Human Resources Planning – Course Project

Your Course Project

This course contains a course project where you will be required to submit assignments at various stages within your course. This is a group project and your instructor will assign you to teams of 3 by the end of week 1.  Because of this, you may need to spend additional time and effort in certain weeks. Please review the requirements and all deadlines so that you can plan your time accordingly.  Here is the point breakdown for the project.

Category Points Description Points Received
Project Background and Introduction  30 A quality paper will include a title page, an abstract, proper citations, and a bibliography.  
HRIS Module  50 Clear overview of HRIS systems, Demonstration of importance of HRIS, samples of metrics HRIS measures, minimum of 5 best practices, key action items for H20 to implement. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Staffing Module  50 Review of Staffing methods, research on cost per hire calculations, time to fill vacancy data and at least 5 best practices for staffing. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Training & Development Module  50 Overview of T&D and the importance of aligning company strategy with T&D. Cost analysis of proposed programs, 5 best practices and clear recommendations for H2O. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Outsourcing Module 50 Must include an overview of common HR functions outsourced, review of benefits of outsourcing, 3-5 best practices and clear recommendations for which functions H2O should outsource in the US. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Performance Management Module 50 Review of t least 3 performance management philosophies as they apply to real-world companies, analysis of performance management theories and recommendation of theory translating into Performance Management practice for H2O. . Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Budgeting Module 50 Include overview of elements for the HR budget, cost reduction strategies, cost-cutting strategies, summary of the challenges that HR departments face when creating/managing budgets and best practices at 3 organizations. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Total Rewards Module 50 Section must include a review of typical US rewards, up to and including Tangible/intangible rewards and perks. Include overview of US taxation system and how this affects rewards. Detailed review of three best practices/unique compensation methods for attracting employees and final recommendation of program for H2O. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
International Issues Module 50 Module should include review of H2O’s plans to send expats to the US. Clear definition of Expat contract/benefits, details of legal and cultural considerations and final recommendations. Must include Integrated changes from 1st draft module submission.  
Conclusion 30 Summarize key findings and conclude with any final suggestions.  
Project Format: Title page, page numbers, headers, font, font size, length, and references page, APA compliance, file-naming convention 30 Report is APA-compliant with accurate in-text citations supporting full citations on the reference page. Report contains no spelling, grammatical, typographical, or formatting errors and complies with file-naming convention; all links functional, graphics and charts are clear and legible.  
Total 490    

Objective and Project Tour | Organizational Scenario | Deliverables and Due Dates | Module 1 | Module2 | Modules 3 & 4 | Modules 5 & 6 | Modules 7 & 8 | Research Tips and Helpful Hints | Lee Hecht Harrison Award

Objective Back to Top

This capstone paper represents a culmination of learning for the Master’s Program. Students will act as consultants to an unknown organization and will make specific recommendations based on research findings. All topics researched in this paper will relate directly to real-world experiences our Master’s level students may face in their current/future positions.

Project Tour
To view a tour of your HR600 Course Project, please click on the image or link below.

HR600 Course Project Tour

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Organizational Scenario Back to Top


H20 Organization, mid-sized Software Development company (3,000 employees) based in Germany, is seeking advice from several consulting groups regarding best practices. H20 would like to expand operations from Germany into the US, but is concerned about crossing over without aligning the Company’s HR Initiatives with the US practices. H20 is currently leading the market with compensation and benefits, has company culture and is considered one of the best companies to work for in Germany. H20 is looking for some general information and theory on how to operate in these critical functions as well as some specific applied research on companies with best practices in each HR Discipline.


Deliverables and Due Dates Back to Top


Course Project Deliverables
  Topic/s Covered To Be Completed
Week 3 Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) Module 1
Week 4 Recruitment Module 2
Week 5 Training and Development
Module 3 and 4
Week 6 Performance Management
Module 5 and 6
Week 7 Total Rewards
International Issues
Module 7 and 8
Week 8 Completed Project


Module 1 Back to Top

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

In this module a key element is to demonstrate Why HRIS is critical and give an overview of how H20 can operate with One HRIS system. The assumption is that H20 currently has an HRIS system, but we do not know which one. For this module your team will consider some of the major HRIS software offerings. For example, look at the possibility of using SAP or Peoplesoft. Review the metrics that the selected system can produce; what reporting capabilities are important for H2O? Remember, your team is serving as the consultancy group to H20 it is expected that you will apply research and list 5-10 HRIS best practices. Your module will close with a concise list of HRIS recommendations for H20.

a. Outline and review of HRIS systems
b. Explanation of manpower and technology needed to operate HRIS
c. Assessment of the importance of the HRIS function within an organization
d. Metrics HRIS system can produce for the organization
e. Best practices of 5-10 US organizations
f.  Key action items for H20 implementation of effective HRIS system

Module 2 Back to Top


Teams should include basic information on methods for recruitment in the US (for example: online versus on ground recruitment, new graduates versus experienced candidates). Since H2O is a software development company your team should consider cost per hire and time to fill metrics in that field of work. Look at companies within this line of work (consider comparing data to Yahoo!, Microsoft, Oracle and other software/internet companies). Seek out industry best practices. Ultimately your team will present suggestions for How H20 should source and fill their openings.

a. Overview of Staffing methods (Online/On-ground; new graduates vs. experienced, agencies, temporary placement, etc.)
b. Review of cost per hire for staffing and training requirements
c. Consideration of recruitment/time to fill vacancies
d. Unique/Best practices for staffing

