Lately, all I seem to hear is, “How fast can you upgrade my HCM? How fast can you deploy my new Talent Management solution?” It’s all about technical achievement and getting ‘solutions’ in place as quickly as possible.
What is this fascination with speed to implement/upgrade a technical solution without consideration for what value it brings to HR, its customers and ultimately the business? I know the word value is insanely abused in this business, but it’s the reason you endeavor on an implementation or upgrade in the first place: to improve HR and bring the business a true benefit.
Regardless, this seems to be a common theme recently – organizations being sold on the idea that faster is better, maybe because it’s tangible, check box-able and involves far fewer headaches than looking in depth at business process and function.
The pitch is going like this lately: We can provide you with a rapid upgrade; we can deploy our solutions faster than the competition, on and on. One vendor I know actually measures its success by how fast the product goes into production, as if they are shucking corn instead of trying to affect a positive change within the business. Where is the business value in that? A system that’s in production that the users really don’t know how to use, a system that IT doesn’t fully understand how to support and one that gains no benefit from rethinking, retooling, or reworking their business processes to be either more efficient or enabled to support the overall corporate initiatives.
I don’t get it. To me, that’s chasing the wrong thing. And what bothers me is that organizations are buying into this pitch, which not-so-coincidentally mirrors what likely is internal sales pressure from the vendor’s management to get sales rolling again.
I recently spoke with the new HRIS Director at a Silicon Valley firm. When talking about their last HCM upgrade, she said it was quick, it didn’t require much of HR’s time, and it was cost-effective, but what it didn’t do was add any business value whatsoever.
Another HR Director whose company recently deployed a new HCM solution under the faster-is-better philosophy said at the end, they had a system that just “happened” to them. They didn’t change anything other than the software.
So what will it take for Human Resources and their IT partners to stand back and say, let’s take the opportunity to enhance our value to the business by looking at our processes, understanding how we can better enable our users and customers and then how do we continue to measure and monitor our effectiveness and contributions to the company?
Software for the sake of software is academic, nothing more than a technology experiment. If you don’t know why you’re doing something – or if you’re only doing something to prove that something has been done — perhaps it’s time hit the brakes and ask, “What am I trying to accomplish here?”
And if you’re like any of the stories I’ve been hearing lately, don’t be surprised by the silence.
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