Whether you’re implementing HR software for the first time or switching from a legacy system to a modern solution, challenges are bound to arise. Adapting to new systems is never completely hassle-free, but certain factors can be considered to predict the overall difficulty level of your implementation. By understanding which factors will affect your implementation, you can take steps to make implementation go as smoothly as possible.
Compatibility with Current Systems
If your new HRIS doesn’t integrate with any of the software that you currently use, your implementation will inevitably be difficult. You may have to manually enter data to make the initial transition to the new system. If you plan on keeping some of your existing systems, you may end up with “data silos” that prevent you from cross referencing any of the data between systems.
Beyond software compatibility, your new system should also be well-matched to the way that HR is handled within your company. If you have to totally retool the way that you hire or onboard in order to use the new HR software for these purposes, it will take more effort and time to get the system up and running.
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If your vendor provides comprehensive support throughout implementation and you have a strong IT department that can handle technical challenges in real time, you will have an easier time than if you have no external or internal support. Be sure that you understand exactly what type of support the vendor will provide throughout implementation. Implementation won’t be impossible without internal support, but there may be delays as you wait for the vendor.
Organization of Data
Well organized data can make the implementation process move quicker. If you have to manually key data into your first HRIS, good organization can shave hours off of your implementation. If you are importing data from a legacy system, keeping data organized and relevant by deleting old files and maintaining stored information can make this process a snap.
If those employees that will have implementation responsibilities are excited about the new system, they will likely do their parts quickly and enthusiastically. If they don’t care for the new system and have expressed their concerns about it, they will likely feel slighted and drag their feet. The human side of implementation often causes more difficulty than the technical side, so don’t consider employee buy-in lightly.
Planning for a Smooth Implementation
There are a few things that you can do to help streamline implementation:
- Seek help from experts when selecting HR software to ensure the best match
- Create a detailed timeline and plan for implementation, consulting with the vendor as needed
- Select a project team leader that will hold others accountable for implementation responsibilities and talk to the vendor throughout the project
- Select a conflict mediator that will decide how to handle disagreements that arise throughout the implementation period
- Prepare employees for the changes ahead using communication and training