For SEC, modernizing HR is a team effort

The Securities and Exchange Commission will deploy two major human capital systems this summer, a comprehensive enterprise talent management system and a self-service human resources system.

Pam Dyson

SEC Chief Information Officer Pam Dyson and Chief Human Capital Officer Lacy Dingman told Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller their offices have been working together almost daily for the past five years to modernize and review every system and process, in some cases creating new ones. Dingman said it has not only prepared them for the move to the new talent management system but also enhanced what they do along the way.

“ETM is a new system development but what we’re doing is we are combining a number of siloed systems into one enterprise platform for talent management,” Dyson said. “This portal will become the primary entry point to all employees for everything OHR. We see a lot of benefit in that.”

Dingman said moving HR to a self-service model would bring consistency to the way her office answers questions and distributes information while alleviating demand on HR staff.

“It’s a very typical government approach to just naturally make it try to look like it does now,” she said. “Because we’re being flexible we’ve tried to think differently about how we want this to look in the long run. The good part is the vendor has done this before in other agencies and we have a lot of lessons-learned that we can leverage.”

Laying the groundwork

Dyson said they chose to modernize system-by-system to ensure capability is delivered as they go. “We’re doing more of an iterative approach. … Maturing towards the agile.”

Lacy Dingman

“One of the things that we’ve done in the last year, which has been monumental, is we’ve built out the human capital data repository in our enterprise data warehouse, so having that raw data, stored in our EDW, gives us a lot of leverage and opportunities and options on how we want to continue to modernize and enhance this overall lifecycle talent management system for the agency.

She said the platform will be set up on the premises at first and then moved to the cloud down the road. But while security remains the utmost concern, Dyson said other factors are driving this decision.

“Because we mostly do business with FEDRAMP certified cloud providers, that security is not the highest hurdle,” she said. “Our human capital data is crucial and sensitive but it’s really the business model that we are trying to work out and the cost-benefit analysis.”  

Phase One

Because they’ve spent the last five years in preparation, modernizing what they have, both Dyson and Dingman are confident in the roadmap and schedule they’ve laid out for deployment.

“We have a very condensed deployment of our first phase'” said Dingman. “As part of that, it doesn’t give you a lot of time to go back and reflect.”

They kicked off in early February and Dingman said they plan to deploy 11 modules over the next 18 months. She expects to have employees in the system by July who will hit four of those modules.

“The ETMS will endcap all of the IT systems that we need,” said Dingman. “We’ve done a new payroll system, we’ve done an entire workflow system for all of our modernized forms. This is it for us. The next part will be sustaining those systems and making sure that they are optimized.”

Reaping the benefits

One of the ways SEC employees will benefit most is training.

“We spend a good amount of money and resources on making our employee base is trained appropriately,” Dingman said. “We do training not only in person, we do a lot of virtual and we do a lot of different types of media formats to make sure that people retain it and take it away.”

She said the beauty is in flexibility. They’ve brought in several different systems to make it easy for users to take lessons and apply them immediately.

Dyson likes that the training is scalable, customizable and prepares users for certificates.

“It is a very good teamwork model that we’re using to ensure that we’re crafting training for our specific needs based on the technologies that we use here as well as the innovations and solutions that we’re planning to roll out,” she said.

Dingman said HR meets with every division office at the SEC, if not more frequently, to discuss what their needs are, what their priorities are and tie it all into the budget, to ensure her office is delivering to get them where they need to be.

“For most gov agencies you wouldn’t have this much attention focused on an HR environment, but it’s paid off in dividends and the agency has seen that,” said Dingman. “I think that right now we’re in a good space.”

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