HRIS Systems Implementation Tips

During my fifteen years of selling and implementing HRIS software and HRMS software applications, I have been surprised at how much effort HR departments put into selecting the HRMS software or HRMS Payroll software application and how little effort they place on ensuring a successful HRIS software implementation. The tips provided here, if followed, should greatly improve your odds of having a successful implementation.

Work out the HRMS Software or HRMS payroll Implementation Details before Signing the Contract

Verify the Implementer’s Experience – Every implementation expert has to perform their first HRIS software implementation; just don’t let it be you. If it were me, I would not be in their first ten installs and maybe even twenty, if the implementation involves payroll. When it comes to implementing HRIS software and especially HRMS Payroll systems, there is absolutely no substitute for experience. Be sure and find out exactly how much experience the individual has that will be overseeing or performing the engagement.

It’s highly likely that you have checked references on the HRIS or HRMS software, but have you also checked references on the individual who will be performing your implementation? Important questions to ask when following up with these references might include the following:

– Was HRIS or HRMS software implementation project completed on time and within budget?
– Would you use the implementer again?
– How was the implementer at explaining technical issues?
– Were you delivered what was promised?
– How was the HRIS or HRMS software training?

Is Scope Well Defined – This is one of those cases where assuming can cause you lots of problems. Don’t assume what you expect to have done will be completed in the hours allotted for the engagement. Make sure everything you expect to have completed is included in an implementation schedule.

I recommend requiring the company performing the HRMS software implementation, provide you a low to high expected range of time for each phase and for each product option of the engagement. If you have a custom report or interface that needs to be created, make sure it is included in the estimated hours.

Once Work Begins

Be Prepared – This seems obvious but, believe me, this is a constant issue for HRIS software and HRMS software implementation consultants. We told clients exactly what we needed when we arrive for the first day of the engagement and at least a quarter of the time, the client would not be prepared. The problem became so common that we started requiring clients to email or mail us the information we needed on day one before we would even book travel or schedule the trip.

Clear the schedules as much as possible – I hated sitting around during an engagement but sometimes this was unavoidable because the people we needed to meet with, such as I.T. or human resources, were not available while we were on-site. Make sure to let your I.T. staff, or any other departments that may be involved, know when they need to clear their schedules.

Keep Job Focused – This is as much the consultant’s job as it is yours. While on engagements, I frequently had clients ask about additional capabilities or the “oh yeas, can we do this too?” I always handled this situation the same. Let me finish what we have to do and then we can look at available time or extra time, for extra work not included in the original scope. This was not an issue on my projects but one of my consultants had a real challenge with staying focused and was over budget on the majority of his projects.

Track Hours – If the project is a long one, make sure to track the hours worked by the consultant. Believe it or not, very few of the companies I worked with actually did this.

No two HRIS or HRMS software implementation engagements are the same. Some projects are going to exceed budget. It may not be your fault, the implementer’s, or the software. Nothing is definite with computers and software, as we all know; but following the steps offered above should assist with meeting expectations.

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