Q What are the elements and considerations to ensure a successful HR technology implementation?
A. HR technology is critical to the success
of the modern enterprise, but only if the
solution delivers the benefits the business re
quires. To ensure success, many elements
need to be considered – such as how the so
lution will integrate into the business and how
the business can best use the technology.
When poorly planned, technology imple
mentations can cause ongoing issues, be
costly to manage and make users unhappy.
Project planning includes, at a minimum: the
vision; the project team, including the execu
tive sponsor; project plan, project budget; roll
out plan; issue resolution process; issue log;
and change management request process, as
well as the decision-making process. Be sure
to include decision-making criteria. Don’t just
use cost as the currency for decisions. You
should also include a meeting schedule for
project kick-off meeting, project scope review
and project plan. Holding regular project meet
ings ensures effective communication and
possibly the key to overall success. For a good
methodology on project management have
a look at PRINCE2.
I will assume you have selected an HR
provider who will offer a scoping phase and
map your processes and requirements to the solution, delivering a detailed statement of
work. This will serve as the blueprint of the
solution and the acceptance test document.
This is a very important step and one you must
insist on with any provider of business process
technology. Make sure you dedicate enough
resources to looking at the existing workflow
processes and consider process re-engi
neering. Keep in mind, what works on paper
might not always work online and always look
for opportunities to improve and contribute
to the evolution of your business.
Transferring data to the new HRIS is an
other element that needs to be handled care
fully. The existing data may be either on paper
or Excel or in another system. The best op
tion is to allow the vendor to handle the data
load using a standard import routine or inte
gration, validating, and then allowing you to
check the data.
Most people don’t like change, especially if
the change calls for the acquisition of new skills
by the employee. This is where training comes
in. Perform a training needs analysis so you
can understand your users and their needs.
Be aware of culture and behaviours within
individuals and groups. Break training up into
administrators’, managers’ and employees’
sessions supported by training materials and
a training environment. Develop an ongoing
commitment to change management, com
municating the benefits of the strategy be
cause any project involving automation could
be interpreted as job losses.
Finally we come to testing. This is perhaps the
most intense phase of the implementation and
your last opportunity to identify and resolve
issues before going live. Develop a test plan
with test scripts and identify a group of testers
across all levels of the business. Perform tests
on the configuration, integration, interfaces,
workflows and reports.
A final note to consider is how sophisti
cated your HR process is. If your processes are relatively undefined, and there is mini
mal transactional efficiency, then you might
serve the business best by opting for a “vanil
la” best practice implementation, with mini
mal enhancements. You still get the benefit
of automation without the added headache
of scoping, testing, and enhancements to
processes you are not familiar with, and more
chance of a successful outcome.
By Ari Kopoulos national sales & marketing manager, EmployeeConnect. Email: email@example.com