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intelliHR is a people technology company based in Brisbane, Australia.

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HR Software | 5 min

Implementation: how to ensure your new HR System isn’t a flop

Implementation: how to ensure your new HR System isn’t a flop

Your business has finally rolled out a brand spanking new HR system or payroll software that’s been ‘coming’ for months. There’s been no shortage of hype and everyone’s really excited. But then it’s not set up right. You get your logins late. Nothing really works right. The org chart is wrong and people are mad. For some reason the remuneration data won’t update. Everyone begins to get frustrated because it doesn’t work how they expected. They lose faith in the system and they lose trust in the project manager, and after a week or two of promises to fix it, nothing changes. Eventually everyone dreads logging in. You wish you could go back to the old system. Even if it was from the 90’s at least it worked.

This is a classic case of a failed implementation.

Implementations go by many names in the software and tech world, but in essence an implementation is the process of altering your existing procedures and processes when you acquire a new software. This can range from minor operational tweaks to huge strategic changes.

There’s always two sides to implementation:

  1. the technical build or configuration of the platform; and
  2. the change management.

If you’ve ever been in a business where an implementation has gone wrong, you’ll know about it. But when the implementation is done right, you’ll see more productivity, less resistance and Return On Investment (ROI) off the bat.

Most software companies offer self-guided implementations where they’ll provide you a handful of templates and materials to follow, but the rest is up to you.

Because we know not everyone is a change manager who can also build software, at intelliHR, we offer professionally consulted implementations. 

This means you get paired up with a Customer Success Manager (CSM) from intelliHR who specialises in HR system design and change management. 

They’ll work with you at every step of the way, from HRIS planning through to designing the software and customising your platform. But intelliHR takes it a step further and applies Design Thinking to your business processes. Your Customer Success Manager will analyse and break down your processes to rebuild them into something better.

Consulted implementation means you have a strategic partner aligning every piece of the implementation to your business strategy.  

Consulted Implementations aren’t a cure all (nothing is), but they’re your best insurance to launch a successful HR software. If you get the build right, then the change process is easier. Need to generate desire in your stakeholders? Check, the software already rocks. Need to spread knowledge about the new system? Check, your Customer Success Manager (CSM) has developed a comms plan for you. Want to run professional training sessions so your leaders are guns at the system from day one? Check, your Customer Success Manager will teach them all the tips and tricks they’ll ever need.

Let’s break this down a bit more and look at the three key components of a consulted implementation that a Customer Success Manager will help do the right way, the first time.

 

1. Technical: IT implementation process and you

Implementing a new HR system is about more than just plug and play. You need the right data, that’s going to be the most useful to your business that’s going to work efficiently.. For an HR system, this could be anything from the macro scale of deciding how much historical data to import, all the way to the micro of deciding what to label your pay grades. 

Our Customer Success Managers have built hundreds of platforms, and will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They’ll guide you through all the foreign build concepts like process modelling and establishment models to make sure your system is right the first time.

This means you can focus on your people instead of being pulled in a thousand directions as you have to learn how to be a project coordinator, change manager, IT expert, business analyst and more.

Less rework, less manual data correction (trust me, if you’ve ever had to manually update hundreds of HR records you’ll know what I’m talking about) and, more importantly, cleaner data. Cleaner data means a smoother implementation phase, which means a better IT implementation process, which means when you turn the key, the system works properly on day one.

We’ve helped engineering firms get their data in, polished and the system live in the same week! 

 

2. Change management: implementation plans and Stubborn Sam

Be honest: you know a Stubborn Sam. That one person in the business who crosses their arms and rolls their eyes at the thought of anything new. Need to update your email footer? Sam has a problem with it. Ask Sam to use Google Docs instead of Excel? They’re offended, frankly.

Imagine a Stubborn Sam during an HR system implementation. Not a pretty picture.

But, the truth is, Stubborn Sam’s can be a great asset. If they’re on board with the project, they’ll get everyone else on board. Unless you’re a dedicated change specialist, converting your Stubborn Sams into Supporting Sams feels like a huge hill to climb.

Self-managed implementations means you have to figure all this out yourself. If you don’t get it right, the Stubborn Sam’s of the world convince others the system isn’t going to help. They build passive resistance (you keep overhearing them complaining about the system every time they’re in the kitchen), and suddenly it’s three months later and no one’s using the system and you’re stressed because now you’ve got double the work to convince the rest of the business to get on board, and Sam won’t even touch their logins.

You’ve spent all this time and money on a system that isn’t getting used.

This is why expert Change Management is crucial. Your Customer Success Manager is a change expert – they’ve got the tools and hard-earned knowledge to create successful change, making sure you start the project the way you want it to end. 

They’ll provide:

  • Stakeholder analysis;
  • Communication plans;
  • Change-Risk analysis; and
  • Objective Business Analysis.

Your Customer Success Manager will help you target the high resistance Stubborn Sam’s from the start of your project, so the change will get easier as time goes on, not the other way around.

As your Consulted Implementation goes on, they’ll make sure you have everything you need to have Sam uncross their arms, and slowly start nodding as they see your awesome new software and how much easier it’s going to make their life. They’re telling people about all the cool features of the system at lunch, instead of whispering about how bad it is behind your back.

You ran a pilot to iron out the kinks before the Executive team saw the system. You cultivated desire and knowledge in your leaders, and made them the change champions to empower their team. The system is being used by all, and you’re a rockstar.

Don’t let Stubborn Sam win.

 

3. Design Thinking: the 11 secret herbs and spices of implementation

HR systems are a great way to digitise what you do. Take the manual work and bring it online with HR automation tools. No more paper forms, no more chasing up approvals. The whole thing just works.

You’re still doing what you’ve always done, just on the new HR system. 

This is where intelliHR’s consulted implementations are unique. We incorporate Design Thinking throughout implementation. We’ll find out what processes you want to rethink, whether it’s onboarding, offboarding, performance development, or just plain analytics and reporting, we’ll get to the heart of the assumptions and ideas behind what you do.

You can’t get this from a self-managed implementation. You can try, of course, but it’s hard to look at your own business objectively. It’s difficult to separate operational needs and strategic needs. Challenging to put your finger on just which bits aren’t working.

You’re the expert on your business and people, but your Customer Success Manager is an expert with both the HR system and has years of experience in Design Thinking, so more often than not they’ll suggest things you never thought of. 

This can take your regular digitisation and convert it into a strategic implementation, where you work together to identify opportunities to make your system and processes even better. This means better analytics, deeper insights into your business, and more tools to retain and upskill your people. We want you to focus on making sure your people enjoy coming to work and are given the best opportunity to produce their best work. We’ll help with the rest.

Survey Playbook

 

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