Avoiding Implementation Costs That End Up Higher Than Estimates – The Secret Ingredient? Pre-Implementation Planning

February 6, 2018

A Critical Step That Every Organization Should Undertake Before Beginning the Implementation of any Human Capital Management (HCM) System

Written by Matt Lafata

How many times have you had a software vendor or third party implementer provide “concrete” implementation pricing although the vendor has not even scoped the project? There are many factors that need to be considered in an implementation, including resource availability, system integration, training, change management, etc.

If you are getting implementation numbers from vendors or consulting firms without proper scoping, all that does is lead you, the client, to believe it is a good number…but it may potentially come around to bite you later on. And it happens far more than you would expect!

HRchitect has implemented HCM systems for hundreds of companies of all sizes and industries across the globe, and knows that ultimately you may end up paying more in the long run because the vendor or third party firm will nickel and dime you at every opportunity.

I’m not saying this to bash vendors but rather arm you with the information you need to get more accurate implementation numbers from a vendor the first time and avoid having to later clean up a mess, deal with the mistrust aftermath, and keep you from having to find more budget to finish items you thought you were getting in the first place.

Pre-Implementation Planning is a vital process that enables organizations to “hit the ground running” upon the initiation of the implementation of your selected HCM System and will help to ensure meeting your desired system live date. It’s important to note that the decisions made, data gathered and documentation created during the pre-implementation effort would be pertinent to whichever vendor solution that you finally select. Often times these services are delivered during the vendor contract negotiations period. The following are the tasks and deliverables associated with HRchitect’s high-level pre-implementation consulting services, which ultimately ends with a solid implementation roadmap/plan:


  • Definition of implementation project organization, implementation project team, and project scope
  • Definition of project timeline for each implementation phase
  • Definition of project critical success factors and metrics
  • Definition of project constraints and risks along with the creation of a risk mitigation strategy
  • Facilitating development of change management and training plans
  • Definition of pre-implementation data gathering requirements and monitoring of data gathering progress
  • High-level review, analysis and definition of current and future/“to-be” processes
  • High-level definition of system integration requirements


Regardless of what vendor you have chosen, or what kind of HCM module you are implementing, please do yourself a favor and talk to HRchitect about pre-implementation planning. It’s one of our many “packaged” services that help to ensure a successful implementation to make you look like a hero within your organization. HRchitect is widely considered one of the best strategic technology consulting firms and your best insurance policy for success with any HCM project. Our services span from helping organizations create HCM technology strategic plans, evaluation and selection services for new or replacement systems, change management, implementation services, and ongoing support.


About Matt Lafata

Matt Lafata





Matt has over 25 years in the HR technology industry and has been with HRchitect since 2004. He currently serves as President and CEO. Read more about Matt here.