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We Were Not Believing in Murphy’s Laws UNTIL We Exhibited at Unleash World 2023

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Edward A. Murphy Jr. – an American aerospace engineer – was a genius, and so did his laws.

However, given the overly optimistic nature of his laws, we often found ourselves questioning his principles.

But it was only last week – when we exhibited at Unleash World 2023 and interacted with 100+ HRTech product owners and digital transformation enthusiasts & leaders.

Upon the event’s conclusion, a discerning review of the discussions revealed a notable variance from our initial expectations.

We welcomed this realization, acknowledging the stark contrast between digital landscape expectations and the prevailing reality due to the ever-changing business realm.

And we were happy about it. Because we finally found that Murphy was onto something. His laws conceal valuable insights into HRTech product engineering!

Murphy’s Law #1 – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

In the dynamic world of HRTech product development, we can expect a few surprises along the way.

These surprises might come in the form of not finding the right talent & SMEs, integration complexities, shifts in compliance regulations, scalability bottleneck, performance burnout in legacy system or the occasional unforeseen bug.

While these may temporarily slow down your project timeline and pose hurdles for your go-to-market strategy, the good news is that there are proactive solutions!

Comprehensive planning by SMEs, iterative development, risk assessment, and contingency planning are some of the ways to stay on course.

Murphy’s Law #2 – If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.

Just as Murphy’s Law advises caution in situations where losses can be substantial, it reflects the potential consequences of errors and issues in software development.

To mitigate the risk of major losses, a proactive approach to managing technical debt is crucial in the HRTech software development process.

Introducing a new team can add complexity to this challenge, as they may not be fully aware of the product, its intricacies, and the accumulated technical debt.

Murphy’s Law #3 – Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

HR 5.0 takes center stage, representing a significant shift in the role of HR specialists, powered by AI, and machine learning.

It encourages and helps HR practitioners to allocate their time and efforts toward strategic planning, large-volume talent acquisition, and organizational improvement.

The parallel between Murphy’s Law and HR 5.0 is that, if HR practitioners do not actively embrace the evolving role and responsibilities, situations can potentially deteriorate, and organizations may miss the opportunities presented by technological advancements.

This underscores the essential need for legacy organizations to embark on organization-wide digital transformation endeavors.

Murphy’s Law #4 – You will always find something you’ve lost in the last place you look.

When testing the product, engineers may spend a lot of time looking for issues in the last place they check, resulting in a longer time-to-market.

Solution: Utilize CI/CD pipelines that automate the building and deployment of the product. This allows for continuous testing and early detection of issues, reducing the chances of last-minute surprises.

Other possible solutions are,

  • Feedback Loop
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Cross-Functional Testing Teams
  • Test Automation
  • Test Data Management
  • Time Buffer in Testing

Murphy’s Law #5 – The meal you saved for later will always look better than the one you ate first.

In HRTech product engineering, there may be a tendency to second-guess architectural decisions or technology choices after the product is well into development, which can lead to refactoring and delays.

Here is where a solution architect having deep domain expertise draws a line between designing a tailored, scalable solution architecture and falling into the trap of overcomplicating problems beyond practicality.

Murphy’s Law #6 – The package you’re waiting for will be delivered when you’re not at home, and the one you don’t want will arrive when you are.

Several product owners we met at Unleash World 2023 confessed that they had launched some of the very advanced and useful features but at a very wrong time, impacting ROI and user satisfaction.

Thus, the release of new features or updates must align with user expectations or needs.

Murphy’s Law #7 – The only tool you need is the one you don’t have.

There are literally hundreds of HRTech products, having best-in-class UI/UX, feature set, and architecture but still not able to crack that one thing – integration.

An HRTech product lacking real-time data sync with other products limits its growth possibility and leads to a higher product churn rate.

Custom data mapping, availability of APIs, interoperability, scalability, data privacy, and lack of expertise to build custom integration solutions are what stopping HRTech products from delimiting growth.

Murphy’s Law #8 – Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Confirmation bias can lead to decisions based on biased research, which can negatively impact the choice of technology stack or product architecture.

Thus, let SMEs drive your HRTech product engineering journey!

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