Figuring out your requirements for a new talent management solution might seem simple enough on the surface-but is often done superficially. Some organizations focus too much on the way things are done today-or the way things have always been done. Not only can this overlook some of the newer approaches to talent, but it can lead to your organization losing competitive advantages when it comes to learning, performance, career planning, and more.
"This is what we need because this is how we've always done it."
I've heard this phrase from more than a few organizations at the beginning of planning phases. But companies don't look for new solutions in order to keep the status quo! A new system must improve on what you have today-and more effectively meet your strategic business requirements. When some stakeholders articulate their business requirements, they sometimes just provide detailed description of what is being done today. To elevate the conversation, ask what critical business needs should be met by a new system. The focus should be on the desired outcome, rather than the current process steps.
The devil is in the details
While you don't want to get bogged down in the current process, there are critical requirements of any process that shouldn't get lost in big picture discussion. In addition to key business requirements, stakeholders should provide any critical activities, benchmarks, or approvals that must occur within that activity. Be prepared to push back on some items to flesh out the business needs behind them; confirm that they are actually critical requirements, not just steps introduced into the current process to address other shortcomings.
Defining requirements for the vendor
When you can present vendors with your strategic business requirements and any critical details prior to the demo, the vendor has the opportunity to showcase how their solution can best meet your needs, without glossing over the details that are critical to your business. You may even see different approaches to meeting your business needs that you might not have thought to ask about. Presenting the right requirements, needs, and business challenges will ensure that you can truly improve how you manage talent.