FermiWorks: modernizing the business of Human Resources

Jack Anderson

One of the key strategies highlighted in the Strategic Fermilab Agenda is streamlining and modernizing business processes to better support the laboratory’s mission and goals. Many of our current processes are paper-based and manual. Many of our information systems have not been refreshed in years. Modernizing will create a more efficient workplace for us all and will allow us to support our science mission more cost effectively.

A cornerstone of our modernization roadmap is updating how we manage human resources and carry out the electronic functions associated with our workforce. The lab has chosen a cloud-based product called Workday to support this modernization. The first phase of implementation of our new system, called FermiWorks, is underway and will go live in early 2014.

FermiWorks will allow employees and managers to perform all of the functions associated with job requisitions and hiring, performance management, benefits, organization management and HR requests of all types in a paperless and efficient manner. Most functions will be available on smart phones. Every employee will have access to the system, not only for information, but also for their individual goals, performance reviews and requests.

With this new system, we will have a single place to record and manage the many business processes required to support all of the people associated with the lab, including active employees, users, visitors and contractors as well as retirees and job applicants. This will greatly improve the efficiency of how we bring people into the lab and deal with visas and other requirements associated with foreign nationals. Overall, it will provide a much more advanced and productive work environment.

FermiWorks will provide the underlying support we need to improve other aspects of the way we do business, such as account management and electronic signatures and workflows. It will also provide us with a foundation to do better resource planning and forecasting and will support the modernization of our budget and planning system, the next initiative on our roadmap.