Considering that you’ve now chosen a HR system for your company, what's next? Companies make the mistake of thinking that once they’ve compared all the available vendors and have made their decision, the vendor is responsible for the majority if not all of the implementation process, that their work is essentially completed. However, this is an incorrect assumption. As a HR provider, the degree in which the client-side HR department is involved during implementation determines how smooth this transition process is. Below we outline the six major steps in HRMS implementation and how each step requires strong participation from clients.
Set Objectives & Evaluation
The first step to any successful project is to establish clear goals. It is no different when it comes to implementing a new HRMS. This stage of implementation is usually done independently by the client. They will have internal meetings about what the biggest HR related issues they wish the system should address. For example, it could be to reduce human error and increase payroll accuracy, or save time for HR admin officers, or introduce an employee portal to enhance employee experience, or all three. Most importantly, clients should list out which functions are needed and prioritize which functions they most urgently need, as the implementation process will be done according to the client's priorities.
Establish Project Plan
Another important stage in the implementation process is to make sure that both parties understand and are on board with the project plan. This usually happens in a kickoff meeting, where the scope and the implementation plan is reviewed. A communication plan should also be introduced as regards to the platform and the common language between different stakeholders that will be involved.
Both parties must establish a project acceptance criteria, where they list project deliverables that must be met by the HR vendor for the project to be considered complete. This ensures that there is a clear finish line and the implementation cannot drag on for too long while the client keeps making modifications in their requirements.
Assemble Project Team
The client will ideally have a project team set up before the implementation begins. The vendor should enlist a project manager with sufficient seniority, domain knowledge and technical know-how to ensure maximum project success rate. The project team from the client side should consist of representatives of all the stakeholders from different departments that will use the system to support an efficient implementation. For example, a company who purchases an HRMS with the purposes of automating payroll should consult the HR department, and a company looking to install a new attendance/rostering system should consult with the shop manager of their outlets, to ensure the new system isn’t too different and requires too much onboarding time.
The testing phase is a critical stage in HRMS implementation. It involves testing the HRMS software to ensure that it meets the specified requirements and functions as expected before it is deployed in a live environment. There are a few steps for the testing phase to be properly carried out. The most fundamental one is testing individual components or modules of the HRMS software to ensure that they function correctly. If a client has plans to purchase several modules for integration, there needs to be integration testing to ensure they work together as expected.
The most notable test in this phase is user acceptance testing(UAT). This involves testing the HRMS software with end-users to ensure that it meets their needs. To conduct a UAT, vendors work together with the client to develop a set of test scenarios that cover the key functions and features of the HRMS software. There could be two types of scenarios, standard and exceptional, depending on the clients’ needs. An example of a standard scenario would be when the client asks to test monthly payroll calculation, a common practice among most companies. An example of an exceptional test case is when clients ask to test applying annual leave for 2 months, or RSE calculation.
Training needs to be provided to HR users to ensure they are familiar with the system on launch day. User specific training sessions are recommended and should be conducted by HR admins or the HR provider, for example two separate training sessions or employees and managers as they have different purposes with the system. HR officers may need multiple intensive training sessions as they are responsible for the new system setup, adjusting company policies and setting security rights. General employees may only need a single training session, where they are taught how to use the employee self service module to apply leave, claim expense or OT etc.
Clients can usually take training sessions online with apps such as Zoom. However, on-site training is the preferred method. This allows clients to ask any queries they may have and vendors can perform live demonstrations with the system.
It’s important for HR vendors to continue to offer support services to their clients, especially after implementation. Ongoing support is often provided as companies are always implementing new or altering current policies and may need assistance in doing so. There may also be new features developed by the vendor that may benefit the client company. One example is the ability to add vaccination record sheets during Covid-19, to allow employees to update their status.
We have outlined the six most important steps to a successful HRMS implementation. Setting objectives, creating a project plan, assembly of a project team, testing, training, and post implementation. It would benefit companies who are in the midst of implementing a new HR system to be aware of such steps which would help promote a smooth transition, which would make HRMS implementation an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
If you would like to know more about HRMS implementation or are currently in the process of looking for a HRMS for your company, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.