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How to offboard HCM project team post-implementation

A successful HCM implementation must include a proactive plan for offboarding temporary members of the project team. Learn what issues you'll need to address.

The core team responsible for supporting a human capital management system post-implementation may be much smaller and have fewer product experts. Planning for that eventuality is key to HCM success.

As an HR leader or team member responsible for managing the HCM system post-implementation, it is critical that you develop a plan early to offboard the temporary resources from the project team. These resources may be temporary employees, employees from other departments, the vendor's implementation specialists or external consultants. Your temporary resources may hold considerable knowledge about the implementation, and without planning, that knowledge will leave shortly after go-live.

Getting proactive and developing a plan early to offboard the project team provides many advantages. Here are a few:

  • You can assign tasks to someone and allow for time to complete them, rather than scrambling at the last minute.
  • You can ensure temporary resources are available post-implementation, if needed.
  • You can ensure your core team has the knowledge and resources required to support the HCM system.

Here are some items to consider when developing your offboarding plan.


The core team will need all project documentation before temporary resources leave. Examples of documentation and information the core team will need include design documents, usernames and passwords, contacts for third parties associated with the HCM system, decision logs and step-by-step instructions for key tasks required of the system administrator.

Orderly resources ramp-down

Ideally, you will be able to control how quickly resources leave your project team post-implementation. You may want to slowly draw down on temporary resources to ensure that your core team responsible for ongoing maintenance of the HCM system is prepared to take on all the newly assigned tasks. Keep the following things in mind as they relate to the different types of temporary resources you may have on your project team.

External contractors. These may be your most expensive resources on the project, and therefore the ones you would like to offboard earliest. However, they may also have the greatest product knowledge, and losing them too early may leave your core team unprepared. If you think you may require external contractors' services longer than planned -- even if it's on a part-time basis -- consider getting a new contract signed early. These resources will often begin looking for new opportunities before the implementation is complete so they don't have a gap between projects. If you wait too long, they may not be available to continue supporting you.

Temporary employees. Like external consultants, temporary resources will begin looking for their next project before go-live, so a decision early on will ensure they are available if needed. These resources are often less costly than external consultants and therefore a good option if your core team requires support for an extended period. Also, these resources may be good candidates to hire as permanent employees if needed. They are already trained, and you've had an opportunity to evaluate their performance.

Resources from other departments. Depending on the projects underway in the employees' home departments, it may be difficult to hold onto these employees. If you foresee a continued need for their help, consider setting up an agreement with the employee's manager that allows them to support you on a part-time or as-needed basis.

Vendor's implementation specialists. While it's typically not possible to hold onto these resources post-implementation for more than a few weeks, review your contract to confirm how long they will be available to you. If you see gaps in your core team's knowledge as offboarding approaches or begins, you may want to consider other services the vendor offers to ensure you have the support required.


Ensure that cross-training is built into the schedule so your core team has an opportunity to learn from your temporary resources before they leave the project.

Access removal and hardware retrieval

During the project, resources need access to various systems and may also have hardware, so the offboarding plan should address that with access removal plans. These will include removing access to the HCM system and other applications they required for the project, such as a document management system. Also, if resources were given hardware, make sure it is retrieved on their last day.

Remove confidential information

If your temporary resources used their own laptop or have other devices that contain your organization's data, ensure the project information is removed, especially confidential data.

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