Often times our clients are looking for a set of guiding principles as they embark on either a Talent Management Implementation, Business Process Workshops or even when trying to select a Talent Management Vendor. A full Talent Management Suite should not be viewed as a quick, standardized solution. Each client Collaborative Solutions has worked with has a significant number of business needs that are consistent; however each has a unique set of constraints, requirements that support their go to market approach and stated business drivers/objectives to fulfill. Regardless of which path or approach is best for our clients, we always suggest the following items be taken into consideration during the project life cycle.
1.) Be Process, Not Product focused – Talent Management should be supported by the technology applications on the market. Generally speaking, any viable product should support a clients business processes via configuration changes. Products should not be utilized for any other reason (partnership, previous experience, etc) unless they align with To-Be business processes and strategies.
2.) Minimize Integration – Talent Management has an extensive amount of integration that is required across modules to fully leverage the benefits of a TM System. It is most efficient, unless there is a compelling legal or business reason, to utilize one (or two) vendors who has already built and will support this integration between modules.
3.) Organizational Change Management – The importance of a solid Change Management plan that begins very early on in the program cannot be underestimated. The user adoption of the product and feedback from the user community during design, pilot and implementation phases is critical to the overall success of this type of product. After all, you will be impacting every employee in the organization in some way.
4.) Enable efficiencies, not just processes – To drive user adoption and a meaningful adoption of the tool set, users need to understand how this supports their career growth and overall how it benefits them. It can’t simply be another tool where they are mandated to do an activity semi-annually. Talent Management is about driving value for the employees and hence the client, it shouldn’t simply just be viewed as saving costs by pushing a process out to the employee.
5.) Configure and Customize – Don’t be afraid to configure and even customize the system. There is no system on the market that can meet all business needs without some level of configuration and even potentially some customization. However, level set expectations in advance and request solid business justifications for extensive configuration or customization to help minimize the short/long term system impacts. Configuration should always be preferred over Customization.
6.) Vendor Viability and Stability – Currently in the Talent Management marketplace, there is a fair amount of instability via acquisitions, startups, etc. Discuss the longer term objectives with your vendors and understand their roadmap. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but some vendors take a 100% organic approach and others tend to buy and piecemeal a solution together. Finding the right fit for the firms’ appetite is critical.
7.) Differentiate your firm – Don’t instill a process or decide on a product “just because” another similar firm to yours is doing the same thing. Utilize this process to identify ways that your company can differentiate their skills, career paths for incoming employees, and growth from other companies in the marketplace.
8.) There are no hard and set rules – Talent Management products, processes and companies utilizing them do not have to all have the same approach. Each business will have different needs and priorities that will guide their implementation requirements and phases. To help your company, align all requirements, decisions, directional changes, etc. to one or more of the agreed upon Strategic Goals or Business Objectives. Everything that is executed on a roadmap should tie back to these goals and objectives.
Thoughts and Comments always welcome!
TAGS: Change Management, Talent Management