This post is going to ruffle a few feathers-not just for Consulting companies, consultants, vendors BUT also for HR leaders, ICT leaders and HR tech specialists.
You have decided it is time to fix your HR processes and the enabling systems. Congratulations! This is the first step towards enabling improvement. Next, you have identified that you need to get someone to find out what’s really wrong. You have heard different parts of your business, stakeholders, customers, ICT and the whole world by now complain about how poor the HR processes and systems are but you want to know where things are going wrong and where to spend your money. Excellent thinking, so far you are on the right track.
Now you are ready to get a consultant to dig into the murky world of negative commentary and get you some real info on what needs fixing. At this point, I urge you think about the following three things:
- WHAT do you want to get at the end of this exercise? Do you just want to end up with a laundry list of dirty comments and gut-wrenching remarks on how poorly you are managing things? My belief is you want to end up with quantifiable information that empowers you to realise the true problem, quantify the extent of the problem both in volumes as well as impact on your current expenditure, prioritise based on this information which problems are bigger and worth investment and finally recommended actions.
- WHEN do you want this information but more importantly when do you want to implement the recommendations? It is not uncommon for recommendations made by consultants which are time-sensitive to go in a powerpoint that gets circulated to everyone and no action is taken for months or years. And next time someone comes along to restart the project, it is OLD.
- HOW and WHO is going to implement the recommendations? Are you comfortable that you have enough resources to implement the recommendations yourself or with your current resources-chances are you don’t! So think about who will be the right people to implement the changes and how will they do it.
The cost of discovery phase of every project is usually gigantic, so don’t waste your money just to hear the same whining that you have been hearing in person or through grapevine only to be regurgitated via a powerpoint. Make use of your money effectively or even better save it if you cannot answer the above questions.
For any further advise on how to start a robust discovery phase for your next HR systems/process project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Thanks http://leaderinme.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/powerpoint-business-jobs-meetings-leadership-motivation-bosses-boss/ for the picture!