HRMS Project Team: Horses for Courses

When it comes to putting together your HRMS project team, it’s entirely possible that you decide you effectively need several teams; one for each major stage of the project. As the old idiom goes, “horses for courses”. Certainly, the different stages will require different skillsets and activities from your team.

Building the Business Case

Persuading senior management to invest in a major new software project can be a separate art in itself. Getting that go-ahead is the first major obstacle to overcome – let’s face it, if you don’t get this stage right, the project is dead in the water – and having some experienced help in your HRMS project team when drafting your case can make all the difference. What’s required is a high-level business focus, and an understanding of KPIs, strategic objectives, and the organization’s future priorities. Plus, of course an understanding of how HR impacts on that level plus how an HRMS can boost and enhance that impact.

Software Selection

Once the remit to purchase is clear, this next stage demands a different skillset: clarity and focus on the detail of what the HRMS must do for the organization. A variety of stakeholders must be engaged and communicated with to elicit that detail. Then the results must be transformed into clear and measurable criteria that can be used to differentiate between the various vendor offerings. Sifting, shortlisting and assessment are essential activities to whittle the shortlist down to the ‘winning’ candidate and then… there is often a need for sharp negotiating skills in your HRMS project team to procure the best deal for the organization in terms of price, system features and the service level agreement.

HRMS Implementation

Similar to the selection process, HRMS implementation involves a wide complexity of detail that must be handled, sorted and balanced for a successful and timely go-live. But one of the key skills here is scheduling; the ability to balance the ongoing communications, engagement with users, training programs, testing processes, data cleansing exercises, and so on and then have them all come together in sync.


Now the project harks back to the business case and the initial justifications for the expense, the changes to HR and management procedures and the sheer disruption to the business. Now it’s time to return to that strategic big picture and evaluate (at least initially) whether the outlay was worth it: did the organization get a return on its investment or not? Additionally, there are the other strategic question of a future embedding and improvement strategy for the HRMS and its use by employees (maximising the investment) and the training strategy that must accompany it.

In a sense, there is a need for three or four teams within the HRMS project team; each bringing alternative skills to bear on the different project stages, from high level strategy to intense detail and back again.

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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