Module 3 & 4 Back to Top

Module 3. Training & Development

Teams will review how training and development are conducted in the US. Students should not limit their search to traditional educational methods (also consider online training, webinars, focused off-site training, etc). Many companies see training as optional –so this is one of the areas where budget cuts are typically seen. As such, your research should include in-depth cost analysis of training (basic HR training on Sexual Harassment for example) and a review of the benefits of the selected training. Further, your team will look into best practices for Training- methods, cost saving tips and new techniques are all key areas for review. Your module will culminate in a list of recommendations on training methods H20 should consider and methods that should be avoided.

a. Review of T&D purpose and strategic alignment with organization
b. Cost analysis of training program (in house vs. consultant)
c. Best practices for T&D at 3-5 US Companies
d. Recommended T&D programs for H20

Module 4. Outsourcing

In your assessment of outsourcing each team should take stock of the HR functions which Can be outsourced. This section of the paper should provide a clear picture of the costs and savings associated with outsourcing.

a. Overview of HR functions which could be outsourced. Take into consideration all HR areas such as recruitment, benefits, payroll, compliance, workers compensation,exit processes, legal, tax, expatriation
b. Benefit of outsourcing said functions
c. Costs/Savings associated with outsourcing
d. Best practices from 3-5 organizations
e. Key action Items and recommendations for H20 for outsourcing

Module 5 & 6 Back to Top

Module 5. Performance Management

Performance management styles, time lines and methods vary from company to company. For this project you will assume that H2O is unfamiliar with the methods used in the US. As such, your first step in this module is to outline the purpose of Performance Management- and review how it is linked to strategy. Your team should describe 2-3 performance management philosophies- and recommend the best style for H2O. Within this framework your team will create two sets of analysis. The first will be a review of best practices as it relates to theory and the second will be a review of best practices that are applied– (i.e. currently being used in one or more companies).

a. Overview of Performance management philosophies
b. Analysis of best practices – theory
c. Analysis of best practices- applied
d. Recommendation PM program for H20

Module 6. Budgeting

This key module will add a completely new element of administration for H20. When reviewing materials to include in your budget your team must make sure to list the items in full (for example- recruitment can be broken down into multiple sub costs: examples would be cost of travel, manager pay, advertising, etc. Your information does not need to include specific figures, rather just the breakdown in line items associated in this budgeting process.

a. Components/elements included in an HR Budget. Consider all HR facets such as Selection and placement, training & development, compensation and benefits, employee relations and employee engagement, health, safety and risk management
b. Cost reduction strategies
c. Recommendations for addressing budget cuts (alternatives to headcount reduction- such as job rotation, salary reductions, benefit reductions)
d. Summary of HR Department Budgeting Challenges
e. Recent practices from 3-5 US organizations

Module 7 & 8 Back to Top

Module 7. Total Rewards

When drafting this section of the module we will assume that H2O will be operating in a state with little union activity. Your Rewards program should review the basics of US Compensation– from base pay, bonuses, medical benefits and stock to 401(k) and other retirement options. Remember, H2O may not be familiar with US taxation requirements- so your team must include some of the basics so that H2O will understand the percentages that the company is expected to withhold and to pay on behalf of the employee. The module should conclude with best practices – sharing examples of companies that are leading or lagging in the market with respect to pay and benefits. Your team must make clear recommendations on the position H2O should take upon market entry.

a. Review of Typical US Rewards programs. (Make sure to consider all compensable factors such as salaries, benefits, work/life, recognition and career development)
b. Analysis of best practices for compensation, benefits, perks
c. Consideration of US Taxation requirements (Social Security, Medicare, etc)
d. Best practices/unique compensation methods for attracting and maintaining employees
e. Recommendation of Rewards program for H20

Module 8. International Issues

The final module for the course project will detail various International topics that H2O must be prepared to address as a result of the opening of a location in the US. First, the company must understand the nuances of sending home country employees to work in the US. Your team should review the legal issues that will arise and must gain an understanding of how this affects the company and the employee. We will assume that H2O will send at least 5 expats to work at the new site- for a period of no less than 2 years (per employee). Your team must develop a compensation package (expat offer) for these employees. H2O should understand the cultural considerations that must be reviewed prior to sending employees to work in the new site. In close your team will provide recommendations for how H2O will select, send and monitor the expats while on assignment in the US.

a. Sending Home Country (German) Nationals to work in the US
b. Compensation/Benefits and Contract overview for short term (90 day) and long term (90 days-3 years) assignments
c. Legal Considerations (visas, taxation, etc)
d. Cultural Considerations (training, housing, family, language, schooling)
e. Recommendations for H2O for placing home-country workers in the US

Research Tips and Helpful Hints Back to Top


Research Tips
Tips for research:

Keller Resources: the Library has a sub-area called, DeVry Net Library  where you can access E-books online.  Use key-word searches.  Try “Human Resources Best Practices”
The benefit is that you can look at all pages in the book and conduct key word searches within the text of the book.  You will find HR handbooks, books on culture, accounting, and all of the other sub-areas that we are focusing in for our course project.  This resource will be invaluable in your research.

Library Databases: Look at EBSCO advanced search for Journals (Example- for HRIS section key results were found on “HRIS” in Business Source Premier, Regional Business News, ERIC and Academic Source Premier).

Visit HR Expert Websites such as:


Helpful Hints
·  There should be NO spelling or format errors in this paper.

·  Lack of research citations in reference section will reflect poorly on the paper.

·  All work must be properly cited in APA or MLA formatting.


Lee Hecht Harrison Award Back to Top


Lee Hecht Harrison Award
Each year a single HR plan is selected to be the recipient of the Lee Hecht Harrison award for Excellence in HR Planning. Several winners have been students in this class. This prestigious award includes a cash gift, a plaque, and is given out at graduation. Hopefully one of you will win it this year!