The University of Newcastle, Australia

Focus on business need is the success factor

Monday, 7 May 2018

Managers and staff across UON are logging in to the new online system for recording PRD conversations and managing probation.

PRD conversation

SuccessFactors was launched at the end of March, just in time for 2018 performance and development goals to be recorded. In just over a month, more than 2000 individual goals have been created in the system, which includes 210 cascaded goals. Close to 2000 log-ins were recorded in the first 35 days.

“SuccessFactors not only makes it much easier for information to be entered into the system, it also has vastly improved data extraction capability,” Philippa Johnston, HR Business Intelligence Manager said.

“Being able to see activity in the system virtually at-a-glance will give the organisation much better oversight of how we are supporting the career development of our people,” Philippa said.

Academic Division, along with International and Advancement, are leading the field in terms of setting goals for professional staff. The Faculty of Health and Medicine and Faculty of Science are leading the Faculty effort.

Teams across the Library have been quick to embrace SuccessFactors and first impressions have been very positive.  Senior Librarian, Collection Management Services Bronwen Thomas can already see how SuccessFactors will make a difference for managers.

“I like the dashboard and layout design – it’s quick for me to see what needs to be done and how my team is progressing with their performance and development goals,” Bronwen said.

“I found it easy to navigate and enter my own goals and development plan. Being able to cascade team goals to my team means that we are not all spending valuable time entering the same information.

“It seems to me that SuccessFactors will support our ongoing conversations well and give us a better system for keeping track of progress all in the one place,” Bronwen said.

Sharon Nicol, Manager, Library Support Services has found the new interface to be more intuitive and easy to navigate.

“I like the variety of options for locating information with drop-downs, search interface, and handy hints or instructions for each area,” Sharon said.

“Having all the historical data at your fingertips will also be invaluable.”

Collaboration puts business need first

Delivery of the SuccessFactors project was a collaborative effort between Human Resource Services, IT Services and the vendor. Championed by HR Services to address longstanding frustrations with the previous system, the new platform will allow for much more transparent professional development, allowing it to interface more effectively with other processes, such as promotion.

“We tried very hard to make sure this was not an HR project or an IT project,” Philippa said.

“From the outset we focused on the business need and we relied on the expertise of those involved and respected and trusted each other’s ability to deliver.”

“Our timeframes were tight but by managing the inevitable obstacles as a team we found solutions to keep the project moving forward,” Philippa said.

“It was a great project partnership and bodes well for the development and roll out of the next phases – recruitment and onboarding,” Philippa said.

Getting to know SuccessFactors

Various resources are available for staff, managers and supervisors on the webpage.

Managers and supervisors are reminded that once goals are set, they can move the PRD form into the Ongoing Step by clicking ‘Goal Setting Complete’.


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