Category Archives: John Sumser

HR Tech Implementations or Business Tech Implementations?

data point tuesday_500Last month I wrote about the inaugural report issued by the analysts at KeyInterval Research. (You know them as John Sumser and William Tincup.) They have an ambitious research publication agenda – one report a month. And here’s why I like what John and William are doing:

KeyInterval is an experiment. It is our goal to stay experimental for the life of the company. With each new report, we’re experimenting with survey methodology, data sourcing, data screening, the mix of qualitative and quantitative information, and the edges of HR Technology practice. It is a search for standard practices. We are more interested in what practitioners do than what some self-appointed guru thinks they should do. Our goal is to understand the actual experience of the people who use HR Technology.”

There is little independent information about what actually works in the HR tech space outside of vendor sponsored information, that I find their approach refreshing and really useful. Their second report has just been released and it’s another really interesting look, this time at how organizations successfully implement HR technology. The report, Successful Implementations, reveals exactly how successful HR technology implementations happen. If you’ve got an implementation in your future, these findings would be a wise investment.

As with their previous report, Successful Implementations is organized in a way that makes the findings practical and easy to consume. It defines what an implementation is, gives an overview of the important insights and major findings, analyzes qualitative conversations with HR leaders, picks the right data points to share, exposes commonly held myths, identifies notable vendors and shares the study’s methodology. The piece de resistance is the quick Pocket Guide: Successful Implementation Checklist.

Here’s a quick overview of one of the data sets that might be interesting to you:

KeyInterval May 12 2015

I’m interested in all these points, but the first really speaks volumes to me. HR leaders who have sponsored successful HR technology implementations prioritize the fundamental aspects of the projects as:

  1. Quality (user satisfaction)
  2. Cost
  3. Speed

I like the order of these priorities. Putting the user (employee) experience first is just where I’d want HR to be. Putting cost second, means that fiscal responsibility is critical. Ranking time to completion third shows an operational understanding that I like. Together these show enormous business acumen. Perhaps one of the reasons their HR tech implementations have been successful is that the HR leaders on point are really business leaders first and HR leaders second. Perhaps these were more Business Tech than HR Tech. I wonder if John and William could shed light on that hypothesis…

Again, Successful Implementations contains great data, analysis and insight that would be valuable to any organization contemplating an HR technology implementation. Here’s where you can buy a copy.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Technology, John Sumser, KeyInterval, Technology Implementation

Moving the HR Industry Forward

data point tuesday_500I love finding new sources of information that shine a light on how organizations can achieve better business results through Key Interval Analysts 2better people practices. This month I found a new source – although the principals are old friends – that is going to make important contributions in the use of HR technology in the improvement of business outcomes. If you haven’t heard of Key Interval Research, you most certainly have heard of John Sumser and William Tincup, the founders and principal analysts. And if you haven’t seen the first of their monthly research reports, let me introduce you to “The Ideal Vendor Relationship.”

The report is based on a survey of 1106 HR and Recruiting professionals conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. The survey respondents were from a broad cross section of titles in HR functions from organizations of all sizes. The survey itself had 85 subject matter questions and 35 demographic questions and the answers were collected online through several methods.

The incidence of “ah ha!” moments are so numerous in this report that sets out to explore, understand and illuminate how HR practitioners and their administrative players work successfully together with HR technology vendors and their administrative players to achieve organizational goals. These are crucial insights because, as William and John believe, “today’s work world requires that HR Departments accomplish their work through outside people and tools.” As we all know, more and more of those people are vendors and those tools are software.

The report is full of surprising findings:

  • The software lifecycle drives relationships
  • Only a small fraction of HR practitioners are dissatisfied with their HRTech tools
  • A majority of respondent companies have terminated an HRTech vendor for cause, but
  • Nearly 80% of respondents like their HR Software
  • The HRTech vendor-practitioner relationships are surprisingly healthy
  • The most important factor in the long term relationship with a vendor is the time required to get an answer

And there are more. Many more surprising findings. I won’t give away most of the good stuff, these guys are in business and want you to buy this report, but the myth busting section was particularly interesting. One of the myths they bust is that what matters most to the customer is schedule and budget. That’s right. A myth. User Satisfaction is significantly more important. This would be important for every vendor to understand and for every customer to own. Here’s the graph explaining…

April 7 2015 Customer MythThe report covers the software lifecycle, discoveries – including the busting of long held beliefs, easily digested findings, notable vendors and a pocket guide. Also included in the report are 4 cases from HR practitioners managing HR software vendor relationships and working on important business issues. The takeaways are critical. (Note: not all of the outcomes are positive.)

These are smart guys asking smart questions that maybe no one else is asking. And the answers aren’t what I expected. They aren’t even the answers they expected. And that’s what makes this report so refreshing and so useful: answers to questions that aren’t being asked and insightful analysis into the surprising answers. Worth the price of admission. Check it out here.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, John Sumser, Key Interval Research, William tincup