Written by Tom LaMarre
The process of implementing a new HCM system can be a daunting and stressful undertaking under normal business conditions. Add a spinoff, separation, or divestiture to the mix, and the disruption in business structure and conditions will add another layer of complexity to your implementation project, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from continuing on with your business critical HR technology system implementation. If your organization, like many others, is currently in the midst of a spinoff/separation you should keep these items on your radar to keep your implementation project on track and address the change in business conditions.
Often at the initiation of the project, there is uncertainty in whether the current decision makers will be moving along to the new business entity or staying behind with the existing company. Left unaddressed, the uncertainty among team members grows as team members search for clarity around who is ultimately going to own the outcomes of the decisions made which impact the project, after the separation/spinoff is complete. For project continuity and team engagement, it is imperative that individuals that are known to be moving on to the new entity, even at non-management levels, are given the freedom and authority to make process and system set-up decisions to ensure buy-in and successful end-user adoption. When autonomy is not addressed early, or at all, the project will stall as team members hold back on making decisions out of fear of being overruled at a later point by someone with formal authority.
It is vital to not only address change management from an overall project management perspective, but in a spinoff/separation, it is essential to account for the impact of the uncertainty on team members due to the overall organizational changes.
There will be team members who are unsure not only where they fit in with the project, but also in the overall organization. Team members will be wondering:
- Am I moving over to the new entity or am I remaining in the old entity?
- If I remain in the old entity, what is the impact of this spinoff to my current role? What if too much of my workload is reassigned to someone in the new entity? Is my job safe?
The normal wariness that comes with a behemoth system implementation and resulting process changes can be enhanced when there is a pending split in the organization. Account for this in your change management strategy, which you should have developed for the implementation project, and for the larger spinoff/separation. Anything that you can do to address/diminish uncertainty, specifically around team member’s roles, will pay dividends in terms of team engagement when the project moves forward.
Take Inventory of Assets
During a normal implementation, there are certain constants that can be taken for granted during a project, such as existing bank accounts, vendor contracts, social media accounts, etc. When a portion of the organization is splitting off, the assets that were previously considered a constant are likely to change. It is crucial early in the project to do a full inventory of all of the “assets” that touch the processes. From there, determinations can be made as far as which organization, the legacy organization or the spinoff, needs to create new assets, and which will maintain existing assets. Throughout a project in this type of environment, the team cannot take for granted that anything is set up. This will help you avoid discovering a missing critical item at the 11th hour and can help you prevent project delays.
While tackling an HCM system implementation during an organizational split can seem extra stressful, it generally allows the spun-off entity a fresh start complete with designing and configuring an HCM system to the entity’s specific needs, while building momentum and excitement for the new business adventure. HRchitect has helped hundreds of organizations with HCM system implementations during and after spin-offs/separations, as well as helping companies determine HR technology strategies and change management strategies for their new and legacy organizations. If you find yourself needing a helping hand in a spinoff/separation business environment, our team is here to help.
Tom has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, and Human Capital Management. He has led implementation teams in hundreds of successful implementation projects as project manager, project advisor, functional consultant, and technical consultant.
Learn more about Tom LaMarre