8 Steps for a Successful HCM Implementation

August 2, 2016

Human Capital Management (HCM) systems are critical for an organization to be able to manage employee data, and many organizations opt to use multiple integrated systems. With the ever changing technology, functionality of systems, and new HCM companies popping up, businesses have many options at their fingertips. These companies will sell you a product, with add-ons, and take you through implementation.  In order to get the most out of an HCM system, it’s crucial to understand how to best use employee information and how to prepare for implementation to get it right the first time.

There are many reasons why a company may want to implement a new HCM.  One of the main reasons is to have the option to get everything in one system, which lends itself to better capabilities for reporting and employee development.   The system also allows employees the use of self-service, which will free up HR staff for more important functions.

In order to have a successful implementation, there are things you need to think about:

1. Planning.

This is perhaps the most important step. When you are in the middle of the evaluation, if not before, you should start putting a plan in place.  The plan should include things like – “who are the key stakeholders and how does this implementation affect them.”

Start thinking about who are your SMEs in each area of the business that will be affected by this new system. At this time you should also decide who will be part of the implementation team. Last but not least, define what success looks like for the completed project.

  1. Set realistic expectations.

As you’re gearing up for implementation, have realistic expectations, especially when it comes to milestone timeframes, go live, and the project’s impact on your day-to-day job. Don’t create a timeline for the project that is going to be impossible to meet because you still have your regular job. This will only cause stress for you and your implementation team.

Remember that there is always going to be the Fear of Change.  You will have employees in the company that are resistant to change.  They are going to be the ones who feel like the current system is OK as is, and they will be the loudest critics of the new solution.  Plan to spend a little extra time with these people during training, and get them to be your loudest supporters.

  1. Don’t discount the importance of training.

Another important step in implementation is Training.  Map out what training topics are to be included, and how the training is to be delivered.  During the evaluation process, talk with your vendor to see what training is available, negotiate and add that in to the final contract.  Training can be costly, but the more prepared you are the better.   Training is going to be crucial to your project’s success.

Throughout the project remember to collaborate.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own.  Know when to ask for help and what assistance is needed.  You have an implementation team, so utilize them to the fullest.  They know the company, processes, and the current system and can help point out gaps in the new system’s processes.

4. Leverage your technology.

Think of your new system like you did a brand new toy when you were child.  It’s shiny, new and you want to find out all it can do.  Leverage your new technology, and utilize the new system to fix workarounds you have in your current system.  Review all your business processes/practices for streamlining and changes.  Get rid of the notion that “we’ve always done it this way so it must be working.”  There is always a better and more efficient way!

  1. Scrub your data – and don’t forget to audit.

You know that you are going to be moving to a new system, so during the evaluation process, start cleaning up your data.  You’ve always heard the old saying, “Garbage In/Garbage Out.”  You don’t want to muck up your brand new shiny toy with scratches and scuff marks.

Take this time to look at defining your pay rules.  We all know that every payroll department is doing some things manually or outside the system that they would love to automate.  Explore those options!

You will be converting data from your old system to a new one so make sure to audit, audit, audit, especially during your parallels.  Be sure to define your test scenarios.  For test scenarios, it is suggested to include anything and everything that falls within the lifecycle of an employee.

7. Be honest about updates and mistakes.

An implementation project is a huge undertaking. You have your Executive Sponsors, and Project Managers that will be wanting updates, so be honest with them.  If mistakes are made, don’t try and cover them up.  Own up to the mistakes and fix them.

It’s also important to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle during the stress of the implementation.  During your day-to-day routine, remember to eat lunch, take breaks, workout, and relax.  This will help you in the long run to cope with your stress level during the project.

  1. Be proud of your new system.

Last but not least, be proud of your new system.  It took a lot of work, long hours and dedication and in the end will make things easier for you and the company.

HRchitect is a full-service HCM Technology consulting organization which has partnered with various organizations in multiple industries over the past two decades to serve as a strategic partner during planning, evaluation and implementation. Our experts will work alongside your team to ease the burden and stress of an HCM systems implementation to give you a successful, on-time implementation of your HCM system.  HRchitect also provides optimization assessments of your current system to assure you are getting the most value out of your investment.