Evaluating each stakeholder's specific HRMS requirements

Stakeholders are important. In fact, your HRMS project is almost guaranteed at least partial failure without their support. You might select exactly the right system for your organization, manage a seamless transition of data from your legacy system, design and deliver spot-on user training, and hit your go-live target date, and still not see a return on your investment. A critical success factor is understanding who will be impacted by the new system and what precisely they need from it.

Why are stakeholders important for HRMS projects?

The key to engaging with your HRMS stakeholders is to first know who they are. Usually, stakeholders are categorized according to whether they have high or low interest in and high or low influence over the project; though within the wide net of those four basic categories your stakeholders will likely include groups such as the C-suite and other executives, managers and supervisors, ‘shop floor’ employees, specialist roles (e.g. IT, payroll, procurement, etc.), mobile or ‘non-office-based’ employees, key clients and suppliers, and of course, the HR team itself. Each stakeholder group has different needs to be addressed within the project and each can potentially push the train off the rails.

Senior management

Senior managers and the C-suite are looking for a positive strategic impact, an HRMS that can help them achieve the organization’s wider business goals. What they tend to want most from HR technology is fresh insights into how people issues impact on business outcomes. They’re looking for relevant reports, predictive analytics and ways in which such information can feed back into improving systems and processes.

HR staff

Your HR team is hoping for an HRMS that enables them to make better use of their time. As processes and procedures are automated, the need for direct person-to-person contact should be reduced, at least for the more transactional processes. Manager and employee self-service functions should mean less attention required for the mundane, repetitive tasks and more time available for HR work requiring a more nuanced, human approach (such as dealing with disciplinary issues).

IT staff

As your in-house technology experts, the IT department will have an interest in your new HRMS. After all, they will be responsible for the technical side of the implementation and ongoing use. If you opt for an on-premises deployment, this will include hardware issues though even if you go for a cloud option, there will still be technical concerns to address around legacy systems and compatibility/integration with your other business databases.

Employee users

This is not only the largest stakeholder but also, in a sense, the most critical. HR is not a large part of the average worker’s daily life and when they do need to carry out an HR transaction (a payroll query, a training course, booking vacation time) it’s often seen as a potential irritation. Quite simply, employee stakeholders are looking for a system that will make their working lives easier – more straightforward transactions, easier access to information, automation that replaces unnecessary interaction.

Check out our guide to prioritizing HR requirements to determine which features your HRMS requires above all else

The flip side to asking stakeholders what they want from a new HRMS is that the new system will also require them to work differently in some way. It may be changes to HR-related procedures, responsibility for updating personal records, punching in using biometrics instead of a time card, and so on. Stakeholder engagement and management is a balancing act between discovering and providing what stakeholders want and need as well as motivating those same stakeholders to do what the system needs.

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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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