Eighth Step in a Software Evaluation and Selection Project – Select Finalists and Perform Due Diligence

January 31, 2009

 

The blog on November 17 discussed the first step that should be undertaken whenever evaluating and selecting an HR system. Once you have defined project resources and initiated the project, the second step involves strategic planning and this was posted on November 24. Once the strategic planning phase takes place, it’s time to develop requirements. This third step was posted on December 4 about developing those requirements. The fourth step, Identify Vendors, was posted on December 18. On December 27, we talked about the fifth step, Distributing RFPs (or RFIs) and scoring the responses that you received from the vendors. The sixth step, developing demonstration scripts prior to the vendors coming in for demos, was posted on January 9, 2009. The seventh step, conducting scripted demo demonstration, was posted on January 27, 2009. Now it’s time to talk about the eighth step, selecting finalists and performing due diligence.

 

Once a final or serious vendor candidate is identified, the vendor should supply a listing of current users of the software as references.  As with the vendor demonstrations, reference checking should take a structured approach to assure that the same questions are responded to by all the references.  The Core Project Team should contact these references to ascertain how the system performs against the vendor claims.   The Core Project Team should create the reference checking form based on the established requirements.  

 

In addition to the vendor provided reference list, the outside consultant can use their contact network to obtain information about the product from current or past users that may not appear on the vendor reference listings. In additional to reference checking, the project team may also wish to conduct on-site visits to one or more system users to view the product in a full production environment. 

 

It is also recommended that during this phase, the top two finalist vendors should be brought back on-site for a second usability demo and to address any outstanding issues. This may also include technical reviews and a high-level gap analysis.  The Project Leader or outside consultant should facilitate hands-on user testing by the end users for the finalist vendors.  This will give the Extended Project Team a better feel for the intuitiveness and ease-of-use of the finalist vendors’ software.

 

Next up…Developing the Business Case and Obtaining Management Approval of the Selecting Vendor as part of an evaluation

 

 

Solving a piece of the puzzle…

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


January 23 WebMingle Featured Peter Louch of Workforce Planning Vendor, Vemo – Jigsaw CEO and Co-Founder, Jim Fowler Joins WebMingle on January 30

January 29, 2009

 

2009 has had some great WebMingles featuring Talent Management vendor Cornerstone OnDemand and Workforce Planning Vendors Infohrm and Vemo. If you have missed any of these, visit our site and listen to the recordings as we have captured some great information.

 

This weekly web mingle is designed to give you some insight into the puzzling world of HR technology, discuss news from around the world that we find interesting, talk about upcoming events in our industry, and provide insightful interviews with people of our industry – who they are, what they do and why you should care.

 

The 45-minute WebMingle last week touched on a wide variety of topics related to workforce planning and analytics including the challenges in getting started, how it helps organizations forecast the future of their workforce, and how people can see their jobs changing with workforce planning.

 

About Vemo and Peter Louch

Peter is the founder and CEO of Vemo, a software and services organization that is pioneering the new way to do workforce planning.  Prior to Vemo, Peter led a management consulting practice at several HR Consulting organizations, held a line leadership position at TMP Worldwide, and worked at an organic agricultural production start-up.

 

Our next WebMingle will take place on January 30, at 1pm when Jim Fowler, CEO and Co-Founder of Jigsaw joins us. Jigsaw provides an online business directory of company information and more than 11 million business contacts. Over 500 corporations and more than 600,000 members turn to Jigsaw, including HRchitect. We look forward to welcoming them to the WebMingle and hope to have you join us as well.

 

We hope to have you join us!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Seventh Step in a Software Evaluation and Selection Project – Conduct Scripted Vendor Demonstrations

January 27, 2009

 

The blog on November 17 discussed the first step that should be undertaken whenever evaluating and selecting an HR system. Once you have defined project resources and initiated the project, the second step involves strategic planning and this was posted on November 24. Once the strategic planning phase takes place, it’s time to develop requirements. This third step was posted on December 4 about developing those requirements. The fourth step, Identify Vendors, was posted on December 18. On December 27, we talked about the fifth step, Distributing RFPs (or RFIs) and scoring the responses that you received from the vendors. The sixth step, developing demonstration scripts prior to the vendors coming in for demos, was posted on January 9, 2009. Now it’s time to talk about the seventh step, conducting scripted vendor demos.

