HRMS Team: Skills and Knowledge

If you look at the various stages of your HRMS project and the likely hurdles it will have to leap, you can develop a picture of your ideal HRMS team; a picture of the stakeholder groups you want to be represented and other key people to have input. But when it comes to deciding which individuals would best contribute to your HRMS team, you have to select on their personal skills and knowledge as well as just who they may have access to.

Specialist and Technical

There will be certain areas of specialist knowledge that your team will need to deploy at different stages of the project. HR is an obvious one. While a new HRMS is an ideal opportunity to review and rewrite the organization’s people processes, in order to do so you need the expertise of an HR professional who understands the strategic imperative behind such processes and also their practical implications.

Similarly, whether you end up with an on-site solution or place everything in the cloud, there will be technical implications for your new system – servers, encryption, data transfer, etc. – and the need for someone on the team who can advise knowledgeably on such issues is paramount.

Depending on the size and sector of your organization (or the size of the investment you are about to make) you may have to comply with certain procurement requirements and procedures as part of purchasing the new system. Again, access to expert and experienced knowledge will help the HRMS team get it right first time.

Finally, at least someone on the team will need to offer up a detailed understanding of HRMS systems and their capabilities.

Practical and Generic

Don’t let the word “generic” fool you…, these less technical skills are no less essential to HRMS success. Effective decision-making is an art in itself – identifying and understanding broad and conflicting criteria and then balancing them to make the right choice for the right reasons at the right time – and your project team will be making dozens of decisions, each of which will affect the organization in some way. A combination of decision-making approaches is required: big picture, intricate detail, logic and impact on people’s feelings and motivations all must be included in the mix.

The right people with the wrong skills or an absence of skills and knowledge within the HRMS team is a sure path to HRMS failure.

Likewise, while those employees at the ‘bottom’ of the hierarchy can often feel left out and dismissed, their input is actually crucial at various stages of the project; only they can know exactly how the system will impact their day-to-day work (and by extension, the day-to-day business of the organization).

Looking Outside

Either through lack of opportunity to gain the relevant experience or the existence of other business priorities, sometimes you simply cannot find or access the skills and knowledge you need from within the organization. In these circumstances, you may choose to supplement your HRMS team with external talent: an HRMS consultant. If you do, then as a minimum, that consultant should have: a broad understanding of the HRMS niche, sufficient prior experience of such projects, credibility with key stakeholders and, of course, the particular skills and knowledge that your in-house team is lacking.

The right people with the wrong skills or an absence of skills and knowledge within the HRMS team is a sure path to HRMS failure. In fact, in summary, it might even be fair to say that the skills you can deploy are more critical than the groups that individual team members may represent, after all, skills get the job done. Although, naturally, the ideal team will be a combination of both.

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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