Monthly Archives: September 2014

Project Management tool for SaaS implementation projects

Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are mainly implemented using Agile Project Implementation Methodologies. As you can get access to your new hosted solution in the Cloud from day 1 when you become a new Client there is no need to wait for weeks before you can start using, configuring or testing your new solution. That’s a very big change compared to the on-premise solutions.

Configuring and testing is much easier as well than what we have seen on on-premise solutions. This means that we can engage the project team and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) into Design workshops in which we simply change some options and can quickly demonstrate the effects of this changes.This is not always true for all Design changes but the intent is to perform such interactive changes.

SaaS implementation changes: Prototyping + Collaboration

For SaaS solutions we will Design so-called Prototypes and iteratively do 3 Prototypes. Each changes that requires some more configuration time and effort will be done after the workshops.

Agile Methodology is the best option for managing Iterative integration projects.

This said, we cannot afford a project to not deliver on time and with expected scope and quality. It is still required (and even more then with on-premise solutions) to build a project plan with activities, tasks, assignees, dates, dependencies, costs…

But the big change here is linked to the iterations. Usually you build a Prototype “0” with some very high levels options and 3 series of workshop which deliver the work product which include the requirements and changes gathered and agreed within the workshop.

The initial Blueprint is lighter than what we were accustomed with the on-premise solutions. Changes after the SaaS Blueprint or Design document will be gathered in a Design Changes Document (DCD) usually a list of changes and decisions maintained in Excel.

Another big change in SaaS implementation is linked to the fact the end user always have the capability to follow-up and test the progress of its configuration in between the 3 series of Prototypes.

In other words you can easily collaborate with all team members and therefore co-construct your final solution.

Traditional vs. Agile implementation methodology

I think the best way to present you the differences between the traditional (or the so-called Waterfall approach) and the iterative Agile approach is to use 2 schematics:

The Waterfall approach

traditional-waterfall-development 3

The iterative Agile approach

scrum-iteration-detail 2Agile approach allows to start configuring earlier than Waterfall approach. So rather than delivering a huge change at the end of the project Agile iterative upgrades and avoid the “Technical debt“:

Compare waterfall to agile

So what does this mean from a Project Management point of view?

Building 3 Prototypes from a light Design Document in a collaborative organization means that you don’t know in advance all the Design Changes that will be required and therefore it is impossible to list all details tasks in advance and estimate the effort required.

Being a Project Manager my first reaction would be: THIS IS HIGH RISK!

But here is where a new approach of Project Management Methodology needs to be introduced. This is the case with LiquidPlanner PM tool.

I won’t explain here all the benefits of using this tool but just focus on 2 features.

LiquidPlanner: Estimating in Ranges

The set of ranged estimates in your project provides the data LiquidPlanner uses to statistically determine all of the possible schedule outcomes. This data appears on schedule bars in the Schedule tab.


Estimating in realistic ranges is one of the single best and easiest things you can do to improve your project outcomes.

Ranged estimation will change your team’s perspective on work and scheduling and move conversations from uncomfortable negotiations to open and honest dialogue about requirements and ways to work together constructively to get rid of uncertainty.

LiquidPlanner sees each range as a bell curve and uses it to calculate an expected completion date.


LiquidPlanner: Collaboration

Collaboration 2

Connected conversation threads

All conversations in LiquidPlanner are connected to tasks, because collaboration is more useful in context. Your homepage displays recent conversations grouped by tasks so you can keep up to date with what’s going on with your team.

Seamless file-sharing

You can upload and easily share virtually any type of file in your LiquidPlanner workspace. Photos, documents and PDFs can be uploaded from your hard-drive or popular third-party cloud storage service like Dropbox, Box and Google. Files are always attached to a plan item, meaning less time scouring through email to find what you’re looking for.

Email + calendar integration

Create tasks in seconds by simply sending email to your LiquidPlanner inbox, and reply to comments directly from email (your replies are captured automatically in LiquidPlanner). View tasks in your Outlook or Google calendar to keep on top of commitments and changing priorities.

