About Dept & Global HR

DEPT Agency is a digital agency in international hypergrowth. The company employs over three thousand employees spread over 20 countries. This requires a reliable and manageable source for HR master data in order to be able to report correctly and up-to-date. Dept Agency engaged worldofwork™ for a global data optimisation project. Today, the organisation can rely internationally on current, uniform HR data from all its branches.

Page cover image

The challenge of HR data

“Can you help us with migrating and standardising our HR data on a central platform?”

A logical question, given the enormous international growth in Dept’s workforce. Each DEPT country had its own record-keeping system, processes and was also subject to local laws and regulations. This challenged further global scaling of the company. As solid, up-to-date HR data and unambiguous management information were lacking. By migrating HR data to a global platform, DEPT expected to be able to take an important step forward in international people operations. One standardised personnel system that works for all Dept locations, anywhere in the world, would be an important efficiency boost.

Although Dept, as a digital native, is used to digital challenges, HR technology requires highly specialised knowledge. This is where worldofwork™ came in.  Previously involved in selecting and implementing an HR Core system for Dept. This created a solid foundation for the international data migration. Nevertheless, migrating the basic administration with personnel data to a single, uniform, up-to-date system was not something that could be taken too lightly.

Image Content

The data migration solution

Data migration might sound easier than it is. In this case, it meant that data had to be collected from no fewer than 20 different countries. And as is often the case in such situations, these data came from a wide variety of systems and in a range of formats. All these data had to be merged into one logical whole, without losing crucial information whilst making sure people processes could run continuously.

The step towards a single system meant that all kinds of choices had to be made down to the tiniest detail. To illustrate a small part of this decision-making process:

  • What data source is that information to be collected from?
  • How can the different data models connect to each other?
  • What historical data needs to be included?
  • Which processes run on the data, and what are the requirements for these processes?
  • What data conversion is required to consolidate globally?
  • And most important; employee experience. How to keep everything workable for HR employees?

Most of the data were provided by the various countries themselves, but merging all the data was still more than just data migration. It was a complicated puzzle with all sorts of pieces that were so different that they didn’t fit together easily. For the data migration, the international project structure that was set up for the implementation of the HR Core was used. As with the HR Core project, the project group put a lot of effort into preparing the actual implementation.

The data that would be migrated had to be cleaned up first. After that, the most up-to-date, crucial data was migrated first. This allowed other processes and systems that depend on these data to continue running. The foreign branches supplied the data from their local systems. That was supplemented by data from the central core system. After some final adjustments, the data could be uploaded in the live production environment. Finally, the historical data had to match the data already imported and the newly entered changes from the various countries.

The result

Dept now has a stable international HR Core platform, with a smooth, standardised exchange of data between all countries and local payrolls. This makes strategic business operations and management reports a lot easier and enables further global expansion of the DEPT company. Important steering information is available on an ad hoc basis and, thanks to its uniformity, it is also understandable and accessible for stakeholders.

‘’The worldofwork™ team managed to structure and phase the project in such a way that it remained manageable for our local teams.’’

Diana McDermott-Borsten, Global Head of People Operations for DEPT