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The HR Leader’s Ultimate Guide to Selecting Organizational Design Software

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Intro – What You’ll Learn 

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the top priority for organizations is building responsiveness and resilience. Achieving this means ensuring that resources, operations, and processes can swiftly adapt to the challenges of the unknown. Organizational design, once reserved for major transformations, has now become an integral part of business strategy due to increased competitive pressures, technological advancements, and automation. 48% of HR leaders have org design and change management as a top HR priority for their organization. 60% of organizations have redesigned themselves within the past two years, while another 25% had done so three or more years ago. 

As businesses strive for operational excellence and transformation, the complexity of organizational structures is on the rise. Traditional organograms, scribbled on pieces of paper, and manual tracking of metrics and KPIs no longer suffice. Modern organizations require data-driven insights and agile alignment. Only 40% of senior leaders seek out HR data when making business decisions. The volume of data and metrics available for HR to report on has increased exponentially. Only 21% of HR leaders believe their organizations are effective at using talent data to shape talent acquisition and recruiting strategies, improve employee engagement and inform other business decisions. 

So, how can you stay ahead of constant transformations while fostering collaboration among stakeholders? The answer lies in technology that simplifies and supports your journey. But selecting the right organizational design software for your teams’ needs can be challenging. What should this software look like? 

The best org design software empowers you to foster collaboration and build expertise internally, enabling you to own the entire process from strategy to execution. It offers agile and flexible organizational chart software and visualization tools and provides real-time visibility into your global workforce via ad-hoc or out-of-the-box reports and dashboards. It enables you to design your optional future organizational structure while predicting the impact on your key metrics.  

This guide will assist you in navigating the organizational design software landscape, providing insights into key capabilities, architectural characteristics, and requirements for enterprise organizations to consider when evaluating solutions. It aims to help you select a solution aligned with your current needs and future goals, ensuring a smooth journey without surprises.  

Inside, you'll find a comprehensive list of capabilities, discussion points for internal and external stakeholders, and an RFP vendor selection scorecard with weighted evaluation criteria. Let’s get started! 

Step 1: Defining Your Organizational Design Software Needs

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First and foremost, prior to any google searches, conversations between peers at other organizations, or chats with solution providers, you need to collect internal feedback to understand what your organization and your team needs. This will help you easily communicate your challenges and requirements to the vendors so you can get the most out of your meetings with them. 

Here are five questions and examples to help you assess your needs and prepare for meaningful discussions. Be creative, dig deep, and raise flags as early as possible to avoid surprises and delays later in the process. This list is not exhaustive, let it inspire you. 

1A - What is the current state of your organizational design practice? 

  1. We work with consultants, and they do it for us. 
  1. We do it internally, using spreadsheets and flowchart tools. 
  1. We have org chart software, but it is outdated and cumbersome. 
  1. We have an organizational design practice, but we do not use any tools. 
  1. Other: _______________________________ 

1B - What are your current challenges? 

  1. We lack flexible org visualization and organizational chart capabilities. 
  1. We have plenty of HR data, but no cohesive way to analyze it. 
  1. We lack the capabilities to make more strategic decisions for our enterprise. 
  1. We have frequent organizational changes and need to manage them better. 
  1. We lack agile organizational design capabilities.  
  1. Other: _______________________________ 

1C - What capabilities do you need? 

  1. Advanced people analytics and reporting (recruitment, termination, succession management, trend, etc.) 
  1. Integrations with our HR systems and ERPs (SAP HCM, SAP SuccessFactors (SFSF), Workday, Oracle, PeopleSoft, etc.) 
  1. Infinite org what-if scenario building and sharing with colleagues. 
  1. HR predictive modeling and analysis. 
  1. ESG, DEI, financial, and executive reporting. 
  1. Intuitive org charts and org visualizations. 
  1. Other: _______________________________ 

1D - Do you have a 3-year, 5-year, 10-year business plan? What kind of events do you foresee coming? 

  1. We plan to close some offices and reassign people. 
  1. We have a merger and acquisition coming up. 
  1. We plan to go through a big transformation project. 
  1. We intend to enter new regions/channels/products. 
  1. We need to flatten our hierarchy to become more agile. 
  1. Other: _______________________________ 

1E - Define the logistics: 

  1. Who are the stakeholders that must be involved in the buying decision? 
  1. Who are the decision makers and who are the influencers? 
  1. What are your timelines? 
  1. What is your budget? 
  1. Other: _______________________________ 

Step 2: 5 Key Elements to Look for in an Organizational Design Software

Now that you've identified your HR pain points and growth requirements, your next step is to choose the right organizational design solution for your enterprise. This can be quite a challenge, especially when you're aiming to meet the expectations of multiple stakeholders, including executives, HR, IT, and the heads of various departments. 

Rest assured, Nakisa is here to support you. We have collaborated with numerous large enterprises, each dealing with complex organizational structures and HR processes, to implement efficient org design, org visualization, and people analytics solutions. As a result, we have created our trusted RFP vendor scorecard. This scorecard will help you identify key HR software features such as people analytics, succession planning, organizational design, organizational chart, employee benefits administration, and workforce analytics. 

In addition to these essential features, below are the top five software features from our scorecard that Nakisa considers particularly noteworthy. These features will serve as valuable guidelines to assist you in selecting the most suitable HR software for your organization. 

