It happens all the time, and has happened for years. When a customer is evaluating new HR/Payroll software they ask questions in terms of how they do things today. In today's terms. Will the new software allow us to do 'x' in process 'y'? Maybe because the current software platform had to be customized to do 'x' and we want to make sure the new software can do that too. Or, maybe because that is all we know to ask, to frame questions in terms of what the current system does. Regardless, that approach misses a lot of opportunity.
Think big. We've always done 'x' in process 'y'... can we stop doing 'x' with the new software? Can we redesign the process and eliminate 'x'? Can we streamline process 'y' to the point where we can enable it via self-service and completely take that work out of HR/Payroll? Ask the big questions! Incremental improvement is fine after go-live - during evaluations and project formation we need to go for transformational change.
There often are more than a few people int he organization, including stakeholders and steering committee members, who have a vested interest in not changing so radically. Maybe they are risk averse, maybe they stand to lose significant staff or scope, and maybe they fear losing visibility to a process. There can be all sorts of reasons. Try tying your big questions to overall corporate goals or strategies. Cost reduction? Moving a process to self-service frees up FTE's in the HR service center. Employee engagement? Making a process mobile-enabled will increase the amount of time employees spend engaging with company resources. Identify those higher goals and strategies and tie your proposal on to them.
Sure, it takes work; and sure, you won't succeed in every area. But if you never shoot, you never score. Take a shot at the big questions.