STRATEGIC TALENT MANAGEMENT BLOG

Human Resources Vision, Strategy and Execution: We’re with you all the way.

Early this year, a meeting planner scheduled a big event with several speakers. The planner worked with a committee to arrive at an agenda and manage a list of planned exhibitors at the event. It was all business. Then, as often is the case, life interrupted.

One of the speakers was known for being strongly opinionated politically and willing to put up a spirited conversation. Between the booking and the actual event, the scheduled personality started broadcasting some opinions on social media that many found antagonistic. At the same time, a few attendees of the event took notice that one of the exhibitors was Trump Hotels.

In my previous post, I’d laid out the scenario many of us find ourselves in: wrestling with difficult initiatives or technology implementations, complicated projects with challenges that take on a life of their own. With full disclosure, I am a successful “third-party” consultant / project manager (PM) by profession, and I have years of previous practitioner experience.

In my consulting career, I’ve heard clients repeatedly look back and reflect on the value they achieved in bringing in an outside senior project / program manager early in their technology implementation projects. At the same time, many companies who haven’t been through the implementation process may still be considering the pros and cons of external PM support.  Why not just manage it internally?

Like most HR and business decision-makers, you’ve probably wrestled with difficult initiatives or technology implementations. These are complicated projects with challenges that take on a life of their own. At some point, you or someone on your team will start to wonder why people are being so difficult. You long for the project to be over so you can focus on your day job. Maybe you find yourself relying on hope as part of your strategy for success!

Have you ever heard your project manager (PM) say… “Gosh. Managing that project was much easier than I expected. It didn’t distract me from my regular job at all.”

Human Capital Management covers a wide array of offerings that are designed to take care of employees. With the variety of items that are contained in HCM, there is no surprise that silos have emerged. These have been built and reinforced as more and more employee-support functions come under one larger umbrella, but continue to operate as separate entities. The question that we are trying to address is how do we tear down these walls and make HCM more synergistic?

 

You’re standing in front of the conference room. The people at the table are listening, mostly.  Sometimes they glance at their phones or sip at their coffee. You’re here to make a vendor recommendation. Get this right, and you’ll have the budget for that long overdue HR initiative.  Get this “not quite right,” and they’ll thank you for your thoughts and promise to “keep this as an option for further consideration moving forward.” 

Technology implementations have been a fundamental part of business for many years. By now, you would think companies would have figured out how to do them right, every time. Or at least how not to do them wrong.  But they haven’t. Why? Is there a way to make sure your technology investment, talent technology in particular, delivers its bang for the buck?

Simplicity.  It’s a tenet embraced in both business and life, but the practicalities of a complicated world can get in the way. In the realm of talent management strategy and technology, I have struggled with this conflict first hand when helping companies manage a complex function or project in the simplest way possible. Yet often the real goal of simplicity gets lost.

 

“Why can’t we even get this data out of our systems?  I want to start measuring this, now! Why isn’t this information at my fingertips?”  If these questions or comments sound familiar, you’re not alone. Data, metrics and reporting create some of the most vexing challenges in talent management. People often don’t agree on what to measure or have the systems in place to measure it — or they simply don’t know what to do about the data they do track. How do you solve this? Do you need more technology? Do you need more data?