 

The vendor demonstration is your project team’s opportunity to review the actual vendor’s software and ascertain if the software will be able to meet your established talent management systems requirements.

 

The Project Leader, or outside consultant, can facilitate the vendor demonstrations, using the defined scripting, to assure that your company’s requirements, strategic direction and questions are fully addressed.  The project team (and other invited demo participants) will use the Vendor Scoring Matrix during the demonstrations.  The participants should also take notes in the Comments section of the Vendor Scoring Matrix to prepare for the debrief sessions and should be alert to record any vendor verbal promises being made.

 

Normally, since the demos will require a great deal of time to complete for each included demo participant, no more than 4 vendors should be invited to conduct on-site demonstrations.  Consider separating the demo script into technical and functional requirements and having two parallel demo rooms for each vendor (this works well with large employer teams when you have 20 or more demo attendees) and allow 2-3 hours for the technical demo and discussion and 5-6 hours for the functionality and usability demonstrations.  (Contact HRchitect for additional creative and logistical ideas.)  Be careful to not schedule more than two demo days back-to-back since the demo participants will often become weary.  As well as the demo participants may not be able to be away from their offices for an extended period of time. 

 

After the vendor is finished with the demonstration and has left the room, the Project Leader, or outside consultant, can conduct a post-demonstration vendor review session.  It is critical that the review session is conducted immediately following the demonstration, as much valuable information about the system’s functionality can be lost if recorded at a later date.  The project team members will discuss and complete their Scoring Matrix during this time.  Also discussed will be the overall strengths and weaknesses of the product.

 

Once all vendors have been given their opportunity to demonstrate their product, the Core Project Team can create an overview document that will compare all the vendors on each RFP requirement. The Vendor Comparison Report compiles and averages the scores each vendor has received during the RFP response, demonstration and the Vendor Review Session.  It lists all vendor average scores in a side-by-side format.  The scores are extended per the weighting of each requirement with a subtotal by each functional grouping. 

 

Next up…Selecting Finalists and Performing Due Diligence as part of an evaluation

 

 

Solving a piece of the puzzle…

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Congratulations to our Onboarding Systems Beauty Pageant Winner – SilkRoad Technology!

January 24, 2009

 

On Friday, January 23, HRchitect held the fifth installation in our Beauty Pageant webinar series, this time focusing on Onboarding Systems. Participants included leading vendors in the Onboarding world – AllegroHR, KMS, SilkRoad, and Verifications, Inc.

 

If you are interested in Onboarding, I’d recommend you view the presentation on our web site. We covered definitions of Onboarding, reasons you would want to invest in Onboarding technology, benefits of Onboarding (both administrative and strategic), how Onboarding is a key enabler of ITM (Integrated Talent Management), and some predictions around ITM.

 

silkroadAt the end of the webinar, SilkRoad was crowned the winner with AllegroHR the runner-up. The presentations were fantastic and HRchitect would like to thank the vendors for participating and the attendees for judging the contestants.

 

I would also once again extend my personal thanks to Tiffany Appleby, HRchitect’s Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, for her incredible work in making sure these pageants run smoothly. It’s not an easy task and I honestly could not even imagine doing these beauty pageants without her. She does a phenomenal job coordinating the vendor practices and presentations as well as being the production manager during these events and I can’t say enough great things about her.

 

Past winners included iCIMS in the Talent Acquisitions Systems pageant on November 14 with Authoria the runner-up. Cornerstone OnDemand won the Talent Management Systems pageant on November 21 with Plateau Systems the runner-up. GeoLearning won the Learning Management systems pageant on December 19 with Cornerstone OnDemand the runner-up. iCIMS (their second pageant win) won the mid-market TAS pageant on January 16 with nowHIRE.com the runner-up.

