HR Systems Consultancy

HR Systems Consultancy

Intro

As HR consultants we’ve worked with a lot of different HR systems, sectors and cultures. We know first hand that the efficiencies, data accuracy and return on investment can suffer significantly through the poor set up of your HR software.

Recruiting a dedicated project manager can help your implementation, but what makes us unique is the addition of our HR expertise and commercial backgrounds.

Not only do we keep your project on track, we integrate with your HR team, speaking their language, getting to know their challenges and engage your wider business leaders to inform the design and configuration of new processes with impact for the whole business.

Feedback from our clients show that we add significant value by challenging, influencing and driving change to best utilise their cultures and chosen software. We don’t just do, we collaborate, lead, create, rethink and deliver results for our clients, building relationships and transformations that last.

System Needs Analysis (SNA)

Would it be worth knowing if your existing system could already do what you need? This is where our Systems Needs Analysis (SNA) comes in useful. Not only can we use this to check if your existing system could better support your needs, but if it can’t, it’s designed to be a detailed scope of your new system requirements.

Even if your existing system can do 90% of what you need, if your relationship with the provider isn’t good or ‘politically’ the business needs something new and fresh, we can support you to explore the market.

We will run a number of workshops or online surveys to explore your needs across multiple areas of HR, Payroll, Recruitment and Learning. We will involve your HR Team, but also Finance, IT, Senior Managers and any internal communication leads early on to identify potential integrations, reporting requirements, duplication and business priorities. 

After an initial brief from the HR Lead, we will design, facilitate and then report on our findings to give you confidence to go to your current provider or wider market with a detail specification (or Request for Information – RFI) to identify the right solution(s) for your organisation. 

Product Selection

Our experience will help you to ask the right questions, request specific demonstrations of complex structures or processes that you may need to configure and objectively score on agreed criteria. Any good sales team can wow you with the latest functionality, but we’ll make sure this doesn’t distract you from meeting the essential criteria too.

 

We usually advise a 2-stage process during selection and support you through to signing contracts. We will ensure that your new provider is clear on the modules included, support, user training and terms of the relationship with them throughout the implementation phase and into business as usual.

System Implementation (set-up)

Whilst we can simply project manage your implementation; we add so much more value by using our HR expertise too. Not only do we understand the phases of the project and interdependencies of each, we can quickly identify where processes could benefit from being redesigned.

  • Project Management 

Firstly, we will create an internal project team to communicate with regularly. This is usually formed to some degree at the selection stage. This can consist of us and one other person, or involve a range of stakeholders from across departments, brands or group companies.

Input is always unique, and business driven. Some teams will wish to receive regular reports with actions, risks and issues; others benefit from weekly meetings and sub-project meetings, depending on the complexity and scale of the project.  

  • Process Design 

It is often a challenge to fit your existing process into new software. This can end up with workarounds, inefficiencies and frustrations. We work with your existing teams to: 

  • map your current processes
  • explore the system functionality
  • identify options for automation and workflows
  • document and communicate change impact to the business for approval.

There are usually reasons for the way processes work in the way they do so we are careful to ensure any changes bring value and that any impacts beyond the HR team are considered before signing off on key process changes. It is a great rationale to drive change and efficiency however we will regularly question the balance between technology and human interaction as well as manager capability and capacity to ensure we strike the right balance for you. 

  • Configuration 

Whether it’s data cleansing, data collection, setting up code tables or designing workflows, we will collaborate with your chosen provider to give you support and expertise whilst setting up your system. We will know what data will be needed, which processes need to be agreed and the order in which to do things. Whilst we can’t do it all alone and will need organisational knowledge and guidance from your internal teams, we aim to manage expectations and be sensitive to the other demands on your time. 

Configuration and project management often sit together when these roles are carried out by one consultant, we are often the first to know of any risks or issues and can often resolve them for you before escalation is needed. 

  • Stakeholder management  

We will act as the key internal contact between multiple internal and external stakeholders ensuring we make decisions at the right time and manage the interdependencies or conflicting priorities efficiently. 

We like to work onsite with our clients, to really get to know them and build strong relationships. Likewise, we will usually meet the provider teams we are working with to ensure a successful project.

We will use a number of methods to keep stakeholders informed and will adapt these to suit each project. Approached can include: 

  • Project plans
  • Change impact reports
  • RAG reports (Red, Amber, Green to manage risks and issues)
  • Project status reports
  • Project meetings (in person, video or call)
  • Workshops
  • Roadshows
  • Executive Team presentations 

Even when stakeholders want light-touch involvement, we will provide regular reports allowing them to jump in when something of importance comes up, or to highlight where escalation may be needed. 

When close collaboration is required, we embrace this too and love to coach and develop your knowledge of the new system to ensure that you feel confident to continue its development long after we’ve left the project.

  • Coordinating Integration Work

When there are internal systems that your new product needs to integrate with, we are quick to identify who needs to be involved and when. Quite often there are three parties involved – the new provider, internal IT and the existing third-party software provider. It’s never too early to introduce the concept of what we need to achieve and ensure we answer any questions or spot any challenges early on. 

We understand technical terms such as Single Sign On, API Keys, Active Directory and Two Factor Authentication and will explain what is needed, or just keep you reassured that things are on track and working as required.

  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

Before rollout, it’s always advised to engage any HR team members in testing the system. We will design scenarios and logs to carry out the work and can run UAT sessions or give broader timescales to complete tests and feedback.

Once we are happy the testing is complete, we advise pilot groups to test the functionality, ensuring Managers and Employees can access, use and execute actions easily and get the responses they are expecting.

Depending on the complexity and scale of the project, this phase can range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. We will guide you closely on these phases, as it can sometime be better to delay ‘go live’ to complete thorough pilots and testing, than it is to rollout with issues that your Managers and Employees then need to report back to you, which can undermine their faith in the system.

Training and Rollout

Whilst your software provider should supply an element of product training for you and your team, if it is carried out too early in the project, or not everyone could attend, there may be a need for refreshers, one to one support or user guidance.

  • HR Training

Some systems are also highly configurable, so whilst your provider can give you generic training, if there are processes designed specifically for you, we will design and run additional training and support.

  • Senior briefings

We also offer high-level senior team briefings to ensure your business leaders understand the key features and benefits, timescales and return on investment as required.

  • Workshops, Webinars, Videos & User guides

We usually advise a number of approaches for different audiences when it comes to rolling out the system. Familiarisations sessions, workshops, one to one training, quick ‘how to’ videos and user guides are some of the most common rollout activities we will design and run to ensure there is something to suit those working different shift patterns, remote workers and those that need to dip in and out of materials as and when they need them.

Impact Assessments

If we’ve been involved from the start, we can document the time taken, external costs (such as postage or subscriptions) and number of touch points when we map your current processes.

It’s usually a good idea to let new software embed itself for at least 6 months, letting people get familiar with using it before measuring the impact or return on investment (ROI). Whilst your leadership team will be keen to hear the results, initial user error or glitches can impact the longer-term ‘business as usual’ results.

We offer a 1-2 day assessment of your software to review how well the functionality is being utilised, the efficiencies created and the impact of any insights as a result of using better management information.

We will provide a report and action plan for your team and liaise with your software provider to ensure that you are on the right path to delivering and evidencing maximum return from your software.

Implementation Rescue

New software is a big investment in time and internal resources. Often HR can be called upon to respond to unplanned events or priorities that were not initially foreseen, and this can stall and sometimes even holt an implementation project altogether. We have experience of joining projects mid-way through to get them back on track and seen through to completion.

As any data you’ve uploaded quickly becomes out of date and the team start to lose some of the training knowledge they had, it can seem like a daunting task to get the project back on track.

Our experience consultants can pick up a project at any stage, no matter how ‘messy’, to ensure that your initial investment and efforts don’t go to waist. We’ll work with your team and software provider to lead and manage the project in a way that fits the resources available and implement elements that will have the biggest impact on efficiencies first, even if we need to re-write the plan or change the project scope.

Whilst we always need an element of internal resource for information and key decision making, we are happy to lead, make suggestions, give options and advise on the capabilities and impact to minimise your time needed on the project whilst ensuring you have the level of control and information you need.

