Planning for your HRMS go live

Let’s be clear, go-live is not the hallmark of a successful HRMS. Using the software in a way that enhances the organisation’s business and the working lives of employees… that’s success. That said, a smooth go-live is one sign of a successfully-run implementation project (which, let’s face it, is no small achievement).

So, all your preparation has been done. You’ve engaged with stakeholders responded to their needs, concerns and requirements. Senior management are behind the system and singing its praises to anyone who’ll listen. All users have been trained, plus evaluation and feedback has been positive (in other words, they now have the skills and awareness to use the system). The system itself has been tested and retested, the data has been cleansed, transferred, checked and quite possibly checked again. There’s only one thing left to do and that’s switch it on for real and start using it. In other words, it is time to make your HRMS go live.

Continue the momentum

If your implementation has been meticulously planned so far, now is not the time to stop. As with any ‘product launch’ every aspect of the users’ first experience should be considered and planned. From a checklist showing key activities and responsibilities (another addendum to your overall project plan) to a detailed risk assessment that identifies everything that could possibly go wrong. And, the other half of that equation; a contingency plan that tells everyone what to do should any of those risks occur (and some of them will, you can count on it).

HRMS go live support

A big part of your HRMS go live planning is what support – visible and otherwise – will be available for users. Any number of options are available and the support you offer may include:

  • JIT guides – ‘Just-In-Time’ training describes any material that is available on demand and is designed to be used immediately. In other words, it’s for those frustrating yet inevitable moments when even the most well-supported user realises that they can’t remember X or Y from the training programme and needs a refresher there and then.

  • Super-users – some users are always more involved in the project than others and as a result have a better and more in-depth understanding than average. Maybe they were a user representative on the project committee or in a round of engagement focus groups; maybe they are just gifted when it comes to the use of IT and technology. Either way, people like this are ideal candidates to answer queries and offer solutions to problems (the human equivalent of JIT training).

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Start your HRMS implementation journey by updating your vendor knowledge

  • Automatic reminders – for example, when each person logs on to the corporate system, an automatic window pops up to remind them that the new HRMS go live is impending and reiterate a few key points for successful use.

  • Technical support – of course, this should be on standby, more so than a regular day because if – horror of horrors – a hardware or software problem does occur, it should ideally be solved instantly, if not before.

Finally, don’t forget to make arrangements for bug and glitch reporting. Problems are irritating to experience, but if there’s a clear channel to report the issue which results not only in a rapid solution but also feeds into improving the system for the future then the chances are that ‘irritation’ won’t then mature into ‘frustration’ and even ‘disengagement’.

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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