Selling your HRMS project to senior executives - Gaining C-suite commitment

All the pieces are in place for your HRMS project. You’ve done the initial stakeholder mapping and engagement, you know what the different group interests are within the organization, and you have used them to inform the requirements and specification for your future software. You’ve looked into the non-people issues too, such as data quality and security, different deployment options, and the likely impact of the fresh features and functions that a new HRMS is likely to bring to the business. You’ve done the ROI forecasting, looking at how a new HRMS will add tangible and measurable value to the organization’s bottom line (and you’re prepared to be held accountable for these measures). Now what?

A formal business case (or a post-it note on the fridge)

Now it’s time to focus on the C-suite in earnest and gain their formal commitment to the project. And the first step is taking all your research and preparation and laying it out in a formal business case document. Of course, the specific format should be determined by your organizational culture and accepted norms (maybe you submit business cases by email, maybe in the form of a PowerPoint slide deck, maybe you pin them to the fridge door in the staff kitchen) but to help with the content, most business cases will include the following basic sections:

1. Context – the current situation regarding HR technology and data
2. The need for change – why the current situation cannot continue long-term
3. Headline benefits of a new HRMS – a picture of the future
4. Recommended system features – a more detailed rundown of functionality that will meet the organization’s needs (i.e. achieve the “picture of the future”)
5. Financials – likely costs and ROI forecasts
6. Risks – what could go wrong and how such eventualities would be mitigated
7. Proposed project timetable – a timeline for HRMS selection and implementation 8. Conclusion – a summary and request for action/decision

Recommended Reading: HRMS Selection Checklist - Your HRMS project selection companion

In the risk section, consider including the risk of not going ahead with the HRMS project. This can be a compelling lever for approval.

A convincing delivery

Once you have your convincing business case, it must be matched by a convincing delivery, often in the form of a presentation to the Board. One option is to make your presentation of the HRMS project to one or two of the more interested/involved stakeholder groups - this is a good way to test the material and also confirm that you are accurately reflecting their interests (and it continues the process of engagement which will can be invaluable when the project gets the green light).

On a similar principle, in the same way that political lobbying works (though without the bribery and corruption) you may wish to meet with one or two key members of the C-suite to talk through your research and proposals. Again, you’re testing out the material and receiving valuable feedback and an indicator of how your recommendations may be received.

Good luck!

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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