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Whole-scale Methodology, Step by Step

September 1, 1997
The HR redesign process at Philadelphia-based PECO Energy began with the visioning event. The purpose of this three-day meeting was to develop the vision and mission for human resources and to determine the principles that should guide the redesign activities over the next five months. It was critical at the outset to make sure all key stakeholders in the effort were aligned and in agreement as to the direction HR needed to take. After agreeing on the mission, vision and principles to guide change, participants nominated the five "mission critical" processes to be created or recreated, to support the new vision. Mission critical meant that if HR didn't change or create these, it never would achieve this new direction.

The second whole-scale meeting, a process design/redesign event, was conducted one month later. Prior to this meeting, the core team held "town hall" meetings with all employees, communicating the new vision, mission and principles and receiving feedback that could be incorporated into the second session. During these two days, the five mission-critical HR processes identified at the first session were reinvented or created. Among the processes identified were selection and placement, policy development and deployment, workforce planning and job pricing. The second session participants also determined that employees take more responsibility for their career planning. This is the stage in which the HR experts from other benchmarked companies were offered ideas and PECO's own computer and communications experts laid out the possibilities for technological solutions.

Having redesigned the way in which work could be accomplished, it was time to rethink the HR hierarchy and job distribution. During the third session, the organizational design event, PECO employees set about determining where the work of HR would be done and how work groups would organize themselves. During these two days, much of HR's routine work was transferred to line employees and managers, and the call center was created to answer participants' concerns about the ability to get speedy access to information.

The final whole-scale event, the implementation event was designed to review the implementation plan, validate the steps necessary to make the transition and ensure the continued sponsorship and alignment of employees and managers companywide. This session introduced the new leadership team of human resources for PECO and built momentum to sustain the effort over the next four to six months.

Workforce, September 1997, Vol. 76, No. 9, p. 99.