Is Your Organization Ready to Consider an HRMS?

Before you look at acquiring an HRMS, look inside your organization. How intrinsic to your company’s strategic direction is the acquisition of an HRMS? What is the meaning of an HRMS to your executives? Are they convinced of the strategic importance of HR? Or will your executives’ views be limited to an HRMS with only basic record keeping functions (such as demographics data or payroll information)? Your success in obtaining strong executive sponsorship will dictate where you look and what package you will select.

You will need to consider the overall budget. Who needs to be on side to develop a credible business case?

What about technology? Is your organization ready to consider solutions that allow widespread web access? What impact would technology have on external organizations like employee groups? Should they be brought on board early in the cycle?

Finally, competing projects may impede your executives’ consideration of this
project. Your company’s resources may be fully engaged in other initiatives. This will affect your overall timeline.

What Functionality Do You Need?

There are many options. Basic HRMS include payroll applications with little or no

HR functionality. Comprehensive systems include payroll and may include compensation, benefits, positions, health and safety, training and development, and time and labour.

In addition to raw function, some packages make it easier to do your job by offering workflow capability. For example, an email message can be automatically triggered to a benefit administrator to enroll an employee on benefits when an applicant is
hired.

Others have non-traditional ways of accessing information: for example, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) married to workflow can trigger actions like job scheduling. Alternatively, your organization may want to use a kiosk to enable employees to access and update their own personnel information.

To determine your scope, your organization should go through a requirements. study or needs analysis. Consider where the payroll system fits in. Should you track detailed payroll records in your financial system? Do you have extensive requirements in the areas of pension administration?

Considering both present HR activities and future directions of HR in your organization, list ten case studies that will give you the greatest return on investment. For help with creating the case studies, obtain the HR Matrix available from HRMS Directions or the International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM). By relating your case studies to return on investment, you can avoid being distracted by insignificant items in vendor demonstrations.

Remember to consult with individuals within and outside of the HR functional area to develop your detailed case studies. Other users across the organization may have systems or even desktop applications that will be replaced by this package. If needed, hold facilitated sessions to draw on the experiences and ideas of individuals throughout your organization.

Finally, consider whether your case studies rigidly mirror current practice, or area reflective of ways you might consider addressing the target business processes.You want the latter.

But What About the Technology?

Involve your information technology (IT) group early in your requirements discussions. While they may not be interested in the detailed case studies, they will be interested in the application usage. For example, how many potential users will be accessing the software at the same time? What platform will the software run on? How compatible is it with current technology? If you are considering web access to information, this may mean significant changes to your IT environment. What are the interfaces to the system? Will the HRMS package need to supply data to or receive data from any other systems?

Still... Is an Implementation Feasible? The Hot Buttons:

Resources - Based on the application you choose, look at your company’s resources to determine whether you are likely to have both the people and the skills available in-house when you will need them. Senior staff who best understand the business area and individuals with implementation experience will need to be part of your team. Project roles will depend on project size and scope and will include, for example, project manager, sponsor, functional experts, technical experts, database administrators, change management and business process improvement experts. If you do not have the required resources in-house, you may be wise to look externally to one or more consulting organizations that specialize in project implementation to partner with you or lead the