5 Steps to Say Goodbye to RFPs when Procuring HR Technology
With the exciting solution revolution in Cloud HR technology led by SuccessFactors, Workday and others, which is transforming the HR IT landscape and revolutionizing the HR operating model, does it make sense that we still undertake the traditional, RFP-led vendor selection process? Maybe the traditional vendor selection model with its tick-box RFP where everyone says ‘YES’, its functional wish list built on ill-informed dreamy concepts, and its implementation quotations which are wildly divergent in cost, inclusions and timescale, is dead.
Do we actually get anywhere other than losing 12-months of opportunity time, wasting considerable internal resources, squandering lots of money and quite potentially not actually buying what was actually needed? I am not suggesting that you simply fall under the spell of the best vendor salesman and sign on the dotted line, nor am I suggesting that procurement isn’t involved.
The fundamental of Cloud HR technology is standardized platforms and business processes with minimal change allowed. While the argument for the technical functional differences between platforms can continue ad nauseam; the reality is you need to make a fast decision and then spend time on the other key steps of HR Transformation including global payroll, business process standardization and then operating model review - Shared Services Vs. Outsourcing.
So, why not leave the RFP in the drawer and use these 5 steps to procure your HR Transformation?
- Engage an Analyst – Look at the independent research by those who really know the vendors, solutions and market. Engage NelsonHall, HfS, Gartner, Everest or IDC. Find a vendor who can do what you need - Cloud HR platform, Global Payroll, Business Process Standardisation, Outsourcing, and Business Case.
- Speed Date 2x Vendors – Over the course of a 2-day block per vendor get them to pitch. Don’t look at 4, 5 or 6 vendors; don’t spend months at this stage - simply pick the two best as evidenced by your Analyst. Give the vendor a (brief) brief and have them show you how they would solve your issues and partner with you.
- Make a Decision – Pick a Vendor to work with. No commitments or contracts yet, but don’t waste everybody’s time. Invest the next 4-weeks working very closely and openly with one vendor to run through an ‘open book’ business requirements review, solution design, open solution costing exercise, business case development, and final decision papers.
- Engage an Independent Adviser – Now is the time to engage with a trusted and independent advisor such PWC, E&Y, KPMG or a specialist consultancy to validate the vendor’s proposition. Over a 2-week period ask the adviser to validate the proposal.
- Low risk experimentation – run a pilot project - Many vendors can enable 'test' setups or allow to play around in sandboxes. This facilities experimentation and gives a much more 'real life' and concrete view on things compared to an abstract RFP.
In 8-weeks you have now completed an entire HR Transformation review and decision cycle. Take the proposal to the board and then get your HR Transformation underway.