Siloed Tools Cost Organizations Time and Money, Survey Says

Knowledge workers say their teams lose as many as 20 hours a month when they rely on tools that aren’t integrated or centralized across the organization. According to a survey by the resource management firm Planview, relying on multiple solutions is more likely to endanger the outcome of projects undertaken by cross-functional and distributed working groups.

Planview ToolsThat’s an interesting finding to consider as HCM technology experts continue their seemingly-eternal debate over whether organizations should create tailored solutions suites by employing tools from separate vendors, or purchase an all-in-one product that centralizes all of their recruiting, workforce management and core HR functions in one place.

Though Planview’s business spreads across an organization’s functions, its survey findings may resonate with a number of HR and IT professionals who are tasked with putting systems in place in the workaday world where “best practices” are regarded as a luxury.

Tools and Their Bottom-Line Impact

For example, two-thirds of the survey’s respondents said they were managing projects even though they weren’t a project manager by title, certification or training. Because these “accidental project managers” aren’t familiar with PM standards, they’re usually unaware of the best way to assemble a smoothly functioning toolset.

Meanwhile, 80 percent said they collaborate across functions, a 40 percent increase over a previous survey conducted in 2015. Nearly 60 percent are dispersed across locations (double 2015’s 30 percent). The takeaway there: Many managers must address communications challenges that didn’t exist just three years ago.

Planview contends that too many disparate tools hurt team productivity. Teams use an average of six different tools for collaboration, led by email, audio conferencing, web conferencing and spreadsheets. At the same time, 25 percent of respondents use different tools from one another, which leads to miscommunication as their teams essentially talk past each other.

All of this leads to a loss in productivity as teams spend more than 20 hours per month trying to overcome collaboration challenges. Specifically, 54 percent said poor collaboration resulted in missed deadlines, 35 percent saw a reduction in quality and 26 percent said it led to cost overruns. “Delivering new products and services can also be at higher risk when productivity loss results in work needing to be repeated, duplicated or scrapped altogether,” Planview said.

“The modern team is geographically dispersed and often virtual yet continues to heavily rely on spreadsheets and email alone,” said Planview Product Manager Zach McDowell. “Without a centralized source of record for collaboration and work management, teams can lose almost nine weeks each year to ineffective communication.”

Given the number of HR practitioners we know who rely on Excel even when they have new HR technology at hand, we wonder if CHROs and other leaders should analyze—and share—information on how just how much time, effort and money fully embracing the right HCM solution can be.

Image: Planview

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