Executing Integrated Talent Management (ITM) – A Proven Seven-Step Methodology for Success Part 1

March 23, 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.

HRchitect has recently introduced a new term to the marketplace: E2E HCM (End-to-End Human Capital Management). It is the incorporation of the HCM and Talent Management processes into a signal platform. We talk about this in greater detail in our recent HCM Tech Trends whitepaper, and have predicted that greater realization will take place throughout 2015 and beyond.

But let’s talk about Integrated Talent Management for a bit.

First introduced as a concept in the mid 2000s, Integrated Talent Management (ITM) continues to be a major focus, and a major challenge, for many organizations today. Fulfilling the vision of ITM continues to drive many corporate HR departments, and has been one of the hottest development issues facing Human Capital Management (HCM) software vendors.

HRchitect defines Integrated Talent Management (ITM) as a comprehensive approach to maximizing the engagement, performance and effectiveness of the workforce by deploying integrated processes and enabling technologies. ITM technologies are a subset of HCM, and include recruiting, onboarding, performance & goals, learning, compensation, succession, career development, talent pro­file/competency management, assessments, workforce planning, communication & collaboration, and metrics & analytics. The power of the ITM approach principally resides in how firms can design processes and supporting technologies to leverage the natural linkages between these functions to enhance overall workforce efficiency and effectiveness.

Over the past 5-7 years the world has gone through a significant period of economic turmoil that had a ripple-down impact on overall HCM technology investments; many projects were deferred or cancelled a few years back. Of course, many talent-related needs in organizations remained; unfortunately, many HR departments were forced to “make do,” at best making only incremental changes to existing processes and systems. As the recovery gained some momentum, business budgets were developed to address much of the pent-up demand for all sorts of new HCM solutions (including ITM). Therefore, many firms attempted (and still are attempting) to weave disparate HR processes and technologies into a comprehensive approach to maximizing workforce performance. For most organizations this is a challenging, multi-year project that involves much more than deploying technology or re-designing processes; HR and business leaders must take a strategic and thoughtful approach that firmly links Human Resources (HR) to organizational goals, strategies and outcomes.

Through a series of blogs, we’d like to outline a seven step leading practice methodology for successfully executing the ITM concept.

Methodology Overview

Many initial attempts to implement ITM have been unsuccessful due to the tendency of project teams to jump directly to technology selection, process redesign and implementation before thinking through all of the strategic issues involved with a major change of this type. Successful ITM execution requires a top-down approach incorporating the following seven components:

Executing ITM – The Seven Steps

Executing ITM The Seven Steps

Each step in this methodology has a fundamental driving question that must be addressed in order to proceed to the next step.

It is important to note that this seven step methodology for executing ITM focuses on business goals and objectives (the “What”) before addressing lower-level concerns like processes and technologies (the “How”). As a result, a firm can have multiple ITM technologies from disparate vendors, and still be executing a comprehensive ITM strategy. This broader, more inclusive definition is critical, given the state of the vendor marketplace that is attempting to fulfill the ITM vision of many organizations.

Successfully executing the ITM concept requires a holistic approach that includes embracing ITM as a philosophy, developing a strategy, applying science & measurement disciplines, breaking down process barriers, selecting and implementing enabling technology, and sustaining the new solution over time. Organizations that utilize HRchitect’s seven step methodology will increase their chances of successful ITM execution, and thus position their workforces to become a long term source of competitive advantage.

We’ll address each of the seven steps in upcoming blogs and please let us know how HRchitect can assist you to get maximum benefit that comes from Integrated Talent Management and as it progresses, E2E HCM.


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.