4 Planning Errors Set to Make Your HRMS Project Budget Overrun

Do you remember the old adage, ‘you plan your work, and you work your plan?’ An HRMS project budget can cost in the thousands or millions, therefore high quality and detailed budget planning is essential. It’s not always a shoe-in, however. I’ve seen HRMS project budgets easily overrun, here are some common cases where poor planning tends to rear its ugly head.

1) Lack of Costing for Internal HR, IT or Other Project Resources

Many organizations fail to include current staff costs into the budget as their salary is seen as a sunk cost. In a multi-year project, however you may lose permanent staff along the way and when an employee goes out on sick leave or disability, the ‘true cost’ suddenly becomes apparent when a consultant or temp is brought in to replace the missing employee and a budget cost is incurred.

2) Short-Sighted Planning Which Leads to Budget Shortfalls

I’ve seen projects where cost of resources is a strong factor in decision making. Why have a local HRMS consultant when you can have three offshore ones for the same price?

Recommended Reading: HRMS Selection Survival Guide - Ensure Your HRMS Selections Match Your Budget

Many companies are experienced in how to utilize offshore resources and include budget items to this effect as extra oversight is required for remote resources, as well as factoring in project timeline impacts due to time zone differences. If you merely look at the bottom line cost, you’ll miss out on these extras that will later eat into your budget.

3) Disconnect between HR and IT Tasks

A successful HRMS implementation will involve both HR and IT staff, as each brings essential talents to the table. However, this combination needs to be carefully coordinated and managed! For example, I’ve seen plans where configuration decisions are done before requirements are gathered or developers are allocated to start prior to the functional specifications being signed off. When project tasks are not efficiently organized, you run the risk of going over budget as staff can often not make up for such poor timing.

4) Mismatch of Funding for 'Nice to Haves' vs Essentials

I’ve seen many projects that spend budget on team building activities and dinners only to have nothing left by the time the project needs to be creating training materials and training end users on the new HRMS. While team building can provide good results, it’s important to tightly manage some of these add-ons to ensure that money exists for essentials later on down the road.

HRMS selection and implementation is not an easy process, numerous factors can ultimately make the HRMS project budget overrun, but if you are conscious of these four planning errors then poor planning need not be a contributing factor.

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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