Written by: Matt Lafata
Why Use a Strategic Consulting Firm For Your Implementation?
The HRchitect Approach to Successful HCM Implementations
We get this question a lot, as doesn’t the HCM technology vendor know their application better? Did you know that HRchitect, as a certified implementation partner, completes a rigorous training certification that may not necessarily be required by internal vendor resources? Additionally – we are strategic consultants, not just implementers, and yes, there is a HUGE difference.
Most vendors and system implementation firms give you trained “implementers” who expect you to tell them how the system should work and then their only job is to check the boxes, flip the switches, load your data and you are on your own, including figuring out how to communicate with your employees about this new system you just invested in. Where this should be a happy moment in your company, it many times turns to frustration and additional costs.
A consulting firm like HRchitect can also check the boxes and flip the switches but will take your implementation much further. We will ask about project goals, which business processes are most important to you, provide you with options and best practice recommendations to make the best design decisions. And when it comes to communication, HRchitect will help increase the likelihood of user adoption and greater long-term success in your investment.
Some other ways a strategic consulting partner like HRchitect provides you an advantage over vendor resources and other implementation firms:
- An independent viewpoint. A major advantage of using HRchitect is because we are NOT the software vendor. We bring objectivity and are detached from the myopic view of your HCM technology vendor.
- Special qualifications. With the vendor, you get an available resource that may or may not be brand new. With HRchitect, you will get an experienced consultant who possesses special knowledge, skills and a variety of other attributes. These consultants reduce project risk and increase probability of a successful implementation.
- Proactive Project Management. HRchitect provides high-touch project management that includes understandable, multi-level progress reporting to team members, sponsors, and stakeholders. We conduct an in-person kickoff meeting to quickly establish team cohesion, rapport, and trust. We use proven methodologies and innovative collaboration tools to keep the project organized, visible and on track. HRchitect has been able to effectively manage implementation projects that have been very challenging from both implementation complexity and demanding client “culture” standpoints.
- Highly Consultative Approach. It’s all about People, Process, and then Technology. Our projects are staffed by seasoned consultants with experience in multiple platforms and industries. We do our homework, lead with best-practice suggestions, and respectfully use our client’s time for true decision making. We know how to effectively collaborate to gather details and suggest reasonable changes.
- Adoption Oriented. HRchitect believes that true adoption is achieved through integration with the broader context, coordination with other initiatives, effective online communication, and thoughtful change management. We provide specialized consulting to ensure optimal use of your chosen platform’s extensive features. We deliver a worry-free testing strategy that identifies key risk areas that must be validated. We deliver a change management strategy tailored to your environment. We identify a set of initial dashboard reports to track your success. An implementation resource from the vendor or other implementation firms will simply be there to simply get the system up and running, many times without taking into account the unique needs of the organization.
So there you have it – the HRchitect difference. While some HCM software vendors are proud of the fact that they do their implementations themselves and don’t use partners, don’t be fooled by this. The fact is that a strategic consulting firm, with experience across multiple platforms and industries will ALWAYS be your best choice for many of the reasons mentioned above.
About Matt Lafata
Matt has over 20 years in the HR industry and has been with HRchitect since 2004. He currently serves as President and the firm’s principle HCM analyst. As one of the industry’s leading analysts on HCM Systems Vendors, Matt studies the marketplace and meets with vendors on a regular basis to stay on top of trends in this industry. Matt has moderated numerous HCM shootouts & panel discussions for vendors & HR organizations. He has also been a featured speaker on HCM solutions and workforce trends at various industry & vendor conferences.
As President & CEO, Matt oversees all aspects of HRchitect’s operations including client success, consulting operations, worldwide sales of HRchitect services, marketing, alliances, finance and corporate development. Matt enjoys working with the HRchitect team and the satisfaction he gets from watching our people grow personally and professionally within the organization, and the positive difference our consulting services make in our clients’ organizations.