Much like creating a recruitment process, selecting a new performance management tool requires a mapped out process with clear expectations and deadlines. Creating a plan will ensure you stay on track, ask the right questions and select the best possible option for your organization.
Here is a checklist of the 7 steps you must go through to pick the right tool and important considerations to keep in mind throughout the process:
1. Discover your options
Research and make a list of the potential tools you’d like to learn more about. Schedule a first call with each supplier.
2. First contact
This initial conversation is all about discovering whether you’ll be the right fit for each other. As such, it should be focused more on your needs:
Why you would like to change your performance management process
Goals you want to achieve
Potential challenges you could foresee
Having your project brief on hand will be extremely useful for this call.
3. Set up an in-depth call
After this first conversation, it’s time to schedule a second more in-depth call with one of their senior representatives. During this discussion you’ll review best practices and your required capabilities. This is a great time to assess whether this supplier will provide you with the support and expertise you need. Here are some things you should discuss and consider:
Set decision/success criteria - There should be a discussion about how you can achieve your goals with their system, what success will look like and the metrics you can track to ensure you’re on target to reach those goals. The representative should be able to advise you on an effective strategy for calculating and demonstrating ROI to the executive level.
Introduction to customer success - Remember it’s not only a tool you’re buying, but an experienced partnership. More than just expertise on how to use the tool, the customer service representative should be able to provide best practice insights and learnings which can help inform you in your journey.
Project kick off - Discuss what your project kick off should look like (what steps you’ll need to set up) and when an ideal start date would be.
Finally, discuss who the key project decision-makers/stakeholders are and what their expectations will be.
4. Demo each product
The next step is to schedule a time for the representative to give a presentation or demo of the product. It’s essential that you involve your key stakeholders in this call including the project driver and executive level budget holder(s) to gain full buy-in. If your key decision makers can’t join the call, set up a second presentation date for them.
*Important: You will need to let the representative know ahead of time who will be involved in this call and if there are any specific materials/information you would like them to provide.
5. Get a security & privacy audit
Your executive team isn’t the only gatekeeper which needs to sign off on the project. At this point it’s essential to check-in with your legal, IT and/or security team to find out what criteria needs to be satisfied from a security and privacy standpoint in order to get a green light on the project.
6. Receive proposals
Final round vendors present their proposals to you and relevant budget holder(s).
7. Review contract and get approval
This is the time to discuss and get approval from all the relevant stakeholders involved in order to gain strong support and enthusiasm for the new tool. In particular, make sure you get approval for the:
Pricing and financial terms from your budget holder(s)
Master Service Agreement or MSA from your legal team
Having multiple people in the decision-making process can sometimes make it take much longer to come to a final decision. Setting one rigid deadline will help you to lead and direct this process according to a pre-made timeline.
Kick off date
It’s important to already have a project plan in place for implementation of your new tool including promotion, training, testing and kick off. You and your stakeholders may be excited about the new tool, but now it’s time to put your team to work getting people ready and excited about the change themselves. Skip here to read about the steps for creating a successful company roll-out (upcoming).
Whether you decide to follow these steps or create your own process keep these questions in mind:
How much time do you want to spend on research?
When should you start having your first conversations?
When is the deadline for setting up your first demos?
Who is the main point of contact for this project?
Who will be the primary decision-maker(s)?
Which additional materials or information will be required?
What are the next phases in the selection process? Follow-up call? Presentation?
What are the deadlines for the next phases in the process? Who will be involved? What information should the vendor provide?
What are the security and privacy criteria which need to be met?
When will the contract be awarded?
What date would you ideally like to begin using the tool?
Check out how Booking.com works with our Customer Success team to create the best possible performance management process for their environment: