This is one of my favorite areas of consulting, Sierra-Cedar’s proprietary HCM Benchmarking and Strategic HCM Roadmap services. Sierra-Cedar conducts an annual survey of HCM technology and has gathered millions of data points over the last 15 years. The data provides our clients with key information about HCM technology such as, what systems are organizations looking at for the future, what is the average cost and duration of a deployment, the ratio of HR employees to total employees, and best of all, information on leading practices. You can click on this hotspot CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey to the main survey page for more information on the survey, how to participate in the 16th annual survey, and/or you can download copies of the current and past survey whitepapers.
hcm-bench-1Benchmarking: While data/information about HCM technology may be interesting to some, the question is, “What is the value of benchmarking to my organization?” One of Sierra-Cedar’s client services is a unique HCM benchmark study that measures six areas of HCM technology excellence and then compares how the client organization is doing relative to other similar organizations (in size, revenue, industry, number of employees, etc.) and leading organizations (organizations that have deployed best practices and produce superior financial results). The chart on the right provides a quick summary of the value of benchmarking. In short, a benchmark helps to quickly direct attention to areas that may not be working well. Note that an area which doesn’t compare well to peer organizations may require some additional discovery to identify and understand why it’s underperforming.
Strategic Roadmap: Benchmarking an organization is the foundation that I start with when creating a HCM strategic roadmap. We include the organization’s objectives and HR vision as key factors that make each roadmap unique to that organization.  We complete the data gathering phase by conducting executive interviews, workshops and questionnaires. This information is used by our principal consultants to prepare a three year HCM strategic roadmap.
The roadmap provides detailed recommendations regarding which technology to deploy, in what sequence, estimated costs, the value of the technology, dependencies and priorities.  I assign one of four priority levels that start with compliance and end with nice-to-haves to decide what to include in a plan. (We seldom include nice-to-haves in a plan.)  We also identify which area from thehcm-bench-2 Sierra-Cedar HR Maturity Model is being addressed. This model provides a general framework for deploying HCM technology, but sometimes there are good reasons for addressing technology out of this sequence. The next step after completing the strategic plan is implementing it and realizing its value. We provide short-term wins, which as well thought out, logical steps in the long term plan, produce measurable value that builds organizational confidence and yields savings which help justify (and finance) future recommendations.
Summary & Relationship to PS 9.2: If you’re wondering why I’m a little off the PeopleSoft 9.2 topic, it’s because I believe that your ERP system is so foundational to your organization’s success that if it isn’t already part of your three year strategic roadmap, you need to start including it. A well thought out plan that is committed to “paper”, helps communicate your plans throughout the organization and helps secure budget. My clients have told me that their roadmap helps to focus their direction.  They execute from it and know that they’re addressing their long term objectives vs. addressing single objectives that may or may not be part of the best plan for their organization.
Next week I’ll provide information on the pros/cons of hosting your PeopleSoft system.
As always, feel free to contact me at if you have comments or questions.