Your plan for more successful HRMS migrations

In a marketplace where the pace of innovation is accelerating, competitive advantages are evaporating, and unemployment is projected to hit 3.7% in 2019, an organization’s ability to meet its future goals lies at the intersection between people and technology. 

Making the right technology and process design decisions can mean the difference between an organization merely doing the same thing with new tools or embodying a completely new way of working.

Consider an HRMS migration as an example. Most HRMS migrations fail to consider larger talent implications. They are “lift and shift” -- take the data and processes from the old and move to the new. 

At best, this approach means an organization spends millions of dollars to do exactly the same kind of HR, but more efficiently. Businesses may end up with faster payroll times, easier bonus payment processes, and quicker scheduling, but can still face the same retention problems, diversity issues, and talent shortfalls. 

HRMS success shouldn’t focus on better HR transactions

A more intelligent approach is to ask yourself how the migration might be designed to help business professionals on the front lines use new or clearer workforce information to support not just better HR transactions, but better decisions about HR programs and business results. 

While a baseline level of transactional efficiency is important, it provides capped value to the business and rarely impacts the bottom line. When management software is complemented with advanced HR analytical insights, however, you can turn an information and workflow management system into a decision-making machine.

Check out our complete guide on HR analytics and how they improve your people management

With all this in mind, your first step is to start with adding people analytics to your migration plan. In fact, the best analytics platforms can process data from any legacy HRMS, providing a faster time to value for both technologies. This yields many other benefits both pre- and post-HRMS migration, such as:

  • More targeted HR technology investments: with people analytics, you can pinpoint where your legacy HR systems are falling short in terms of helping fulfill business objectives. For example, let’s say that your organization tends to experience a spike in employee turnover following annual bonus time. In this case, it makes sense to prioritize an HRMS (or niche solution) that supports a more nuanced approach to variable compensation so that it can be spread throughout the year. In the end, the more clearly you can make the link between modernizing transactional data processes and business outcomes, the more strategic HR tech investments you can make.
  • Better insight into data requirements: the most advanced people analytics platforms will provide a data inventory, helping you answer questions such as: what data has your organization been collecting? Is it meaningful or could it be more meaningful? What information would business leaders and managers like to have? In this way, analytics forces you to think critically about the data values that you need. Analytics will also show you where you are getting the most data inconsistencies; if you do this prior to migration and set up, you can plan remediation. Most solutions will enable you to set required fields, and add drop-down lists (rather than allow people to type in values). This can lead to much better data quality, which is important given that many HRMS migrations get mired in dirty data.
  • Deeper answers to pressing workforce questions: once the HRMS is deployed, a people analytics platform complements it to produce deep, trended analytics about the workforce. Unfortunately, not all HRMS’ embedded analytics capabilities yield insights beyond basic metrics and dashboards, which prevents smarter decision-making. On the other hand, the most advanced people analytics platforms provide pre-built content related to a range of areas that matter to the business, including career pathing, movement modeling, and collaborative headcount planning–features. Additionally, the right people analytics solution should also leverage historical data for more powerful predictive analysis (when you move to a modern HRMS, you could lose your organization's historical data if you don’t have a people analytics platform in place).

Smart HR practices are about moving the needle on business performance. The best HR leaders go beyond recordkeeping to improve innovation through better diversity or help agile teams bring new products to market faster with better organizational design.

CEOs want to see a stronger link between HR strategy and business results, and this is inevitably impacting the decisions your HRMS team needs to make. This is a big responsibility, and redefining what constitutes success for an HRMS rollout is a good place to start.

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Caitlin Bigsby

About the author…

Caitlin Bigsby has over 22 years of experience in HCM software solutions and has worked with dozens of organizations over the years to help them maximize the value of their investments, in both their people and their software. Caitlin shines a light on how analytic insight can elevate the strategy of Human Resources. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dog, Toby.

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Caitlin Bigsby

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