Written by Troy Robinson
You already know that HRchitect is a consulting firm that is able to implement most of the HCM systems in the industry today for our clients. You’ve also likely heard that we follow best practices in HCM technology consulting, but what do best practices actually mean?
In HCM technology consulting, best practices are more than a buzz word.
First, following best practices means that every consultant who works on system implementations is certified to implement the system in question. These certification programs are offered by the HCM technology vendor themselves, who also built the system being implemented. When you work with a certified consultant, you know that the consultant has the vendor’s stamp of approval and that the consultant will perform quality work.
For an HRchitect consultant to be certified by a vendor, this means the consultant has undergone many hours of rigorous online or in-person training. These trainings typically include system review, sandbox testing, difficult and stressful examinations, and in some cases, in-person demonstration evaluations. Most vendors whose systems we implement offer refresher training sessions after initial certifications are obtained. These refresher training sessions confirm that your consultant is keeping up with the latest and greatest advances in each vendor’s product releases. All of these best practices for certifications and training are beneficial to HRchitect’s clients, as we’re always well-informed and can provide the most current, and most efficient solutions.
Beyond the best practice of having every consultant working on a project certified on that particular platform, every HCM technology vendor has a set of best practices that we, as implementation partners, are expected and required to follow. Best practices are put into place by the vendor for the greater good, especially with most software today being delivered in a cloud / hosted environment.
Best practices incorporate every element of the project lifecycle: from the very beginning project phases, including the first kickoff meeting with the client, all the way to the final solution delivery (system go-live), to ongoing support. These best practices are compiled from a multitude of lessons learned from the vendor’s and implementation partner’s real-world implementation experiences over time, combined with industry standards.
As such, a vendor’s best practice procedures may change over time as their product changes and future enhancements and new approaches to problem-solving are discovered. Technology vendors requiring implementation partners to follow best practices ensure that the solutions provided by every implementation partner follow the same structure. This also ensures that the client will have a smooth experience transitioning to support from their consulting partner to the vendor, or vice versa.
Below are some examples of best practices that may stand out when working with a consultant and some others that may go unnoticed:
- Standard documentation formatting
- Naming conventions for custom fields or reports
- In-line documentation of code
- Adding comments for every system change
- Unit testing procedures
- Requiring integration data samples early in the project lifecycle
- Required customer training for system-level access
When system implementation firms do not follow a vendor’s best practices guidelines, the first point at which this becomes apparent is usually once the project begins to fail. This leaves the client in a tough situation. The client will start to experience many system headaches from strange system behaviors and inconsistencies, tons of manual workarounds, data issues, and more. It takes time, and usually money, to solve problems that arise from a system implementation that was not done according to best practices.
At HRchitect, many new clients come to us for help after they worked with another firm to implement their system, but best practices weren’t followed, and the client was left with a system-mess to deal with. While we can’t control whether other implementation firms strictly follow best practices for system implementation, we can tell you that our team always will. And, if you’re left in the unfortunate scenario where you need help after another firm implemented your system without following best practices, we’re here to be your ally on that front as well.
Consultants at HRchitect are always going to follow vendor best practices and will guide and direct our clients to observe these rules to the best of their abilities. In rare instances where project limitations cannot support all best practice principals, HRchitect will bridge the gap between the customer and the vendor to provide a solution that is tailored to meet the need of all parties involved.
Following vendor best practices, HRchitect ensures that your system:
- Will be easily supported in future releases.
- Will not cause stress on the hosting server, causing performance issues or server crashes that could also impact other customers hosted in the same cloud environment.
- Will be coded to function in the most efficient and accurate manner possible.
- Costs to your organization and the costs of the vendor remain as low as possible, now and in the future
Vendor best practices are guidelines established in the best interest of the HCM technology vendor, their implementation partners, and their customers – they are way more than a buzz word.
Our expert consulting teams have decades of experience with HCM systems, and we work alongside you every step of the way to ensure your project is a success. Over the past two decades, HRchitect has helped thousands of organizations across the globe align their HCM technology initiatives with business objectives to achieve extraordinary results. HRchitect is a name you can trust, and the one-stop-shop for all your HCM technology needs from strategy, evaluation and selection, implementation, change management, ongoing support, and everything in between.
About Troy Robinson
Troy Robinson is an HCM Integration Engineer with more than 20 years of experience as a software consultant. In his role at HRchitect, he leverages his unique experience as both a consultant and end-user of HCM systems to lead clients through successful workforce management systems implementations.