 

The Beauty Pageants will commence again in February 2009 as follows:

 

February 6 – 11am CST – EPM (Employee Performance Management)  
February 20 – 11am CST – Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
March 6 – 11am CST – Time & Attendance 
March 27 – 11am CST – Workforce Planning
April 10 – 11am CST – Compensation Management
April 17 – 11am CST – Succession Planning
May 8 – 11am CST – Mid-market HRIS

 

In case you have missed any of our Beauty Pageants, you can view them here. The Beauty Pageants have become the buzz of the industry because of the way they provide exposure to a handful of leading vendors in a 90-minute fun and informative format. Watch this blog and our web site for updates on all of our upcoming Beauty Pageants and register today so you won’t be left puzzled by HR Technology!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


January 16 WebMingle Featured Charles Coy from Cornerstone OnDemand – Workforce Planning Vendor Vemo Joins the WebMingle on January 23

January 21, 2009

 

After debuting in December 2008 with three successful shows, 2009 has gotten off to a great start with our latest WebMingle featuring Talent Management vendor Cornerstone OnDemand. If you missed the show, visit our site and listen to the recording.

 

More on that later but first, let me remind everybody once again what the WebMingle concept is all about. HRchitect is the leading HR Systems consulting firm and part of our mission revolves around education. This weekly web mingle is designed to give you some insight into the puzzling world of HR technology, discuss news from around the world that we find interesting, talk about upcoming events in our industry, and provide insightful interviews with people of our industry – who they are, what they do and why you should care.

 

As the host of the show, I am fortunate to have such a great supporting cast. Tiffany Appleby, our Direct of Marketing and Corporate Communications, plays the role of Program Director for the WebMingle while Karen Cunningham (Director of Sales) and Rick Fletcher (President) each provide invaluable input.

 

The 45-minute WebMingle included a great discussion about trends in learning and talent management for 2009 including:

 

  • Managing critical roles
  • Social networking / Web 2.0 in the Enterprise
  • Pay for performance
  • Learning / social learning
  • Increased adoption of SaaS-based technology solutions

 

We discussed a number of topics related to the above including what Cornerstone OnDemand believes are the biggest priorities for HR and learning executives in 2009, what some of their future plans may hold, and more.

 

About Cornerstone OnDemand and Charles Coy

Cornerstone OnDemand provides industry-leading talent management solutions for organizations of any size, across all industries, and was crowned the winner of the HRchitect Talent Management Beauty Pageant on November 21, 2008. Charles Coy brings a broad background in public policy analysis and research to Cornerstone, with an interest in the convergence of technology and higher education.  Charles has helped the company grow from a pioneer in consumer-facing online learning through its evolution into a leader in integrated learning and talent management.  

 

Our next WebMingle will take place on January 23, at 1pm when Lucia Erwin and Peter Louch, CEO and Founder of Vemo, a Workforce Planning vendor join us. We look forward to welcoming them to the WebMingle and hope to have you join us as well.

 

We hope to have you join us!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Congratulations to our Mid-Market Talent Acquisition Systems Beauty Pageant Winner – iCIMS!

January 19, 2009

 

On Friday, January 16, HRchitect held the fourth installation in our Beauty Pageant webinar series, this time focusing on Mid-Market Talent Acquisition Systems. Participants included leading vendors in the mid-market TAS world including: Click and Hire, iCIMS, nowHIRE, SmartRecruiters, SmartSearch and SonicRecruit.

 

iCIMS MM TASAt the end of the webinar, iCIMS was crowned the winner with nowHIRE.com the runner-up. The presentations were fantastic and HRchitect would like to thank the vendors for participating and the attendees for judging the contestants.

 

This was the second pageant win for iCIMS as they won for Talent Acquisition Systems pageant back on November 14, 2008. It was also the best attended pageant to date and we want to thank our new media sponsor for the pageant series, HRmarketer, for their efforts in increasing attendance to these fun and informative events.

 

I would also like to extend my personal thanks to Tiffany Appleby, HRchitect’s Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, for her incredible work in making sure these pageants run smoothly. Tiffany does a fantastic job coordinating the vendor practices and presentations as well as being the production manager during these events and I can’t say enough great things about her. She sure makes my job a lot easier!

 

Past winners of beauty pageants included iCIMS in the Talent Acquisitions Systems pageant on November 14 with Authoria the runner-up. Cornerstone OnDemand won the Talent Management Systems pageant on November 21 with Plateau Systems the runner-up. GeoLearning won the Learning Management Systems pageant on December 19 with Cornerstone OnDemand the runner-up.

 

This Friday, January 23, the fifth webinar in our Beauty Pageant series will take place as we feature Onboarding Systems. As of this writing, the following vendors will be participating: AllegroHR, KMS, SilkRoad Technology, and Verifications, Inc. A couple of invites are still out without confirmation so stay tuned!

