Busting the Most Common Myths in HR Technology

Last week was a great week.  It was my fifth time attending SHRM Annual and my fourth time presenting.  It’s always an honor to be there sharing information and to hear some of the great speakers that talk about what is next for human resources.  This year I presented with my HR Happy Hour host, Steve Boese.  Steve and I led a session on HR technology implementation.  I’m passionate on the topic as someone who has bought and implemented different technologies.  It was nice to see that we had 300+ attendees show up for our 7 am session!  Not an easy feat in Las Vegas.

The size of the crowd, the high level of attendee enthusiasm and engagement, and the really long line of folks who came up to chat after the session was completed was a great indicator of the continuing and increasing importance of technology to the HR professional.

The slide deck we shared is up on Slideshare and also embedded below, (Email and RSS subscribers may need to click through).

The big messages that Steve and I shared were a few – that even in the age of modern SaaS technology platforms the fundamentals of great project management remain important. Executive support, a dedicated project team, intentional attention to change management, and making sure the ‘right’ users at all levels of the organization are appropriately engaged in the implementation project are just as important in 2015 as they were in 1995.

This was a fun session to present, and we want to thank everyone who came out as well as the folks at SHRM for allowing us to be a part of the event.

We’d love any thoughts, comments, suggestions any one has on this deck as well!

Improving Project Management: Focusing The Vision

If you work in business for very long, eventually you’ll be tasked with heading up a project.  The key to your project success is largely dependent on your ability to create the vision to allow you, and possibly a team, to reach the project goal.  The problem many project managers face is that they immediately jump to the tasks on the path to reach the goal.  The step that is glossed over is the time needed to focus the vision.

Why is this important?

Without a focused vision that clearly gives the reasoning as to why the new approach is significantly better, people will not be motivated to buy into the idea. Steve Boese wrote a post and shared the theory that a new idea needs to be at least nine times better than the current state in order for people to make the change willingly.  I believe that directionally, that is true.   So, how do you begin to focus the vision of the project so that it becomes actionable by the target audience?

By working through three areas:

  1. Concerns- List out every possible concern you think your target audience will have as it relates to the project or the change you’re asking them to accept.
  2. Interests- What are the interests of the group?  What will motivate them to accept the new vision?
  3. Wins- What can you show to the group as a “win” for them?  What will success look like?

I find myself jotting down ideas on post it notes, scraps of paper, or napkins.  The point is that you can use these three categories to work through just about any type of new idea so that you can create a more focused business vision that people can buy in to.

Here’s a sample I created for why a business should implement a social media plan:

Once you have your ideas listed, you can begin crafting a vision statement or mission that tells the audience what’s in it for them.  Once you have that hook, you are much more likely to have adoption of your idea.

So, what tools do you use to work through adoption of a product or idea?  Share it in the comments please.