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Successful Implementations Report

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Successful Implementations Report

  1. 1. Successful Implementations
  2. 2. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 1 Successful Implementation About KeyInterval Research KeyInterval is a practitioner centric market research firm. We survey practitioners in HR and Recruiting to discover what their work with technology is like. We work at the intersection of HR and Technology. We use a blend of quantitative and qualitative research to see beyond the more traditional vendor centric view. The company is driven by the curiosities of its founders, William Tincup and John Sumser. Our goal is to provide practitioners with a clear view of what actually happens when their peers and colleagues go to work. We help practitioners understand what is working in the day to day business of HR. We do this by investigating the realities of work in the HR practitioners’ world. We make maps that help practitioners to work more effectively and vendors to supply better technology. As long term participants in the HR ecosystem, we’ve heard a lot of stories about how things work or don’t. We’ve originated, repeated, recycled, learned and catalogued much of the folk wisdom that passes for rational thought in HR. We are pretty sure that the realities of HR work are substantially different from the ways they are portrayed. We want to discover what is true and accurate. We want to separate that from wishful thinking. We are mapping the realities of our industry. We will have better questions and better answers as time goes on. The explosion of technology makes it possible to replace anecdote with fact. Our work combines quantitative research (surveys) with qualitative (interviews and focus groups). The big vision is to replace fiction with fact and to sharpen the things that are true. H ow to Contact Us Web: keyinterval.com Phone: 415.683.0775 Twitter: @keyintervalR William Tincup: Principal Analyst @williamtincup william@keyinterval.com +1.469.371.7050 John Sumser: Principal Analyst @johnsumser john@keyinterval.com +1.415.683.0775 Copyright 2015 by KeyInterval Research, all rights reserved. You many not copy, duplicate, or share this report with anyone, ever. No, not even a teensy- weensy part of it. If you do, bad things will happen and all your hair will fall out. Well, maybe not that last bit. Really, this is proprietary and protected by copyright. So don’t copy or share. Love, Legal.
  3. 3. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 2 Successful Implementation Table of Contents About KeyInterval Research 1 How to Contact Us 1 Introduction 3 Implementation 5 Implementation Defined 5 Variations by Size and Complexity 6 Where Expectations Are Set (Time to Value) 7 Elements of Implementation 8 Important Insights and Major Findings 10 Overview 10 About Transformation 11 Reference Checking 13 Scope, Schedule and Budget 14 Administration (Changes) 15 SOW, SLA or Both? 16 Implementation Team 17 Data 19 Communicating Progress, Problems and Success 20 Why Projects Go Off Track 21 Qualitative Conversations 23 Why Is There No Definition of Excellence? 26 Why Is There No Professional Implementation Training? 28 The SaaS Paradox: Those Changes 28 Mark Berry on Implementations 29 Data Points 32 Overview 33 Myth Busting—Management Support 36 Notables 38 Notable for Administration 39 Notable for Implementation 40 Notable for Training 41 Vendor I Would Most Like to Work With 42 Methodology 43 The Story of the Data 43 Position: Distribution by Function by Company Size 44 Role: Distribution by Role by Company Size 45 How We Collected Data 45 Geographical Distribution of Responses 46 Responses by Industry 47 Pocket Guide: Successful Implementation Checklist 48 Research Calendar 51 Acknowledgements 51
  4. 4. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 3 Successful Implementation Introduction KeyInterval is an HR practitioner research company. We examine the intersection of HR workers and the technology that they use. Through a blend of very large scale quantitative surveys and in depth qualitative interviews, we are examining and re-examining core assumptions about the meaning and utility of HRTechnology. It is a search for standard practices. We are more interested in what practitioners do than what vendors, analysts, and consultants think they should do. Our goal is to understand the actual experience of the people who use HR Technology. Then, we want to present it back to practitioners as a toolset based on our findings about what works. Since the data in this report is exclusively focused on success, there are some things we could not do in our analysis. We have no cautionary tales to tell. We cannot warn of things that cause a project to fail. We cannot wag our fingers and tell you what you what not to do. This report is exclusively focused on the attributes of success. In the following pages, you’ll discover actionable intelligence about what it takes to have a Successful Implementation based on input from 824 people who were a part of one. We round out the story with input from qualitative interviews. This report exclusively focuses on the attributes of success. We did not investigate and do not describe the practices that put projects at risk. We cannot tell you what causes failure. There is one finding that informs all of the rest of the report. 