There is far too often a sense of extreme urgency when initiating the implementation of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Payroll systems. This rushed timeline could be due to business drivers, corporate goals, or simply the excitement to initiate the effort. While it is important to have a defined project timeline, and go-live target date as a component of your project plan, it is important not to rush the amount of time or attention given to critical steps in your system implementation project. Whether the rushed timeline is merited or not, it sets the tone for the project lifecycle that the team is about to embark on. Simply put, if you take the time to slow down during essential phases of your implementation project, you’ll find that the project overall will move much faster and more efficiently.
It is not uncommon to hear people state that they simply “don’t have the time to do this” when referring to critical meetings or steps in the project. Notably, I’ve seen this most often in reference to the requirements gathering process and associated course work/end user training that is tied to a new software platform. Meanwhile, these are probably the most critical steps in an implementation, other than testing.
I remember hearing someone once say that, “We’re lost, but we are making good time!”. This is the same as not properly gathering your requirements and initiating configuration of the system. Sure, you may be ahead of your project schedule, but your requirements (destination) hasn’t been properly defined so the timeline is all for naught once you’ve gone live with a system that doesn’t meet your organization’s needs.
The same applies to education and training, if there are courses offered related to the software that you are implementing, take advantage of these and make the time to inform yourself. This will help you understand the functionalities of a given system, and how they blend with your requirements. It will allow you to make business level decisions about processes that will work with the system, rather than against it. Training gives you knowledge, which in itself fosters confidence. The combination of the two are in essence the bricks and mortar for the foundation of your software solution. This will enable your team to go into the testing phase, and eventual go live with the knowledge that the system is a true reflection of your business needs and that you have properly integrated the different stakeholder’s needs. This will also allow for legitimate and honest championing of the solution, increasing the success of end user buy in. It will make sure that you make the most of the investment that is being made by your organization, demonstrating the positive return on investment (ROI) that your executives need to see.
Take the time to gather and understand your requirements and educate yourself as to how the system will support them. This will in turn allow for a smoother and faster latter half of the implementation and increase the likelihood of success.
As a full service strategic consulting firm, HRchitect can help your organization with the creation of a Human Capital Management technology strategy, evaluating technology to select the correct system, and assist with Change and Project Management. We can also assist with your system implementation and provide optimization services to assure you are getting the full benefit from your current technology.
Written by: Scott McGrail, M.Sc., PMP
Scott is an experienced software implementation Project Manager with strengths in process assessment and change management. When not mapping processes or tracking progress on a Gantt chart, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his family.