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Progress continues on HR Design project

January 26, 2012 By Greg Bump

Seven work teams have met through January to remodel the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s human resources and personnel system, laying the groundwork for a historic overhaul of the system.

So far, the work teams in the Human Resources Design Project have been refining the scope of their work, identifying data and input needed, and gathering information on their work topics.

Bob Lavigna, UW–Madison’s director of human resources and project lead, says the project is an opportunity for the university to re-craft and modernize its HR system into one capable of handling the demands and nuances of a world-class, 21st century public research institution.

Photo: Robert Lavigna


Photo: Jeff Miller

“I’m pleased and impressed with the initial progress made by the work team members tackling this complex project,” Lavigna says. “Through their work, and with the input of the campus community, we will devise a more efficient and effective system that will benefit not only the university but the state of Wisconsin as a whole.”

The teams have been looking at the structure of the current HR system while also looking outside to learn about best practices at other universities and businesses. The first set of teams are organized around seven functional areas: employee categories, compensation, benefits, titling, competencies, recruitment and assessment, and workforce diversity.

The work teams are supported by three resource teams: collaboration, communication, and change management and training.

Four more work teams – performance management, employee development, workplace flexibility, and transition and succession – will kick off in February.

More information about the work teams can be found by clicking on their titles here.

Terms laid out in the current state budget stipulate that a new system must be in place by July 1, 2013. The first milestone of the project is to have an outline of the scope and form of the new system this spring.

The work teams are also eager to hear the perspectives of members of the campus community on the project. Questions and comments on the HR design project can be submitted to

Forums are being planned and will be announced shortly. Visit the project’s website for updates.