In our 12-part series, Kate Wadia – Managing Director at Phase 3 Consulting - guides the HR professional through how to navigate, succeed and lead with HR tech project-work. From the inception of the business case to the handover into BAU, we’ll follow an indicative project timeframe to explain the way and the why of a project step-by- step, to give you a full toolkit of practical points, a deciphering of definitions and the top tips to get results important to HR and the wider business.
In this 12-part series I have guided the HR professional through how to navigate, success and lead with HR technology project-work.
From the inception of the project and business case to the handover into BAU, these 12 significant opportunities for smooth success are explained. In each part, find practical advice and method, small tips and key questions answered.
This is your toolkit to get the results that are important to HR and to the wider business.
Here is your signpost to each step, with some of my favourite pieces of advice captured as each part concludes with a chosen action-point, explained within the text – ‘Take 1 Step’.
Smooth success is often about achieving understanding. The common secrets lie in planning and method, knowledge-share and working well with people.
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How to Navigate the 12 Steps
- I recommend you start by reading the series from the beginning, even if just for a skim – getting ahead and abreast of the project issues ahead is important to your project success.
- After that you may wish to use this sign-posting to dip in and out of different stages as you make progress, checking back for reference.
- Offer relevant sections to your stakeholders in all directions and to your project team members responsible for delivering each part of the project. Use your internal and external advisers for more detailed guidance in the topics you spot that are proving most tricky for you.
Identify the potential benefits of HR technology, learn how to structure your business case and how to appeal to your audience.
Take 1 Step on Step 1 by filling in the gaps in your initial understanding.
Explore a market overview and context for choosing an HR system, appreciating your key considerations of choice.
Take 1 Step on Step 2 by establishing where you will find your source of objective advice in system selection.
Learn the steps involved in system selection and make sure that your process supports rather than de-rails the right choices.
Take 1 Step on Step 3 by organising a ‘lessons learned’ workshop.
Do your homework to get ready for project kick-off. Read advice on how to negotiate the optimum contract terms and get your data and business processes in good shape.
Take 1 Step on Step 4 by compiling all of the relevant information into a central project file.
Gain a new skill-set in applying project method to your approach with HR technology, including the basics of methods and simple tactics.
Take 1 Step on Step 5 by planning your sequence of appropriately scoped stages and milestones, based on your own organisational context.
Learn about the different types of expertise available to you and the context in which each will work best for you. Compose an appropriate project Board and engage with external professionals.
Take 1 Step on Step 4 by clarifying the role expectations of the internal and external project team members.
Understand how to make informed choices about configuration, design and build of the HR system during implementation. Get the best out of your consultancy time.
Take 1 Step on Step 7 by developing a personal technique to arrive at understanding the impact of design choices you need to make.
Differentiate between these types of testing and learn how to plan and carry out each of them well.
Take 1 Step on Step 8 by taking ownership of your diligent role in UAT. Do not side-step the internal requirement here.
Engage end-users effectively with experience-led advice. Create a structured communications plan and organise effective training.
Take 1 Step on Step 9 by mitigating your natural tendencies towards people stories or technical appreciation.
Learn what happens at the point of going live and how to reduce the technical, organisational and cultural risks of this key milestone.
Take 1 Step on Step 10 by the application of common sense questions about your planning of the go-live moment.
Achieve optimum support in early days from your managed and hosted service providers and super-users internally. Engage in the wider user community.
Take 1 Step on Step 11 by setting mindful check-in points to be ready to take action in the event of early problems.
Part 12: Back in the Business: Better BAU
Understand four strategies for avoiding negative impact of inattention once the project is over and the business moves into operational running.
Take 1 Step on Step 12 by clarifying and covering each key element of a system management role.
Good luck with your projects! I remain convinced that HR technology has much to offer to the business impact of HR, as well as much that HR can offer to technology.
About Kate Wadia
Kate’s passion at work is for bridging the gap between technology and people at work, translating for HR professionals the language of HR systems and making meaningful their potential.
She believes that success with people technology is through people and that people are the differentiator. Using simple techniques drawn from HR experience, project management, business psychology and analogy with everyday life, Kate presents and explains how to work well with technology and technology projects in an HR leadership role.
With a background in contrasting private and public sector HR management, Kate developed her thinking in seeking for herself to understand her first HR systems project-work.
Currently she leads the Service Delivery for Phase 3 Consulting, offering an independent take on the HR systems market in the UK, through a network of experts. Kate’s guiding principle is that openness offers knowledge-sharing, credibility and trust.
Incorrigibly enthusiastic and up absurdly early for a working morning, she swears that she only drinks three good coffees a day, but nobody believes her!