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Not too long ago in my HR career, I was entrusted with the project of creating a performance management system for the company I worked for.  It started with a total evaluation of all of the positions within our organization including building out all of the core competencies and job roles and constructing the relationship to the company’s goals. At this point, I had to bring forth an automated solution to drive this process moving forward.

I was SO lucky!

But wait…let’s take a walk back….I have had the opportunity to work for a couple small organizations as the sole HR professional.  Looking back, it’s hard to see how I did without the HR technology in place.  My first exposure in HR was the opening of a major resort in Sin City.  At the time there was only one other resort that used automation for the hiring process…..and it wasn’t us.  Over the 9 month hiring blitz, the 50 HR/recruiting staff conducted over 25,000 in-person interviews and manually maintained all of the documents to support this process.

Over the years,  I received many papercuts from the endless hours of maintaining employee requests and files, I then progresses to using Excel spreadsheets (Access was too daunting) and checklists to maintain the various HR processes, even in regulated environments. 

Does this sound familiar? 

By now you’ve had the chance to read articles and blogs about selecting an HRIS system that is best for you.  You may have already made your pick.

CONGRATULATIONS on taking this huge leap of faith into the automated world of HR!  But what are some considerations you should make before your implementation?


Regardless of whether your solution of choice is implemented by the product company or by an implementation partner don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
  • Interview your lead implementation consultant.  Although number of implementations and years of experience are relevant, ask about large-scale projects to get a confirmation on the breadth of their product knowledge and HR knowledge.
  • Discuss the not only the length of the implementation, but also discuss how much time will be expected from various people from your organization:  HR, IT and end-users.
  • Find out what kind of training and support you will receive from your implementation partner.


Think of this as preparing to move into a new home.  Before the movers come, you should have all of your closets and drawers cleaned and organized so that your move will be efficient….the same is true of implementing your new system…remember---garbage in = garbage out!
  • If possible, document your various HR processes and workflows.  This will help your implementation partner to get a clear understanding of your system requirements.
  • Gather all of the supporting documentation that you want integrated into the system and have it handy (employment applications, benefits forms, internal HR forms, performance forms, etc.).
  • If you have been procrastinating about cleaning up your job titles, departments or time-off accruals  now is the time.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of the data that is coming from your source system (even if that source system is Excel).
  • Create a system testing plan.  At a minimum, you should be reflecting on your various processes and pushing all of them through your new system.  Taking a deep dive into testing, who else will assist you with this?  Press every link and try to “break” the system.
  • Start thinking about (and developing) your employee communication plan.  Will you be holding instructional sessions (in-person or virtual), distributing manuals and job aids, or a combination of both?  Will you announce the arrival of the system before implementation is complete?  Sketch out these specific requirements so that they can be incorporated into the overall implementation project plan.
The implementation process will be an interesting journey that will hopefully reap you many efficiencies in your daily administrative tasks.  Release your old world of Excel and a paper-cluttered desk and enjoy all of the functionalities that your new system has to offer.
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