Selling a Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation project in any business is twice as hard as getting approval for initiatives that come from Operations or Finance. In my career, I have often met clients who had tried on more than one occasion to sell an HR Transformation project and failed. This was frequently due to presenting a weak financial business case too heavily weighted on strategic or intangible benefits.
When competing for dollars against core business projects, the only way the CEO and the CFO will consider replacing HCM systems is if they can see clearly how such a program will provide tangible financial benefits. There are clear building blocks to preparing a compelling business case. It starts with assessing your current state and then defining and creating a vision for your future state. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the process of building a business case for HCM transformation.
Initial Steps for Building a Business Case
Assess the Current State of Systems and Processes
Taking an inventory of systems and the current licensing and support costs will be beneficial later to understand the cost avoidance element when calculating tangible benefits. Similarly, understanding the current processes will help identify efficiencies and task elimination in the future state and help build the story with your real data.
Define the Overall Project Scope
If you have not yet selected your cloud solution and implementation partner, engage with a shortlist of best-fit solution providers and their recommended partners (See: Looking to Transform the Human Experience in your Organization: The First Three Steps). The right partner should be able to understand your current state, know how to map a future state, and advise you on how to approach the change. Make sure in working with partners, that they have mapped out your functional requirements against modules and functionality to obtain accurate rough order of magnitude cost estimates for a scope that matches your expectations.
In addition to defining the overall functional scope, you also must agree on whether the project includes all business units, countries, languages, etc.
Define a Deployment Strategy
Before you can derive implementation costs, it is essential to have defined a high-level deployment strategy. For organizations that have multiple lines of business and or operate in multiple countries, the sequence in which you deploy the HCM solution will greatly impact the implementation costs.
Come Up with a Draft Future Landscape
In doing so, you can see what interfaces are required, and you can include them in your implementation cost estimates. This is important to provide a base for the tangible elements of the return on an HCM transformation investment.
The Next Steps for Building a Cloud HCM Business Case
Assessing your current HCM state and defining your transformation are just the first steps in building a foolproof business case. In the next part of this series, we will look at making things more concrete—from choosing a delivery model that best fits your organization to summarizing costs, risks, and benefits.