82% of successful Implementations were Transformation Projects. (Sometimes, organizations purchase software to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of an existing way of doing things. These kinds of projects are called Optimization Projects. Other times,they purchase software as a way of changing the existing way of doing things. These are called Transformation Projects.) Said another way, only 18% of successful Implementation Projects were purely technical, or Optimization “Our goal is to understand the actual experience of people using HR Technology, and present it back as a toolset based on what works. ”
  5. 5. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 4 Successful Implementation Projects. In the pages of the report, you’ll find the actions and attributes that characterize success: Chapter 2. Implementations sets the stage with definitions and an analytical framework. Chapter 3. Important Insights and Major Findings lays out the big picture. Chapter 4. Qualitative Conversations summarizes our interactions with our advisory panel. Chapter 5. Data Points is a crisp run through the survey results Chapter 6. Myth Busting takes a good look at management support. Chapter 7. Notables is our unique format for presenting practitioner views of who matters. Chapter 8. Methodology shows who we surveyed and the demographic data on respondents’ industry, company size, and geographic locations. Chapter 9. The Pocket Guide/Checklist is a quick gateway to the material. “This report is exclusively focused on the attributes of success. ”
  6. 6. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 5 Successful Implementation Implementation This report describes what makes a software Implementation successful, what that means, and how companies plan for and execute the addition of new software in getting work done. Implementation Defined Implementation is the activity that happens between the time the purchase agreement is signed and when a company is fully using an HR Technology tool or system. The goal of Implementation is to have the right people using the new technology, in the right way, to accomplish organizational objectives. Implementation is the process by which software is integrated into the organization’s workflow. A vendor’s fees for Implementation are roughly 1/3 of the overall software purchase price. Additional costs include the time, energy, and resources consumed by the organization that is installing the software. So consideration of Implementation is an important part of any software purchasing decision. Some vendors provide incentives for the Implementation process by deferring all billings until the software is up and running and Implementation is complete. Implementation, its associated expenses, and the interruption of ongoing business processes are also why Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions were designed. In theory, a SaaS system requires no new code (customization). Since SaaS installations are a matter of configuration rather than customization, they are supposed to be easier, less costly, and faster. The reality is not quite as good as the theory. Large scale Implementations can take weeks, months, and sometimes years, even with SaaS solutions. “The goal is to have the right people using the right technology, in the right way, to accomplish organizational objectives. ”
  7. 7. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 6 Variations by Size and Complexity T he term Implementation is loosely applied to any integration of software into a company’s workflow. There are three important dimensions to think about with any Implementation: • The Number of Affected Locations (Branches, Plants or Offices) • The Complexity of the Software (From App to Unique Systems Integration?) • The Complexity of the Organization (Is it a one function focused business or is it a large, distributed project house run as a matrix?) In this report, we won’t spend time on the nuances of these differences. In our qualitative interviews we found that, while the size, scope, and complexity of an Implementation are very important from a planning perspective, Successful Implementations had many principles in common and practitioners used the same language regardless of project size. This report focuses on those similarities and principles of success, and our research shows no meaningful variability across settings.