 

The Beauty Pageants will continue throughout 2009 as follows:

 

January 23 – 11am CST – Onboarding  
February 6 – 11am CST – EPM (Employee Performance Management)  
February 20 – 11am CST – Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
March 6 – 11am CST – Time & Attendance 
March 27 – 11am CST – Workforce Planning
April 10 – 11am CST – Compensation Management
April 17 – 11am CST – Succession Planning
May 8 – 11am CST – Mid-market HRIS
May 22 – 11am CST – Assessments

 

We would also like to extend a big ‘Thank You!’ to our media sponsor, HRmarketer.  For nearly ten years, HRmarketer has been the go to company for HR suppliers wanting to generate publicity, website traffic, sales leads and improved search engine rankings.  For more information about HRmarketer and their services, visit HRmarketer.com.

HRmarketer

 

 

In case you have missed any of our Beauty Pageants, you can view them here. The Beauty Pageants have become the buzz of the industry because of the way they provide exposure to a handful of leading vendors in a 90-minute fun and informative format. Watch this blog and our web site for updates on all of our upcoming Beauty Pageants and register today so you won’t be left puzzled by HR Technology!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


First HRchitect Happy Hour WebMingle of 2009 Focused on Workforce Planning

January 11, 2009

After debuting in December 2008 with three successful shows, we conducted our 2009 debut WebMingle this past Friday, January 9, and it was a very educational show about workforce planning with my guests from Infohrm. If you missed the show, visit our site and listen to the recording.

 

More on that later but first, let me remind everybody what the WebMingle concept is all about. HRchitect is the leading HR Systems consulting firm and part of our mission revolves around education. This weekly web mingle is designed to give you some insight into the puzzling world of HR technology, discuss news from around the world that we find interesting, talk about upcoming events in our industry, and provide insightful interviews with people of our industry – who they are, what they do and why you should care.

 

As the host of the show, I am fortunate to have such a great supporting cast. Tiffany Appleby, our Direct of Marketing and Corporate Communications, plays the role of Program Director for the WebMingle and Karen Cunningham (Director of Sales) and Rick Fletcher (President) each provide invaluable input.

 

The 45-minute WebMingle included an excellent Q&A session with three representatives from Infohrm, the global leader in workforce planning, reporting, and analytics. With over 25 years of human capital measurement experience, Infohrm has developed a reputation for the integrity and quality of data capture and analysis, exemplarily client partnerships, and commitment to building a community of highly skilled HR professionals. Bill Gilmyers, Senior Consultant, Jeff Higgins, Executive VP of Client Services, and Mick Collins, VP of Marketing were very gracious guests and provided some fantastic information on workforce planning, reporting and analytics. We talked about a number of topics including…

 

·          the importance of workforce planning in today’s economy,

·         what kind of business questions can be answered with workforce analytics,

·         what types of data should be used for workforce analytics,

·         how organizations are communicating workforce metrics and plans to their executives, and

·         how to calculate the value of workforce analytics and plans in order to support the business case for investing in workforce planning software

 

We also had some fun talking about non-business related items as well. Please be sure to listen to the archive of the show on our site.

 

Our next WebMingle will take place on January 16, at 1pm CST when Charles Coy from Cornerstone OnDemand.  Cornerstone OnDemand provides industry-leading talent management solutions for organizations of any size, across all industries, and was crowned the winner of the Talent Management Beauty Pageant in November 2008. We look forward to welcoming them to the WebMingle and hope to have you join us as well.

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect

 

 

 


Sixth Step in a Software Evaluation and Selection Project – Develop Demo Scripts

January 9, 2009

 

The blog on November 17 discussed the first step that should be undertaken whenever evaluating and selecting an HR system. Once you have defined project resources and initiated the project, the second step involves strategic planning and this was posted on November 24. Once the strategic planning phase takes place, it’s time to develop requirements. This third step was posted on December 4 about developing those requirements. The fourth step, Identify Vendors, was posted on December 18. On December 27, we talked about the fifth step, Distributing RFPs (or RFIs) and scoring the responses that you received from the vendors. Now we will discuss the sixth step, developing demonstration scripts prior to the vendors coming in for demos.