More information and references:

HCM Big Data in action

In my previous blog “Big Data for HCM?” I started to define Big Data and how it differs from traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools.Here is the 4 pillars you should look for when choosing a Big Data solution:

Big data componentsI also gave some examples about what Big Data technologies could bring to HCM and which kind of new reports becomes available when using Internal & External Data.

But it is always easier to understand with some live demos and videos.

That’s the purpose of this blog: bringing you the most relevant and interesting demos & videos I could find online.

HCM Big Data in action

What is Big Data and how does it work?

This first video is very generic about Big Data. It explains the concept and necessary analytic tools to manipulate data.

Workforce Analytics Delivers Immediate Insights

Demo from Equifax about Workforce analytics.


SAP Lumira for Your HR data — Big and Small

SAP Lumira SP14 – Human Resources

IBM SPSS Predictive analysis for HR

Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (OEID) 3.1 Workforce End-User Demo

Workforce Planning Overview

KRONOS Workforce Analytics – Data Visualization & Exploration

WORKDAY HCM: From Data to Decision. Analyzing Your Global Labor Costs

Cloud Application Vendors

Cloud Applications

Apps Run The Cloud is an internet site where almost all (if not all) Cloud Applications are referenced. They provide frequent surveys such as Cloud Application Vendors revenues and ranking.

This is the link to the home page:

The top 500 Cloud Applications Vendors ranking

This is the link to the survey:

Functional Markets

What applications are provided on the Cloud?500 Cloud Applications by functional area

The Top 10 Cloud Application Vendors

Salesforce, Microsoft and SAP are the top 3 vendors.

Top 10 Cloud Applications

The TOP HCM Application Vendors

Workday is the 1st HCM Cloud Vendor with highest market share within HCM market and second best YoY Growth.



What is Harmocracy?

Harmocracy is a new concept to help organizations and people to create new innovative products, services or processes and successfully achieve their goals. It is not a methodology as such but uses some principles (7 principles) which defines organization rules and people behaviors that are key for change management and reach out the goals.

Harmocracy principles have been defined by using the best practices from several change management methodologies like: AGILE, LEAN…

Obviously Harmocracy combines 2 words: Harmony and the suffixe -cracy.

  • Harmony: The term harmony derives from the Greek ἁρμονία (harmonía), meaning “joint, agreement, concord”, from the verb ἁρμόζω (harmozo), “to fit together, to join”.
  • -cracy: From the Ancient Greek suffix -κρατία (-kratía), from κράτος (krátos, power, rule).

The 7 principles of Harmocracy

This is a representation of the 7 principles (in French):principes-harmocratie

First and very most important principle

The very most important principle is to “Experiment confidence”. This means that a team (members and managers who are called “Mediators”) have to work, interact in a confident relationship mode. Moreover they need to experiment this confident relationship on a daily basis whenever they work together. In order to reach this confidence or trust, it is important to find some quick ways to demonstrate that Mediators are really doing, acting or delivering in accordance with their commitments. Mediators need to communicate what they will do and do what they communicated. Reversely members of the community will also have to demonstrate that we can trust them by delivering tangible facts or results according to their commitments.

Whenever someone delivers what was expected or simply acts in such way to achieve their own goal, it must be noticed and member must be congratulated.

The 6 other principles

  • Self-assessing teams
  • Develop collaborative willingness
  • Free from extraneous thoughts
  • Facilitate creativity
  • Build intuitive organization
  • Promote continuous harmonization

The link to original Harmocracy description can be found here:






Fieldglass: Contingent workers management now on SuccessFactors

What is Fieldglass?

Fieldglass is a solution on the Cloud to help companies and recruiters to manage the entire sourcing process of contingent workers such as independent contractors or more generally Talent Pool.

SAP acquired this solution which will be integrated into SuccessFactors suite.

 Link to Fieldglass official site

Link to SAP acquisition announcement (Forbes)

Fieldglass solution

I have very few information about how the Fieldglass solution is working but found some basic statements on their site. Fieldglass seems to be a marketplace where companies can have access to contingent workers and reverse. Recruiters can manage the selection process and define a Statement of Work (SoW) and source candidates for new projects.

