HRMS Maintenance - The What and The Who

A reason your users will think the HRMS sucks is if you don’t get the maintenance right. Sooner or later, a poorly-maintained system becomes worse than no system at all, and that’s a difficult position to recover from. So, assuming that you have a great (and flexible) user interface, neatly-automated processes and workflows, appropriately-trained users, full mobile functionality, well-connected social collaboration tools, and the whole system was tested inside out prior to launch… all you need now is a strategic HRMS maintenance schedule.

aiming for an HRMS that doesn’t ‘suck’ should lie at the core of the whole life cycle of the system

The What of HRMS Maintenance

You need to stay on top of both the hardware and the software; ensure that any and all changes to your HR processes are reflected in the system; add new functions as they become available and/or necessary; and keep your users up to speed. Broadly speaking, your HRMS maintenance activity will fall into one of three categories: corrective, adaptive, and perfective.

  • Corrective is fixing bugs in the coding, addressing design flaws, basically any problem that is stopping your HRMS from functioning to specification.
  • Adaptive maintenance is about updating, keeping pace with changes in technical requirements, new legislation, alterations in company policy, and so on.
  • Perfective activity seeks to hone and refine the performance to, well, perfection; this is maintenance that you don’t have to do, but will, nevertheless, improve the system – user requests for changes that will make their experience better often fall into this last category.

The Who of HRMS Maintenance

That’s the ‘what?’ but when it comes to HRMS maintenance, there is also the question of ‘who?’ Whose role is it to constantly maintain and improve the system? This may depend on how your organisation is structured (i.e. who usually handles your technical chores?) or it may be driven by the contract you have with the system vendor, perhaps they’re providing external experts. Alternatively, it may suit you to establish the role of HRMS specialist within the HR department itself. Either way, the responsibilities must be clear right up the line – because to be blunt, if it’s nobody’s job then nobody will do it, and that’s a user experience that really sucks.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Find vendors offering HRMS maintenance support

At the end of the day, aiming for an HRMS that doesn’t ‘suck’ should lie at the core of the whole life cycle of the system: selection, purchasing, implementation and ongoing HRMS maintenance. This approach builds user engagement rather than destroying it. After all, HRMS comes down to the users. If the users don’t use, then it’s just another expensive white elephant. But if they do use… if they do access, utilise, leverage and otherwise revel in the full functionality that your new HRMS has to offer, then you might just have transformed the way you manage HR!

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall