Google “how to cock up a project” and you find hundreds of articles about projects hitting the dust due to poor project management. The outcomes of a recruitment technology project “stuff up” (translated so we don’t appear in too many inappropriate searches) are far reaching and not restricted to:
- Hair loss
- Reduced reputation and reduced trust in the IT department and recruitment leaders
- Lack of trust in technology and the technology providers
- Escalating costs
- Wasted time
- Distraction and disruption
… and what we often see: failure to grow the recruitment business effectively.
Lots of recruiters are updating their recruitment software this year (we are working with some of them). There are obviously a huge number of ways a recruitment technology project might fail but I have picked out a few common ones which staffing companies need to be aware of. I have split them in to 2 streams:
- (Boring) Planning
- People (blog coming soon)
Let’s get Excited about Planning!
“Failure to plan is planning to fail” definitely applies to recruitment software projects!
- Undefined Business Objectives – Without any objectives how can a decision be made on which recruitment CRM is best fit for your business? Ultimately what are the reasons you are updating your recruitment CRM or migrating to another recruitment software product? Get these documented before any selection process begins and you have something to reference against when reviewing the many CRMs. This will help you avoid the features and focus on the benefits
- CRM Selection – Similar to above, investing in a system which does not fit the business requirements and objectives is going to lead to problems from the outset. Making sure the selection process involves upfront requirements gathering from the teams will give you a checklist on which you can base your buying decision.
- Moving Goal Posts – The techie phrase is “scope creep” but essentially it’s the introduction of change not documented at the outset. Whilst change is good as essentially you want the system to function correctly, scope creep can cause delay and cost to the project.
- Planning – We all want to dive into the “doing” of the project – it’s exciting and feels like you’re actually doing something. But without a plan how do you know when the project is due to go live? When resource is needed? Milestones to monitor progress against? Most CRM projects will take months to complete so a detailed plan is essential so everybody involved knows what’s going on. Ultimately, how do you know you’ve succeeded?
- Poor Project Management – As a project manager this is really close to my heart. As the name suggests it is the project manager’s job to manage the project as a whole. Failure to assign a project manager can lead to a number of issues. You need one person managing all of the pieces of the jigsaw and keeping everyone updated of progress risks and issues. Make sure you have a focussed project manager (and an experienced one) who can keep the project moving and not be afraid of having the difficult conversations around the business or with suppliers.
Are you updating your recruitment software? How are you planning to make the project a success and have you spotted that nasty scope creep lurking around every corner?