The 2016 Summer Olympics has brought the best athletes from across the globe together for the world’s biggest sporting spectacle. So far, the United States has dominated the XXXI Olympic Games, leading the way with 38 Olympic medals; 16 of which are gold medals. The power of highly trained and highly motivated athletes cannot be denied. Building a strong and effective team is the first step towards getting gold, or in the world of Workforce Management, having a successful implementation or upgrade. Similar to choosing members of a sporting team, there are multiple key roles to fill with the right teammates when planning for an implementation or upgrade and building a Kronos project team.
The Project Manager
Organizations will often try to shortcut this position by filling the PM role 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 Kronos 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.
The Internal Project Teams
One of the most common mistakes made during a WFM project is implementing Kronos in a silo. Improvizations can complete 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.
The Outside Consultant
Bringing a consultant into your organization is comparable to inviting a stranger into your home: there needs to be an element of trust between you in order for every party to feel comfortable. The wrong consultant at the right time is still the wrong consultant. Vice versa, the right consultant at the wrong time is still the wrong consultant. It is crucial to match the service partner with your organization’s needs. Deciding whom to work with can be an arduous process, but it is necessary to ensure good chemistry between your organization and the consultant you choose.
Although the use of outside consultants may not occur in every implementation, for organizations that lack the in-house expertise or necessary personnel, using consultants saves time and increases the efficacy of the final system through the expert application of industry Best Practices and standards. An outside Kronos consultant will understand how to communicate the importance of the WFM project to the executive team in order to properly prioritize the tasks needing to be accomplished. According to a recent survey, if given free reign over IT decision-making, 58 percent of IT professionals would prioritize long-term, back-end infrastructure investment. Yet, according to survey respondents, none of these long-term investments topped the priority list at the upper management level. Working with an experienced outside consultant will help to close these types of communication gaps and align the organization's WFM strategy.