A Successful Support Model – Part 2: Meat and Potatoes

November 16, 2015

Written by: Julia Hatton

Establishing a support model for your new Human Capital Management (HCM)  system that ensures quick assistance to your end users and minimal disruption is a key part of an implementation project’s overall success. In my prior post, A Successful Support Model – Part 1: A Phased Approach, I suggested thinking of support in terms of initial and ongoing. Now let’s explore the meat and potatoes of your support model by covering what it should include and some examples of successful support methods.

Designing Your Support Model

Some of the questions a comprehensive support model should address are:

  • What are the levels of severity or criticality that will be used to prioritize issues and how will these impact expected response time and resolution? What are the escalation points?
  • Where will documentation on the system design, processes, FAQs, etc. be stored? Who will be responsible for keeping this information updated as the system evolves? How will you ensure the appropriate people have access to documentation and can find it easily?
  • As new end users join your company, how will they be educated and what will they need to know to quickly get up to speed in the system? Who is responsible for ensuring this happens?
  • Under what circumstances should you contact the vendor for support? Who is authorized to do so? What are the expected turnaround times from the vendor?
  • How does the vendor release product updates and new functionality? How frequently do these updates occur?
  • How will you track and prioritize requests for enhancements and changes to the system (both internal and vendor updates)? Who will govern these requests?

Methods of Support

When establishing avenues for users to request help, consider a variety of options. Narrow the list to those best suited to your company and corporate culture. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • FAQs, training materials, and quick reference guides that can be easily accessed at any time. Users are often willing to figure things out themselves if you point them in the right direction to find quick answers.
  • Do you have an existing ticketing system that employees already use for other types of support? If so, can your new system be supported using this method as well? If so, make sure those who monitor the ticketing queue are provided with clear instructions and an updated knowledge base on how to support or triage tickets for your system.
  • Create a group e-mail list to send support requests. Your system expert(s) are the recipients and as messages are received, they respond or redirect as needed. For example, for a Talent Acquisition System, the e-mail list might be for recruiters who are directly impacted when issues arise. Giving them the option of e-mailing the experts who can provide quick assistance may ease some of their anxiety in the new system.
  • Walk-in support, or a “war room” is obviously not something you would want to provide long-term. However, for initial support, especially for a large number of users in one location and/or complex processes, a room manned with system experts, who can provide instant assistance, may be worthwhile. A variation of this approach is to offer a dedicated phone number or open conference line that users at any location may dial into throughout the day for immediate support.

Whatever methods you choose, reliable support will go a long way in user satisfaction and system stability. Remember that, like most things today, your support model should not be etched in stone. Your system, processes, technology, and users will evolve. Revisit and revise your support model accordingly.


Julia Hatton

About Julia Hatton

Julia has over 16 years of experience in Human Resources. As a Senior Consultant with HRchitect, her integrity, passion and commitment to excellence make her a bright star in the ever-evolving world of HCM technology. Julia has helped companies on both domestic and global implementations from small to enterprise-scale.