HRIS Implementation – getting started

Selecting the ‘right’ HRIS for your business takes time and energy.  Unfortunately the journey is only really starting once selection is made.  Let’s break down some of the initial activities you will be involved with.

Contract negotiation

My previous post dealt in detail with contracts and the things to look out for.  However at the outset you have a budget for your HR technology.  This budget may or may not cover the cost for the cloud or onsite HR solution you have selected.  You may have to negotiate on the price, reduce scope or phase delivery of the system so that you control costs over a longer period.

For example, you may want to implement a full suite of HR modules however you don’t have budget this year for all of them – look at the offering and pick the modules which will have the greatest positive impact on your business over the next year.  Remember benefits realization!    Include phasing in the contract with your vendor (some cloud vendors are very flexible in this regard).

Resourcing

While you work with the vendor to agree the £/$/€ take a look at your internal resource requirements.  The vendor will deliver a system however they cannot do it alone.   There is a huge amount of internal work involved to successfully implement a HRIS.  The majority of work does not sit with the vendor – it will be with you and your team.

Look back on the resources you needed to define your business requirements and revisit the business benefits.  Some of these resources will be needed in your project team.  If your organisation is big your project team will need to be more formal and fully assigned to project tasks – get a project manager!

Alongside the Project Sponsor you need

  • Team Lead (decision maker on day to day activities).
  • You need Team Members (doers that will get into the detail and get things done)
  • Subject Matter Experts (guidance/facts/decisions)
  • Plus maybe someone like me 😉

You will need some IT team participation.  HR systems normally need to talk to your existing systems, need to apply the security protocols used within your business and if you are looking for single sign-on there will be work required for both your IT team and the vendor.

Communications and Engagement

HRIS implementations impact every person in your organisation.  Start early and put a plan in place to keep all of your stakeholders informed throughout the life cycle of the implementation.  Communications need to be tailored to your audience. ‘What’s in it for me?’ is a a good starting point for assessment of communication needs for all stakeholders be they CEO, C-suite or staff.

Communications and engagement is a work-stream which will run alongside your implementation life cycle.

Data

In this case the devil really is in the detail!  Time and again HR projects stall due to a lack of data or poor data quality.  Seriously, every HR project I’ve encountered has had a delay of some sort due to data – even when its the first thing on the agenda! Pay particular attention if your current HR system is excel 🙂

Take a serious look at your data.

  • Are you confident that the data is up to date?
  • Are you confident that all the baseline data you need is available? Fields that will be required such as last name, date of birth, national insurance/pps number, department, etc.
  • Do you have an organisation chart?
  • Do all employees besides your CEO have a line manager?
  • Do you have unique identifiers (employee numbers) for each employee?  Not the NI or PPS number!!  Let’s not break any rules.

Data gathering and cleaning is a work-stream which will run alongside your implementation activities and will change based on the decisions you make on your system structures/processes and will tie in as you data load into your new solution.

Let the fun and games begin!!

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