used globally. But at the basics, it flattens the world and makes available tools to people thousands of miles apart from each other.

3) Mitigating Risk

Lastly, I believe that mitigating risk is another key factor in HR Technology. The more manual the process - the more exposure to risk you have. Even if you operate the best in class systems, if the integration is manual, you still run the risk of corrupt data. HR Technology will help to keep the integrity of the data used, BUT, the output data is only as good as the input. So ensure your processes are air tight. Or at least a slow leak.

So in closing, HR Technology supports the business to thrive, but I'd also be willing to say that to some point, HR Technology provides the means for business to thrive. Will the internal HR support of an organization ever become a profit center? Well, likely not...but as professionals we can sure help to validate why it is a cost center you can't live without :-).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I learned on 9/21 and what I'm looking to learn on 9/28...

9/21 was an evening of thought-provoking lecture...literally. Having experienced so many technology changes in my career, Wednesday's class begged so many questions.

With so many technology solutions out there, how do we decide on the right one solution?
Who decides?
How do we pay for it?
Who is going to implement it?
Who should we involve in the implementation process?
How long should implementation take?
What kind of testing will be involved?
Who uses the system?
Who are the major stakeholders?
What defines success?

As we began to take a look at solutions, these thoughts raced through my mind in past experiences and current demands. Would Mongo DB help our Global Compensation Analytics team deliver information more accurately? Timely? Would Sonar 6 make performance reviews less painful and actually help identify top talent? Even better, would it provide leaders the information they need to know to identify the cross-functional talent across the organization? Would Jobvite help our organization to target younger, entry-level audiences for our service and sales positions? Could RedCarpet by Silkroad better manage our onboarding process while keeping our global footprint in top priority?

These and a myriad of other questions ran through my mind...and perhaps through research and additional information and ideas (next class??), I can help to answer them. Starting with Jobvite. In next weeks class, I'd like to see what the 'social media underpinning' to Jobvite means. How can I use it to attract the right talent for my entry level positions LOCALLY? Looking forward to it, Jun.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What are public domain technologies good for anyways??

Well, just like anything, it depends. I know...I'm not a fan of that answer either (in most cases), but it's true here. The aptitude for things like blogs and wiki's are likely much lower at companies such as law firms or financial services organizations. Especially when you compare these industries to industries such as the entertainment industry or the high tech industry where the cutting edge of technology is considered the norm.

But with that said, regardless of the industry, organizations must learn to embrace technology in order to be successful and stay competitive in today's global marketplace - even if the adoption of the technology is a bit more conservative than other companies. And if it is a slow start you seek to get your feet wet in the pool of technology, there are still a million places to start.

These solutions are perfect for smaller organizations with smaller budgets that lack in-house IT support. They are typically intuitive, cheap (or free), and were designed to meet glaring needs. Take Google Docs, for example. Have a small business where different teams need to collaborate on documents? Or perhaps teams in different geographical locations that need access to these documents? Well, Google Docs may be the perfect answer. Are you the CEO of a start up technology organization and you are looking for a way to disseminate information to your teams quickly? Try Google Blogger! Are you a small business looking to expand your workforce but are not sure how to attract recent college graduates and get your company's name out? A wiki may be your answer!

In any case, if there is a need there is a technology out there to solve it. Not only that...it may be free. So if your organization is struggling to manage their onboarding processes, looking for a different way to attract talent, or is in need of new tools to manage year-end compensation processes...GOOGLE IT...who knows what you might find...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's my HR strategy you ask???

Thomas Friedman says, "...the world is flat." Here is essentially what that means: A guy (or girl) with a computer in Bangalore can create a startup with an immediate audience of millions of people who are potential customers for his/her goods and/or services. This shop is located in the basement of a mortar home in a small subdivision that barely has running water. But yet, this person has access to an infinite amount of tools, resources, AND CUSTOMERS, instantly making him/her a small business owner with virtually endless earning potential.

This model has directly affected the structures of businesses and the lines of business within the business. Global service and operations models are the norm and people are required to be multi-functional to meet the needs of the changing environment. Roles are no longer siloed. Businesses are no longer siloed.

Which leaves me. Organizations and the people within have 'specialties'. They could be project managers, or IT Specialists, or business leaders. HR professionals need all those skill sets to be truly effective in a global and multi-functional environment.

Which leads to my goals to ensure success moving forward. The key to that success is through education and experience. Currently I am a recruiter, finishing this HRM certification, but to be multi-functional, perhaps I'll explore formal project management training? Perhaps I'll get an IT certification? Do I want to change fields? NO. Do I want to evolve in HR...within my role...within my company? YES! And the key to that growth and promotional opportunities include mastering multiple skill sets and getting that true global experience. Enterprise level strategic leaders in today's workforce MUST have a global focus, a global vision, and global experience to stay relevant, effective, and competitive. We as HR professionals must meet the needs of the clients we support and as the lines of business that look to us as SME's lay global platforms, we must be there to support the development. This includes project management, change management, technology implementations, understanding global laws, ensuring regulatory compliance, and MANY other things. Can this be done by 1 person, probably not. But the more you know and the more you invest in yourself, the more valuable you become. Thus, my strategy.

