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10 steps to support your HCM system post go-live

To ensure a new system's success, HR leaders need to develop a plan for how they will support their new HCM system post go-live. Here are 10 factors to consider.

It's never too early for HR leaders to develop a plan for how they will support their new HCM system post go-live. Doing so is critical to the system rollout's success.

As with any large project, some issues will likely crop up after go-live. In addition, employees' questions will increase once they begin using the new HCM system.

While these factors may seem obvious, HR leaders may not have thought about other important considerations. These include whether the department will be responsible for the system's maintenance, how to track enhancement requests and approvals and whether HR will need support from IT or other departments.

Here are 10 things to consider when developing an HCM system support plan for post go-live.

1. Who will support the system post go-live?

Traditionally, IT has maintained HR software. However, HR teams often do so now that cloud systems are more common.

Staff should meet with IT and develop a clear plan that outlines who's responsible for what tasks. For example, HR could be responsible for the HCM system's maintenance and enhancement, and IT could own the HCM system's integrations.

2. Does HR have the resources to support the HCM application?

The HR team may not have the right skill set and experience for the new system and functionality. Someone will need to be internally trained if so. However, the HR team should determine whether there's enough time and room in the budget to train an employee and implement a new system.

The company could also hire a new employee with the right expertise. However, if current workers are interested in the opportunity, morale could decline.

HR leaders may not have considered other important considerations such as whether the department will take responsibility for the system's maintenance, how to track enhancement requests and approvals and whether HR will need support from IT or other departments.

3. Are proper documentation protocols in place?

When an IT team is responsible for maintaining an enterprise-wide system, they document requirements and produce and review design documents before changes are implemented. If an HR department hasn't developed documentation processes and associated templates for the new HCM, staff should allocate time to do so.

4. Has HR created a mechanism to track issues and enhancement requests?

IT teams typically use a ticketing system for tracking tasks such as enhancement and change requests for enterprise-wide applications. By contrast, HR often handles all questions through email and phone calls. These communication methods may work for normal HR requests, but tracking, prioritizing and reporting on planned enhancements requires a different strategy.

5. Will auditors approve a company's processes?

A company's auditors may want to confirm that the HR department has an approval process for system security, including access to confidential information. If the department hasn't created one, staff may have to build that process and potentially acquire an application to support it.

6. Will HR need the support of a third-party vendor and do they have the budget for that?

If HR is responsible for managing the system post go-live, they may require a third party's help for complex enhancements or future issues. A third-party vendor can also help with changes like an integration between HR software and other company systems.

7. Will upcoming large projects interfere with post go-live support?

The HCM system may go live when HR is working on other major projects like annual compensation planning or performance management cycles. These projects could divert resources away from the new HCM system.

8. How will unplanned training needs be addressed?

HR departments often develop training material and run training sessions for employees and managers before a system go-live. However, training gaps may become evident later. Anticipating these gaps will ensure training resources and budget is available if needed.

9. Are HCM rollout resources allocated evenly across project phases?

Often, large HCM implementations are divided into multiple phases to stagger the rollout and reduce the implementation's risk and complexity. Go-live resources shouldn't be allocated for subsequent phases.

10. Does HR have sufficient resources to support the new HCM system?

A company may need multiple HCM system administrators if the software's size and complexity are too challenging for one person. One administrator could work on core HR and security, while another focuses on recruiting and another on performance management.

These employees will also need to prioritize enhancement requests, confirm that changes to one feature set won't negatively impact other parts of the system, and test vendor system updates.

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