An almost audible sigh of relief can be heard across my team as we reach pay day. It has been a long 7 months from project kick-off until pay day using our new rem system. We successfully delivered the project, yet there are still things I would do differently. Here are my key learnings:
Don’t change processes and the system at the same time
We took this advice from another customer and I am so glad that we did. Your organisation will have to adapt to the system change, so don’t be tempted to complicate it with process changes on top of that (unless you absolutely have to).
Data cleanse, data cleanse, data cleanse…
If your data isn’t perfect prior to implementation, don’t underestimate how long it might take to correct! You can’t ever do too much. Enough said!
Get a project manager with HR system implementation experience
If you’re able to select a project manager, one experienced in HR system projects will definitely make things easier and this should take a little pressure off the business owners.
Ensure you have buy-in from your steering group
Governance needs to be clear from the outset: defining steering group versus operational decisions up front, for example, would have helped us further along in the project. Also ensure your steering group members understand the important and valuable role they play. Making the meetings sharp and short with pre-reading provided in advance should help improve buy-in.
Set up a business reference group
Our reference group consisted of business representatives from across the organisations who were involved right from the start and in a number of different ways. We tested our thinking with them e.g. how important is it for managers to add in personal comments into rem letters. We also used them to test our communications and training approach and then involved them in user testing. This worked really well – we gained valuable insights and they became champions for the system. Even now we are continuing to ask for their feedback to find out how aspects of the system were received within the organisation.
Name the system something that resonates with your organisation and use it in your launch, training and ongoing comms. It also helps to increase buy-in from people who perhaps have pre-conceived ideas about systems that they may have used previously.
Rem Review sick leave is a thing!
Having the right number of people trained on your new system is a hard balance to achieve. With other work priorities in play, you don’t often have enough people or time to get everyone across the detail. However, a few people outside your core implementation team with some exposure to the system will give you backup. It’s just Murphy’s Law that someone will be off sick during rem review (especially as it’s usually over winter!). It happened to my team and it was hard going at times.
Back to the future testing
Conducting tests based on future business changes can sometimes be difficult with system dates and interfaces but try to make it happen. We got caught out with our budget process and also some hierarchy changes that didn’t quite work as we expected them to. In hindsight, we should have done more testing on this and also on our production configuration.
Connect with other customers directly
Connecting with rem colleagues using the same system in a NZ context was extremely helpful. So don’t be shy – get out there and network! Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn if you want to swap notes or get the inside scoop!
Remuneration & Analytics Manager