Appendix A

HRD/Organization Alignment Model*

Integrating the HRD function with strategic agency goals takes time, persistence, and an in-depth knowledge of the process involved. The HRD/Organization Alignment Model, shown below, illustrates the process of aligning HRD with the human resources function (HR) and the organizational planning function.

The three levels in each block represent the relationship among the organization, HR, and HRD functions. An example of this relationship is shown below through one block of the model.


  Organizational level function

Human Resources

  HR level function

HRD Philosophy
HRD Policy
HRD Goals

  HRD level function
The HRD/Organization Alignment Model is based on a "top-down" approach. This approach facilitates the following outcomes:
  • Linkage of HRD to a broader HR and organizational framework.

  • A framework in which to plan and manage agency HRD activities.

  • Awareness of HRD as a key management tool.

  • Assessment of the effectiveness of HRD within the context of organizational effectiveness.

In an ideal situation, the organization's policies, functions, and desired outcomes drive HR policies, functions, and desired outcomes which, in turn, drive HRD policies, functions, and desired outcomes. However, in the "real world," this may not be the case. Many times the process works in reverse and as a result, HRD must examine its activities and results to ensure that it is aligned with activities and results at the HR and organizational levels.

Let's take a closer look at each block in the model from a "top-down" perspective. By answering the following questions, an agency can align its HR and HRD functions with the organization's mission and goals.

Organization Mission/Goals

Organization Mission/Goals

What are the Organization's Mission/Goals and strategic plans?

Human Resources Function

How are the HR Functions (e.g., staffing, work systems, performance management systems, etc.) designed to support the agency's missions and goals?

HRD Philosophy, Policy, Goals

How do the HRD Philosophy, Policy, and Goals reflect the organization's mission and goals?

Core Competencies

Core Competencies

What are the Core Competencies of the agency (knowledges, skills, and abilities that are essential to the organization's mission)?

Performance Requirements

How are the agency Performance Requirements established, based on the essential competencies of the agency?

HRD Strategies, Systems, Career Paths

How do the HRD Strategies, Systems, and employee Career Paths strengthen and promote the agency's core competencies?

Needs Assessment

Needs Assessment

How does the organization's Needs Assessment process identify the agency's broad cross-cutting performance issues and opportunities for innovation?

Human Resources Needs

When HR Needs are examined, how are they linked to the broader organization's assessment of performance needs?

Training Needs Assessment - Organizational, Individual, Occupational

How does the Training Needs Assessment process explore organizational, occupational, and individual needs? How is the information used to make decisions for allocating training resources to meet organizational priorities?

Integrated Solutions

Integrated Solutions

What are the Integrated Solutions (approaches requiring input from multiple sources such as improving management systems, automating work, training, and development, etc.) used by the agency to solve its performance issues and make improvements?

Human Resources Planning

How do HR Plans help solve the agency's performance issues and make improvements? Do the plans link the various HR functions?

HRD Priorities, Programs, Practices

How are HRD Priorities, Programs, and Practices configured to support the broader HR plans so they become part of the organization's integrated solutions?

Organization Outcomes

Organization Outcomes

What are the Organization's Outcomes that result from addressing the agency's performance issues?

Human Resources Results

How do HR Results (those emanating from recruiting, training, managing performance, etc.) contribute to the agency's overall improvement?

Transfer of Training, Cost/Benefits of HRD, Critical Success Factors

How does HRD ensure Transfer of Training and Cost/Benefits of its services? How do HRD's Critical Success Factors reflect the genuine needs of the agency?
In summary, there are numerous benefits that accompany the integration of the HRD function with the organization's mission and strategic goals. These include:
  • Optimum use of the HRD function as a tool to increase organizational productivity.

  • A sound rationale for the organization to invest in HRD programs and allocate resources according to priority needs.

  • Visibility for how HRD supports other HR functions as well as other agency systems.

  • Increased involvement of supervisors, line management, and executives in the training and development of their workforce.

  • Orderly system of planning for current and future workforce needs.

  • Mission-related standards and guidelines against which HRD activities can be evaluated.

  • Increasingly responsive, results-driven, customer-driven HRD activities.

  • Containment of costs as human resource services become inextricably linked to the business requirements of the agency.

Human resources, in the context of strategic HRD, are seen as a vital factor in business planning and survival. This means moving HRD from a series of fragmented activities to a situation where training and development is systematically linked to the agency master plan and overall tactical objectives.

*The HRD/Organization Alignment Model was developed by Marjorie L. Budd and has been published in the following: U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Training Needs Assessment Handbook: A Guide for Conducting a Multi-Level Needs Assessment, HRDG Document 024 (Washington, DC, 1994); and Marjorie L. Budd and Mary L. Broad, "Training and Development for Organizational Performance," in James L. Perry, ed., Handbook of Public Administration, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996).
Notes and Quotes       Appendix B       Table of Contents