BoNuS bLoG!! - Social Media in the Workplace

So (HR Tech Class)...if you were able to catch the Sterling webinar this may be repetitive, but today's bonus blog are the key highlights from what ended up being a VERY enlightening webinar.

Tuesday's webinar (9/20) was facilitated by a number of people at Sterling (a background check company) including Kirsten Adams - Marketing Manager, and Geoff Andrews - COO of Social Intelligence. What follows are some of my personal take-aways from the webinar.

The webinar kicked off with the statement that 80% of recruiters are using Google or another search engine in the recruitment search process...AND...the fact that social media is here to stay.

Good? Necessary? SAFE??

CNN did a study showing that many organizations large and small are starting to do 'Social Media Background Checks'. Sound feasible, right? Sounds like a good thing? Well, as you probably expect, there is a Catch 22 to EVERYTHING. (except death and taxes...yada yada)

The Catch is as follows:

A) Not using PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information in the hiring process can put a company at risk of being charged with negligent hiring practices.


B) Looking at protected class information, like race, age, etc, can heighten the risks of discrimination accusations.

The bottom line is that the states and federal government will iron these things out over time, but in the meantime companies need to operate responsibly and compliantly to mitigate risks.

Sterling offers companies 'Market-Ready Social Media background check' products that provide organizations the key information they need to know to mitigate risks of both the search process and the hiring process. Their products use unique technology to compile this information, stripping away risky information like pictures, ages, etc - providing companies data to make better and safer hiring practices. (For example, if you are interviewing a 40 year old single Hispanic mother who has a FaceBook picture where they are in a casino smoking cigarettes and you don't hire them...having access to this information in the hiring process can be considered discriminatory hiring practices.)

Essentially, Sterling's product offers solutions to provide the information needed while mitigating the risks involved in searching yourself. Right now the rules on whether it is lawful to look, use, or even connect with these potential applicants online is being ironed out...so better to be safe than sorry! Check out http://www.sterling.com/ if you want more information :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I learned on 9/14 and what I hope to learn on 9/21...

First and foremost, there is WAY more out there in terms of usable technology than I had been made aware of in my meager travels to date. So many things I wish I knew 'back then'. All the thoughts of, "Man, I could have used____to address___" or, "I wish I had___when I was tasked with___".

Long story short, I learned that virtually any real world problem likely has a technology-based solution out there somewhere - you just need to know where and how to look. So step 1 - EDUCATE YOURSELF! (In this case, myself). By next class I hope to have brainstormed the problems I currently face in being successful in my profession - gigantic or minuscule - and try to better understand how technology could help solve the problem.

"Solving problems by being aware of creative solutions" - My new mantra to operate in periphery with my other goals...and a way to help differentiate myself from the masses.

What can I apply right away you ask, Jun? The mantra above.

Next steps...brainstorm real world issues to tackle as I design my project charter. Long term goal...execute to a level presentable to Sr. Management (possibly :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Expectation and Success Measures...

Well, what can I say? This blog is a direct result of this class (HR Systems & Technology via the UC Berkeley Extension) which has already 1) Surpassed my expectations, and 2) is already considered to be a success. But I have a feeling that isn't exactly what this 1st assignment is asking for :-).

So as far as expectations go, here are a few conceptual things I'd like to have a better handle on:

1) A better understanding of the current state of the industry (specific to HR Technologies) and what the future of this umbrella of HR might look like...who knows...it isn't too early for a career change :-).

2) Some insight into the specific technologies - especially the new/ cutting edge technologies - that are available to the HR profession. What are other industries using to streamline processes globally? How are they using technology to save money? I realize this could be new recruiting/ onboarding software...software to manage benefits enrollments...or even a total rewards software that helps pull together all these things under one nice and tidy umbrella. My bottom line has always been that the more you learn, the more valuable you are.

3) Learning from the experiences of others would be my last expectation. If there is anything that I have learned in my professional career (albeit short) it is the old adage learn from others mistakes before you make them yourself.

Measuring success seems pretty formulaic for this class when it comes to grades (BTW - Success for me starts and ends with the 1st letter of the alphabet...has always been a personal philosophy of mine) but personally, I've actually put a lot of thought into this after the first class. Having never blogged, 'tweeted' or even used Google Docs, I realized I have a long way to go with "social media".

Of course I don't completely live under a rock. I mean, I have a FaceBook (find me!!), and a Linked In (find me there too!!) but success to me, in part, is to truly familiarize myself with these tools to the point where tweeting with my iPhone app becomes habit...like 'checkin in' to my favorite pizza places via FB.

Lastly, to be successful I want to utilize the tools of the industry that I am gaining insight into to get a fundamental grasp of the tools available to me as an HR Professional, and to the organizations I support. This will help me to be the business partner I want to be, offering my skills, tools, knowledge, and time...in return for a number followed by five zeroes. Maybe a 4 or a 5....500,000...that works. Base, of course. Total comp is a whole different story....

Checking out for now - off to the store to get some ideas for next weeks class snacks! But more to come...!!