"Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act." - James Thurber
One of the most over-looked factors of any Kronos project is a solid communication strategy. Successful internal communication during a Kronos v8 upgrade can be one of the hardest goals to achieve. Depending on the business needs and size of an organization, a Kronos application will touch every department of the company, including IT, HR, Accounting, etc. When all of these departments collide during an enterprise Kronos project, it can be difficult to foster clear communication between departments about strategy, goals, and overall progress. There are a few key ways organizations can foster clear internal communication between departments during a Kronos Version 8.0 upgrade.
Identify Organizational Goals
There are two main processes involved in streamlining your organization’s goals for an enterprise Kronos project. The first is Strategic Alignment:
Strategic Alignment – The process of aligning the benefits of a Kronos upgrade project to the overall direction of the company to ensure a clear business definition of the return on this sizable investment.
Strategic Alignment brings the purpose and goals of the project across all levels - from C-level down to front-line employees - into line with the organization’s overall strategic vision. Alignment is aided by existing relationships between executives and the IT department. Support and communication from senior management can make all the difference in a successful communication strategy.
Identify Internal Pain Points
Identifying and mitigating the most common sources of risk or pain points in a Kronos upgrade is crucial to ensuring successful communication. In order to create a strategic communication strategy, you must first identify an organization’s Critical Success Factors (CSFs). These factors will vary by organization size, location(s) and industry. Each department will interact with the application in a unique way. Understanding each department’s unique goals for the project allows precautions to be taken so there are not conflicting goals or deadlines. Your organization must take precautions to ensure that each department does not function in a silo, but instead works with open communication towards a common end goal. This second process is defined as Strategic Reconciliation:
Strategic Reconciliation – The process of evaluating how this key project fits with other strategic initiatives across the entire organization.
Simply mandating compliance does not ensure successful strategic reconciliation. Every level of the organization must understand the organization’s business goals and how the project supports those goals. This requires ongoing communication of both the direct benefits of the project to individual, their department and the entire organization. Communication must be clear, consistent, and often.
Clearly Define Responsibilities
It is important to distinguish between overall corporate goals and departmental goals. Each facet of the organization should fully understand what they are responsible for, separate from the overall corporate goal. What this looks like will vary from organization to organization, depending on size and length of the project. One of the best ways to ensure cooperation and understanding between departments is to conduct a Gap Analysis before starting up the project. Before you can define your destination, you need to know your starting point. No matter the type of project, the first component that MUST be considered is the process. Implementations, upgrades, and even just the everyday use of software successfully can be challenging. Each of these functions must be paired with a comprehensive planning process in order to produce the best results. An experienced Service Partner will take the time to fully understand the culture, requirements, and process of your unique organization, so he/she can understand where and how communication should happen between all departments. A successful communication strategy will address the specific needs and culture of your organization.
Create a Communication Strategy
Lay out how your organization will communicate the upcoming changes, who the changes will affect, and the organization's WFM goals. A Communication strategy should include:
Communication Planning: Determine the information and communication needs of the key project stakeholders: who needs what information, when they need it, and how it will be provided.
Information Distribution: Make needed information available to project stakeholders in a timely and effective manner.
Performance Reporting: Collect and distribute performance data, including status reports, progress measurement, and forecasting.
Administrative Closure: Generate, gather, and distribute information to formalize a phase of project completion.
These four steps will help to ensure honest, transparent, and effective communication is the best way to help employees deal with change. Successful communication before and during and implementation includes ensures there is widespread understanding of the project expectations placed for each department.
Is your organization considering an upgrade to Kronos Version 8.0?
Learn more about the reasons to upgrade in our presentation below.