December 17, 2019 Coronavirus, HCM Consulting Support, Implementation Support

Setting Yourself up for a Smooth HRIS Launch

You’ve taken the plunge and committed to transforming your entire organization by purchasing a shiny new HRIS that has the power to increase employee satisfaction with self-service functionality, improve training and communication, enhance and automate payroll administration, access key analytics and produce incredible reports. Yet, if you don’t get the implementation of this new system done right the first time, it can fall flat, burn through time and money and negatively impact employee perception of HR.

So, how do you set yourself up to rock the implementation process? Prepare, plan and educate yourself about the journey you are about to take. Here, the HRIS Implementation Support team at Wise Consulting details everything you need to know about setting yourself up for a smooth HRIS launch.

Prioritize Project Management

It should be clearly defined who owns the implementation project. If you’re working with consultants, they may provide the project management framework, but someone from your organization will still need to be the go-to internal coordinator for all the moving pieces. If you are implementing in phases, identify the priorities and communicate them to the whole team before you jump in so you tackle the most pressing modules first. This is not a situation in which you can go back and re-start without a lot of pain and regret. Once you pull the trigger, you’re off and running.

Create a Roadmap

Write it all down. Document your plan and make sure each strategic partner in the project has a clear outline of their responsibilities and communication requirements. This map can change course as needed but starting from a clearly delineated plan will undoubtedly keep you on course better than the seat-of-your-pants approach. Chances are strong that each player in this HRIS implementation will still have their regular duties to fulfill–they can’t put their jobs on hold to make room for all the extra work this project will add to their agenda. Since your implementation, like your organization, is unique, there is no master plan you can pick up and blindly follow. You’ll need to figure out how to make the best decisions for your organization and your employees not only for now, but for the future.

Make the Hard Decisions Up Front

Taking time to scrub your data properly, complete required testing or decide how many org levels to set up are not steps that can be done after the fact. Put thought, research and work into it before moving to the next task, because you might not have time to go back and reconsider downstream.

Test, Assess, Re-Test

Once data has been converted to the new HRIS, testing and re-testing the system to catch errors, oversights or major issues is imperative. Identifying the root cause of errors or problems is essential if you want to really fix them. There is no shortcut to assessing the results of the tests, making changes and then testing again to be certain things are working accurately and punctually. Putting in the time upfront gives you a better chance for success at the end. Of course, ‘the end’ can be a moving target. Many new implementations go live with all the priority modules in place as planned, leaving some ancillary but valuable modules and projects to be completed later.

Remember the End-User

You will live, breathe, eat and sleep this project for possibly three months to a year, depending on the size of your organization and the scope of the implementation. But most employees who will be using the system will only see the outcome. An HRIS with self-service features will be a welcome, but new, experience for them. Communication, training and enthusiasm about the new look, feel and features of your employees’ HRIS will be paramount in leading up to your go-live and as you support users once it’s up and running. Having ‘HRIS Ambassadors’ or just friendly experts available–trained staff, expert consultants or vendor reps–during launch and for a week or more after will be helpful in fielding feedback from employees and helping them adjust to the new system with minimal stress and frustration.

Optimization and Analytics

Once your employees have adjusted to the new HRIS, hopefully they will be happier and feel more empowered with the new tools at their fingertips. The same is true for you as the HR professional, but for different reasons. Having new data regarding hiring, retention, performance, and other analytics on your dashboard can be a game-changer when it comes to figuring out how to improve practices, processes and productivity. If you’d like to learn more about analytics, check out our October blog post on the subject. To maximize your investment, performing a system review a few years down the line with the help of an expert consultant can help you make sure you are continuing to optimize the capabilities of your powerful HRIS.

Set Yourself up for Success

Our clients often tell us they underestimated the scope and detail of the project, which is why some of them come to us mid-stream in need of urgent implementation support. Others do their homework and know from before they even select their new HRIS that they will also contract with third party implementation professionals who will provide high caliber guidance and support. Our quality consultants have shepherded dozens of companies through the HRIS implementation process and know just about everything you don’t know about how to get it done right the first time. It’s a good idea to contract with consultants who also have practitioner experience of implementation, like Wise consultants do, with first-hand knowledge of what’s at stake for you professionally and how to steer you clear of pitfalls, making sure your implementation outcomes are optimal.

We have had many clients tell us that having Wise expert consultants by their side as an extension of their implementation team made all the difference in getting it done right the first time. Clients who budget to include consultant partners as part of the new HRIS expense experience a quicker, more successful and less stressful implementation with better outcomes than those who don’t. If you have questions about your upcoming HRIS implementation, don’t wait until you have already started to get information. Contact us today to speak to a Wise implementation specialist about your unique implementation support needs.

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