How to make the switch to a new HRMS as painless as possible

The implementation phase of an HRMS replacement project can be exciting as well as painful. New processes and ways of doing business as well as a different user interface can cause concern for your HR users. How do you make your implementation smooth and easy for the end users? Focus on these areas to ensure that the transition to your new HRMS is as pain free as possible.

Perform process optimization

A new HRMS implementation is a chance to improve the work lives of HR, managers and employees through delivering a system that makes their lives easier or delivers more to them. Process optimization is an essential activity in the design phase. Whether you use internal HR expertise or bring in outside HRMS consultants, intense process review of ‘as is’ processes should occur prior to designing the ‘to be’ state. Are you involving all levels of your HR organization to get an in-depth understanding of how business is done today?

Recommended reading: see your HRMS project through to completion as painlessly as possible with our nine steps to HRMS implementation success.

If you are able to design future processes that remove identified roadblocks and high effort areas, the new HRMS will be seen in a positive light, in particular if you are able to deliver measureable improvements. For example, will the new HRMS facilitate a reduction in time to hire from 60 days to 30? Quantifiable enhancements are the backbone of making the switch to the new system as painless as possible.

Establish a dedicated change management team

Change management is often an under-planned function, with change management responsibilities assigned as an afterthought to an already overburdened team member. A standalone change management team in your HRMS project will ease the transition to a new system by analyzing change impacts and applying a mitigating strategy for risks.

The change management team is a natural place to house your HRMS project's communication center. By applying consistent branding and messaging throughout the project, this team is best positioned to explain the reasons for the switch and to help establish user buy-in for the new HRMS.

Create transparency with project plan milestones

Some companies operate project plans on a need to know basis for various reasons, such as job eliminations due to a new HRMS or concerns of overloading the HR end users with too much detail. Others assume that everyone knows what they need to know and are surprised when things do not happen according to plan.

A middle ground serves the best purpose: communicate major milestones early and often. Everyone involved in a project should know the phases such as when the build and configuration phase ends and also have a high level understanding of how the tasks will occur such as the number of test data loads planned and when user testing and training will occur.

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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