Strategic HR Roadmap Generator: User Guide.

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Wowledge Expert Team
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Wowledge’s intelligent Strategic HR Roadmap Generator™ enables any organization, regardless of size or sophistication level, to start charting its strategic HR journey quickly. The tool allows anyone with or without a human resources background to identify and prioritize strategic HR practices and initiatives to solve the company’s most pressing people-related challenges and opportunities.

The Strategic HR Roadmap is a blueprint that provides clear visibility over prioritized strategic HR programs, showcasing the appropriate level, sequence, and interrelation of these efforts. It produces primary and secondary focus areas, showing how to progress across different sophistication levels to move the organization forward effectively. The roadmap spans across short-, medium-, and long-term timeframes, giving a complete view of the journey ahead in strategic HR planning. The roadmap is dynamic, tracking progress and allowing flexibility to revise it as circumstances evolve.

The comprehensive approach behind the Strategic HR Roadmap Generator

The Strategic HR Roadmap Generator™ leverages real expert intelligence in proven human capital practices from decades of experience applied at hundreds of leading organizations combined with algorithmic technologies to create highly tailored recommendations. The tool creates a dynamic roadmap based on various customizable characteristics, providing suitable best practices that meet each organization where they are.

The strategic practices presented follow Wowledge’s Integrated Talent and Organizational Sustainment Framework. This holistic model distinguishes HR programs across five fundamental dimensions —Organizational Alignment, Organizational Adaptation, Talent Activation, Talent Acceleration, and Organizational Advancement— to maximize HR’s impact on the business.

How to use the Strategic HR Roadmap Generator

looks_oneSetting up your organizational profile

The roadmapping process's starting point is defining an organizational profile across six categories. Selections within each category might vary each time the roadmap is set up as the company circumstances and priorities change.

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Category selections and considerations:

  1. Size: refers to the overall number of employees in the organization classified into multiple group options ranging from 2 to over 10,000 employees. The system requires selecting one group range for the planning period.

  2. Stage: illustrates the phase of the company's current or expected short-term organizational growth. This might be “Fast growing” reflecting a headcount increase by 20% or more per year, “Slow growing” for organizations showing growth but at less than 20%, “Static” for organizations at near zero growth, and “Decreasing” for those experiencing downsizing. The system requires selecting one option.

  3. Challenges: provides the opportunity to prioritize the challenges the organization is trying to solve across nine challenge archetypes plus an option for “other.” The system allows one to two options to be selected as priorities. The challenges included are:
    — Adapting to changing conditions
    — Aligning with business goals
    — Attracting/hiring talent
    — Developing talent
    — Engaging talent
    — Formalizing/measuring HR processes
    — Preparing for the future of work
    — Retaining talent
    — Underperforming workforce

  4. Population: refers to the worker groups that the HR initiatives should target in relation to the previously selected challenges. Options include “Top leaders,” “Managers/supervisors,” “Professionals (non-managers),” “Non-exempt/hourly employees,” an option that encompasses “All employees,” and another one for external “Contingent workers.” The system allows one to two options to be selected as priorities.

  5. HR Team: indicates the size of the HR organization, ranging from having a part-time person to a team of more than 51 in the function. The system requires selecting one group range for the planning period.

  6. Role: refers to the person taking ownership or benefiting from the roadmap being generated, ranging from whether the individual has “HR as an additional responsibility” to the different roles within an HR organization or a “Business leader/manager” intending to adopt applicable HR practices. The system requires selecting one option.

Once options for all six categories have been selected, clicking “Generate roadmap” (external version) or “Start roadmapping” (registered member version) triggers the generative process to produce a customized roadmap that allows further interaction to confirm recommendations.

looks_twoConfirming areas of focus

Companies need to prioritize their efforts and resources to be effective by focusing on a handful of areas at a time per roadmap. The Focus Areas reflect the types of strategic HR programs that will be relevant for an organization to concentrate on to solve the challenges they face, their context, and background makeup. Based on the relative importance associated with their organizational profile, the system classifies these programs into “Primary” and “Secondary” focus areas.

Sample Prioritized Focus Areas

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The overall objective of this step in the roadmapping process is to confirm the focus areas to be included in the roadmap. While the system leverages experience and benchmarks from other companies with similar organizational profiles and complexities to make recommendations, each organization is unique.

