Is ICM Software RFP only half complete?
Why do big companies consistently UNDERWEIGHT the importance of the implementation process when they select incentive compensation management (ICM) software?
RFP documents, vendor selection, and contract negotiation are still heavily weighted towards the software features. The implementation project will usually get some attention – but it probably ranks as one criterion out of a dozen or so other criteria in the selection matrix; most of the criteria being software related.
Ask anyone who has worked in the ICM industry – and they will tell you that the implementation methodology combined with the quality of the implementation team (yes – that also includes people on the customer side) is either number ONE or number TWO alongside the software capability.
If it were my budget – I’d make it #1.
Why, because I know a gun team with a slick ICM methodology will always create a working solution. But a crap team with no plan will ALWAYS cause havoc with the best ICM software imaginable.
I know, because I have seen our own product – yes, it is awesome incentive compensation software – implemented exceptionally well on most occasions. But there have been some ‘less than optimal’ projects and outcomes for customers earlier in our journey. The variation in quality wasn’t the product, it was the people and the game plan that made the difference.
And by the way, this is not an Australian only phenomenon. Talking to my colleagues at Canidium (our North American implementation partner) and customers in the USA, it seems that the lack of implementation awareness is equally pronounced in that market. And how is that in 2015 we still hear horror stories of ICM implementations going off the rails despite the selection of products that are bristling with features that are “drag and drop and configurable”?
So, next time you go looking for an ICM solution – I suggest you do the following:
- Make sure you know who will be on the team and their credentials
- Put them through a test.
- Don’t commit to any license fee payments until you have a solution that is working to a demonstrable level (e.g. get one plan set up, get a key data feed working etc).