Saturday, February 6, 2010

Workforce Planning & Modeling Solutions --- approaching “white hot”

As someone who has waited a long time for HCM solution vendors to collaborate with customers around developing standard workforce planning models and process definitions … since not having those meant solutions couldn’t be somewhat commoditized/sold profitably … I think Workforce Planning & Modeling Solutions as an HCM market category now shows signs of approaching “white hot.”

In just the last 30 days, you have Human Concepts bringing in former PeopleSoft and SAP product strategy exec Hanif Ismail as Chief Strategy and Products Officer; and then this week’s announcement of Success Factors acquiring Inform. In bringing in Hanif, Human Concepts gets a proven leader and innovator in the HCM solutions space, someone who will galvanize a team and company around “winning ideas” – and someone I also worked quite closely with at both PeopleSoft and Swiss Bank Corp … so I think I’m in a good position to offer those comments.

Human Concepts is now clearly poised to break out way beyond their org charting heritage, and indications of that began with their acquisition of Optimize (including Transition Manager) from Taleo, a suite of workforce modeling capabilities originally built by People Business Network.

In acquiring Inform, Success Factors gets a top player in HCM analytics, workforce planning and predictive modeling, with solutions built on a solid foundation of research-driven benchmarks. I don’t know the players at Inform very well at this juncture, but we all know that Lars and his team at SF have an intense, Michael Jordan-like desire to win … a clear sign that Inform brings solid assets and capabilities.

It is also gratifying to see some of the HCM predictive modeling ideas I’ve been playing with over the years starting to get formalized -- and more importantly – productized. Capabilities like predicting key employees who are “retention risks”, or optimizing the pace and magnitude of a workforce reduction without incurring significant business risks, or determining who stays/who goes in a staff redundancy based on a broad set of appropriate data points.

A few suggestions I would offer to solution providers now productizing this exciting but still largely Greenfield area within HCM ..... Don’t stop at a snapshot of employee engagement/retention/ productivity trends (my new “ERP” acronym), show me what factors (singularly or collectively) influence employee “ERP” … in what order … for what job and employee profiles … given what situational or environmental factors or events (i.e., frame scenario-based or event-based analyses).

Moreover, when looking at who stays/who goes in a staff redundancy scenario, consider how the business may be changing (e.g., expanding or contracting certain products or services), and the related implications for which competencies (overt and/or latent) are becoming more or less important over time.

No comments:

Post a Comment