When starting or completing an enterprise implementation or WFM upgrade, simple yet crucial elements are often overlooked. Failing to fully account and plan for all variables in the total Kronos equation guarantees an over budget and under-delivered project. An organization must be dedicated to the details of their WFM project. Kronos can be a complex project for any IT department; for example, modules have different installation procedures, care must be taken to ensure the application and web servers have the correct bandwidth and are running compatible software versions, and individual user workstations may need to be adjusted for browser compatibility. Within the organization itself, there may be exempt and non-exempt employees, multiple payrolls, union rules, scheduling issues or OSHA incident tracking requirements. Additionally, most Kronos projects require participation from a blended team of decision makers including HR, Finance, IT, Payroll, Internal Audit, etc., not to mention a very diverse mix of end-users! In this two part series, we will discuss the essential details that must not be missed during a WFM implementation or upgrade.
1. Designate a Serious Project Manager
Although this detail may seem obvious at first glance, organizations will often try to shortcut this important detail by filling the PM position with the vendor, Payroll Clerk, or even an IT Analyst. While all of these positions are important, often the people in these roles do not adequately understand Implementation Project Management.
The PM is responsible for keeping your project on time and on track. He/she motivates management, the core implementation team, and the users towards the projects outcome. He/she is a team leader, risk management, and the key communicator. A Project Manager must be able to clearly speak with the steering committee about ROI, statistics, and business impact and then turn around to communicate with the IT team about the technical aspects; all while clearly informing the end users of the functional implications of the project. Filling all of these different roles is a huge responsibility that should be met by someone with the right level of knowledge and experience.
However, even the best Project Manager cannot manage the entire project alone. The PM must help build a team of people who have the proper skills and experience to execute the project. A project manager must recruit people who know how to deliver, tell them clearly what they need to do, and then give them enough space to perform.
2. Create Project Teams and Foster Cohesiveness
One of the most common mistakes made during a WFM project is implementing Kronos in a silo. Improvizations often completes an Implementation Audit after a failed or subpar implementation, which often reveals a complete lack of cohesiveness and participation in the process by those whom the software will affect most.
WFM software is touched by every person in an organization, creating a need for concise communication between all parties. The best way to ensure clear communication is to build teams that can communicate effectively. There are 3 core teams to build and manage during an implementation:
The Core team: PM, the Project Sponsor, the IT implementation team, consultants, HR person, PR person, Operations representative, and a Finance representative.
The Requirements team: A more detailed version of the Core team, the Requirements team should consist of management in each of the core team areas as well as a clerk or analyst. Bring in someone from Facilities, Security and multiple Supervisors from each of the departments and locations. The Requirements group is part of the Analysis, Design Review and Alpha Test team.
The Extended team: Built upon the Requirements team, the Extended team is responsible for running test plans. The test plans should be run by a greater number of employees after other teams have tested. Consider the Extended team members as beta-testers.
It is the Project Manager's job to make sure that each project responsibility is completely handled by the appropriate team before it is passed on. Note that there is a certain amount of healthy pressure, or weight, that each team feels from the larger group. Proper communication and teamwork will ensure that each team completes their responsibilities successfully, before handing the project on to the next team.
3. Document Everything and Simplify the Process
Documentation is essential during an implementation or upgrade. Make sure there is a system or program in place to handle change control for the documentation. If changes are made to the configuration after the document has been approved, then update the docs to match.
Whenever possible, try to reduce the number of planning tools you use to accomplish a project. Incredibly complex projects require a simple and manageable administrative base. The more tools in place, the more artifacts are produced, and the more labor intensive and non-productive the planning and reconciliation process. Centralization is the key. For every tool or artifact created, consider the maintenance equation long term and assess whether the tool is creating another “one-off” to manage.... Check back next week for part two of our Discover the Details blog series.