HRIS implementation projects are usually exciting at the beginning, but can quickly dissolve into a mess. Even with the best planning and the most compatible software, sometimes unexpected situations arise that derail the project. Instead of simply hoping for the best, taking action can help to turn the project around.
1. Admit There Is a Problem
The first step is always admitting there is a problem. While no company wants their implementation project to fail, recognizing that things aren’t going as planned can allow a company to turn things around before they have gone too far to salvage. After everyone agrees that there is a problem, it is possible to get to work figuring out what the problem is and how to fix it.
2. Meet with Project Staff
If a project is going south, the implementation team is likely worried and possibly feeling disgruntled. While the purpose of calling a meeting is to reassess goals, pinpoint issues, and create a timeline, it is important to make sure that these issues are being addressed in the most positive way possible. If a project is already failing, the worst thing you can do is beat up the people that are working hard to make it work – you want them motivated to do what it takes to make the project a success.
3. Consider Reassigning Project Team Roles
In some cases, HRIS implementation projects fail because the team managers are inexperienced or ineffective. Interviewing project team members separately may be necessary to figure out whether the project team needs to be reworked. If there is reason for concern, it is best to take action to change the project team as quickly as possible.
4. Beware of the Blame Game
When a high dollar project starts to go bad, it is easy to start with blaming. However, whether the failure is the fault of the vendor, the HR staff, the implementation team members, or the employees, placing blame does not help to fix the issue. All parties must work together to solve the problems with the project so that the HRIS can run smoothly.
5. Allot More Resources As Needed
Trying to move forward with a project without putting more people or money towards the job may be a mistake. If the project is failing because team members are struggling to complete all of the tasks or are being stretched thin trying to answer employees’ questions and keep up, a pep talk and even a reassignment is not likely to fix the problem. Since the company has already invested money in the HRIS, it may be worth assigning additional employees to the task or otherwise using resources to turn the ailing project around.
6. Revise the Project
Many companies start out with very ambitious plans for their HRIS, with many different tasks being automated. It may be necessary to scale down the project and implement or transition in phases in order to keep the project from becoming overwhelming. In some cases, it may be necessary to pull back and start from scratch, using the new plan to make the project more realistic for the team.
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