Investing in your employees might be one of the smartest business moves you can make, but not all efforts turn out the way you plan. This is especially the case with human capital management (HCM) implementations.

Human capital management software is designed to help you invest in your company’s greatest asset–your workforce. Most of them center on automating HR functions, such as payroll, to drive productivity and employee engagement. Yet, they can fail to achieve these results if your organization doesn’t follow implementation best practices.

If your HCM implementation goes wrong, you may be able to file an ERP lawsuit against your HCM software vendor or systems integrator. But, do you have a strong enough case? It depends on the risk factor you’re talking about and the severity of the issue.

Below are some common HCM implementation risks that are often mismanaged by the implementer or the implementing organization – sometimes both.

5 HCM Implementation Risks

1. Lack of Strategic Alignment

Many HCM projects do not align with the organization’s enterprise strategy. These organizations often build a project team of mostly IT personnel and HR stakeholders, treating the project like an IT project rather than a business project.

Mitigation Tip

It’s critical that all departments are involved in the HCM initiative. While the HR department might have specific HR goals they want to achieve, the implementation should also align with the broader organizational vision.

We recommend taking the time to define an HR vision that aligns with overall organizational goals. An HR vision might start with a problem statement. This statement should be clear and concise before you start talking about solutions and seeking executive buy-in.

2. Unrealistic Expectations

It’s all too easy to shortchange an HCM project in terms of time, cost and resources. Many organizations grossly underestimate the breadth of the project and fail to assign the appropriate resources or set aside the right budget.

Mitigation Tip

To gain a clear understanding of what your HCM project will require, it’s important to hire an ERP implementation consultant who understands the critical success factors that most ERP vendors gloss over, such as change management. With the right experts by your side, you can accurately forecast your needs for the project long before kickoff. 

3. Change Resistance

It might sound ironic, but it’s common for employees to resist the very systems that are designed to make their jobs easier. This is because they’ve grown familiar with their legacy systems and are unwilling to let them go or learn a new platform. 

Mitigation Tip

Clear and consistent communication regarding business benefits can help you ensure user adoption. We recommend developing a change management plan to determine messaging for different employee roles.

As you create this plan, invite employees to share their input during requirements gathering workshops as well as software demos.

4. Legacy Data

Any time you implement an enterprise-wide software system, like an HCM or ERP system, there’s the laborious task of migrating data from disparate legacy systems into a single, modern platform. Ensuring sure that data is clean and devoid of duplication can bring the project to a standstill if not preformed early enough.

Mitigation Tip

As with any other implementation step, it pays to plan. A robust data migration strategy can outline the steps required to ensure the process goes smoothly from schema mapping and data mapping to test planning. 

5. Lack of System Integration

You can’t expect to add a new enterprise system, press a button and see all of the existing programs fall into their usual places.

Any time a company is running multiple systems, it’s imperative that these systems all speak to one another and integrate seamlessly. This is especially the case with an HCM platform that touches various aspects of your business. 

Mitigation Tip

As you integrate, it’s important to keep the entire chain of command in mind. Even if you move all your HR functions onto one system, you’re still not in the clear. You also must integrate this new HCM system with your main ERP solution.

We recommend developing an ERP system integration strategy to help you understand which systems you’re currently running, along with the updates you need to make to each one for data to flow seamlessly between them. 

How a Software Expert Witness Can Help

If you decide to take your vendor or systems integrator to court, you’ll need to be able to prove that your project failure occurred as a result of their negligence. 

As your attorney weeds through critical documents, they may reach out to a software expert witness to help prove your case. This expert can help determine the feasibility of litigation and provide an unbiased viewpoint on the factors that led to HCM failure. 

However, don’t assume your struggling project has already failed. Independent verification and validation services may be able to steer your project in the right direction. In other cases, you might benefit from ERP project recovery expert.

Either way, expert guidance is key if you want your organization to successfully implement modern technology and adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace. Request a free consultation below to speak with a software consultant or organizational change management consultant.

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