4 Hidden Costs Ready to Ruin Your HRMS Implementation

The biggest expense in purchasing a new HRMS is rarely the ticket price. The total cost of ownership includes all the ongoing costs – obvious and hidden – of just running your new system over its life span, and alongside ticket price, HRMS Implementation is the other significant up front contributor to those costs. So, when you’re faced with putting your new system in place, it’s important to keep a tight rein on the budget; there are a number of areas where the unwary implementor can see the money spiral out of control if they’re not careful.

Scope Creep

An HRMS implementation project involves a lot of variables – how do you accurately forecast how much effort needed for effective stakeholder engagement, for example – and when these variables start to shift mid-project, milestones and deadlines may be overrun. Any such overrun has an impact on cost in terms of vendor, consultancy and employee time. The key is to plan as tightly as possible; not because that will prevent the scope creep but because it will at least minimize it; try to map out every stage, the technical integrations, the customizations needed, the training sessions required, etc. and allocate a realistic time to each stage.

The Wrong Team

Project management is a specialized skill and HRMS implementation is not a simple process; you need someone capable of applying proper project management methodology couple ideally to some background or experience of software installation. In terms of external people (vendor team, independent consultant) this means a track record of implementing the same system; only that way can you realistically expect to anticipate the detail of the likely pitfalls and time traps. Equally, you need the right internal person to take charge of the project from the organization side; whether or not they have experience of HRMS, they need to be able to manage the liaison with the externals and the employees and handle the ‘internal interests’.

Poor Training

Rightly or wrongly, HRMS training often has the reputation of being expensive. Done well, done efficiently, this is not the case; in fact it can often be the single factor that creates your HRMS return on investment as well-trained employees use the system exactly as intended and you reap the intended benefits early in the HRMS life cycle. However, done badly…? A detailed and well-worked through training strategy is critical to implementation success and ensuring user readiness for the planned go-live date.

The ‘Too Busy’ Factor

Finally, there is the ‘too busy’ factor. Whether it’s attendance at the training, or an individual data cleansing exercise, or your in-house IT team having to tackle new hardware issues, every project is constantly waiting on somebody to do their part. When this clashes with their daily duties and the requirements of their own job (for which they are answerable) then often that little task for the HRMS implementation will be left to last. This incremental time-waster can slow your project to a crawl and push your costs up (after all a consultant sitting doing nothing, waiting for a batch of data, must still be paid consultant’s rates). This brings us back to stakeholder engagement as a critical success factor, both for the project as a whole and specifically in terms of keeping the budget within forecasted limits.

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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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