Six implementation questions to ask your HRMS vendor

Choosing the right HRMS is one thing, getting to the point of go-live with everything and everyone functioning seamlessly is another. Usually, vendors are only too happy to offer HRMS implementation services and support, acting as project consultants to get you to that ‘switch on’ deadline. Alternatively, there are any number of firms that specialise in exactly this service. Either way, if you’re engaging some help, it’s as well to ask a few searching questions.

HRMS implementation question #1: How do you engage different stakeholder groups?

Different users have different needs when it comes to your new HRMS. C-level leaders will need to access (and understand) strategic reports and analytics, managers will have their self-service dashboards, HR will be expected to be the system experts, and every employee will need to be able to at least access their own personal information. Your HRMS implementation support should have a clear methodology for differentiating different stakeholder groups and engaging them in the process.

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HRMS implementation question #2: How will you sell the new opportunities of the system?

A new HRMS can be a catalyst for cultural change; this is particularly true of cloud-based systems. Advanced manager and employee self-service functionality, 24/7 mobile access, even built-in social collaboration tools, they all offer new ways of working that require attitudinal shifts in the workforce. How will the vendor act as a cultural change agent?

HRMS implementation question #3: How will you work with our in-house IT team?

Whether it’s an on-premises installation or a cloud system, there needs to be a close working relationship between the HRMS vendor and those in your organisation with IT responsibilities; especially on the issues of data cleansing and migration which, if mishandled, can seriously delay go-live.

HRMS implementation question #4: What is your recommended system testing programme?

Within reason, the more the system is tested during implementation the more bugs and glitches are spotted, and the more smoothly it will run on Day #1. After all, this is personal data (and maybe payroll) at stake here – small errors lead to big complaints. Expect a schedule of parallel running, beta users, reporting reconciliation checks, and so on.

HRMS implementation question #5: How long until go-live?

If anything your consultant or vendor should warn against a too-soon go-live date. Cutting corners, ignoring non-essential stakeholders, putting the date before functionality are all temptations that should be avoided.

HRMS implementation question #6: Can I see some references?

Whether it’s a specialist consultant or your HRMS vendor, expect to see some references that specifically cover the support they’ve offered during implementation. Then follow those references up, checking on the scope of the project, budget and deadline performance, ROI, and any post-implementation issues. Ideally, those references should come from customers operating a business similar to your own.

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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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