How much would you be willing to pay for peace of mind?
Organization’s around the globe pay millions of dollars every year to purchase or supplement the applications that provide support and peace of mind. In 2015, worldwide IT spending is set to total at 3.8 trillion dollars, increasing by 2.4% from last year. Organizations worldwide spent $335 billion dollars last year on software alone!
These statistics show that organizations are not afraid to spend money on applications and software, but they fail to reveal WHY so many dollars are spent. As an experienced Kronos consultant, I have found myself asking these questions: Why do organizations buy Timekeeper or Scheduler or HRPR? Is it compliance made easier? Is it to manage the assets we call a workforce? Is it necessity that drives the decision to purchase a Kronos application?
Perhaps the gurus are right when they say people will pay for peace of mind. I believe that when organizations invest in a WFM application, they are investing in peace of mind. They are purchasing the comfort of believing that they are providing their organization with the best solution possible and the necessary tools to ensure smooth internal processes.
Although these motives are inherently positive, they fail to incorporate an important aspect of any implementation: the process.
No matter the type of implementation, 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. In the realm of Kronos implementations, the planning process is known as an Implementation Audit. Over the years I have discovered that without a comprehensive and in-depth Implementation Audit, a project’s chance of success decreases dramatically.
There are three key components to every successful Kronos Implementation Audit:
1. Discovering what is most important.
The first key to a successful Implementation Audit is uncovering what is most important to the organization you are working with. It is the consultant’s job to fully understand the culture, requirements, and process of each unique organization, so he/she can understand what pain points must be addressed in order to achieve peace of mind. Understanding what is in the overall best interest of the organization can be challenging as the opinions of individuals can often overpower the whole picture. It is crucial that a consultant understand that success is only possible if the solution is designed for the organization as a whole and not around the needs of 1-2 individuals.
2. Piece together the narrative.
Humans are storytellers. We learn and relate to other people around us by telling stories. The art of storytelling can be extremely persuasive. In fact, Harvard Business Review says that a good narrative can “motivate a desire to help others by sustaining attention – a scarce resource in the brain – by developing tension during a narrative.” Capturing a person’s attention and drawing them into the “plot” or tension is a great way to get people excited about a particular project or cause.
An Implementation Audit is no exception to this rule. A large percentage of the auditing process involves listening to stories from each of the key team members to reveal the real issues and real cause for change. The stories from each individual team member will combine to provide a real sense of the culture, requirements and process of the organization.
The experienced consultant will be able to successfully combine all of the stories, anecdotes, reports, requirements, regulatory rules, bargaining unit agreements and existing processes to create a story that presents the best solution in a way that achieves buy-in from stakeholders within the organization. If a consultant can create a compelling overarching story with the data and information collected, they will develop not only the best solution but motivate their audience to want to be part of the project.
3. Build the Right Team
The auditing process requires the right team. Scheduling the right people at the right time is a challenge. Make sure you keep the process fluid so that your team can make sure to be in the right place at the right time. The entire core team, management, and leadership must be in a room at the very start of the audit and at the very end. Gathering these key people together is necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page from the beginning of the project to the very end.
During the body of the implementation, the auditing team must be able to engage with each employee individually and in private, ensuring they are comfortable to share their perspective and provide context for the other reports collected. An auditing team with the right experience and skills will then be able to brainstorm and adequately process all the collected information to develop a successful implementation strategy.
Though complex, the auditing process is a necessary and important step in the implementation process. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes collaboration. It takes brainstorming. It takes stories. With the right team, the auditing process can be revolutionary for your organization’s implementation or upgrade process.
For more valuable information on Kronos implementation strategies, download our whitepaper:
"Successful WFM Implementation Strategies"