Technology helps Accenture people achieve great performance.
Accenture had a long-standing performance management model that was built when the company was primarily a consulting organization in a less global and digital environment. Changes in technology, Accenture’s business services and the company’s workforce led to reimagining performance management for the company. For Accenture’s internal IT organization, this new program presented the opportunity to develop a new, digital performance tool and replace the existing performance management tool while leveraging reusable components in the process.
Accenture Human Resources designed Performance Achievement, a new performance management approach in collaboration with Accenture’s internal IT; Fjord, part of Accenture Interactive; and early adopter groups. Human Resources and Fjord focused on applying human-centered design to the concepts, while internal IT partnered with Human Resources to develop the functional and technical requirements.
Accenture’s internal IT organization along with Human Resources solution architects assessed the marketplace for packaged solutions, but with no product existing that would meet this project’s unique requirements, the team turned to building a solution. Development had to be done quickly to meet a tight timeline. To support this objective, a core internal IT team started with three main tenets:
The team applied these tenets to the design and front-end custom development. For the back end, the team leveraged Accenture’s experience with Amazon Web Services to use on-demand cloud offerings that were a fit. The beauty of this approach was in being able to move away from a traditionally structured database and instead move toward the use of unstructured databases. This architecture allowed the teams to be fast and agile, enabling internal IT to meet the aggressive timeline set by leadership.
Development followed an agile methodology. The technical architecture work was ongoing by internal IT, and as one release was being developed, solution architects in the Human Resources space would be planning the next couple. The development work by internal IT continued in parallel. Internal IT development teams in Chicago used a responsive framework to develop the back end, holding daily scrums and moving from releases every few months to monthly. Internal IT also teamed with four rapid global development cells consisting of three to four people located in Madrid and Buenos Aires that developed the front-end components and teamed continuously with operations teams in Mumbai.
The solution started as a pilot with early adopters, whose feedback fed into further development. Development continued in an agile manner, with the no-downtime releases deployed monthly. New features and changes were continually deployed into production. Performance Achievement was launched in a phased approach over the course of a year. A final step was introducing integration with a related Total Rewards application to allow for automated feeds to the Total Rewards teams for administering employee compensation.
The technology solution was completed on time. Enhancements continued, including the integration of Performance Achievement with the Human Capital Management module of Accenture’s SAP enterprise system, integration that sends employee promotion data.
A mixed-model solution
The technology powering Performance Achievement is a mixed-model solution developed with custom Microsoft .NET code and Amazon Web Services. Key components include:
Innovative application architecture
Parts of Amazon Web Services native technology Platform-as-a-Service
Analytical data model
Microservices back end that communicate with a transactional front end
Components from Accenture’s existing performance management solution
Tremendous teaming and collaboration led to the successful deployment of a new service and Performance Achievement experience to Accenture’s global employee population. The application experiences on average around 20,000 visitors daily and increases by up to 200,000 visitors a day during peak time frames. Over the course of the project the team deployed more than 20 major releases and developed 15 microservices with zero downtime.
“IT delivered on the organizational imperative—a people-at-the-center application that focuses on where we need to take our people rather than where they have been and a design aimed at elevating performance as we grow rather than measuring it in the past,” says Holly Oberman, Performance Operations Global Lead, Accenture.
The Performance Achievement journey is ongoing as Accenture’s Human Resources organization and internal IT collaborate to add and refine Performance Achievement elements as the program evolves.
"Performance Achievement is enabling the strengths and potential of our greatest asset—our people—to achieve greater performance for themselves, their teams and our clients."