Implementing new business software is often a challenging project that requires time and patience. It’s even more complex when upgrading human capital management (HCM) software because the transition directly impacts key business processes like payroll and timekeeping. Changing these areas not only affects your business operations but also your employees (in both their work and home lives). Many business owners find it stressful to initiate any changes in their HCM software. And because a system upgrade isn’t something most companies implement frequently, it can be hard to know how to approach related projects.
If you do some proactive thinking before you initiate a system implementation, it leads to greater peace of mind during the project. Not sure where to start? Here are six major things to consider before you implement new business software.
- Engage the right team. It’s important to have team members from across your business involved in the project. Make sure the people who interact with the system and all its components are available to provide their unique perspectives and insights. It’s not unusual to come across situations where what the handbook says isn’t exactly how certain policies are being administered by your team. If you have representation from a variety of groups early in the implementation process, you can discover and address these types of situations early rather than being surprised by them after your system goes live.
- Be realistic. You have a full-time job already. Implementation of new software will lead to efficiency and process advancements that take time to get right. Be sure your implementation plan is something your team can manage. Consider what phases you can break a project down into that might spread out the demands on your team. Also, make sure to keep time on your calendar for testing each phase of the project; testing is valuable and too important to rush.
- Evaluate your processes. Implementing a new system is already a substantial change, but the transitional period is still a great time to consider other changes too. Use this time to assess the way your team performs common tasks and whether there are ways to do them better. A new system allows you to automate tasks, like transforming a paper process to a digital one, but it’s only a solution if your paper process was dependable in the first place. As you’re documenting your current processes to be built in the new system, also evaluate what process improvements can be made so that the system is designed to take your business further, instead of repeating what’s already being done.
- Prepare for the bumps. While everyone hopes their implementation will go exactly according to plan, there will be unexpected things that pop up or situations that didn’t come up in your planning sessions. Make sure your timeline has allowances for surprises and that you and your team members are prepared to be agile when reacting to them.
- Plan for after. When you’re at the start of an implementation, it can be difficult to think about anything other than getting the system up and running and being done. The reality is that you’ll use this system every day, and you’ll never really be done learning about it and making improvements. Build time at the end of your plan to gather feedback from users, document your internal processes with the system, and address your long-term project list so that you can continue to enhance your HR processes and employee experience.
- Consider a third party. If personnel are limited and you aren’t sure whether you have the internal resources to implement new HCM software, using a third-party implementation team may be a helpful option. At Creative Planning, we provide clients with software implementation and consulting services for our K-Pay system. K-Pay is an all-in-one software that houses functionality for recruiting, hiring, management and more.
Implementations are a big undertaking that require planning and forethought. The better prepared you are ahead of time, the smoother the implementation process will be for you and your team. If you have additional questions on how to efficiently kick-start an implementation project, Creative Planning can help. Contact us today, and we’d be happy to discuss our services further.