HR Technology Doesn’t Matter To Me

Shouldn’t matter to you either.

Now I know this is an odd thing to hear from someone who just gushed about the great HR Tech conference, and who has more than just a little geek in him.  But I believe there is a very simple order of operation when it comes to developing the HR practice.

People.  Process.  Technology.

In that order, and in that order of importance.

You cannot build your technology strategy until you know the process you are trying to support and improve.  And you can’t effectively implement or improve your processes until you understand the needs of the people who will be using them.

That said, there is a fine line that has to be navigated between understanding your audience and being a slave to their whims.  Vague feelings of concern or the ever present scope creep are your enemy.  You will need to pull out the stick and make command decisions on occasion.  But the technology itself shouldn’t be the driver.

Once you know what your people need, and what the process needs, choosing your technology answer should be relatively easy.  Don’t underestimate it, but don’t be afraid of it, either.


  1. Well said Dwane. Too often we hear “the system can’t do this” or “the system can’t do that.” If we don’t connect with our people first, the rest is mute. As someone who also loves technology, I appreciate more than ever that if we don’t connect with our people, we won’t have anyone left to use it!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jay. The last line also made me think of how often we look at the technology as a way to have LESS people around, which can create an adversarial relationship already. Letting the team help build the solution will also do wonders for adoption rates.

  3. Technology is a tool to meet a need. Far too often some specific technology is chosen as the solution and then companies jam whatever they would want to do into the technology as best as they can. You don’t decide we are going to standardize on hammers and saws. Whatever we have to do should be done using this technology. Oh yeah a saw isn’t a great screwdriver but with a bit of effort it will work…

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