2A – Organizational Chart and Visualization: Look for a solution that includes an organizational chart software offering intuitive org charts and visualizations of your organizational structure, including lines of business, demographics, geography, tenure, team structures, functions, reporting relationships, span of control, vacancies, salaries, and more. Additionally, ensure the software allows you to segregate data by multiple criteria, apply smart filters, and view complex reporting structures, including matrix organizational charts and dotted lines. Clear and engaging visuals simplify decision-making and enhance your understanding of your organization's intricacies. 

2B – People Analytics and HR Insights: The software should go beyond being a mere data repository; it should serve as a source of actionable insights. Look for an org design software that provides both out-of-the-box and ad-hoc reports and dashboards covering critical HR initiatives like ESG, DEI, financials, as well as people analytics, workforce analytics, recruitment, termination, succession planning and management, trend charts, and more. Additionally, ensure the software provides predictive analytics – they are invaluable, unveil trends, anticipate challenges, and empower you to make well–informed decisions. 

2C - Organizational Design and Workforce Modeling: Opt for software that functions as a virtual design laboratory. It should offer unlimited org what-if scenarios and grant you the freedom to experiment with different organizational structures. This includes offering a sandbox for real-time visualization of the potential impact of changes on key HR metrics and the ability to compare outcomes among different scenarios before implementing them. 

2D - Data Management and Integrity: The cornerstone of effective decision-making is accurate data. Your selected software should include robust data management features that maintain the integrity and reliability of the insights it provides. It should empower you to identify areas with data quality issues and fix errors with ease through intuitive pre-configured or customized dashboard layouts. 

2E - Security and Integrations: In the era of interconnectedness, seamless integration with your existing systems is a non-negotiable feature. Opt for software that offers native directional integrations with SAP HCM, SAP SuccessFactors (SFSF), Workday, Oracle, PeopleSoft, etc. Additionally, confirm the software is built on a secure platform with data encryption, role-based access control, and audit capabilities to comply with compliance requirements, including SOC 1 Type II & SOC 2 Type II, FIPS 140-2, GDPR, ITGC, ensuring your organization's sensitive information remains shielded.  

These five essential features are indispensable for a comprehensive organizational design software. We encourage you to download our RFP vendor scorecard to gain a more granular understanding of all the features we recommend. 

Step 3: Selecting the Right Organizational Design Software

Choosing the right organizational design software is a big task, but with the insights from this guide, you're well-prepared to make a smart choice. Remember, it's not just about features. The process of acquiring the right software entails a holistic approach that considers several critical factors: 

Long-Term Value and Innovation: The software you select should not only meet present requirements but also evolve to tackle future challenges. 

Pricing Transparency: Scrutinize not only the initial costs but also the long-term expenses, encompassing training, support, and upgrades. 

Enablement and Support: Select a vendor that offers extensive training programs and comprehensive support services to empower your team to fully harness the software's capabilities.  

Product Resources and Demos: it is highly recommended to explore the vendor’s provided resources in more depth. Take the time to delve into their case studies, solution briefs, eBooks, and product demos. These valuable resources offer insights into the vendor’s expertise, successful implementations, and the value they bring to their customers. 

Happy Shopping! 

Discover Nakisa HR Suite Software 

Nakisa HR Suite is a set of cloud-native organizational chart, organizational design, and HR analytics software to visualize, analyze, and realign your organizational structure. Large enterprises throughout the world rely on Nakisa while performing strategic workforce realignment. They benefit from powerful org charts, advanced dashboards, and configurable reports, and enhanced simulation and modeling capabilities for org design.    

Nakisa allows you to connect multiple isolated data sources and gather all the HR information in one centralized place. Besides high API connectivity, we offer native bidirectional ERP integrations to SAP HCM, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Oracle, and PeopleSoft with writeback capabilities. Better data consistency means less time spent on data verification. Once your data is centralized in Nakisa, you can easily visualize it in org charts and create dozens of out-of-the-box reports.   

Nakisa HR Suite consists of three modules: The OrgInsight and OrgChart module ensures organizational structure visualization and advanced workforce analytics. The OrgDesign module helps enterprises reshape organization structure during business transformations (mergers, acquisitions, integrations, or divestitures). The OrgAI module lets you go beyond current trends and predict what happens in the future. It detects patterns in your HR trends and proactively addresses risks and opportunities.  

Nakisa HR Suite is built on Nakisa Cloud Platform which is a cloud-native platform for enterprises. It uses microservices and the latest cloud computing technologies such as Kafka, Kubernetes, Elasticsearch, Keycloak, and more. All these innovative technologies ensure Nakisa’s scalability, security, and regular updates:  

● Scalability: designed for large enterprises, Nakisa can easily handle large amounts of data. Based on microservices, it can scale up to your business needs in seconds.  

● An uptime SLA of 99.5%: Nakisa is a failure-tolerant and self-healing system that maintains an uptime availability of 99.5%.  

● Privacy and Security: Single Sign-On, SOC 1 Type II, SOC 2 Type II, GDPR-ready, IT General Control – we take your security seriously. 

● Regular Updates: Unlike other on-prem or cloud-based solutions, we have regular updates every 6-8 weeks and 2 major releases per year. 

● Top-notch Customer Support: Nakisa provides all clients with top-notch 24/7 customer support, dedicated account managers, and onboarding & training. 

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