Tasks and considerations:

  • The strategic HR programs presented can be switched by clicking “change” at the bottom of each box. This functionality provides the ability to rearrange the order of priorities or select new areas entirely by choosing from a list with all other programs in the catalog.
  • When possible and applicable, this stage also offers the opportunity to involve other stakeholders from the HR team or the business to align on the focus areas to pursue.

If further instruction or a more detailed approach is needed, a comprehensive step-by-step guide to confirming priorities and involving stakeholders is available in “Establishing a Core Talent Management Strategy to Set Priorities and a Strategic Roadmap,” a Supplemental Guide freely open to all Wowledge members.

looks_3Refining aspiring practices to target

At Wowledge, best practices needed to build or enhance strategic HR programs are structured across three levels of progression —Core, Advanced, and Emerging— to provide organizations the ability to identify where they are in the continuum, what practices they have already in place, and which they aspire to implement next. Based on their organizational profile selections, the system will intelligently infer the level the company should target next. Since progression status varies significantly from company to company, recommended level and individual practice selections should be refined by marking those the organization has not yet put in place and, therefore, can become part of their roadmap.

Sample Selected Aspiring Practices to Target

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Tasks and considerations:

  • To be confident about the selected practices, any title can be clicked to display a summary that illustrates what the practice entails.
  • It is recommended to select (blue mark) at most 3 or 4 practices per focus area (progression) to allow for a more manageable roadmap that would enable efficient use of resources.
  • The process should be repeated for each program, navigating across them with the “Prior” and “Next” focus area arrow links.
  • If desired, a particular focus area could be removed from the final roadmap by unselecting all the practices in a given progression.

Note for registered members: practice selections using the roadmapping tool are synchronized across the user experience. For example, outside the roadmap tab, when reviewing progressions using the “Explore Program Packages” navigation functionality, the same practice selections will be reflected for each program progression as in the roadmap view.

looks_4Reviewing, adjusting, and managing the generated roadmap

A roadmap with an appropriate number of practices will be doable and ultimately allow the assigned team to make adequate progress throughout the planning period. Defining an attainable duration for the entire roadmap, with yearly being a typical overall timeframe, is essential. The name of the roadmap can be modified to reflect this type of definition (e.g., 2024 Roadmap). Initiatives are classified into three time horizons to prioritize efforts further. The specific time ranges for these classifications will vary for each company based on their improvement urgency, resources available, and other conditions. In the case of a company with a small team setting its improvement cycle to one year, the NOW stage could be set to be accomplished within the first 3-6 months and the NEXT phase for the subsequent part of the year, with LATER initiatives potentially being pushed into the following year.

Sample Generated New Roadmap

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Tasks and considerations:

  • The roadmap is dynamic, allowing for practices to be rearranged and moved across the three time horizons. Registered members can accomplish this by clicking the “up” or “down” arrows next to each initiative. The rearrangement of targeted practices should be based on the organizational priorities and available resources.
  • When moving practices around, it is essential to take into account that some practices might be needed before others can be implemented and, therefore, rearranged to be targeted earlier in the roadmap. Conversely, there might be initiatives dependent on having others in place before being implemented. Consequently, they may need to be sequenced later in the roadmap.
  • Tracking of initiatives to show which ones have been completed is available by clicking on the box next to each practice. This allows members to visualize the progress being made in the implementation of the roadmap and see what is still pending completion.
  • Throughout the planned timeframe of the roadmap, business circumstances or priorities may change, creating the need to add or remove practices from the roadmap. Given that the marking of targeted practices is synchronized across the user experience, adding or removing practices can be accomplished by “marking” or “unmarking” them directly from the corresponding list of practices shown in the “progression” section for the applicable program.
  • Only one roadmap version may exist per account at any time. Depending on the membership type, a new roadmap may be created with each subscription cycle renewal or several times throughout the year. This can be done by clicking the “Create new” link next to the name of the roadmap.

The Strategic HR Roadmap offers a comprehensive framework that enables organizations to quickly get started on the improvement initiatives that will be most relevant for the company. It allows the HR team to become more strategic and proactive with a clarity of vision and direction that ensures investments in human capital are deliberate. The roadmap should be maintained as a living document, allowing for agile responses to changing conditions in alignment with business needs as they evolve.

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