Evaluating the success of your HRMS implementation (incl. template)

Implementing your choice of HRMS can be a long and intensive process. As projects go it combines the technical aspects of installation (including integration with your existing systems and databases, and possible hardware issues) with all the change management and people aspects of just getting your employees to use the new system.

It can be tempting, once the dust has settled and the system is functioning, to say game over, job done. To kick back and focus on the next task. However, your HRMS implementation should be subject to ongoing scrutiny – not only because such a review is good project management practice, helping you to run similar projects better in future, but also because you need to know whether you have achieved your implementation objectives. And if not, why not.

Put simply, is your business now more efficient? Is your HR team working more effectively? Is the C-suite working with new data and insights? Are employees now ‘serving themselves’ where possible? In other words, is it working?

The purposes of this post-implementation review are to:

  1. Establish to what extent the HRMS has achieved (or is on track to achieve) the benefits outlined in the original supporting business case.
  2. Benchmark the current functionality so that future benefits (or otherwise) can be measured more accurately.
  3. Learn any lessons from the project process for the benefit of any future implementations.

The key to a successful review is the collection of hard data and measurable evidence. Employee anecdotes and gut feelings may be useful indicators, guiding the direction of the review at times but if you really want to know how good your HRMS implementation was, you need facts.

Review your goals from your HRMS project plan

Hopefully, your HRMS implementation plan included some specific and measurable goals. If so, these should be the foundation of what you’re looking to test with this review: We promised to do X. Did we achieve it?

Check out our free HRMS implementation guide for detailed help on planning your HR software implementation

In case you’re here looking for inspiration, the following might constitute a good (albeit generic) set of goals:

  • Specific HRMS features were functional and available to users on or before the scheduled go-live date.
  • Any error rates are within stipulated margins.
  • Any bugs or glitches are being fixed within an agreed (and acceptable) timeframe.
  • The quality of the data in the new system is at minimum to the same standard as the previous system.
  • Usage rates of key features are at or above the anticipated levels.

The following sections outline specific elements of HRMS use and the implementation process for detailed exploration as part of the review…

Has your HRMS improved processes?

One big opportunity of introducing new HR automation software is the chance (or necessity) to review and improve your HR processes and procedures. It’s not necessarily a case of slavishly adapting the way you do things to the dictates of a software vendor, more a case of stepping back and deciding what best suits your organization (and then choosing the HRMS that can deliver that).

So, what processes did you review? What changes did you make? What benefits did you expect from those changes? And, have you realized those benefits yet?

Is there more or less employee interaction with HR?

Another simple metric (in principle at least, not necessarily in practice) is to look at the number of calls and visits to HR relating to now-automated processes. That number should be falling. For example, is the payroll team still receiving questions that can and should now be answered via the employee self-service portal? Or have those types of queries fallen off? And if so, by how much?

Revisiting stakeholders

Another big input into the implementation project should have been from stakeholders. Different people are impacted by or interested in the outcomes of your HRMS, and usually in very different ways. A further round of consultation with the various stakeholder groups not only shows that you valued their input and are prepared to explore whether their needs are being met, but also allows you to dig into questions such as:

  • How are users' needs being met in terms of access, automation, technical support and any promised improvements to HR service delivery?
  • To what extent have the benefits anticipated by C-suite executives and the senior project sponsor been realized?
  • Are the HR team or teams hitting their reviewed and revised KPIs and other performance targets?
  • What impact has there been on indirect or external stakeholders, such as key customers and suppliers?

Has HRMS improved compliance?

This is a more long-term measure. One of the benefits of an HRMS is better compliance with labor legislation and regulations. This benefit may be ‘internal’ compliance consisting of automatic prompts and notifications to managers to take certain actions, or ‘external’ compliance in the form of prompting the production of required reports, collection of legally necessary information, or anticipation of changes to legislation.

Internal compliance, depending on the specifics, might be measured by the comprehensiveness and quality of the data stored in the system, or shown by a reduction in questions from managers. External compliance will likely be on a monthly or annual cycle according to when reports, for example, are required to be submitted.

Another metric relates to sanctions. If your business in the past has been subject to penalties for non-compliance, measuring the reduction in such expenses is an easily grasped benefit of your new HRMS.

How about recruiting and onboarding?

Out of all the classic HR functions, recruitment is the one most often associated with early adoption of new technology and automation. As such – depending on the system you’ve chosen – it’s potentially a fertile area for the measurement of HRMS benefits.

For tangible and measurable metrics, consider:

  • Time to hire – the period from initiating the hiring process to a candidate accepting your offer of employment.
  • Source of hire – where do your best candidates come from: job boards, employee referrals, recruitment agencies, careers fairs?
  • Offer acceptance rate – how many of chosen candidates accept your job offer, and as for the ones that don’t, why not?

Incidentally, if this is the first time you have the data to accurately measure such metrics then the option of benchmarking against previous performance isn’t available. But in that case, the new data itself, its availability, becomes a positive benefit of having implemented the new system. And you’ll be able to benchmark in the future…

Finally, consider the added value

Not all HRMS benefits are directly related to human resources. As you would expect from technology that potentially has organization-wide impacts, there will be ripple effects throughout the business. Though it may be difficult to gather data that clearly shows a cause and effect relationship, at least consider the broader effects of your HRMS implementation on the following:

  • Quality of customer service.
  • Company brand and reputation.
  • Additional projects or tasks delivered using resources freed up by the HRMS.

Use our HRMS ROI guide to calculate how much return your HR software has provided your business

HRMS implementation evaluation template

As a starting point, try using the following template checklist including all of the above points.

1. HRMS implementation project goals:

  • Performance in respect of the scheduled go-live date.
  • System error rates are within agreed margins.
  • System bugs and glitches fixed within the agreed timeframe.
  • Data quality up to agreed standards.
  • Usage rates of key features are meeting target levels.

2. HR process review:

  • What processes were reviewed?
  • What changes were made?
  • What benefits were expected from the changes? 
  • To what extent have those benefits been realized?

3. Level of adoption:

  • Percentage of users still using ‘old’ procedures to access HR
  • Impact of adoption on HR time and resources

4. Stakeholders:

  • Employee users
  • Managers
  • C-suite
  • HR team
  • Other stakeholders

5. Compliance:

  • Internal
  • External

6. Recruitment:

  • Time to hire
  • Source of hire
  • Offer acceptance rate

7. Added value elements:

  • Customer service improvements?
  • Impact on brand/reputation?
  • Additional work delivered due to freed-up resources

In summary, to reduce the post-implementation review to the bare minimum, you’re essentially aiming to hard evidence the HRMS’s impact, positive or negative. The goal is to provide a clear measurement of the system’s initial return on investment, thus creating a solid foundation against which to benchmark future HR and organizational performance.

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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

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