It Organizational Structure

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Nina Hart

Human Resource Information Systems are the central technology of Human Resource Management. Most HRIS’s are underutilized. The cost to organizations usually outweighs the advantages of ownership. When utilized properly an effective HRIS can improve the bottom line and provide return on investment.

The need for a quality improvement initiative of a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is crucial to the retention of talent, productivity, and improvement of the bottom line by increasing the value of time saved. The objective of the quality improvement initiative with corporate strategy and human resource planning and development is to assist with many issues the organization faces in today’s business climate. There is a need to develop a plan for the quality improvement initiative. It integrates all the technical and quality aspects of the project in order to provide a "blueprint" for obtaining the type and quality of HRIS that is needed. The HRIS is a software solution for data entry, data tracking, and data information needs of the Human Resources, payroll, management, and accounting functions within the Highmark organization. Further in our discussion the plan will be outlined to show a strategic outline of how essential it is that the system chosen will be capable of growing with Highmark to meet its future needs.


Since the 1930’s Highmark was established to help Pennsylvania’s residents pay for healthcare. Highmark’s corporate strategy includes the following: “Highmark is committed to creating a positive customer and employee experience. As part of our diversity and inclusion strategies, we strive to provide comparable access to information technology. ©2007 Highmark Inc.” The hierarchy and reporting structure of the organization’s IT department is as follows: Dr. Ken Melani CEO, S. Tyrone Alexander VP of Human Resources (direct report to CEO), Tom Tabor CIO (direct reports to VP), Matthew Sever Manager Operational Performance (direct reports to CIO and VP), Shelley Railing EDI Manager (direct reports to CIO and VP), and Janet Thomas Director IT Project Management (direct reports to CIO)

Janet Thomas is a direct report to Chief Information Officer Tom Tabor. Janet is the Director of HRIS. Janet is highly responsible for planning and administrating work in coordinating, recording and monitoring the progress of all IT projects for Highmark. Janet has been with the organization for two years. Overall, Janet is responsible for the design, development, training and maintenance of the Human Resource automated information systems in support of the Human Resources strategic mission.   She has been ineffective in supporting staff in exploring and developing automated solutions for the administration of Human Resource programs and for the reporting of information.  Janet’s strives to increase overall departmental productivity through use of automation has been unsuccessful due to an ineffective HRIS that is currently in place. Highmark’s growth strategy has been through acquisition. Highmark’s goal is to be a major player in secondary markets. Highmark’s objective is to recruit and maintain top talent. In order for this objective to be met retention of current in house talent, productivity, and improvement of the bottom line is crucial and can increase the value of time saved. The objective must be met with a quality improvement initiative. In the past reporting practices have not been automated and thus this creates increased work load and increased work force. According to Rampton et al on page 173 “A number of responsibilities that fall to those employed to maintain an HRMS derive naturally from the requirements to keep the HRMS operating effectively”. The current HRIS does not support or anticipate identifying the organization’s current mission, values and business drivers. There is no tracking device for documenting any anticipated changes including growth (through...
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