 

Many of the vendors will attempt to overwhelm you during the demonstration with “bells and whistles” features, or the features that the vendor feels are their stronger points.  This is normally done by highlighting the more impressive portions of their system instead of focusing on your individual system needs.  To assure that all of your system needs are demonstrated, it is advisable to provide a scripting which focuses on your requirements.  The project team should create, based on the RFP, a Demonstration Script, which the vendor will be expected to follow.  This script will be supplied to the vendor in advance.  It is recommended that you should instruct the vendor to not vary from the script; however, the vendor should be allowed some time to focus on the premier features of their system in the demo agenda. 

 

Since there is a large amount of data demonstrated by the vendors, remembering the features strengths and weaknesses of each vendor can be an overwhelming process.   This may be compounded by the possibility of having many days or weeks lag between demonstrations because of scheduling conflicts.  For these reasons, HRchitect recommends the use of a Vendor Scoring Matrix.

 

The Vendor Scoring Matrix should use a standardized scoring methodology for all demonstrations.  The Matrix will be structured using the responses to the RFP and Demonstration Scripting, and will provide each attendee at the demo an area to score the product and make notes. 

 

Next up…Conducting Scripted Vendor Demonstrations as part of an evaluation

 

 

Solving a piece of the puzzle…

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect


January Beauty Pageants Focus on Talent Acquisition Systems and Onboarding Systems – Register Today!

January 4, 2009

 

HRchitect has conducted three highly successful beauty pageants so far and they have quickly become the buzz of the industry. On November 14, 2008, iCIMS was crowned the winner of the Talent Acquisition Systems pageant, on November 21, 2008, Cornerstone OnDemand was crowned the winner of the Talent Management Systems pageant, and on December 19, 2008, GeoLearning was crowned the winner of the Learning Management Systems beauty pageant.

 

2009 will have a full schedule of at least two beauty pageants each month starting on January 16 with mid-market Talent Acquisition Systems. As of this writing, Click and Hire, nowHIRE, SmartRecruiters, and SonicRecruit have agreed to participate.

 

On January 23, we will focus on Onboarding Systems and as of this writing, AllegroHR and Verifications, Inc. have agreed to participate. Several other invites are out as well but we know how hard it can be to get up in front of a live audience so some of them may be shy.

 

The 90-minute webinar agendas will look like this:

 

Intro by HRchitect

Overview of the marketplace by HRchitect

Short vendor presentations (vendor order will be determine at random)

Q&A of vendors from the audience

Crowning of the Winner

Wrap-up

 

The sessions are moderated by Matt Lafata, VP of Sales & Marketing for HRchitect. HRchitect developed a format to help guide each vendor with an outline of what should be covered during each portion of the pageant.  Since we have billed this as a beauty pageant, we tried to come up with pageant categories for vendors to loosely follow. Of course each vendor is free to follow their own format as this is simply a guideline:

 

Evening gown – To start off each portion, we are asking the vendor to come out in their best ‘outfit’ – corporate overview, history, specific identity, financial viability, marquee clients, leadership team, etc. This will be the grand entrance.

 

Swimsuit – Here the vendors will show some skin in this portion – usability, configurability, etc.

 

Talent – This portion will cover functionality, technology/integration, global ability, etc.

 

Interview – This will be the Q & A section from the audience. 

 

These beauty pageants are designed to give the audience a quick overview of the leading vendors and we are looking for creativity in presentations.

 

Here is the schedule of upcoming beauty pageants along with instructions for registering:

January 16 – 11am CST – Mid-market ATS  

January 23 – 11am CST – Onboarding  

February 6 – 11am CST – EPM (Employee Performance Management)  

February 20 – 11am CST – Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

 

March 6 – 11am CST – Time & Attendance 

March 27 – 11am CST – Workforce Planning

April 10 – 11am CST – Compensation Management

April 17 – 11am CST – Succession Planning

May 8 – 11am CST – Mid-market HRIS

May 22 – 11am CST – Talent Acquisition Systems

 

Visit the Beauty Pageant page of our web site to view past presentations. Watch this blog and our web site for updates on all of our upcoming beauty pageants and register today so you won’t be left puzzled by HR Technology!

 

Matt Lafata, HRchitect

 


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