People behind people technology

An absence makes the heart grow fonder

I’ve been away for a while and I’m pleased to time a return nicely placed for my first blog back on the block setting in context a newly branded, pleased as punch Phase 3. Absence makes an MD’s heart grow even fonder of her teams and all that they proudly do.

We’ve stuck by our tag-line people behind people technology which predates our new look by quite some years. Many folks get our phrase here, which is great. Yet with the neatness of the marketing line, we all too readily miss a key point. I use a little feature for a big stress.

Who are the people?

Phase 3 like to think of ourselves as great people behind people technology services. Take a look at our values because we live and work them.

Assad and I employ some exceptionally talented bods and buddies. Those professional standards profess in niche roles and work with a calibre we intend not to dilute with the temptations of growth.

Adopting new HR and payroll systems – from selection, through project and the managed service – requires specialist focus that is simply not realistic to achieve within your own employed FTE. Organisations do need the experts in. We hope you’ll find in Phase 3 committed partners to be your people tech people. There is a ‘but’.

The people behind the people technology are those the systems exist for!

We are not the bunch you bought your HR system for.

Perhaps you bought it a bit for your own team in HR, Finance or IT and I sure hope it makes your life easier. Yet I question your business case, if you did not buy it primarily for 10’s, 100’s and 1,000’s of employees and workers who belong with your organisation. The end users.

People behind people technology serves us well as a company headline. It serves to remind me, my consultants and my management team that the stuff we’re behind exists not for us, nor for its own sake. HR, recruitment, business intelligence and pay systems are there to serve people doing jobs.

Phase 3 become 3: Consulting, Services and Insights

And so now we are 3 – Phase 3 Consulting, Phase 3 Insights and Phase 3 Services!

Consulting is about solving.

You will be familiar with both new and traditional styles of Phase 3 consulting work. Bite-sized remains a customer favourite. Consultancy is about dialogue to address a mission and being able to rely on us to stand back with perspective, apply our expertise and advise. Consultancy starts with a pro-active ask.

Insights is the sharing of knowledge about our industry.

To get the best mastery over emerging applications, we are all well-advised to triangulate what we know. We’ll offer written Insights material, training and events and resources to use. We are committed to helping you develop your capabilities in HR tech.

Services support the usual, even when the unusual pops up and you are too busy to notice.

Phase 3 managed services (such as Payroll Services and System Administration) are tailored at the outset and we would be delighted if your effort thereafter was zero. We do services so that our customers don’t have to. Happily, by applying the same calibre of consultant to run services as to project-work, then we make sure of a consistency, congruence and pass on quite a cost saving to you too.

 And the future people behind the people tech?

Often, we rehearse the line that technology should be the servant and not the master. Only recently I think I’ve felt what that means.

In the early summer a fairly major episode overnight lost me nearly all abilities to function and interact with people and the outside world, and with simpler stuff like my smartphone and certainly my business tech. As I rehabilitated I faced daily choices about where I should first focus my efforts to redeem life – more important to turn the phone on? To get the make-up case out? Or to order from Tesco first?

I’ve had such a limited quota of time for use of the kit that I’ve had to make careful, considered choices about how I wished to use it optimally. I’ve had an interesting sense of new-found mastery over that kit. Take the phone. That thing went on when I needed it and wanted it. Otherwise, please save your charge Mr Samsung and have a snooze.

You can and will wish to master how you adopt consumerised tech at home. You can likewise master how you adopt HR, payroll, analytics, communications and engagement systems in your organisation.

The mastery of people systems into the future, we at Phase 3 believe, is something we are in together. The people behind the people technology, yes, are our specialists with some really niche skills and skill-sets. I prefer that they are also you and your colleagues, together with solution providers and other independent partners.

The technology is there to serve us. Surely, we people matter more.


To learn more about the opportunities to develop talent and capabilities with HR technology for you, your team and your future teams, then please contact Kate and colleagues here:


About the Author: Kate Wadia

Kate’s passion at work is for bridging the gap between technology and people at work, translating for HR professionals the language of HR systems and making meaningful their potential. She believes that success with people technology is through people and that people are the differentiator. Using simple techniques drawn from HR experience, project management, business psychology and analogy with everyday life, Kate presents and explains how to work well with technology and technology projects in an HR leadership role. With a background in contrasting private and public sector HR management, Kate developed her thinking in seeking for herself to understand her first HR systems project-work. Kate is currently the Managing Director of Phase 3 Consulting, offering an independent take on the HR systems market in the UK, through a network of experts and a talented, growing internal team. Kate’s guiding principle is that openness offers knowledge-sharing, credibility and trust. Incorrigibly enthusiastic and up absurdly early for a working morning, she swears that she only drinks three good coffees a day, but nobody believes her! Kate also writes as an HR Zone columnist.

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