3 Ways to Rescue Your Legacy HRMS

An HRMS is often a long term investment. As you near the end of shelf life or when budget for a new system is deferred, is there any silver lining in the cloud? What can be done to still get value from a legacy HRMS? How can an existing system be updated or revamped to avoid having to replace it entirely? Most of us have been in this situation at one time, here are some areas to consider to squeeze more value from your legacy HRMS.

1) Consider a Full Functionality Fit Gap

System use and requirements often evolve over time. In instances where you’ve purchased an HRMS many years ago, your use of it may still be based on the original requirements upon implementation. What about the other modules that are not being used? You may have not needed the learning management functionality before, but would it be a good idea for your current needs?

A tip: I’ve often seen HRMS teams unaware of functionality as it was originally hidden or turned off in security. It may make sense to bring in a specialized HRMS consultant to provide insight into your HRMS opportunities.

2) Customization vs. Reuse of Functionality

Rather than replace your HRMS, do you have any option to modify it? Customization can incur additional costs as well as make an upgrade more difficult. Best practice often suggests that ‘re-using’ or ‘cannibalizing’ fields for use other than their intended purpose is not a good idea, however, if you’re against a wall with no other options, this can work for you. I’ve seen some creative options over time, even one company who was able to re-use some finance module pages to store some other data that they needed to capture in the HRMS. The only thing to keep in mind is if you are adhering to the requirements of your licensing agreements. For those of you who are in legacy systems that are no longer in the market or supported, this isn’t as much of an issue.

3) Return to Basics

Sometimes a process fades out of use over time as staff turnover occurs or a VP makes something less of a focus. I saw one company that decided to ‘market’ their HRMS internally, offering a weekly ‘tip of the week’ email to highlight some of the lesser known functionality as well as shortcuts and reporting tricks. It was amazing when they reviewed the feedback from these mails, often the HRMS team thought that some functionality was common knowledge, but within the general HR community it was unknown. While you bide your time until implementation, highlight the HRMS features that you can provide to your users.

So there you have it. If for any reason you are unable to upgrade your legacy HRMS, consider the above tips to breath new life (and value) into your HRMS.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski

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