July 18, 2022 Implementation Support

Why the Time for Implementing a New HCM System is NOW

Whether you call it an HRIS, HRMS, or an HCM system, the fact is that these days no company can afford to ignore the advantages a robust system offers both employer and employee. HCM systems have transformed the way employee data is stored and accessed, improved accuracy and efficiency of payroll, offered transparency into employee performance trends and so much more, which is why implementing a new HCM system is a process nearly every HR and payroll professional will face at some point in their career. Below, the HRIS implementation consultants and payroll professionals at Wise Consulting discuss telltale signs your company might be ready for a new HCM system, as well as actionable steps you can take to ensure your new system gets set up properly to best serve your organization’s unique needs and goals.


Signs You Need a New Human Capital Management (HCM) System


Frustrated with your current HRIS, but lacking insight into what needs to be done to fix it? Based on our experience, these are the most common signs it’s time for a new HCM system:


Too Many Manual Processes

Outdated HCM systems—or worse, traditional pen-and-paper processes—eat up time due to the high amount of manual labor that goes into processing payroll, creating HR documentation, onboarding employees, and more. If you find yourself, or your team, spread too thin due to handling tasks you feel your HCM system should be managing, that’s a sign something is off. Your HCM system should be working for you, not the other way around.


Your System is Inefficient or Outdated

Cloud-based HCM systems are constantly evolving and innovating. Old systems may lack the modern functionality of today’s systems. Features such as HR analytics, robust reporting, automated onboarding training and documentation, self-service functionality, employee engagement tools and much more help leadership teams across the country improve their internal organization, boost employee satisfaction and reach critical business goals. If you’re still working within a system that hasn’t been updated in years, it may be time to implement a new system that can handle modern issues and give you optimal return on investment.


Your System Isn’t Supporting Company Growth

As your company grows and changes, your HCM system should be able to adapt and evolve. One of the biggest challenges we see clients facing is using an HCM system that no longer works for them after a period of rapid growth and/or national or international expansion. Additionally, many organizations have been forced to rethink processes and infrastructure as a result of restructuring and high turnover, which can be especially stressful while struggling to jerry-rig an old HCM system that makes change even more of a challenge. Ultimately, if your system can no longer handle the size of your organization, it’s time to reconsider your options.


When is the Best Time for HCM Implementation?


When it makes sense for your organization. Often this decision comes from on-high, but if you are lucky enough to be the one who chooses when the time is right, keep in mind that when done correctly the process can be much longer than it initially seems it should. Factor in pre-planning analysis as well as post-go-live support when you build your timeline. The duration of an HCM implementation also varies greatly depending on an organization’s size and industry. However, we often see that HCM implementations can take, on average, 4-8 months for a mid-sized company and up to 18 months for a large, international organization. 


In reality, there isn’t a bad time to start an HCM implementation, especially if your organization is in dire need of an upgrade. However, planning ahead to make sure you have a team that is up to the job, or taking steps to find skilled consultants to fill gaps and guide the project with the benefit of software-specific experience, is a must. Understanding that an inexperienced team will need more time or more help—or both—is important when targeting project success. Implementation is always more complex and detailed than it seems like it will be at the outset.


Do Not Skip the Pre-Planning Analysis Phase


Many teams try to save time by skipping past this phase, much to their regret down the road. To achieve a smooth and secure implementation, the pre-planning analysis stage is imperative. In fact, we’d argue that it’s the most crucial part of a successful “Go-Live.” If you have not evaluated what you need in your new system based on what was missing in your last HRIS, and you have not taken time to align company goals with a set-up plan that supports desired outcomes, how can you end up with a system that meets organizational needs? 


So, if your leadership team has been wrestling with the idea of an HRIS transition for a while now, consider this your sign to begin preparations in earnest. Your HR, payroll and IT teams will need to consider and plan for the extra work this will add to their roles for a lengthy time.  Be sure your team has the skills and capacity to take on the planning, preparation and training necessary. Remember to build in time for researching and vetting the right consulting partners to help make sure you get the results you want, on time, from this major project/investment.


Best Practices for Beginning an Implementation


Ready to start planning your implementation journey? We love to hear it! As you take the first steps toward overhauling your internal operations, here are a few quick pieces of advice from our team:


Plan Thoroughly

It bears repeating: a successful HCM implementation starts with the planning stage. The last thing you want to do is have to backtrack because you missed a crucial element. Remember, patience and planning matter during an implementation. It’s why we recommend working with a seasoned, system software certified project manager who has dozens of implementations under their belt and can help you perform analysis that will drive creation of a checklist of priorities that will directly impact how happy you are with your system after “Go-Live.”


Set Yourself Up for Success

Take stock of in-house skills and what percentage of time each key player will need to allocate to this project. Implementation burnout is real – and in the middle of the project is the worst time to lose a knowledgeable team member. Being realistic about project scope, doing your homework, choosing the right system for your company’s needs, engaging experienced professionals, and securing dedicated support to train end-users and troubleshoot issues that crop up post-launch are all elements of the project to consider well before embarking on the implementation journey


Effective Project Management is Critical

Successful HCM system implementation requires attention to detail and the foresight to spot potential obstacles and work to prevent them before they become project-breakers. Decisions need to be made about configuring the system and importing data accurately to ensure the system works the way you want it to. Intensive testing needs to be performed. Change management needs to be considered to foster user adoption. Because of the heavy lifting HR and payroll professionals must do throughout implementation, effective project management and delegation of tasks is critical. The role of project manager should go to someone experienced with the process, or better yet, recruit the help of an experienced Wise Consultant who has seen it all before. Our dedicated team will work as an extension of yours to ensure a smooth and successful implementation with minimal bumps in the road!


Begin Your Implementation Journey with Wise Consulting


The right HCM system that is set up optimally to meet organizational goals and deliver desired results is a key component of long-term business success because it impacts every process and every person in the company. But, implementation is complex and involves much, much more than just following a set of instructions. Approaching the initiative with a project-savvy Wise Consultant who will guide the implementation process from planning to execution is a smart investment.


Interested in learning more about how to begin your HCM system implementation? Contact us today: call 800-654-4550 or email us at HCMHelp@WiseConsulting.com.


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