Unlimited money?

I colleague asked me an interesting question a few days ago.

“If you had unlimited funds what would you recommend to a medium sized organisation (3000-5000 people) as an HR/Payroll platform where today there are many different tactical tools in place and a trend towards an ERP platform in other portions of the business? Would it be a pure ERP solution or something else?”

I started to think about the different potential solutions. While it would never happen it is interesting to go through the motions of what would your ideal solution be. Being able to describe your solution helps give you an idea as to the steps that could be used in any organisation regardless budget. Such a “vision” can then be used as a framework for all work within the HR/Payroll system space as you know what you would ideally like to see in place.

My answer, while it is very hard to describe a solution in a few words as you are likely to miss very important portions, also having a two or three word motherhood statement gives you nothing concrete to focus on, here is a summary of what I said.

While the organisation has a trend to ERPs, that may not be the right answer for HR/Payroll, there are many different factors that need to be taken into account. While the back office changes are manageable the deployment of employee and management self service has a far greater impact on the organisation and as such you would need to ensure that the ERP vendor’s solution matched the organisational culture, if not then a point solution would be required for this portion. This type of analysis needs to be done in all areas of the organisation to determine the right solution.

I can almost guarantee that even if your solution is a single ERP vendor, implementation will take a while, even with the fast tracked approaches. How long will it take you to deploy to payroll, recruitment, ER, OHS, remuneration, benefits, training and self service to employees? Not to forget knowledge management areas of the business. During this time you will still want to be able to report and consolidate data from different systems. As such a parallel process of data standards should be undertaken. This way an OHS system will have the same location codes as the payroll and you can effectively analysis the information.

Also all employees should be allocated a unique identifier that is permanent. this identifier can then be used in all systems until consolidation (if that is the preferred end result). It also allows effective data inter-change solutions with system such as IT, building security etc.

I think you get the idea. I’m sure I have missed lots of areas, however it is easy to see that such a simple question can have such a diverse and complex answer.

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