Implementing any new piece of business software can be a big project. Payroll, timekeeping and HCM directly impact not just your business operations but your employees in both their work lives and home lives. It can be stressful to initiate any change in these processes and as this isn’t something that most people do frequently, it can be hard to know how to approach a project like this. A little proactive thought about the implementation leads to greater peace of mind during the project.
- Engage the right team. It’s important to have team members from across your business. Making sure that you have people who interact with the system, or the data in the system, in different ways provides unique insights. It’s not unusual to come across situations where what the handbook says may not be exactly the way that the policy is currently being administered. If you have representation from a variety of groups early in the implementation process you can discover and address these types of situations early rather than being surprised by them after you go live. When you think about your implementation responsibility, here are some roles that you might want to consider [HCM Team Roles]. Depending on the size and structure of your organization multiple roles may be filed by the same person.
- Be realistic. You have a full-time job already. Implementation of new software will lead to efficiency and process advancements that take time to get right. Make sure that your implementation plan is something that your team can manage. Consider what phases you can break a project down into that might spread out the demands on your team. Also make sure to keep time on your calendar for testing each phase of the project, that’s too important to rush.
- Evaluate your processes. Implementing a new system is in itself a big change but it’s still a good time to consider other changes. Look at the way you do things and how you can do them better. I often tell clients, that just moving a paper process to digital is only the solution if the paper process is a good one. As you are documenting your current processes to be built in your new system, also think about your ideal and how this system can get you there.
- Prepare for the bumps. While everyone hopes that implementations go to exactly according to plan, there will be unexpected things that pop up or situations that didn’t come up in your planning sessions. Make sure your timeline has allowances for surprises and that you and your team members are prepared to be agile to react to them.
- Plan for after. It can be hard when you’re at the start of an implementation to think about anything other than getting the system up and running and being done. The reality is that you will use this system every day and you will never really be done learning about it and making improvements. Build time at the end of your plan to gather feedback from users, document your internal processes with the system and address you long term project list so that you can continue to enhance your HR processes and employee experience.
Implementations are a big undertaking and require planning and forethought. The better prepared you can be the smoother the process will before you and your team.
Here are some implementation roles you may want to consider:
Project Sponsor // Ultimate decision maker, assigns resources and clears obstacles
Project Coordinator // Primary point of communication with your vendor partner and coordinate activity among technical resources
Payroll Resource // Expert on your current payroll processing and reporting needs
Time Keeping Resource // Understands company rules and practices for tracking, approving and reporting time