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 that we love to share with you so that you can benefit from the experience, and the lessons learned from others. With 18 years in business behind us in working with many of today’s leading companies, let us best position your company for a successful future with Human Capital Management Systems!
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.
Five previous posts around this subject have given you an overview of our seven-step process for a successful approach to ITM and covered the first four steps – Philosophy, Strategy, Science & Measurement, and Process Now we move on to step #5, Technology (bet you thought we would never get there!).
Step 5 – Technology
Fundamental question: What technology (or technologies) best optimize our ITM processes?
Armed with philosophy, strategy, science, metrics, and a high-level process redesign, the ITM project team can now develop the ITM technology strategy (e.g, the timing and sequence of ITM technology-enabled process changes), document requirements, and select the ‘best fit’ enabling technology (or technologies) for the organization. It is critical for the project team to focus on the real requirements of the business in order to avoid being led astray by the “bells and whistles” of vendor demonstrations (most of which end up never being implemented).
To that end, we recommend the following in this step:
- Make sure that the ITM technology “tail” is not wagging the “dog” – the ITM technology strategy must be linked to the HR / ITM strategy, which itself should be linked to the overall business strategy
- Ensure a balanced evaluation of all decision drivers developed in the Strategy step, not just functionality and cost. Other decision drivers include Vendor Viability, Ease of Integration/Interoperability, Package User Experience, Package Configurability, Technology & Scalability, Service & Support, and Global Capability – and it is important to conduct a ranking exercise as a framework for making the best technology decision (see HRchitect’s Decision Drivers white paper for a full treatment of this topic).
- HRchitect advocates the use of scenario-based evaluations versus exhaustive checklist-style RFPs; scenarios of your critical ITM use cases will force vendors to explain how their application will meet your business needs, and not just the availability of a particular feature.
- Those vendors that pass the RFP stage should be invited to a comprehensive product demonstration that is based on a script developed by the project team. This ensures an ‘apples to apples’ comparison of vendor offerings, and should be formally scored by team members.
- Identified finalist vendors should be subjected to proper due diligence, including discussions of financial status, review of publically available financial data, customer reference checking, and negotiation to arrive at the chosen vendor package.
We’ll address the next step in successful ITM execution, Implementation, in the next blog 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.