Selecting the right human resources information system for your specific business needs is often a painstaking process. Managers rightly spend a lot of time considering which one will be the best fit.
Unfortunately, managers often fail to invest the same amount of energy when selecting the individuals that will install the new software, train their staff to use it, and handle troubleshooting. Asking the correct questions and conducting thorough research is essential in finding someone qualified to implement your new HR system.
Know the credentials of the individuals who will do the implementation
Just because someone is certified to install software does not necessarily mean that they have worked with it before. Every new system has kinks that must be worked out, and if you hire someone with little experience, your costs can quickly skyrocket.
Ideally, you should be looking for someone who has completed at least 10 installations of the specific software you will be using. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references and be sure to check for reviews of the company online.
Understand the differences between a project quote and an hourly rate
Some companies charge a flat rate for an entire project while others charge fees by the day. Both options have their financial advantages.
If you choose project costing, you know that there won’t be any nasty surprises when invoices arrive at your desk, even if the project exceeds the expected timeline. However, the rate you will be charged is based upon a “worst case scenario.” Thus, you pay the same price regardless if the project takes a week or a month.
Before you agree to a daily or hourly rate, ask for a breakdown of how much time each phase of the project will take. By doing so, you will be able to keep track of their progress.
Agree on project expectations upfront
Once you have found someone who seems capable of tackling the job, establish expectations before any work is done. Ask for a list of materials needed, projected costs and an estimated timeline in writing. It is common practice for companies to give a high and low estimate for completion time, such as six-to-eight weeks.
Keep on track and let the team do their job
Once the implementation process is underway, learning how to use the software will likely inspire you with new ideas to improve your new HR system. Before you begin making a wish list, let your team finish the originally agreed upon job. After your system is established and everyone knows how to use it, then you can work on perfecting it.
Have everything they need ready on day one
Typically, clients are found to be the guilty party when projects run over budget. Provide every piece of data that your implementation consultants need before the project starts.
Your implementation team will likely need to collaborate with your IT staff, so make sure that their schedules are compatible. You should also schedule training dates before any work begins. If the implementation process will require you to close your office during the week, ask if the team can work on Saturdays.
Selecting the right vendor can make a big difference when it comes time for implementation. Our professionals can help you select a vendor that has experience in your industry and a record of success with implementation. Visit our vendor match page to take advantage of our expertise.
Authored by: Dave Rietsema