4 Key Steps in Any Successful HRMS Upgrade

Upgrades! While some consider them a necessary evil, others find them a chance to do things better; either way, there is no reason why an upgrade shouldn’t be a success. There are four key steps that any HRMS upgrade should include, make sure that you’re following them too:

1) Obtain Stakeholder and Staff Buy-In

While management may want an upgrade to lower licensing and support contracts, HR users may want an upgrade to obtain new and better functionality and a number of other stakeholder groups will have their own reasons. It’s key with an upgrade that everyone is on board with the strategic direction as an upgrade often requires a similar level of effort and hours as an implementation. Make sure to identify advantages and to tailor your communication to each stakeholder group member.

2) Upgrade Requirements

It’s always good to go through the usual implementation steps of a fit gap review and solution definition. In particular when you know what workarounds that you have in the current system, are any of these addressed in the upgraded version? Are there customizations that you can remove as there is now delivered functionality? Where the current functionality is a good fit and the future upgrade delivers a carbon copy of it, time can be saved by giving these areas minimal review.

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As well, procedures can often evolve from their original roll-out, so this is an opportunity to ensure that your processes in the upgraded system are fit for purpose. If your HR staff have tweaked the way they use the system and data, then it’s time for a review of the business requirements to ensure that the upgrade design is better.

3) Testing and Sign-Off

Just because the front end functionality may look the same to a user that does not mean that the back end processing remains the same. Testing does need to follow the full end-to-end process. In particular, if there have been structural data changes and these need to be thoroughly reviewed from the integration and downstream impact perspective.

4) Training

Training for an upgrade should be twofold: focus on any new functionality or differences, but as well consider it as a refresher for any processes in your main system where confusion or mishaps occur. It doesn’t need to be full HRMS training as in a new system; estimates range from 25-50% of training time is needed, depending on how different the new system is and how much re-training you would like to do on the current system practices.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski