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Annie Hayes

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Softworld feature: Selecting and implementing HR software

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Paul Priddle

Paul Priddle, a SAKS Consulting Principal, is speaking at the forthcoming Softworld HR & Payroll event on ‘Selecting and implementing HR software for beneficial business change’. In a preview to the seminar, HR Zone quizzed Paul on planning processes, preparing a business case, key market trends and navigating the vendors.


HR Zone: What is involved in the planning process?

Paul Priddle: Getting the executive commitment and communicating to the HR team the need for a new systems implementation is crucial to managing the up front change management. The executive alignment needs to be within HR as well as with the business strategy of the organisation. Generating an aggressive but achievable plan is critical in ensuring project delivery on time and budget, resulting in a more tangible return on investment (ROI).

If you have not carried out a project of this nature before time should be built into the plan to allow for ‘sanity checks’. This allows you to ensure minimal scope creep and that you are still aligned with the business reasons for carrying out the project in the first place. Having said that any system selection should be done fast so as not to allow apathy (both personal and from the business) to take hold. Personnel can quickly lose interest if they are not achieving results.

HR Zone: Any tips for making a business case?

Paul Priddle: A business case is in fact a project overview and should include:

• expected project costs
• timescales
• tangible and intangible benefits
• quick win ROIs (i.e. low hanging fruit), and
• anticipated risks

Getting this right this will justify your investment to senior management, measure your progress (time/cost) and secure project resources.

It is not a full financial or business plan but merely a way of justifying the current project. Each separate initiative should have its own business plan, however similar initiatives should be combined wherever possible to avoid conflict and duplication of effort. The selection team should understand that this is not just a one off justification document. But more importantly the basis for calling off ROI as the project progresses.

HR Zone: What are the key trends in the market?

Paul Priddle: Larger companies have been installing ERP based HR modules for some time. However, there are still many companies who are in the process of selecting HR systems particularly in the SME space.

We typically find that their drivers for final selection tend to be focused on short implementation lead times, relatively easy integration into what we like to call a corporate technology back bone and key process functionality coverage. Their focus today is not only on implementation cost but also on training lead times, ROI and organisational disruption.

HR Zone: How can HR successfully navigate the vendors?

Paul Priddle: Selecting and implementing HR solutions can be confusing; you could end up being led astray by both vendors and consultants.

It is essential to ensure you have the solution that is right for your business and ultimately selected by you.

Many organisations get lost in the noise of vendor voices and choices. A coherent selection methodology that gives the selection team soup to nuts coverage and essential executive buy in at board level is pivotal in the success of such projects.

Production of a comprehensive ‘Request for Proposal’ is paramount in achieving a satisfactory conclusion to your project and if done correctly can form the basis of an implementation specification.

The final selection decision should be based on facts and the past performance of the vendor.

Paul’s free seminar, ‘Selecting and implementing HR software for beneficial business change’ will take place on Wednesday 20 October at 9.00am.

Pre-register here to avoid disappointment.

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Annie Hayes

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