Scope it before you buy it: Software for success

By / September 22, 2015 / / 0 Comments

I see too many HR departments make the same mistake when scoping software:

You find one you like, you have budget approval and you are ready to go. Only problem is – during implementation – you uncovered a hidden box of nightmares you didn’t come across in any product demonstrations.

How can you avoid finding yourself in a similar situation when scoping a HR tech solution?

Scope it before you buy it

scoping software
Source: angeline veeneman

There are two things I recommend most when scoping out any piece of software:

  • Sit down with a pre-sales consultant or product specialist, and tear your current processes to pieces. Go through every step in the process you are looking to automate. Record every minor detail, from boxes that need to be ticked, to forms that need to be filled in. You need to have a complete workflow planned out before you can automate it with software.
  • Ensure the product meets all your needs. You can assess the practicality of a product when you have a mapped out process. Cross-reference your process with the software you’re scoping.

I have seen the benefits of scoping software through my work as an onboarding specialist. Scoping software first may knock a sale on the head – but it’s not always the customer who walks away. Vendors can walk away too if it becomes apparent their product doesn’t suit your needs. If they don’t, their days are numbered.

Scoping sessions uncover many new things the buyer may not have considered or realised. Rigorous scoping can uncover new benefits from the product or problems that cannot be solved.

Make your first choice the right choice

scoping software
Source: angeline veeneman

Marketing automation company, Net-Results, has a great tagline: “The 1st choice of people buying marketing automation for the 2nd time.” (I feel HROnboard is the same thing in the HR space). Scope your solution so you buy the perfect product first.

Scoping software means you either find a product is not right for you, and move on– or you find the perfect product and can get to buying and implementing straight away. Scoping means you only make the purchasing decision once.

There is nothing worse than seeing a company going with a solution that isn’t right for them, or doesn’t meet all of their needs. When I see companies choose the wrong solution, I know they’re going to regret it six months down the line (I commonly have companies ask me about integrating HROnboard after going with a different solution, as they’ve found it hasn’t met all their employee onboarding requirements).

Make sure your software matches the service and you’ll only have to buy once.

You need a software solution that can handle your processes. One weak link in a software suite that automates your process poorly is far worse than a manual process without any automation at all.

The most important part of selecting your software is knowing your process back to front. Make sure you can account for every detail, and measure how it fits with the software you’re considering.

Purchasing software to automate a process can be difficult, especially when you’ve just started and need to familiarise yourself with your options. Take the time to understand the product, and your process, to make sure that you won’t regret your purchase decision in a few month’s time.

If you want to find out some tips on how to scope your HR processes, contact me and I’ll be more than happy to guide you through some best practices.

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