Getting on Track: 5 Tips for a Successful HCM Implementation

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You’ve probably heard the quote that life is a marathon and not a sprint. This is also true of workforce management and human capital management (HCM) system implementations. Doing these right to successfully achieve your business goals requires thoughtful planning, evaluation of your current state, and recognizing how to align software capabilities to your future state. 

Just like in a marathon, having support along the way can make all the difference. Beyond the workforce management or HCM implementation, you’ll need to stay on track with a successful ongoing strategy for continued optimization. Consider these five tips to help get your HCM or workforce management project off to a great start and on the right track.

Tip #1: Be an active participant in your WFM or HCM implementation


Implementing a new HCM solution isn’t as easy as paying for new software, hiring an implementation partner, and handing off the baton so they can take your project to the finish line. It’s a team effort, and success requires the commitment of the client, vendor, and implementation partner. 

There may be times when project members feel the vendor isn’t doing enough, and they’ll start to say, “I didn’t realize this would be so much work. I have a day job!” The reality is that neither your vendor nor implementation partner knows your company and your data as well as you do. 

The implementation team needs your help with understanding and defining your company structure, job structures, pay codes, and how you do things. These partners aren’t passing off the work to you, they are genuinely asking for your help! Help them help you by recognizing the success of the implementation depends on teamwork and true partnership.

Tip #2: Consider new processes


Lift and shifts rarely work out. It’s like expecting a new pair of shoes to make you faster. Implementations are never that simple, and often you are moving to a new system to take advantage of new technology, work more efficiently, or have other impacts on the organization. No software system is going to solve all your problems, so before you embark on a new system purchase or implementation, take inventory of your current situation. 

What processes are working or not working? Where are you spending the most time, and where should you be spending your time? What do managers need and not need? What do employees need? Are you ready to change how you do things? And if not, how do you get ready? Change can be painful, but you can’t keep doing what you’re doing and expect different results by dumping your current data and processes into a different system. 

It takes dedicated effort to evaluate your current processes and systems, and commitment to sustain the changes needed to achieve desired results.

Tip #3: Invest in outside expertise


Implementing a system that is going to give you a return on your investment requires some outside perspective. Bringing in an expert to collaborate on your workforce management or HCM implementation is a terrific opportunity to leverage industry best practices and learn fresh solutions to old challenges. They can point out where your data needs tweaking, how to restructure your data to provide better information, and how to use it to get better results. Like a great coach, they can guide you to make the best decisions and avoid common pitfalls. With their breadth and depth of experience, they can answer the “you don’t know what you don’t know” type of questions. 

Although there is a cost for their expertise, you'll  save money and avoid mistakes because these experts can help you get the system right the first time. When you spend time and resources to implement something without expert guidance, you can end up paying the cost of a consultant many times over because of lost productivity or rework. 

When you spend time and resources to implement something without expert guidance, you can end up paying the cost of a consultant many times over because of lost productivity or rework. 

Whether you want impactful reports, meaningful dashboards, improved visibility into metrics, and other information leadership can use to make decisions, there are experts that can help you design your system to work for you.

Tip #4: Maintain and optimize to stay on top of the podium


After you are live with your new system, you may feel good because people are getting paid, they are successfully clocking in, and so on. That’s great, but now you must stay on top of changing technology, trends, enhancements, new releases, and continue to evaluate how things are going. There may be other opportunities to enhance current processes or extend the capability of your new systems. This is another great time to pull in outside help from a firm that enables organizations to optimize their solutions to the fullest.

While your vendor will send you regular updates, new release notes, and more, that information can seem like a foreign language. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Leverage an expert to support you and build a strategy around your technology, systems, and processes that is sustainable, manageable, and won’t go stale.

Tip #5: Prepare for the long haul and partner with your vendor


To maintain momentum for the long haul, strategically partner with your vendor. Attend vendor webinars and events to stay on top of the latest trends. Attend your vendor’s conferences and local events to network with other organizations. Leverage any online community your vendor provides, which can provide quick tips and industry best practices. 

In addition, consider being a reference for your vendor by sharing your experiences and tips for a smooth implementation. Partnering with your vendor strategically is the best way to ensure long term success and provides an opportunity to get insight into roadmaps and evolving technology. It also allows you to be one step ahead of your competition when it comes to providing the best workplace for your customers.

Get the support you need for success 


When you collaborate with partners on a workforce management or HCM implementation project, you can be confident you're getting highly skilled, industry-leading consulting and delivery services. Survey data collected from customers shows that our partners outperform the industry in several key categories, execute projects on time, and within budget!

UKG Partner satisfaction scores based on independent customer reviews through Raven Intelligence
UKG Partner satisfaction scores based on independent customer reviews through Raven Intelligence.
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