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Five Key Points for a Successful Cloud Talent Management System Implementation

Posted by Nathan Botelho, SuccessFactors Consultant

 

With SaaS becoming the new status quo for enterprise processes, data management and analytics, more and more companies that currently use spreadsheets and paper in their day-to-day HR routines are migrating to the Cloud as part of their growth strategy. And, as you can imagine, there are many factors involved in how these companies are making this move successfully.  So, you ask, how are they doing it?

You’ve probably already heard several stories about companies that implement the full SuccessFactors suite, some successful and some not so much.  Even with excellent project planning, resource allocation, and a flawless technical deployment, you must show the value of the application and the process it is supporting to the end-users.  Think long term, but start simple. This quote may sound silly, but the most successful implementations that I know were not only phased at a module level, but their phasing was based on the main services provided by each module and the company’s technology culture to accept them.  There is nothing wrong with providing your employees a new system with multiple modules, all at the same time, if each will make their lives easier. The problem comes when you require too much from your employees to make the system support the process. If you fail to recognize this key point, the application(s) can quickly fall into a state where it is disregarded or becomes very difficult to maintain.

Here are the five key things to consider when setting up the “Cloud Mindset” for your new Talent Management System (TMS) and have a successful implementation and subsequent adoption:

 

–       Standardization implies gains and losses

Setting up a global and integrated system requires a prioritization of your current regional processes to make the blueprinting as smooth as possible.  Keep in mind that to have a global, real-time, and easy to use analytics tool, you need to give up some of the flexibility that the employees and managers had when using, for example, an Excel file.

Based on the latest ISG (Information Services Group) reports, configurability is getting less important as a selection criteria by the top HR executives for their new HR technology.  Today, the security, price and ease of use surpassed the flexibility that the software has in terms of configuration. That means that the newcomers accept this loss by getting many benefits from the new system.

–       “More features” does not necessarily mean “more productivity”

The system supports the process, not the other way around.  That means that the more features you add to the system, the more complex and cumbersome the process becomes.  In addition, training, support, and administrative work are inherently related to features; the more you add, the more you have of each.

By design, with SaaS, the application will evolve over time, with the addition of new and improved functionality.  Therefore, you should focus on the important aspects of the process and chose the functionality that best supports those process components.  Over time, you can add more functionality if it helps to better support the process.

Therefore, when implementing your first Talent Management solution, consider starting simple.  A new system that requires a lot actions from the employee is easily seen as “loss of time.” The more demanding the hours of involvement every week, the more this will help to create a negative impression right from the start.

–       The Continuous Culture

One of the biggest things that started to rise during the Cloud era is the “Continuous Culture”.  This is on the rise because of the spaces that technology is helping to fill by reinventing itself at a mind-blowing speed to keep up with the change due to the growing number of new generations joining the workforce with innovative and restless minds.

The “continuous culture” is not only seen in the people management aspect. Things like continuous feedback, achievements tracking rewards, and social learning play an important role in the employee’s engagement and development.  It also gives us, in terms of technology, a continuous and streamlined improvement of tools that can be used to meet these demands.

As previously mentioned, features can be added at any point in time. After implementing a Cloud Talent Management system, always stay up to date with the latest and future releases.  Keep your system alive by updating it constantly and, most importantly, by letting employees know what’s new.

–       Wherever you are, whenever you need

Nowadays, smartphones are as much a part of our lives as clothing and food.  To follow this trend, HR software providers are getting into the mobile universe by adding apps in marketplaces and by making their websites responsive.

This was a huge change a few years ago and the technology is getting better.  Managers and employees are able to track and provide feedback for ongoing activities, work on performance reviews, manage goals, analyze reports and dashboards, and much more – all directly from their phones and tablets.

Remember to request a full demo of the mobile app from your implementation partner and execute a pilot within the HR department and/or with key stakeholder groups.  As information is getting faster and more concise, mobile devices will soon be the only machines we use to do our jobs.

–       The HRIS Dream Team

As Human Resources drives to be a highly critical and strategic department within the organization and the employee demographic continues to change, the need to constantly improve its processes and supporting technology increases.  This is in order to reduce the questions employees have and the time users need to spend in the system, allowing them to focus on their work.

Consider having a member in the team that can easily speak about HR processes but is also tech-savvy.  These folks will be focused on “translating” business process into technical requirements during the implementation. He/she can also take advanced training classes from the partner and support the system after go-live, thus reducing the workload for HR Business Partners and Talent Management leaders.

 

The project managers and sponsors need to be “all in” to engage stakeholders, SMEs (or process owners) and IT.  To keep everyone in sync, define high level objectives for each phase, make sure that you have a defined and detailed resource plan right from the start to ensure that you have all the decision makers in the requirements workshops and feedback sessions.  “Do the possible” by following these suggestions throughout the project and work to avoid shifting directions drastically after the project has started.  Otherwise, the stage may be set for an increase in costs, go-live postponing, and frustration for the internal team.

The “why not’s” will come throughout the project, but again: think long term, but start SIMPLE.

 

Questions? You can reach Nathan at nathan.botelho@hulapartners.com

 

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