This is the high level process suggested by Fieldglass and visible here:

Vendor Management System (VMS) Fieldglass is also providing some best practices to define whether or not a worker is an independent contractors. You can find the link to the original page here.

Is worker independent contractor

 Why Fieldglass?

Obviously contingent workers are very important for companies as they need temporary resources for new project and very specific skills for a short period of time.

Fieldglass allows to get in contact with contingent workers and reduce risk by selecting the right skills with relevant work experiences.

Fielglass is also providing information about hourly / daily rates.

 Fielglass integration

Fieldglass announces common integrations with the 3 major HCM Cloud based solutions and have function-specific integration capabilities with various 3rd systems:

Fieldglass integrationHere is the link to Fieldglass integration information.

Request additional information

Please don’t hesitate to share any information on Fieldglass especially if you are using this tool. Tell us about the benefits for your company.


Big Data for HCM?

If you are interested in HR innovative solutions especially on the Cloud or currently trying to select a new Cloud HCM solution such as Workday HCM, SuccessFactors or Oracle Fusion, you have surely seen and heard about Big Data. What does it mean? What are the differences with Business Intelligence (BI) solutions? What are the benefits and the usage for Human Capital Management?

I will try in this post to explain in simple words my own understanding and share some relevant links I have found.

What is Big Data?

I have seen many definitions for Big Data and will try to summarize by listing the 7 most important features:

  1. Big Data solutions allow to store and / or access massive amount of data, more then just your own HCM data
  2. You can mix internal HCM data with external sources
  3. External data sources can be structured or unstructured (1)
  4. Data manipulation and reporting is faster then traditional BI solutions (2)
  5. Big Data solutions are always provided with very powerful analytic tools
  6. Big Data solutions on the Cloud don’t need extra infrastructure (3)
  7. Big Data solutions on the Cloud are delivered with many ready-to-use templates and reports

(1) : Structured data usually means that you import external data and map the data model with your own data definition. Unstructured data means that you access external data by using ready-to-use connectors.

(2) : Big Data use innovative solutions to speed access to data and reporting. I have seen 2 technologies being used:

  • In-Memory
  • Hadoop

In-Memory is notably used by SuccessFactors (SAP) thanks to their solution named HANA (“High-Performance Analytic Appliance). More information available on Wikipedia.

Hadoop is an open-source technology used by Workday HCM. More information available on Wikipedia.

(3) : HCM solutions delivered on the Cloud such as SuccessFactors, Workday or Oracle Fusion are hosted by the providers themselves and don’t require any internal (on premise) infrastructure. These solutions are provided in SaaS mode (Software as a Service). Learn more about SaaS on Wikipedia.

Big Data components

Big data components

What are the differences with Business Intelligence (BI) solutions?

Big Data are different from the traditional BI solutions because Big Data are faster (see 4. above), they don’t need traditional ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tools, they can access unstructured external data thanks to connectors (see 3. above). Usually BI tools do not contain ready-to-use HCM templates and reports (see 7. above).

What are the benefits and the usage for Human Capital Management?

I think that the first benefit of Big Data solutions is the capacity of mixing your own internal data with external sources such as:

  • Internal or external Financial data
  • Salary and compensation market data
  • CVs and recruitment data (Job boards and requisitions from competitors…)
  • Social media feeds
  • Economic or business trends (inflation, GDP growth, cost of living by country or town…)

The second benefit is certainly how fast the results can be accessed and rendered. Its allows real time complex data evaluation and even simulation.

The third benefit is surely the huge number of ready-to-use templates and reports provided by the Cloud HCM solutions.

Usage of Big Data for HCM

Here are some ideas about what kind of new reporting you could perform:

  • Market Compensation Comparison
  • Global Payroll Cost Analysis
  • Headcount Analysis (Combine staffing data with
    data from an external recruiting solution to get a clear
    picture of current and planned staffing)
  • Retention Risk and Impact Analysis (Combine Performance data with Social external sites)
  • High Performer Analysis (Combine Performance data with Market Compensation data)…

More information:

Workday Big Data datasheet

SuccessFactors Big data

Oracle Fusion Big Data