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