Monday, June 6, 2011

HRIS and Change...Hate Them Both

Is there anyone left who doesn't have some sort of Human Resources Information System (HRIS)?  Can't be, right?  Whether it's a large system like Lawson or a flexible tool like People-Trak, many organizations have recognized the need to implement something.  So what does one do if they don't like the tool that's been selected? Throw it away?  Start over and attempt to rejustify the expense? I don't think so.

You Selected the System, Right?
Let me just clarify a few things:
- You researched your options
- You justified the investment
- You brought your team into the process
- You rolled out the new tool
- Now you hate it

Really?  Why?  Are we so caught up in how we want to do everything our way, that we can't adjust to what the system is designed to do?  Won't making changes in our old processes to conform to the system's functionality allow it to do what it was originally designed to do in the first place?  Ah...I said it - changes.  We don't like changes, whether it's our processes or technology, or lives.

How About You
Whether you like your HRIS vendor or not, are you willing to make changes out of your routine to allow the system to do it's job?  You purchased it for what it CAN do, not for what it CAN'T, right? Making changes in your life...well...that's an entirely different matter.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pics courtesy of Data-in-formation and Yah Nutrition


  1. Jay,

    Great points. I've often shared with my clients that they need to work WITHIN the capabilities of their systems and where processes don't align justify why their way of meeting the business need is superior. Unless the gap is related to a regulatory requirement or a competitive advantage, the system-delivered processes should be accepted as-is.

    And let's be brutally honest, what HR practice that is supported by a transactional HRIS is truly a source of competitive differentiation?

  2. I'm with you 100% Bryon. These systems are supposed to change our work lives, not automate (and keep) our inefficient paper processes.

  3. I agree with Bryon as well - it is not often that adherence to a particular administrative process or traditional 'way we do things' that can't be or at least not easily be supported by today's modern HRIS solutions offers true competitive advantage or provides some essential level of increased efficiency or productivity. I have often seen these kinds of struggles as being about power, or the perceived loss of power. Standardizing, streamlining, automating, etc. - these usually involve some obvious or even subtle power shifts in an organization, and those that see themselves on the losing end of these shifts don't usually take them without some struggle. Great post Jay.

  4. Thanks for the comment Steve. I think you've hit the nail on the's all about power. Good stuff Steve!