“Decision Drivers” Are Vitally Important When Evaluating and Selecting Human Capital Management (HCM) Technology – Part 1

April 27, 2015

Written by:  Matt Lafata

HRchitect has been involved in approximately 2000 HR technology related projects for hundreds of companies of all sizes and industries across the world. We have gained tremendous insight (and continue to every single day) and feel an obligation to share our expertise, and our war stories, with you. After all, with 18 years in business behind us in working with many of today’s leading companies, we’ve gained a unique perspective on the very puzzling world of HR technology.

We hope that you enjoyed the series of blogs around successfully executing the Integrated Talent Management (ITM) concept, the holy grail for many organizations, if you will. It’s a proven seven-step process that encompasses Philosophy, Strategy, Science and Measurement, Process, Technology, Implementation, and Sustainability. Sure you can probably hobble along without following this methodology, and possibly even have success, but why chance it? Let us help you ensure the greatest of success so that you look like a hero to the rest of the organization both today and for many years to come.

So let’s say you have gone through the first four steps (or maybe you haven’t and won’t be for whatever reason) and you are ready to choose Technology, whether it be a core HR system, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Workforce Management…basically any kind of Human Capital Management system. As you have heard us say many times, it’s a major investment that you and your organization are going to have to live with for at least a few years. Again, don’t leave it to chance. Spending some time and money up front with the experts from HRchitect could save you countless dollars and much heartache. Trust us, we’ve seen some real messes that we’ve had to go in and clean up! Don’t be one of those horror stories!

Our vast experience in this area has revealed that a singular focus on feature/function requirements can result in a flawed software selection process, and ultimately an implementation that does not deliver value to the organization. There are a number of other criteria that a project team should factor into the overall evaluation to ensure a more balanced view of the available vendors; one of the team’s first tasks should be prioritizing these “decision drivers” based on their organization’s unique characteristics, strategies and priorities. While specific decision drivers may vary by organization and by the technology being evaluated, we will discuss, through a series of blogs, why decision drivers add value to HCM software selection projects, provide definitions for many of the most commonly used decision driver criteria, describe the major benefits that accrue from decision driver use, and outline a methodology for ranking and utilizing decision drivers throughout a typical HCM technology evaluation project.

While organizations may vary somewhat in the actual steps performed (as well as the sequence), the most important thing is that there is some form of decision driver ranking process conducted as a part of any HCM technology selection, and that it be completed early in the project in order to keep the team focused on the most important selection criteria based on the needs of the organization. Doing so will prevent a loss of focus by the project team, a potentially stalled decision making process, an undue focus on functionality and cost, and an inappropriate level of subjectivity. Using decision drivers to get the full picture of organization requirements will lead to a “best fit” package selection that has the greatest chance of meeting the firm’s needs over the long term.

It’s an extremely puzzling world out there. Many vendor offerings look alike, the vendor community is in a constant state of flux, and there is not a “one solution fits all”. HRchitect’s Decision Drivers process will help ensure you get the best-fit system for your needs, the first time.

As always, please let us know how HRchitect can assist you to get maximum benefit that comes from automating your Human Capital Management functions.


Matt has over 20 years in the HR industry and has been with HRchitect since 2004. He currently serves as President and the firm’s principle HCM analyst. As one of the industry’s leading analysts on HCM Systems Vendors, Matt studies the marketplace and meets with vendors on a regular basis to stay on top of trends in this industry. Matt has moderated numerous HCM shootouts & panel discussions for vendors & HR organizations. He has also been a featured speaker on HCM solutions and workforce trends at various industry & vendor conferences.

As President & CEO, Matt oversees all aspects of HRchitect’s operations including client success, consulting operations, worldwide sales of HRchitect services, marketing, alliances, finance and corporate development. Matt enjoys working with the HRchitect team and the satisfaction he gets from watching our people grow personally and professionally within the organization, and the positive difference our consulting services make in our clients’ organizations.