Negotiating a Happily Ever After

November 1, 2016

Written by: Elizabeth Capece

Grumpy Cat

How many times have you picked up a book, started reading it and the title seems to have nothing to do with the contents of the book, but by the end of the book it all makes sense? I’m sure this has happened to most of us. The old saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” still prevails.

Many times we take the same approach when it comes to contract negotiations for a Human Capital Management (HCM) technology project engagement. While contracts are a crucial component of any sales cycle, ensuring that the contract makes sense to all involved parties can be a process that initially makes no sense.  However, eventually the verbiage comes together and provides a solid foundation, clear expectations, and structure to any HCM project.

Perception can be both best friend and worst enemy at the same time.  Differences in perception are the very reason that organizations typically have a contract in place for all HCM project engagements. The contract serves as the framework for the duration of the project, and within it contains specifics regarding all of the guidelines and deliverables agreed upon by both parties. Without a clearly defined contract to provide clear perception to all involved parties, it’s like reading a book with no title. Once perceptions and expectations are understood and deliverables are agreed upon, the “book” or HCM project itself, starts to make sense and the “title” or contract matches our perception of the book.

Once a contract negotiation is underway, nearly everyone involved already has a different pre-conceived opinion of what the outcome will be, much like when we just read the title of a book. In a perfect world, everyone meets, agrees on the project and related deliverables at hand, the work is completed and everyone lives happily ever after – the client utilizing their new HCM system, which is implemented as expected, and the implementation partner satisfied with a job well done.

However, we all know that in order to reach a mutual happily ever after, the due diligence on each party’s behalf must be clearly outlined and agreed upon in the contract to ensure a smooth execution of the engagement. So when you are in your next contract negotiation meeting for an upcoming HCM project and  you feel like the conversation is not matching the contract in front of you, I encourage you to set your initial project perceptions aside and remember the old saying to “not judge a book by its cover.”

HRchitect is a leading HCM systems consulting firm that focuses on strategy, evaluation/selection, change management, and a full range of implementation services. As part of our evaluation and selection services for a new HCM provider, we offer assistance during contract negotiations. While we can’t provide legal advice, we can work with you to help ensure you get the best contract for your organization’s needs as part of helping to ensure a successful relationship with your chosen vendor, and help set you on the right path towards the next step, the implementation of the system.

Elizabeth Capece

About Elizabeth Capece

Elizabeth has 6 years of B2B sales experience that ranges from Fundraising to HCM Management Systems. She joined HRchitect in 2014 as a Regional Sales Manager and leads the sales efforts in the Western region of US as well as Western Canada. Elizabeth has worked with clients from mid-market to enterprise scale, who have deployed solutions ranging from Core HR systems to Workforce Management.