Nine Steps Toward an HCM Software Implementation

What to do to ensure success with a human capital management software project.

Christa Degnan Manning and Koppel Verma of analyst firm AMR Research Inc. offer the following suggestions for manufacturing companies investigating or implementing a human capital management (HCM) software project.

1. Investigate your incumbent software supplier.
There is a lot of functionality companies can use in their existing suites with which they have relationships.

2. Focus first on the processes, not the providers.
Prioritize what you can do today and make sure you know how you need it to work before trying to automate by looking at what needs to change, and why.

3. Establish personnel competencies as the core of your program.
Start with competencies because they can inform every other HCM business process you undertake.

4. Don't expect a rock-solid business case or hard ROI for strategic HCM.
Try to gain C-level attention for investments in strategic HCM as a competitive differentiator to get cross-functional cooperation.

5. Enlist employees to drive strategic HCM from the bottom up.
Younger generations of workers are wanting systems that provide visibility into career development options -- either with your company or somewhere else.

6. Realize software-as-a-service isn't everything, but it may be the only thing.
Many of the enterprises interviewed chose their provider because of delivery model flexibility.

7. Ask to see in-depth demonstrations to ensure functionality will work as expected.
Give vendors scenarios of how your processes will work in the system -- and ask to see it.

8. Commit to core HR integration as a key enabler to your success.
Many implementations were hindered by core personnel information that was either scattered, inconsistent or simply did not exist -- and often set things back considerably.

9. ERP can do HCM, but can you do HCM in ERP?
Today's best of breeds have the benefit of being able to take advantage of newer technologies to make it easier to visualize information and workflows -- but ERP is working hard to catch up.

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