How to create the perfect HRMS demo team

An HRMS demo is not a solo mission, and before you begin inviting vendors to display their wares or designing testing scenarios, you need to decide who should be involved for the best possible outcome (which is, of course, the selection of the perfect software for your business needs).

Which people in which team?

Current industry thinking suggests that the selection process requires a core team, an extended team, and an HRMS demo team. Some people will be members of all three, some not. In a nutshell, the so-called core team is basically the people doing the actual work of selection, including making the final decision, the people who drive the project forward. The extended team is the core team plus the various key stakeholders, representatives of the different parts of the organization that will be affected by the new system; between them, they provide the full range of perspectives that set the business requirements. The demo team consists of the critical people from the other two groups who help assess the shortlisted HRMS systems against the business requirements.

Recommended reading: make the most out of the demo phase using our step-by-step guide to HRMS vendor demonstrations, with advice on demo teams, preparation and more

Schedule well

Not everyone on your HRMS demo team will necessarily be present for the whole demo; it may be that their expertise and input is only required for part of it. But before you worry about the issue of scheduling, first you must select the team. Possible demo team members may include representatives of the following functions:

  • Human Resources (obvious, but true)
  • IT for practical technical advice and oversight
  • Procurement for procedural compliance
  • Finance for budgetary reality
  • Senior management and/or C-suite for strategic value (and possibly for signing off the final decision)

Membership of these teams should ideally be driven by who has the relevant expertise and/or responsibility. However, do bear in mind that in the real world, the question, ‘Who has the time available?’ can be just as influential even if it does result in a compromise.

If budget permits (ask the finance rep) you might also bring in some external help in the form of an HRMS consultant, an objective role with experience of multiple selection and implementation projects who can provide an expertise usually missing in the average organization (if only because you don’t change your HRMS so often).

Don’t forget to delegate

Finally, once you have your team, the HRMS demo process will go smoother if you can agree on an allocation of responsibilities. As with any meeting, appoint a chair to manage the process. If you have multiple scenarios in the final demo script, assign an ‘owner’ for each one. And have a note taker who will record key points, answers, lack of answers, and any issues to be followed up. Apart from the efficiency and clarity that comes from the kind of role allocation, you’ll also present a more efficient image to the vendor, which is no bad thing.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall