Are you planning an HR Technology project?
The following tips & tricks will help you to get started!
1. Consensus = key
Create a Project Charter and get it approved by every stakeholder with high impact. Describe the reasoning behind the project, your objectives, budget, expected results,… to make sure everyone is on the same page. If needed, create a Business Case(including the cost of the ‘What if we don’t do it’ situation) with tangible and non-tangible benefits.
2. Prepare – prepare – prepare
- Prepare your people: clearly define who needs to be engaged in the project, both in terms of time and skills, including the post-go live phase. All layers of the organization - operational through strategic - should be represented to ensure the necessary buy in and engagement.
- Prepare your processes & data flows: analyze & visualize all your processes (swimlanes, roles, technologies used,….) and list potential roadblocks & missing functionalities. Documented processes shorten the implementation time. Think about your ’to be’ process, this can be an excellent scenario for the demo sessions of the vendors (see step 6). The more you invest in this step of the process, the more you simplify the implementation process later on.
- Prepare your organization: perform a scan of the current context/situation, identify possible roadblocks and/or resistance and define how to handle those situations (absence, IT issues, unions, legislation & privacy issues, ….)
3. List your needs and label them
The needs for the new HR Technology arise from defining your ‘to be’ processes in the previous step. Cluster them by topic(eg. ‘processes’, ‘technical interfaces’, ‘user interface’, ‘reporting’, ‘support’,…) and label them according to their priority(eg. essential – optional – nice to have). This is the basis for a clear RFP and helps you with filtering out the non-compliant vendors.
4. Set the ‘right’ expectations for a cloud solution
Cloud solutions offer many advantages compared to installed base solutions, but they also differ. Make sure to be informed on these differences to prevent any misunderstandings later on. Be aware that - although best practices are incorporated in these solutions - there is a chance you need to adapt your current processes.
5. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Consult ‘colleagues’ at other companies who have experience with a software implementation process: what are their lessons learned, do they have first-hand information about vendor liability,…
6. Select vendors in multiple stages
Are you overwhelmed with the amount of vendors and technologies? There are ways to select a vendor according to your needs. You can send out a standardized questionnaire and RFP (although they’ll hate it, believe me :-)) or you could ask them to provide 2 (and only 2!) slides with why you should choose them. In the next phase, you can then invite them, ask for a (customized) demo etc… Filter down to a few & involve other persons to make the final decision.
7. Be aware of the desire to answer “Yes”
Be aware of vendors who promise you they can make anything happen: you can be sure there will be a catch in the deal. More trustworthy are vendors who dare to say “it is not a standard functionality” and who indicate realistic alternatives in their conditions. Here your work from steps 1, 2 and 3 comes in handy!
8. Provide good project management tools
Once you have defined the project scope, make sure to surround yourself with tools that help you follow up on the work done versus the budgeted time & effort.
9. Speed up the learning curve
The vendor knows the technology, you know your organizational culture. So get to know each other as soon as the project has started, to prevent “blind spots” during the process. If necessary, engage a business consultant with software knowledge to make the perfect match between those two parties.
10. Don’t underestimate the impact of change for others
Once you are fully engaged in the project & the technology, don’t forget that the change is huge for parties that are not involved from the start (employees, managers,…). Provide a proper change plan, including both internal communication & training. Engage a Change manager, because it can quickly become a fulltime job. A perfectly configured technology is likely to fail when it is not accompanied by the necessary user support.
Want to know more on how to handle your HR Technology project? Subscribe for our Kluwer formation in November.
We’re more than happy to guide you from business case to implementation based on our hands-on experience with customers!
Author:Adelheid Vanhecke, Senior HR Business Consultant
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