Client: Global Financial Services Firm
Function: HR Department
Project: Conduct System Selection Process
A leading investment bank recently created a Learning and Development department within Human Resources to recommend training courses, track attendance to all courses especially compliance required courses and manage the billing and invoicing of all training expenses within the investment bank. Because the organization was new, no enterprise wide tools were available to support any of the learning processes. All training registration, attendance and invoicing was maintained in various excel workbooks. Reports were created manually to satisfy the needs of managers and auditors.
The Learning and Development department undertook an internal vendor selection, but it was based solely on the Gartner Magic Quadrants for Learning Management Systems. They selected the top 3 vendors and requested a proposal from each. The proposals were not based on any requirements or needs of the investment bank. This resulted in very expensive proposals that encompassed far more functionality than was unnecessary for the level of maturity of the Learning and Development department. HR Management recognized this and denied their original request for funding; however they did acknowledge the need for an enterprise wide learning management system.
The investment bank still desired to implement a cost-effective enterprise-wide learning management and reporting system. The investment bank intends to leverage the new system to manage its training registration, attendance, compliance and reporting requirements. The new system would assist in handling invoicing and billing. The investment bank also sought to standardize its learning and development processes to support the system implementation.
Intellilink undertook a multi-pronged approach in order to address the investment bank’s challenges, and to maximize the benefit of the new system.
Process Analysis and Functional Requirements Gathering
Intellilink organized a multi-disciplined team led by the VP of HR Finance and Director of Learning and Development. The team included Finance, Compliance, Audit and HR representatives. Intellilink conducted one-on-one interviews to document as-is processes and identify improvement opportunities. Intellilink used findings from the interviews and its subject matter expertise to develop functional requirements for the proposed system. The objective was to gather functional requirements that captured the needs of all parties involved in Learning and Development.
The team researched vendors whose solutions could handle specific Learning and Development processes as well as standard learning management activities. Intellilink investigated a host of vendors including small industry players, mid-range providers, and large enterprise vendors. Intellilink prepared a Request for Proposal which included a qualitative evaluation, functional requirements matrix, and cost evaluation.
Short List Selection
Intellilink issued the RFP to seven vendors; five enterprise solutions, and four niche learning management system focused vendors. Using the responses to the RFP and follow up discussions with each of the vendors, the team selected three vendors to continue into the detailed functional and technical evaluation phase.
Intellilink developed detailed demonstration scripts (use cases) based on learning and development processes. To enable rigorous comparison of the vendors, each vendor was supplied with sample data to be used when executing the scripts. Additionally, the vendors conducted several walkthroughs with the team to ensure that they fully understood the scripts and the expected results for each business scenario. The vendors then configured their package in order to demonstrate their fit with the business processes. Vendors then presented their solution to a cross-functional team representing each of the key functional departments. Based on how well each of the vendors met the desired business process, the short list was rated from a functional perspective.
Due diligence was then conducted from a technical perspective. These criteria included the ability to integrate with the client’s existing systems, technology platform, performance & scalability, security, configuration & customization, technical skills required to support the application, and ease of maintenance & upgrades.
The final recommendation was developed using the results of the functional & technical evaluation. In addition, the vendor’s financial stability, results from customer reference calls, intended product roadmap and fit with the organization was taken into consideration.