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BPI ‘As-Is’ Human Resource Assessment – Focus Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI ‘As-Is’ Human Resource Assessment – Focus Phase


  • Analysis and summary of the current Human Resource management strategy and practices and how they support the achievement of the Confirmed Business Vision. It encompasses the following:
    • Organization design: including structures, accountability frameworks and job design
    • Workforce profile: including staff numbers, classification and salary structure, and the mix of employment status (including outsourcing)   
    • Competency development: including critical competencies, leadership and management development, and training and learning systems and processes   
    • Performance Management: including performance support, such as     review/appraisal processes, and reward/recognition systems   
    • Human Resource Policy: including conditions of employment, industrial policy, equal employment opportunity, and health and safety       
    • Human Resource Organization: including the HR roles and accountabilities of     corporate and business units, HR units, line managers and employees.

Client Value

  • This assessment provides a ‘stake in the ground’ for assessing HR management/strategy changes that will ultimately be required, by identifying past and current performance gaps (e.g. underutilization of existing competencies, contradictory reward and recognition policies/practices, low credibility of internal HR specialists). It also highlights many of the organizational culture challenges associated with implementing change in accordance with the Shared Values and Guiding Principles.


This deliverable draws upon the findings of the parallel information technology and process assessments. The gap between the status quo and the desired future state is then assessed, by taking into consideration quantitative data provided by internal HR specialists and qualitative feedback obtained through surveys, interviews and/or focus groups with employee representatives.
  1. Review the conclusions of the Requirements of Process Customers deliverable.        
  2. Coordinate activities and findings with those undertaking the As-Is Process Assessment, the As-Is Technology Assessment deliverables.   
  3. Meet with internal Human Resource specialists to identify all possible sources of data, both hard data such as employment numbers and costs, and qualitative or narrative data such as surveys, policy documents, training documentation etc.    
    1. Build upon data gathered in developing the Internal Organizational Overview to come up with a complete portrait of the status quo.       
  4. Gather internal information from client using focus groups, interview or other techniques.    
    1. How HR management helps or hinders the achievement of business outcome   
    2. The complementary contributions of corporate units, business units, HR units and line managers.       
    3. Performance measures for HR used through the organization, such as:   
      1. Workforce trends (e.g. numbers, profile per employment category, full-time/part-time status)       
      2. Human resource costs, and the percentage of HR total costs, to revenue and to profit.          
      3. Rate of employee turnover       
      4. Level of absenteeism           
      5. Non-standard HR costs, such as workers’ compensation       
      6. Training costs.   
    4. Gather external data on HR performance measures from external sources (Bench marking)
    5. Analyze gaps between the current and desired level of performance   
    6. Summarize conclusions; review with appropriate personnel for accuracy.



  • Exhaustive analysis at this stage is counter-productive. It is not necessary to go beyond the level of detail required to gain a clear picture of the current reality. For example, use random sampling techniques or direct observations to collect data that is not readily available. Throughout this deliverable, balance the need for speed with the need for detail.
  • HR management tends to stir up a great deal of emotion within organizations that can hinder the objectivity of assessments. To minimize contentious discussions, structure the debate around a clear, comprehensive model for HR management. Focus discussion and data collection on how current HR management helps or hinders the achievement of business outcomes.   
  • Clients often focus on one or two issues, such as pay level, absenteeism and training. Furthermore, internal HR management is often held solely responsible for issues such as poor morale and unproductive, inward looking cultures. Use an Organisational System Model or another ‘systemic’ framework to ensure a more balanced view is taken.
  • Internal HR specialists can be very helpful, but they can also be blockers to change. Spend time developing a sound relationship with them.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Use a comprehensive HR management checklist to make sure you have covered all key areas.
  • A great deal of HR management work is performed by administrative and line management personnel. Ensure contact with these people is made as part of the As-Is analysis.
  • In large organizations there is likely to be a number of ‘centres’ of HR strategy, frequently at the corporate level and in each major business unit. They may not necessarily operate in a consistent fashion, so it will be useful to visit all of them.


  • Ensure there is a Human Resource expert on the team, and recognize when specialist expertise may be needed (e.g. for competency development; reward and recognition, and organization design).

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