The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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You take on a project to change something in your organization.  If you’re reading this, often you’ll be implementing some sort of technology.  Why do projects fail?  Often, it’s because there is no change in processes prior to implementing technology.

After all, why would you implement technology to change your underlying delivery model, but not address the processes that are behind the delivery model?  After all, it’s about the process.  The technology is just a tool that the process uses.  When people are unhappy about the process, they put in duct tape (technology) thinking that it will fix everything.  A few $M and years later, they realize they are just as unhappy.  The reason is that technology implemented over bad process means that you still have bad process.

More and more companies (as well as technology vendors) are realizing that they need help up front defining what the post go-live process should look like.  Defining what the process should look like in an ideal state is really something that needs to happen before implementers come in and start doing implementation blueprints.  However, you can’t do this in a vacuum without your implementation partner either.  What you’ll end up with is either an impossible process to implement, or a process that can be implemented with a significant amount of application customizations.

Your consulting or implementation partner can get you to a process that is not only optimal, more efficient and more effective, but is also implementable.  In the past (and still is often the case) vendors just want to get you implemented so that revenues and licensing fees get started as soon as possible.  From the vendor perspective, this is not an unreasonable point of view.  From the client standpoint, you need to realize that there is no way you can reap all the potential benefits if the new solution using this approach.

So take some time, even though it’s politically hard in your organization, to do a significant amount of planning up front.  Look at your processes, and then start implementing.  It will do you good.

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One response to “Why Technology Projects Fail 1”

  1. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR Avatar

    How easy to avoid the upfront planning and the realization that people are the key. Whether we are in the stone age or the space age, technologly is only a tool to be used by the human brain. In my book, Wingtips with Spurs, I devote several chapters to the details of these situation and (I hope) offer real world solutions these unreasonable problems and opportunities.