Selecting, buying and implementing a human resource management system (HRMS) is an enormous undertaking by any standard. Though a good HR system holds enormous potential for any organization, it also comes with an enormous price tag. So there is a great deal of pressure on HR leaders to ensure the right system is chosen and the right people are available to put it into place.
Red flags and price tags
This white paper from Phenix Management International raises several factors that must be considered by any organization undertaking an HRMS implementation. This is an extremely useful paper that suggests who should be involved when identifying the organization’s needs, how to gather the relevant information to support decision-making, key business and technical requirements, tips for selecting a “best fit” vendor, and better still, tips for identifying cost savings.
HRMS during a merger
This article on Workindex.com looks at HRMS selection in the case of a merger or acquisition. It’s difficult enough for an organization to choose an HRMS at the best of times, but “choosing an HR system during a merger is tantamount to bringing order to chaos.” The article suggests a number of factors to consider when determining the best platform to adopt. Maintenance costs, deployment costs, “an internal demonstration of excellence” and technology fit — which system is easier to deploy in the merged organization — are all important considerations.
This is a simplified, point-form overview of key points to consider and other suggestions for the selection process of an HRMS implementation. Some tips include: who to involve in the selection, questions to ask other companies that have employed an HRMS, tips for vendor selection and more. There is not a lot of detail here, but the bullet-style helps for quick-reference.
What the vendors won’t tell you
This article from U.S.-based consulting firm Alexander & Zaia sounds a cautionary note for any organization preparing to choose a new HR management system. The authors warn about the dangers of too much customization, the reluctance of vendors to give detailed estimates and the difficulties that arise when problems show up in final testing. “HR management systems… have their own peculiar challenges and pitfalls. Vendors won’t be forthcoming about these inevitable problems,” write the authors. “Your staff might not have the experience to look out for them. But by knowing why these innocuous problems crop up during the implementations, executives can guide the organization to the right solution — and a realistic implementation plan.”
One organization’s story
The Office of Human Resources, University of California, Berkeley, has a useful overview of an HRMS implementation strategy. Although the paper is from a U.S. university, the strategies can help Canadian companies prepare for an HRMS implementation. It outlines the specific roles of people who need to be involved. In this case, the HR office used the KPMG PeopleSoft implementation methodology which consists of five main phases. The document outlines the necessary steps to complete within each phase, from the structure phase right through to the deploy phase.
Shannon Simson is Canadian HR Reporter’s resource editor. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section.