Any tips for managing my HR project? Who should be involved?
Who to involve
For best results, you should assemble a team of people to help execute on the tasks involved in customizing and implementing your HR documents and processes. You’ll need the support of senior management and department managers. It is recommended that your project team includes the following members:
- HR project champion: This is the individual who manages the overall customization and implementation project. The tasks of this role include:
- Managing customization of each document
- Creating a process for document content approval
- Communicating project status and implementation details to management and employees
- Overseeing launch of completed company documents and master files
- Department champions: Ideally, each department should have a department champion who identifies which ConnectsUs documents are relevant for their departments, and reviews and modifies those documents them to align with the company's culture and practices. Typically, these include the following departments, all of which are referenced in ConnectsUs: Corporate, Marketing, Office Services, Finance, HR, and IT. As a example, IT would be involved in setting up the HR directory structure and file system, assigning permissions, and so on.
- Document owners: These are the individuals who ‘own’ the final company documents once they are released within the company. These individuals should be involved in the initial project meetings because they will be responsible for maintaining the documents going forward. Document owners are responsible for:
- Overseeing on-going maintenance of final company documents
- Reviewing edited documents for consistency, clarity, and conflicting information
- Keeping the final company documents up-to-date
Typically, the document owner is HR. However, in companies where there is no dedicated HR department, document owners may include individuals in other departments.
- Senior management representative: Many of the ConnectsUs document address matters of culture and policy within a company. It is important that a representative from the senior management team participates in the project to ensure accurate representation in these areas.
- Other stakeholders: These are individuals within – or connected to – the company, who may not be directly involved in the document development or the implementation of the HR processes, but who have a vested interest in the outcome.
Getting the project started
The project champion should book a 2-hour project kick-off meeting with the project team, senior management, and anyone else who has stakeholder interest in the finished HR documents. (See Who to involve.)
The purpose of the kick-off meeting is to review the ConnectsUs HR™ documents as a group and together decide:
- Which documents will be implemented first
- Which documents will be implemented at a later stage
- Which documents will not be used
- Which additional, existing company-specific documents will be used
Before the meeting you should have:
- A list of project team members, including the project champion, department champions from each department, the project administrator, senior management representative(s), and any additional stakeholders.
- A printed copy of the ConnectsUs document list for each meeting attendee.
- A draft list of resources required to complete the project.
- A draft plan and timeline for completing the project.
During the meeting:
- Review the ConnectsUs document list and determine which of them will be implemented in your company.
- Assign editing responsibilities for customization of each document to the appropriate department champion.
By the end of the kick-off meeting you should have:
- A final list of project team members.
- An updated document list showing the documents to be included and edited.
- A list of ‘Core Company Policies’ that will require sign off by staff.
- A list of documents to be customized by specific department champions.
- A list of resources available to the project team.
- A timeline of project deliverables, deadlines, and assigned responsibilities.
- An agreed upon approval process for documents and content after customization by department champions (see The document review cycle).
- An agreed upon list of standard terminology to be used in the documents (see Using common terminology).
Using common terminology
Consistent use of company terminology and language is a key factor in creating clear, professional company documents. And it’s especially important if those documents are being edited by different people.
Individuals and companies use different words to refer to the same thing. For example, some use the term ‘associate’ instead of ‘employee,’ or ‘team leader’ rather than ‘manager.' You should also consider which, if any, of your terms will be capitalized – for example, Manager vs. manager.
The following table provides examples of commonly-used company terminology. It is highly recommended that the senior management team is involved in decisions regarding which terms should be used in your company.
Refer also to the Glossary for terms and language commonly used when documenting HR functions. These terms are consistently used in the ConnectsUs documents. You may want to use the same terms in your company documents. If there are other terms that your company uses and prefers, ensure that these alternatives are fully understood by staff.
|When you refer to:||What do you want to call it/them?|
The sum of all individuals in the company, whether employees, contractors, consultants, or temporary staff
|An individual who is responsible for the work of others, or for a particular function or project||
|The department responsible for all people-related matters||
|The most senior person responsible for the HR function in a company, whether HR ‘by trade’ or ‘de facto’||
|The title of the individual who is the general ‘go to’ person for people-related matters (not the individual responsible for HR strategy, but the person responsible for day-to-date HR-related tasks)||
|The department responsible for matters relating to administration, office supplies, maintenance, faxes, mail, meeting rooms, reception, switchboard, lunch rooms, copy rooms, documents such as letters or faxes, office maps, telephone directories, ID badges, security, etc.||
|The ‘soft’ success factors required by a company or a position for ultimate performance
The document review cycle
To get your documents ready for release, it's likely that you'll have to liaise with a team of people. This often leads to a series of edit and review steps. You'll need to manage and coordinate this process carefully.
It is recommended that you use the following process:
Create a 'Work in Progress' folder. Name it 'WIP', for example.
Into this WIP folder, file the documents that need to be edited and customized.
Work with your IT department to create your HR file folder system.
Send copies of documents to the managers and employees whose input is required, requesting that they make their edits with 'Track Changes' turned on in Word
When you receive edited documents, input these changes into the document that you saved in the WIP folder.
When your HR procedures and documents are complete, you are ready to launch.
If certain documents are to be edited by department champions, here are some suggested steps to get this done.
Create a separate Microsoft® Word® file containing the documents to be reviewed by each department champion.
In this document, enable the Track Changes functionality. Any changes made by the department champion will then be clearly visible, allowing you to review and then accept or reject them. (See <Document Review & Editing Tools>.)
Send the documents to the department champions with instructions for reviewing and editing.
IMPORTANT! Document editors must not change any of the formatting – only the content. This will allow you to paste the modified content back into the document without losing any of the text styles and formatting.
Leave time in the project schedule to review the tracked changes in these files. Watch out for any inconsistencies or conflicting information.
Every department champion/document owner will have their own writing style. You will need to ensure consistency of tone, formatting, terminology, and references to other documents.
Once the customized document is returned and approved by appropriate individuals, incorporate the revised content into the document.