If you’re part of a People and Culture (or HR, for the traditionalists!) team that is about to embark down the road of implementing a suite of HR technology and can’t answer that question, then now is the time to quickly revisit it. Before it all goes horribly wrong.

How often do organisations start with the solution first, and then never really work their way back to why the solution is needed in the first place? Or if they have done so, the message has never really permeated beyond the confines of the People and Culture (P&C) team? And then we wonder why the project never really got any traction in the business.

Selecting and implementing the right Talent Management System (TMS) to meet your company’s needs can be a daunting and challenging task.   So for those non-techie HR people (like this blogger!), here are seven things you need to know before implementing a TMS.

 1. Understand what a TMS is and the associated jargon This emerging field can be confusing for a typical HR professional with little IT background.  Learn as much as you can as early as possible about what a TMS* is and what the jargon means (SaaS, UAT, SSO anyone?).  This knowledge will ensure that you are better positioned to articulate your company’s TMS requirements, assess vendors’ products and ask pertinent questions to ultimately select the TMS of best fit for your organisation.

 2. First ensure a clear and shared a vision for Talent Management in your company Forget about the software initially – what is your company’s talent management vision?  What processes, tools and behaviours will support achievement of the vision?  Once you have helped create a talent management vision that your company’s key stakeholders (especially senior management) buy in to, you then have the foundations and mandate to find a TMS vendor that will partner with you to help enable achievement of the vision.