Transformative Innovation: First it Was Blue Turf, Now It’s Human Capital Management

August 14, 2019 | 3 minute read
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By Jeff Haynes (Baker Tilly) and Jennifer Martindale (Boise State University) 

In any major people, process, and technology transformation, strong project management and end to end change management are critical for success. All organizations, regardless of industry, must consider these keys to transformation – but in higher education, one thing is certain – change comes about slowly!  With a reputation for resistance to change, a culture of decision making by committee, and a legacy of on-premises software, higher education serves as the ultimate case study in how best to launch a digital transformation within human resources.  All organizations can realize tremendous gains from the efficiencies inherent in more modern technology, but the real return is when the technology implementation is viewed as a true catalyst for change, providing an opportunity to rethink, reengineer and continuously improve the way HR supports the organization.

Having implemented Oracle’s ERP (Financials) Cloud, and now facing the implementation of Oracle HCM Cloud, Jennifer Martindale, Executive Director of Continuous Improvement at Boise State University (BSU) knew that strong project management and end to end change management would be critical to the University’s smooth transition to, and adoption of, more modern HR functionality, practices and process.  “It was clear after the July 2016 implementation of ERP that we needed to change the culture on campus in order to adapt to the continuous improvement nature of cloud based software.”

Learn how Boise State experienced HR innovation with Oracle HCM Cloud.

In a recent poll on, Jeff Haynes, Director of Strategic Cloud Services at Baker Tilly, found that approximately one third of HR professionals are unware of the project and change management necessities associated with a cloud software implementation. “Cloud implementations are the catalyst for change – frankly that’s where the return on invest comes – when organization can rethink their back office work. Managing that change appropriately is critical to the desired business outcomes.”

With that said, what are the key project and change management topics to be aware of?

Project Management – establishes the tools, roles and vehicle by which the project is managed.  If done, poorly, Change Management doesn’t stand a chance. 

  • Set a strong foundation - establish a comprehensive set of tools to manage the program from start to finish; including defining and communicating project team roles and responsibilities
  • Build a culture of transparency - Determine a communication cadence for meetings and status reporting and demonstrate the importance of risk identification and escalation - communicate early and often
  • Apply rigor – dedicated, thorough maintenance of project reporting tools, timely follow up

Change Management – managing the change associated with a cloud implementation is the thread that holds the project together, and ultimately delivers the desired outcomes. 

  • Inform - Foster organizational alignment on strategic initiatives, program/project objectives and desired outcomes; answer the What questions surrounding the program/project 
  • Inspire - Drive accountability and buy-in amongst all stakeholders, including those delivering the program/project, as well as, those who will be impacted; answer the Why questions surrounding the program/project   
  • Enable - Develop capabilities on new processes, solutions, roles, responsibilities to ensure stakeholders can deliver in the future state; answer the How and Who in relation to the education/knowledge building being delivered as part of the program/project before go-live
  • Reinforce - Reiterate expectations, communicate what support channels will be available for stakeholders post go-live and elicit excitement; answer the Where and When questions around beginning the cloud journey

Regardless of your industry or HCM environment, a healthy respect for project management and change management will help enable a successful cloud implementation. Boise State worked with Baker Tilly to leverage leading practices in both and successfully initiate their major HR/HCM modernization effort. BSU’s story is the ultimate case study in how best to launch a digital transformation in Oracle HCM Cloud.  To learn more, please watch the on-demand podcast.  

Learn More 

Discover how Oracle HCM Cloud can help your organization achieve digital transformation today by going to and reading about other success stories. 

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