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Teaming With Talent


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Dynamic talent planning and forecasting helps Accenture to be collaborative and transparent as we empower our people, deliver innovative solutions to clients, and manage better business outcomes.

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Teaming With Talent

  1. 1. Dynamic talent planning and forecasting helps Accenture to be collaborative and transparent as we empower our people, deliver innovative solutions to clients, and manage better business outcomes TEAMING WITH TALENT Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  2. 2. Accenture needs to be agile to provide people with the right skills at the right place, time and cost. Yet, our traditional, manual approach to talent planning and forecasting meant we were unable to dynamically model, and be responsive to, talent demand. The impact of a fast-paced digital world is being keenly felt in the Human Resources business model. Accenture is structured across various services and geographic markets that focus on building and growing talent, locally and globally, to meet the needs of our diverse clients and help them transform their businesses. To manage increasing complexity, we found it was becoming harder to drill down at a granular level, while simultaneously understanding the impact of changes across the entire organization. What is more, Accenture teams found that multiple processes, inflexible submission timelines and disconnected tools meant that the process around talent planning and forecasting could be difficult, time consuming and often unproductive. CHALLENGE Managing the talent supply chain is complex and demanding. With nearly half a million people across more than 120 countries, it was important for Accenture business leaders to have a single source of up-to-date information for talent forecasts. They needed transparency to the talent and payroll implications of talent scenarios so that they could feel empowered to make the right decisions to reflect and respond to the business landscape—and better prepare for the future workforce. Following discussions with our business leaders, Accenture began a talent supply chain journey to address these planning and forecasting challenges and enable us to be agile and adaptive to changing circumstances. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  3. 3. WHAT ACCENTURE DID “We’ve enjoyed collaborating with the Talent Supply Chain team. It’s great to see how the Accenture Talent Planning tool is helping HR and our business leaders to be much better prepared with analytics than in the past. SANGITA AGARWAL Director HR IT, Accenture A journey to value Accenture had wanted to automate its talent management process for several years. Different technology approaches were considered to enable the process to be more agile, but the right kind of technology to support this effort was simply not available. The team knew that it needed to focus on providing clear direction for our various business areas to guide informed decisions on the talent actions necessary to achieve better business outcomes. In looking at the overall process involved with an effective talent strategy, Accenture chose to focus first on detailed talent modeling. The team was able to evolve from using an Excel spreadsheet to an award-winning Accenture Talent Planning tool. This new cloud-based, dynamic platform was designed to support Accenture talent decision makers and Human Resources (HR) business partners across each of the business units in all geographies where Accenture operates. Indeed, it was the business’ willingness to learn the new capabilities of the technology, and adapt behaviors, that contributed to its early success. The tool is built on Aurora SQL, which is part of the Amazon Web Services portfolio of offerings and uses Vue JS front-end technology. The tool was built over a period of 12 months, using an iterative and agile design thinking process that included releasing small components, early and often, to maintain the project’s momentum. The first release of the tool went live in December 2018. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  4. 4. WHAT ACCENTURE DID A journey to value (continued) Unlike the Excel spreadsheet, the tool switched up how HR planning and forecasting was done—we now drive the process from a people perspective, rather than from a fixed organizational hierarchy. Our solution tackled existing talent planning and forecasting supply challenges by: • Securely putting in place talent models and workflows that are useful, relevant and actionable for decision makers in real time at the level of detail the business requires. • Improving the timeliness and transparency of information to support forward-looking talent action scenarios in line with business objectives; this meant that business leaders could collaborate on making business decisions based on the “bigger picture” supply view across all geographies. • Supporting decision makers’ needs for deeper analysis with more details on forecasts using algorithms; this meant forecasters were better able to advise on talent decisions. • Improving user experience and visualization as well as providing flexibility for business leaders. As business conditions shifted, they were able to maintain balance in the necessary future talent actions which saw improvements in their talent strategies, better serving demand and clarifying skill priorities. • Making it easier to meet financial commitments by using automation to achieve greater visibility of the talent and payroll implications of forecasted talent actions. Forecasting for the various career levels in the company in the way HR manages talent. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  6. 6. Fast-track innovation Today, Accenture is looking for boundaryless opportunities—flexible career paths that enable our workforce to innovate and our organization to grow and develop. We also need to account for changing workforce models—to accommodate remote working and flexible working. The tool not only helps our people adapt to a fluctuating market, but also feeds into other supply/demand balancing activities. Figure 1 shows how talent can be planned and forecasted with an infinite input loop, where people can add information in and gain insights out from the process to better manage their headcount. Developing the talent planning solution relied on a close collaboration between global IT and other areas of the Accenture business. What became clear was that a change in mindset was necessary as the teams using the solution moved from entrenched processes to an agile, design-led way of working. This has not only shifted how we do talent planning, but also put us on the path to transforming our own culture. Here are some of elements that influenced this cultural shift: • Adopting an agile mindset toward talent planning. • Experiencing and exploiting the creative nature of the build. • Adapting to a design-led development (possibly the biggest change for our organization). • Embracing an approach of ongoing experimentation. PEOPLE AND CULTURE Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  7. 7. The Accenture Talent Planning solution offers HR business partners, HR talent advisors and business leaders a simple, intuitive and consumer-like user experience and brings greater efficiencies to business leaders as well as new and existing talent. Using the tool, our business leaders can be more relevant, more flexible, and more empowered. Apart from being welcomed within the business, the new tool was recognized with the Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology GOLD award for Best Advance in an Integrated Talent Management Platform at the end of 2019. In short, the Accenture Talent Planning tool has reinvented how Accenture leaders work to meet the needs of a growing—and ever-changing— business. VALUE DELIVERED Reinventing how we work The tool functionality brings transparency and collaboration and is designed to encourage desired behaviors across the enterprise: ENABLES Live forecasts Decision makers can see more, more clearly. The tool provides a six- quarter rolling full- time employee forecast, updated monthly with actual data. Real-time updates also enable flexible forecasting so that adjustments to demand can reflect changes in a shifting business context. SUPPORTS Forecast granularity The solution has enabled a cultural shift from seeking out planned releases to continuous delivery of the latest information. Business managers and HR teams can access their talent forecasts at the desired level of granularity. The tool supports both a bottom-up approach, with local detail, and top-down, high-level scenario modeling. OFFERS Visibility on financial impact Users have online access to talent data 24/7 to better support our business globally. Built-in role-based access controls address visibility issues and maintain compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The tool provides decision makers with insight into how payroll costs might grow if the estimated talent plans are executed. Talent plans data can be passed to Financial teams to enable more accurate financial forecasting. PROVIDES Context HR and Business teams can work on high-level what-if scenarios. The ability to model the “art of the possible.” We can adjust talent levers to reflect overall growth, attrition, joiner percentages, career levels and payroll cost implications. This enables our business and HR leaders to check the feasibility of hitting targets across all metrics and supports future talent forecast decision making. FACILITATES Collaboration Being able to connect talent actions with labor cost implications fosters greater collaboration—and harmony—between HR and Finance teams. Cross- functional HR teams can work together in a secure, online environment and share talent models to evaluate the impact of talent decisions. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved
  8. 8. SANGITA AGARWAL Managing Director- Global IT, HR Technology LinkedIn CHRIS SCHAAF Managing Director, Global IT, HR Technology LinkedIn MEET THE TEAM RELATED CAPABILITIES Enabling IT Our global IT organization is driving technology-powered business transformation across Accenture How Accenture Does IT Our global IT organization’s capabilities are advancing Accenture’s digital transformation for the post-digital world. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved