WaterNSW lays the groundwork for HR automation using robust technology – Microsoft Australia News Center

Using Dynamics 365, WaterNSW implemented a case management system that automates workflows and routes employee requests efficiently. For example, a general inquiry is sent to a shared services center to refer to an HR advisor. Or, if an employee has a specific request regarding leave arrangements, they can send a form directly to the payroll specialist. This level of automation allowed faster and more accurate resolution of cases than using manual processes.

Flexible approach to delivery

WaterNSW began developing its case management platform in December 2021. It gave back-office HR staff early access so they had time to recommend optimal changes, then rolled out the platform to all employees in March 2022.

Sri says that the shift from a project-based delivery model to an agile sprint-based delivery model is key to the platform’s rapid deployment.

“This phased approach allowed us to hear the real requirements over the course of the program, rather than closing the doors at the starting point and saying, ‘Here are your requirements and here’s what you’re going to get,'” she says.

“It was an efficient way to test new solutions and collaborate across our teams and functions, determine efficiencies and minimize risk – testing, learning and improving as we went. Successes can be scaled and lessons learned shared, leading to continuous improvement and reinforcement of learning.”

Creating a more human-centered workplace

The case management platform has led to several improvements in WaterNSW’s HR operations. These include better reporting functionality using a single data source and the ability to provide accurate information on request to external parties, lawyers, auditors and WaterNSW executives and managers.

It also improved the organization’s ability to adhere to employee relations, uniform corporate agreement and records management obligations. WaterNSW can now capture, categorize, report and store full employee requests and relationships more accurately and securely.

The Dynamics 365 powered platform has eliminated several manual processes as well as those involving duplication across multiple systems. It also created synergy between other people and cultural modules such as performance management and record keeping.

Employees and managers can now create, track and escalate their own HR requests. Even better, WaterNSW can more accurately determine HR resource requirements.

The Dynamics 365 platform has helped improve WaterNSW’s ability to adhere to employee relations.

The knowledge base feature of the system provides an easy way to reduce the number of queries that the HR team receives. According to Sree, this “zero-level” support allows employees to help themselves with information they previously didn’t have access to without contacting HR.

“For example, if an employee is looking for information about advance pay, it makes sense to not only bring back the advance pay policy, but also include a form where the employee can actually request an advance,” she says.

The organization also achieved cost efficiencies by being able to streamline low-level functions and automate HR processes using Dynamics 365.

“We can safely say that we have laid the foundational system that we can now build upon as part of our HR automation journey,” notes Shri.

“There’s certainly a lot more to unpack. Analyzing these factors helps us appreciate the unique dynamics that are transforming today’s reality. With that in mind, we’re asking our new leaders for their fresh perspectives on what the future of HR technology means for them.”

WaterNSW wants to build an HR model that gives leaders the tools they need to be more effective and provides employees with a more fulfilling experience.

“We want to introduce more self-service capabilities by building artificial intelligence and embedding robotic process automation wherever possible,” says Sree.

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