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Since I entered the world of HR software more than a decade ago I often noticed a desire from HR executives to be treated by their colleagues as equal business partner. Whether or not these feelings were true during the last years one thing have become very clear: HR is very high on the priority list of the boards and it will stay there due to the aging workforce in many countries.

The desired attention level impacts more and more SAP HR projects. They are becoming tougher as more and more KPIs are becoming part of the mission statements for HR projects.

Let me explain this with an example from healthcare customers. Healthcare HR departments are under heavy pressure. They need to become very efficient on the one hand due to the overall cost pressure on healthcare institutions. On the other hand they are facing a severe shortage of qualified doctors, nurses and other medical specialists.

Therefore we have seen an increasing number of SAP HR projects in the last years in order to replace the outdated and diverse HR systems within many hospitals and consolidating them in one HR system. But now as the talent shortage is becoming stronger several projects are dominated by one KPI: Time to fill a vacant position for an expert. This KPI dominates the whole project as without the experts mentioned above the hospitals simply cannot work. The quality of the HR work is therefore directly related to the business success of the healthcare organization.

If you have a look at recruitment processes in hospitals which are mainly paper-based and are often lacking clearly defined you can imagine which room for improvement the project teams can find here. You can find numerous examples where a qualified doctor send her CV to a hospital and get an answer three weeks later. It requires no rocket science that the ability of an organization to process a CV very quickly can become a competitive advantage.

But the KPI mentioned above requires a new thinking of the project team. Although HR projects are used to KPIs like time and budget like any other project this increased KPI driven approach is a change for them.

I have discussed this development with SAP HR experts from other industries and they confirmed my impression that this trend has become stronger in the last two years. Examples include the connection between training courses for sales representatives for new products and their sales figures afterwards or the connection between trainings for service technicians and customer complaints.

But in all the discussions all the SAP HR experts agreed with my initial statements: HR is becoming more and more important which means tougher but also even more satisfying projects