Q. Given the current economic crisis, all our it purchases are heavily scrutinised, if not frozen. What tips can you give me on justifying an HRIS (human resources information systems) purchase?
A. An effective HRIS strategy will help your
organisation navigate through these turbu
lent times by giving you the data to make in
formed decisions. How your organisation justi
fies this purchase will ultimately be a reflection
of your needs, resources and priorities.
What decision-makers want to see is a so
lution to provide a clear return on investment
which is built on a sound business case and
addressing a problem. In short, you need to
“sell” your argument based on objective data
that delivers value.
Consider this sale a roadmap from
point A, where you are now, to point B, a
time where your organisation is reaping the
benefits of an HRIS. A well-crafted busi
ness case is a tool that not only supports
decision-making regarding purchases, but
will assist in planning, partner selection
and implementation strategies.
Before you begin, take time to understand
your audience. What type of personalities are
they? How do they make decisions? Do they
have any hot spots?
Provide a clear statement of the business
problem. Make sure you include detailed infor
mation regarding the skills, budget criteria and
performance indicators that identify and quantify
the business problem. Outline what’s required to
resolve or reduce the problem. Be sure to in
clude what happens if you don’t do anything.
Define a clear set of objectives which the pro
posed solution is trying to accomplish. Identify
the current HR processes that the proposed so
lution will affect. Quantify what the tangible and
intangible savings will be. Be sure to look beyond
the HR department for potential opportunities.
List resources needed to ensure success, such
as people, budget, time, and hardware.
Outline a couple of alternative scenarios
that include the basic requirements for each
and estimate project costs, risks, ramp-up time
and training costs as well as any foreseeable
Detail the specific goals, action items, and
major milestones as well as the metrics for
success. Finally, write a clear, executive sum
mary tailored to your audience and include
emphasising HR’s transformation from a
transactional operating centre to a strategic,
high-value and lower-cost one.
From my experience, and even more so in
this economy, the success or failure of the busi
ness case, and ultimately the purchase, will be
determined by the depth of financial data you
employ. By addressing return on investment,
total cost of ownership and a cost benefit analy
sis you will be well on your way to success.
If these concepts are out of your skill set,
then don’t be afraid to go to the finance depart
ment for help. In fact, do it in any case and get fi
nance on your side, to provide accurate figures
and metrics. One way or another, finance will be
involved in the review, and if their fingerprints are
on the business case you will have a higher
chance of success.
There is no doubt that the economic crisis
has focused the minds of all decision-makers,
but the need for shrewd financial decisions has
always been, and will always be, present.
By Ari Kopoulos national sales & marketing manager, EmployeeConnect. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org