By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-03-27 Print this article Print

Many elements of the application, such as the appraisal process, are template-based, so companies have the ability to either adapt Enterprise Suite to an existing process or work from templates within the system. As an administrator, we could customize processes from the divisional level, so groups with different goals can use different methods to assess performance.

Enterprise Suite provides a robust set of options for defining employee appraisal methodologies. For example, we could weight assessments across direct and indirect managers, peers, and direct and indirect reports.

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In our test appraisal process, we were able to establish goals and associated initiatives and thresholds that helped track employee development. Initiatives are tasks that fit in the realm of to-do items and can be tracked and managed using dates within the system; thresholds measure progress toward achieving a given goal. Initiatives fit in a broader goal hierarchy. This model allows managers to focus employees on specific tasks, either around training and testing or around gaining experience. Users can set both individual goals and goals that align with companywide initiatives.

Administration in Enterprise Suite is largely wizard-driven, as are most of the user interfaces. We found the system easy to use both as an administrator and a user, although some of the form-based wizards dont balance workloads well across steps.

Long live ...

On the succession planning side, Enterprise Suite tracks information from the standpoint of individual career development, as well as requirements for a given role.

Companies have the ability to create employee profiles based on the criteria of their choosing. During tests, for example, we used a dozen criteria from a template that included current positions, accomplishments, skills, awards, licenses, experience, and previous roles and experiences.

We liked that the system allows users to quantify by date and qualify by level current and previous experience, giving companies a broader view of an employees experience when looking for likely internal candidates for an open position.

Companies can set up succession plans that allow managers to determine the necessary steps and time frame for an employee to develop skills necessary for a new role, as well as rate the relative risk of losing an employee. In addition, when no clear line of succession exists, Enterprise Suite can describe position skills to help HR managers conduct external searches.

Enterprise Suite has a good set of reporting and analytic tools to help companies assess training and manage employee appraisal usage.

The service includes a broad range of packaged reports for tracking employee training metrics and instructor performance, as well as for aggregating employee performance metrics and career and talent tracking reports. All these reports produce printable output, but we were disappointed that only a few of them could be exported to Microsoft Excel. However, companies can build custom reports that can be exported to Excel.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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