Intro

As HR consultants we’ve worked with a lot of different HR systems, sectors and cultures. We know first hand that the efficiencies, data accuracy and return on investment can suffer significantly through the poor set up of your HR software.

Recruiting a dedicated project manager can help your implementation, but what makes us unique is the addition of our HR expertise and commercial backgrounds.

Not only do we keep your project on track, we integrate with your HR team, speaking their language, getting to know their challenges and engage your wider business leaders to inform the design and configuration of new processes with impact for the whole business.

Feedback from our clients show that we add significant value by challenging, influencing and driving change to best utilise their cultures and chosen software. We don’t just do, we collaborate, lead, create, rethink and deliver results for our clients, building relationships and transformations that last.

System Needs Analysis (SNA)

Would it be worth knowing if your existing system could already do what you need? This is where our Systems Needs Analysis (SNA) comes in useful. Not only can we use this to check if your existing system could better support your needs, but if it can’t, it’s designed to be a detailed scope of your new system requirements.

Even if your existing system can do 90% of what you need, if your relationship with the provider isn’t good or ‘politically’ the business needs something new and fresh, we can support you to explore the market.

We will run a number of workshops or online surveys to explore your needs across multiple areas of HR, Payroll, Recruitment and Learning. We will involve your HR Team, but also Finance, IT, Senior Managers and any internal communication leads early on to identify potential integrations, reporting requirements, duplication and business priorities. 

After an initial brief from the HR Lead, we will design, facilitate and then report on our findings to give you confidence to go to your current provider or wider market with a detail specification (or Request for Information – RFI) to identify the right solution(s) for your organisation. 

Product Selection

 

Our experience will help you to ask the right questions, request specific demonstrations of complex structures or processes that you may need to configure and objectively score on agreed criteria. Any good sales team can wow you with the latest functionality, but we’ll make sure this doesn’t distract you from meeting the essential criteria too. 

We usually advise a 2-stage process during selection and support you through to signing contracts. We will ensure that your new provider is clear on the modules included, support, user training and terms of the relationship with them throughout the implementation phase and into business as usual.

System Implementation
(set-up)

Whilst we can simply project manage your implementation; we add so much more value by using our HR expertise too. Not only do we understand the phases of the project and interdependencies of each, we can quickly identify where processes could benefit from being redesigned.

  • Project Management 

Firstly, we will create an internal project team to communicate with regularly. This is usually formed to some degree at the selection stage. This can consist of us and one other person, or involve a range of stakeholders from across departments, brands or group companies.

Input is always unique, and business driven. Some teams will wish to receive regular reports with actions, risks and issues; others benefit from weekly meetings and sub-project meetings, depending on the complexity and scale of the project.  

  • Process Design 

It is often a challenge to fit your existing process into new software. This can end up with workarounds, inefficiencies and frustrations. We work with your existing teams to: 

  • map your current processes
  • explore the system functionality
  • identify options for automation and workflows
  • document and communicate change impact to the business for approval.

There are usually reasons for the way processes work in the way they do so we are careful to ensure any changes bring value and that any impacts beyond the HR team are considered before signing off on key process changes. It is a great rationale to drive change and efficiency however we will regularly question the balance between technology and human interaction as well as manager capability and capacity to ensure we strike the right balance for you. 

  • Configuration 

Whether it’s data cleansing, data collection, setting up code tables or designing workflows, we will collaborate with your chosen provider to give you support and expertise whilst setting up your system. We will know what data will be needed, which processes need to be agreed and the order in which to do things. Whilst we can’t do it all alone and will need organisational knowledge and guidance from your internal teams, we aim to manage expectations and be sensitive to the other demands on your time. 

Configuration and project management often sit together when these roles are carried out by one consultant, we are often the first to know of any risks or issues and can often resolve them for you before escalation is needed. 

  • Stakeholder management  

We will act as the key internal contact between multiple internal and external stakeholders ensuring we make decisions at the right time and manage the interdependencies or conflicting priorities efficiently. 

We like to work onsite with our clients, to really get to know them and build strong relationships. Likewise, we will usually meet the provider teams we are working with to ensure a successful project.

