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4 common mistakes people make when ascent their HR and accounts systems

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Built In

This commodity was originally appear by Built In.

Rapid growth in a startup or small business is both agitative and daunting. Your team’s adeptness to bring a bit of order to the chaos can be the aberration amid ablaze out or finer ascent to become a domiciliary name. You will face decisions about whether to build, borrow, or buy your way to the next level. If your alignment is like my last company, then you want to remain laser-focused on your barter and carrying them a high-quality artefact or service. That’s why we absitively to buy off-the-shelf articles to meet the needs of our back office, and we ended up acquirements a lot of acquaint along the way.

I spent two years coursing through white papers and artefact demos for just about every HR and accounts SaaS tool marketed to early stage startups. We were abolition the laundry and dry charwoman industry through a acceptable analeptic and commitment service. We had raised several rounds of adventure investment, launched several markets, and scaled our team to over 120 people. Our rapidly growing headcount and geographic amplification pushed our beginner-level, “startup friendly” tools to their limits, and it was soon time for us to professionalize our HR and accounts systems.

Although we believed that technology was going to give us a aggressive advantage over our rivals and enable us to scale quickly, we made a lot of mistakes in accomplishing that absent our team and burned key resources, acrid much of our advantage. We implemented an big-ticket HR platform, and anybody hated it, so we aching it before our first annual renewal. We spent way too much money on consultants to help us restructure our affairs only to revert back to the same action we had before. These missteps added up and we were soon spending an disproportionate amount of time exploring new software instead of absorption on our barter and growth.

An old saying observes that “Smart people learn from their own mistakes. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others.” Hopefully, you can learn from my archetype and avoid these four big mistakes when you’re cerebration of ascent your back office.

We let urgent problems crowd out important planning

At first, we were able to get by with some tools that are fairly common among seed-stage startups. As we grew, though, we started to hit the limits of either the system itself or our specific appraisement plans. These urgent fires appropriate quick action, and so we set off to find the best SaaS band-aid for our new problem. Our action was quick but fragmented, and we always seemed to chase just one more affection or tool that would really unlock everything. We had no broader action allegorical our choices other than fixing the actual botheration so we could move on to abolition the next fire.

Solution: First things first: Assess the business’ needs and actuate whether you want to use an all-in-one belvedere or custom-build a suite of SaaS products. If your alignment is complex, and you have specialized needs, you can build an affected Rube Goldberg machine, but only if you deeply analysis and plan first. If the company’s authoritative anatomy is simple and headcount is low, I would acclaim prioritizing artlessness and befitting the budget small. The key here is to not let the urgent get in the way of the important, and bethink to be absolute in assessing your business’ needs. Doing so will anticipate more emergencies over the long term.

We lacked a coherent data strategy

We ancient ourselves a confusing band of innovators taking on an industry that hadn’t adapted in a bearing or more. As such, we believed that acceptance of technology and data-driven controlling was our aggressive advantage. Yet we didn’t have a absolute data action that abundant the types of data we should collect, its sources, or how it would be leveraged to inform decisions. We ended up with software that either didn’t abduction the types of data we needed or couldn’t affix to our business intelligence tools.

Solution: Build your data action as a appropriate subcomponent of your all-embracing business model. At a minimum, your data action should accommodate a abundant description of your KPIs and their basic pieces as well as a agnate data concordance answer the common definition, source, and the use case for the major pieces of data you plan to collect. This should be a living, cross-functional certificate that serves as a advertence for any team that is attractive to add new software. You will also need to accommodate any requirements from the engineering team apropos to APIs, webhooks, and SDKs.

We didn’t have a structured controlling process

We based our decisions on pretty accepted belief like budget, value propositions, and features. Our activity was absolute and deliberative, but our controlling lacked structure. Some people on the team pushed for an all-in-one belvedere while others adopted to cobble calm a custom band-aid out of many apps. Our discussions became anchored on this one facet of the decision, and we accidentally de-emphasized the accent of APIs and integrations. We didn’t stay true to our antecedent business needs assessments and ended up with software that wasn’t doing the job.

Solution: Build an appraisal agenda based on the value you want delivered and be specific. Your appraisal belief should be absorbed to a simple scoring system (1-5 or A-F) for quick comparisons. Next, you need to get artistic and build altered variants of your back office tech stack and then analyze them. Your goal is to build options that are audible based on your scoring system. For instance, you might accent the value of APIs in one course of action admitting budget takes antecedence in another. Once you have three to five options, you should present the choices to a broader group to elicit acknowledgment and ensure you’re not missing a key point. Then the action is as simple as scoring the altered courses of action and selecting the software that scores best.

We didn’t have enough controlling oversight 

We signed a year-long arrangement with a big “all-in-one” HR belvedere that had a massive impact on our engineering, ops, and HR teams. Despite its affiliation into so many areas, the alteration to the new belvedere wasn’t in the top five priorities for any controlling at the company. Anybody had higher priorities within their own anatomic areas, and no one was assigned the albatross to ensure that the accretion and accomplishing were successful. Without that oversight, the roll-out date caught anybody by surprise, so we rushed the rollout of a clunky piece of software that anybody despised. We spent a lot of time and money doing little more than affliction the morale of the company; within months we began analytic for a replacement, but the damage was done.

Solution: Assign an controlling sponsor for any major new system accomplishing and hold them answerable for the selection, integration, and team training for the new software. If the system touches assorted departments like HR, finance, or business intelligence, the amenable controlling needs to put accent on accession requirements from each administration and then making sure the integrations work smoothly.

Final thoughts

Hyper-growth companies are exciting! The connected change and change present an amaranthine stream of challenges and opportunities. Selecting back office technology is often an reconsideration in a hyper-growth company, and that’s understandable. There will come a time to focus on scaling, however, and at that moment a architect or controlling should accent the acknowledged accomplishing of new software. Heed the advice of John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA titles as the head basketball coach at the University of California–Los Angeles:

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Whether you are building, borrowing, or buying back office software to abutment rapid growth, I animate you to take it seriously, invest time in allegory your business needs, and advance focus until the new software is fully chip into your company. You won’t regret analytic this botheration right the first time. I hope these acquaint will allow you to build a plan for ascent your back office software with basal aberration to your aggregation so that you can abide to focus on your customers, products, and growth.

Appear October 19, 2020 — 06:30 UTC

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