November 14, 2022 HCM Consulting Support, HCM Support, HCM System Support, HCM Technology

Four Mistakes to Avoid for a Successful HCM System Implementation

HCM implementation is typically a lengthy and complex process. From discovery/pre-planning/analysis to preparing for go-live and change management, getting to the finish line is much easier for organizations when the right preparations and decisions are made before the project gets underway. In other words, the time you invest in planning and analysis before beginning an implementation directly impacts the HCM implementation process and how satisfied your organization will be with the end product.

Here are four mistakes to avoid to ensure your HCM system implementation runs smoothly.

Underestimating the Planning Phase

While it’s tempting to assume you can simply pick up a set of instructions and get started, our consultants typically recommend spending four to six weeks on pre-planning work before diving into new HCM system implementation. Spending time identifying goals and improvements from your old system are critical, as well as carefully selecting your implementation team and planning for change management. This allows organizations to have a better implementation experience and achieve the results they most want. 

It is imperative to discuss unique organizational needs and potential obstacles before the project begins. Who on your team will lead the project? Does the team collectively possess the skills and experience to get the job done right? How should the configuration be set up? Have you built in enough time for testing? What will success look like? How will employee communication and training be accomplished? Asking these questions before you start reduces the chance that unpleasant surprises will pop up down the road.

Thinking You Can Get Implementation Done Quickly

In addition to allocating enough time to plan for your implementation, you will also want to think hard about budgeting enough time for the project itself. Remember that, unless you are in unusual circumstances, your implementation team has a full regular workload to manage during business hours. If your internal team is not HCM implementation experienced and there are no plans to bring in expert help to guide the project and fill resource gaps it is likely that your implementation will take longer than you think it will. Make sure to budget adequate time for research, design, analysis, integration, configuration, testing, training, and adoption.

Not Preparing for Go-Live 

After most of the planning and heavy lifting is done, it’s easy to think that it’s all downhill from there (and in many ways it is), but you’ll want to take time to consider change management/adoption as well as unforeseen challenges after launching your new HCM system. All of the systems in the world can’t make up for a lack of training, poor data integrity, a wary employee population, or flawed processes. Will payroll staff need extra support to troubleshoot unexpected issues during the first few pay cycles? To ensure that your organization reaps full benefit from that shiny new HCM, you’ll also want to take time to consider and plan for essential staff training/support and facilitating a positive end-user experience. 

Failing to Map Out Change Management

Change management is the process of thinking through how end users will be educated about and use the new system and which factors will impact the adoption of the new technology. Are employees’ paychecks going to look different? They should know that. How will current processes be different with the new system? All of that has to be decided and communicated before getting to your ‘go-live’ date. 

The change management process also considers who is responsible for ensuring your system is used to its full potential and how utilization needs will be reviewed over time to support optimal performance over time. Along with updating your software to incorporate new functionality, knowledge about the HCM system should also be continuously shared to avoid brain drain. At most organizations, someone in the HR department will be tasked with running the software, but what if that person goes on vacation or leaves the organization? It is important for multiple people to be trained to ensure that someone maintains subject matter expertise within your organization. Another option is to hire HRIS experts adept and certified in your specific system software to provide consistent, reliable, and top-quality administrative management.

Implementation is a long and complex process, but taking the time to do it correctly, including planning, analyzing, and considering change management can make the difference between having a system that works and having a system that delivers desired results and evolves with the needs of your organization.

Work with a Wise Consultant to Streamline Your Implementation Process

Eager to learn more about how Wise Consulting fits into your HCM system implementation journey? At Wise, we know there is a difference between getting the job done and being truly happy with the software. Our consultants are ready to walk you through the planning process and advise you throughout your entire implementation project. We have a passion for helping organizations meet new system launch deadlines, stay within budget, and achieve optimal system setup.  Contact us today at 1-800-654-4550 or by email at

To learn more about HCM implementation, check out our additional articles on the matter below:

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