We will use a number of methods to keep stakeholders informed and will adapt these to suit each project. Approached can include: 

  • Project plans
  • Change impact reports
  • RAG reports (Red, Amber, Green to manage risks and issues)
  • Project status reports
  • Project meetings (in person, video or call)
  • Workshops
  • Roadshows
  • Executive Team presentations 

Even when stakeholders want light-touch involvement, we will provide regular reports allowing them to jump in when something of importance comes up, or to highlight where escalation may be needed. 

When close collaboration is required, we embrace this too and love to coach and develop your knowledge of the new system to ensure that you feel confident to continue its development long after we’ve left the project.

  • Coordinating Integration Work

When there are internal systems that your new product needs to integrate with, we are quick to identify who needs to be involved and when. Quite often there are three parties involved – the new provider, internal IT and the existing third-party software provider. It’s never too early to introduce the concept of what we need to achieve and ensure we answer any questions or spot any challenges early on. 

We understand technical terms such as Single Sign On, API Keys, Active Directory and Two Factor Authentication and will explain what is needed, or just keep you reassured that things are on track and working as required.

  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

Before rollout, it’s always advised to engage any HR team members in testing the system. We will design scenarios and logs to carry out the work and can run UAT sessions or give broader timescales to complete tests and feedback.

Once we are happy the testing is complete, we advise pilot groups to test the functionality, ensuring Managers and Employees can access, use and execute actions easily and get the responses they are expecting.

Depending on the complexity and scale of the project, this phase can range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. We will guide you closely on these phases, as it can sometime be better to delay ‘go live’ to complete thorough pilots and testing, than it is to rollout with issues that your Managers and Employees then need to report back to you, which can undermine their faith in the system.

Training and Rollout

Whilst your software provider should supply an element of product training for you and your team, if it is carried out too early in the project, or not everyone could attend, there may be a need for refreshers, one to one support or user guidance.

  • HR Training

Some systems are also highly configurable, so whilst your provider can give you generic training, if there are processes designed specifically for you, we will design and run additional training and support.

  • Senior briefings

We also offer high-level senior team briefings to ensure your business leaders understand the key features and benefits, timescales and return on investment as required.

  • Workshops, Webinars, Videos & User guides

We usually advise a number of approaches for different audiences when it comes to rolling out the system. Familiarisations sessions, workshops, one to one training, quick ‘how to’ videos and user guides are some of the most common rollout activities we will design and run to ensure there is something to suit those working different shift patterns, remote workers and those that need to dip in and out of materials as and when they need them.

Impact Assessments

If we’ve been involved from the start, we can document the time taken, external costs (such as postage or subscriptions) and number of touch points when we map your current processes.

It’s usually a good idea to let new software embed itself for at least 6 months, letting people get familiar with using it before measuring the impact or return on investment (ROI). Whilst your leadership team will be keen to hear the results, initial user error or glitches can impact the longer-term ‘business as usual’ results.

We offer a 1-2 day assessment of your software to review how well the functionality is being utilised, the efficiencies created and the impact of any insights as a result of using better management information.

We will provide a report and action plan for your team and liaise with your software provider to ensure that you are on the right path to delivering and evidencing maximum return from your software.

Implementation Rescue

New software is a big investment in time and internal resources. Often HR can be called upon to respond to unplanned events or priorities that were not initially foreseen, and this can stall and sometimes even holt an implementation project altogether. We have experience of joining projects mid-way through to get them back on track and seen through to completion.

As any data you’ve uploaded quickly becomes out of date and the team start to lose some of the training knowledge they had, it can seem like a daunting task to get the project back on track.

Our experience consultants can pick up a project at any stage, no matter how ‘messy’, to ensure that your initial investment and efforts don’t go to waist. We’ll work with your team and software provider to lead and manage the project in a way that fits the resources available and implement elements that will have the biggest impact on efficiencies first, even if we need to re-write the plan or change the project scope.

Whilst we always need an element of internal resource for information and key decision making, we are happy to lead, make suggestions, give options and advise on the capabilities and impact to minimise your time needed on the project whilst ensuring you have the level of control and information you need.

Contact Us

Whether it’s one-off advice or to discuss a potential project or retainer, please use the form below and we’ll be in touch.