5 things your SaaS solution provider is trying to tell you

by bold-lichterman

The preparation of the structuring elements are key factors for the success of a SaaS project (Software-as-a-Service). During the hundreds of HRIS SaaS projects that I have supported as Project Director at a publisher, I was able to observe what works well and what works less well, even compromises a project. These observations have enabled us as a publisher to adapt our deployment methodologies and the advice we give to our clients so that their projects run as smoothly as possible. Often carried away by the project and the deadlines, the client’s HR teams ignore certain advice from their editor, in particular when these do not concern the tool itself, but the way in which the project is approached. I suggest 5 phrases that should not be overlooked if you hear them during your SaaS project; taking them into account can have a very strong influence on the success of your project.

You deviate too much from the standard

Do you know the philosophy of your HRIS solution? Human resources solutions in SaaS mode are generally designed around best practices in their market. Thus, where an American solution favors a performance-based pay model applying a strict budget allocation curve, a European solution will favor a holistic model based on a skills assessment.

Departing too far from the standard in SaaS mode of your publisher will imply the implementation of workarounds that can jeopardize the sustainability of your HR application and its use in the future. Before getting started, it is therefore essential to take into consideration the market of origin of your SaaS solution, its philosophy and the best practices on which this solution was designed.

Your software won’t make people agree

Do you hope to avoid an internal debate by hiding behind a tool? We sometimes think that a HRIS solution will bring everyone in the company together, miraculously, or even worse that it will allow everyone to live in complete disagreement. These projects are doomed to failure before they even begin. There is no project without a policy. It is by taking the time to analyze each population according to its ability to influence and its reluctance to the project that we manage to address difficult points with the right population at the right time.

An HRIS solution will require you to write your business processes in black and white and will highlight any lack of harmonization across your different services and / or sites. While most solutions can assimilate these disparities, you will agree that it is difficult to compare cabbage and carrots. It is essential to consider the level of harmonization that you wish to benefit from. Reporting requirements and global visibility are two keys that will allow you to identify the acceptable level of localization. Of course, it’s best to prepare for it beforehand!

Your process is not mature enough

The projects in SaaS mode follow a sustained pace because the configuration is relatively fast. Since these projects are frequently sold as a package, your supplier hopes to satisfy you after two or three design iterations. To do this, he needs to understand your HR process from the start of the project. But if you present a process whose definition is not clear, your supplier may have to shift the schedule. This delay can affect the appropriation of the application afterwards.

I saw a recruitment solution project take a year late because a common part of this often localized process was not correctly identified upstream, nor validated by the right actors. The maturity of your process is sometimes difficult to measure, especially when it is localized. If in doubt, start with the reporting and then describe the steps in the process.

If your business process is not yet fully defined, you have two solutions: 1 – finalize its definition upstream of your integration project (internally or with the help of a project manager) 2 – build on the process predefined within your SaaS application. This second solution will be more suitable for small structures whose human resources management is in the making. Remember that your supplier has already implemented the same process dozens of times and can offer interesting alternatives to the processes that have been successful with their customers.

Your managers will suffer

To prolong the effect wow of your new HR solution and transform the trial over the long term, your managers must see a real time gain. Even if your application is at the cutting edge of technology and its interface embodies user-friendliness, you will not be able to get your managers on board if they have to assess a hundred skills for each of their employees.

The success of your HR processes depends heavily on the participation of your managers. And it’s hard to change a bad image once it takes hold. It is necessary to integrate one or more managers in the implementation of your HRIS project. These managers will have an ambassadorial role vis-à-vis the organization before and after the launch of the tool.

Since your supplier has already carried out multiple implementation projects, he is familiar with the practices that promote the appropriation of your users. Likewise, he also knows of counter-examples where the over-solicitation of managers has led to a general reluctance. On the other hand, he may not dare to break your dream. Knowing what works well can make a real difference.

You are too greedy

Does your human resources department have a good image internally? When you start a HRIS project, the desire to revolutionize the department and improve its image within the organization in this way is tempting. Motivated by this goal, you want to integrate all the features available to the new application. The functional scope is increasing and no longer makes it possible to calmly approach the project which escapes and becomes uncontrollable! Faced with a possible failure, the image of the human resources that we wanted to treat is already altered.

In order to ensure the success of your project, it is best to start with simple processes. As our Anglo-Saxon comrades say “less is more“. You don’t have to try everything right away, and just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Once you have secured the appropriation by your users, the development of new processes can be considered as a second step. Build a quality relationship with your supplier that will facilitate long-term support.

The best projects in terms of appropriation of a talent management solution are the result of excellent collaboration between the publisher and the client’s change management team. The subject of appropriation must be addressed upstream and throughout the project so that the opening of functionalities embeds managers in a story that creates immediate value.

As you can see, preparation is key to the success of your project to implement an HR solution in SaaS mode and openness to advice from publishers is just as important. The most successful projects are those where the definition of processes, the expectations of the solution, the technical and functional scope, the team structure and the right level of communication have been clearly identified and shared in advance in a transparent manner. Most software vendors have readiness assessment tools to know if you are ready to get started. Ask them! Dare to change the traditional dynamic with your supplier because he is not only an expert of the solution, he is your partner in the implementation strategy of its application within your company.

About the Author


Travis Turnbow is director of international projects at Talentsoft. He has more than 10 years of experience in human resources. Of American origin, Travis has always worked in an international context. He started his career at Airbus as GPEC manager, before joining NorthgateArinso to participate in the construction of the Talent offer in France. Today, he supports the HR teams of all types of companies in the international deployment of the Talentsoft solution.