The First Step to Getting the Right System

In our last article,(Do you Have the Right Questions - or Do You Want the Right System?), we talked about the need for developing effective and efficient strategies to counter the changing economic landscape when it comes to using, replacing, implementing, and/or upgrading a system that is part of your overhead – namely your HRIS system.  Choosing the right system is more of a matter of search for the right answers – and not knowing really what are the right questions. provides a great start in determining which systems to take into consideration.  This is the ONLY location where hr system comparisons can be made of several systems at the same time.  But which systems should you be taking into consideration?  How should you go about choosing a new system -- or in some cases, your first system?  At first it may appear that the choice(s) is obvious -- or it may appear daunting and confusing.  But is it?

What you need to know before searching or considering a new HR system doesn’t begin where many usually start. The approach to your start is just as important as your final decision as to which system to purchase. Consider the approach to your start a seed – the better the seed, the better the results – everywhere.

We all have beliefs -- whether they are right or wrong -- that have been formed either from our own experiences or the experiences of others.  And those beliefs formulate what we know and what we don't know.  This lends itself to four scenarios about what we do and what we don't know.

There are things -
• You know that you know…
• you know you don’t know..
• you don’t know that you do know
• you don’t know that you don’t know…

The 2nd and 3rd considerations are definitely education and memory issues – we all need to learn something new and we all have had that moment when we realize we have already known something all along. The last consideration, however, is the root cause of project overruns, costly errors, and huge headaches.

There are effective ways to address the last consideration. An educated process is a good start but not enough as an educated process can only uncover the questions you know to ask and have been instructed or think you need to seek. The Achilles heel here - there are still the questions you do not know to ask. Seeking the right answers is not the goal you want – seeking the right questions is where you will get your best results.

Seeking the right answers will only solidify your beliefs and thoughts you already have. To get your best results, your beliefs need to be tested. Seeking the right questions drills into the areas where discernment and experience need to be your tools.

OK – so now what? Where do you seek the right questions? How do you go about seeking the right questions? Who do you turn to if you have more questions being raised than answered? When do you know to stop analyzing and start moving forward? What do you do once you are ready to proceed? 

Follow this series of articles and we will guide you through the process – for starters: developing the right questions, the best way to determine what you need from a system, how to get information from vendors and providers without having their sales department constantly calling you, and much more.

For those seeking the right questions sooner, feel free to contact me at

About the author - Garrett O’Brien has been working with Human Resource software implementations for more than 18 years as an independent consultant throughout the United States.  His strength lies on working with multi-line and/or multi-product implementations where the challenges and demands for maximum effectiveness and streamlined efficiencies are most needed. He is the CEO (and Principal Consultant) for CGServices USA Inc, now located in the greater Boston area and will be expanding into Brazil in 2010. CGServices sponsors a blog that focuses on the HR software industry globally called 'the HRIS world'.  Product specific user groups are sponsored in Yahoo! for ADP and ReportSmith products.  In providing a global view of the HR software industry, several news and discussion groups under the name ‘The HRIS World’ can be found on LinkedIn. You can also follow him on twitter at cgservices_usa and cgservicos_br.