I recently had the opportunity to work with a client that implemented a new HRPR system. Along with infrastructure changes they also had an interesting structural change that restructured all positions in their existing Kronos system. Those changes needed to be reflected in Kronos Workforce Timekeeper and Scheduler. They needed to expand the existing organizational hierarchy to allow for an additional level at the top of the structure and expand existing levels to allow for more characters. Post the change, scheduling and labor accounting can now be done with the added level. In addition, since there are more digits for level entries, it reduced the amount of level entries to go through for a transfer or employee assignment.
Our Kronos system has been running fine for years, why change now?
Changes to Kronos are initiated for a variety of reasons (compliance, consolidation, new Kronos product, upgrade, or company acquisition and/or merger).
Although change can initially be cumbersome (based on the complexity of the request), some companies find it not only inevitable but beneficial. In my experience, changes can also be time sensitive for "live" systems. If you are already using Kronos, managers need time to continue to pay employees from the existing system; thus changes to production need to be planned well in advance. If you are a new Kronos customer, it can be less of a challenge as you do not have to consider historical information. Change complexity is based on the number of Kronos products, the amount of changes, and if it is made to a new or existing system. The good news is that Improvizations is quite capable of assessing then implementing change for both existing and new Kronos customers.
Does "change" need to take place right away? No!
- Kronos provides effective dates for many items Workforce Timekeeper allowing the change to take place at a specific date and time.
- At the time of the change: Kronos and Improvizations both provide tools for moving data in between test and production systems (employees, for instance). If a tool for moving an item does not exist our expertise and experience qualifies us to build it.
As an example, let's talk about two components that could require configuration changes: the Organizational Map and Labor Level structure. What could drive structural changes to these components? Although there could be many reasons (including those I mentioned in the second paragraph), the simplest reason is that the existing structure is dated. With the organization restructure, new HRPR software (even possibly a new Kronos Workforce HR Payroll implementation) may also come into play. The challenge presents itself when we consider the dependencies in the Kronos system that may have to be accounted for. When the Labor Level structure is changed, we need to analyze the impact on Labor Level Sets, Interfaces, Hyperfinds, employee assignments, data collection devices, past data, and perhaps custom reports. For Scheduling customers, when the Organizational Map is changed we analyze the impact on many of the same items (Organizational Sets instead of Labor Level Sets) in addition to other items (Schedule Sign-Ups and Time Off Requests). From there we develop a plan to implement change as well as a timeline (when the changes will occur).
A lot of proposed Workforce changes are coming, how do organizations prepare?
- Avoid making changes to an existing production system: Have a test system ready (and if possible backup the area affected by the change - in the labor level case - the SQL database). Build the proposed change in a test environment first (off of a copy of production) and get buy-in with those that use Kronos daily.
- Enforce change control: Document changes from point A to point B (be it via screenshots or running Kronos reports).
- Ensure you have an experienced consultant on staff: If they are complex changes (pay rule changes for instance), they are better able to interpret the language (business requirement to the Kronos building block). They see, and adapt to those changes.
How can we at Improvizations help you accommodate the ever changing Workforce? Or perhaps you are not looking at a full restructure for your positions and jobs but your company had some union changes... Let our expertise assist with not only implementing change, but also helping identify requirements for change and assist with adopting Kronos changes in your environment. Maximize the ROI from your Kronos Workforce Central Suite with change today! For more about change, see this article! For more Best Practices on change control, see this article.