  8. 8. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 7 Where Expectations Are Set (Time to Value) Increasingly, people’s experience downloading software in the consumer marketplace set the expectations for how a workplace Implementation should go. If a smartphone app can be installed and running in two minutes, then why can’t enterprise software? The buyers sometimes have an unrealistic view that their consumer experience can be repeated at work. Yet, there is a large gap between consumer and business software. The time and planning involved for a business software Implementation is one place where size and scope does matter. There are also fundamental differences between how consumer software and workplace software are purchased, used, and what they do. They serve two radically different functions. The consumer market serves millions of individuals with unrestricted decision making authority, while a business software market serves individuals whose decision making is tightly constrained. To get consumers productive, no collaboration, process improvement, departmental sign off, or budget approval is required. To get an organization productive, a team response is required for just about anything, particularly the use of companywide software. Consumers flip the switch and it works. When it doesn’t, they generally rely on very specific documentation, access to support (if any), and Internet based community service. Business software doesn’t have those same economics. Software vendors must invest in providing technical support to all of its customers, sometimes with actual people making on-site visits. The cost of development is also different between consumer and business software. Award winning experience in consumer products can be amortized across tens of millions of users. That creates a single piece of software with very standard use cases. Development can be measured in cents or dollars per customer. B2B software is amortized across a much smaller base, is not uniform in its functionality, and must be sold to buyers whose interests often conflict with end users’ interests. Inherent task complexity makes consumer-like interface design counterproductive. S till, the expectation of a very short time between purchase and value is norm. Expectations will only get higher as consumer tech more fully penetrates our lives. Both managers and vendors will have to navigate the difference between user expectations and reality. But from one very important perspective— the actual experience of the user— software is software. In the absence of B2B software development experience, it’s hard to imagine that the economics and business models are even an element of user experience. Users just want the software to work. The good news is that our research continues to show that users are generally satisfied with their software. It is possible (and we will cover it in a later report) that any dissonance exists only between the buyer and the vendor.
  9. 9. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 8 Elements of Implementation In this report, we used the following definitions and ideas as we explored the factors in a successful Implementation. • Project Mission It turns out that the Project Mission is a pivotal driver of success. 82% of successful Implementations are projects that were intended to transform their organization. The framing of the Project Mission is what determines the level of resource availability and management support. • Contract Implementation begins before the contract is signed. A predictor of success is that the Implementation Teams meet each other before the contract is signed. The contract nearly always includes a Statement of Work (SOW), a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or both. Formally, Implementation begins the moment the contract is signed. • Implementation Team(s) Both the vendor and the practitioner have at least one Implementation Team. • Management Involvement While we discovered some surprising things about management involvement, every Successful Implementation has some level of management support. It ranges from a passive reporting relationship to hands on day to day involvement. • Implementation Project This is the work that gets done by the group composed of the two Implementation Teams. It includes configuring, customizing, installing, testing, modifying, and updating the software. When the software project is Transformative, Implementation also includes other elements of workflow modification and even organization redesign. “A predictor of success is that the Implementation Teams meet each other before the contract is signed. ”
  10. 10. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 9 Elements, Cont’d. • Training Once the software is in place, the Implementation Teams work with the community of users (practitioners, their managers and company employees) to train (to varying degrees) the users in the use and maintenance of the system. In this report, training includes support documents, embedded help, on the job training (OJT) and consulting that optimizes user performance. • The Inevitable Disaster Most successful Implementations go through a period when the project goes awry. A significant subset, about 32%, of Implementations don’t, but 68% do. Smart planning means allowing for delays and disaster in the basic Implementation plan. • Acceptance (Sign Off) In theory, Implementation is complete when the requirements of the vendor’s contract have been met. ‘Sign Off’ refers to the process by which vendor performance is evaluated and approved. • User Satisfaction There is a bit of disconnect between software buyers and their management. Both users and executives see User Satisfaction as a better indicator of project completion than simply Acceptance. There is generally a lag between the Acceptance and optimal system performance. “Both users and executives see User Satisfaction as a better indicator of project completion than simply Acceptance. ”
  11. 11. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 10 Successful Implementation Overview Successful Implementations begin well in advance of the contract being signed. 92% of the respondents participated in the evaluation process. Understanding the intent of the contract by participating in vendor selection prepares the Implementation Team for the work ahead. O ur survey examined 824 stories of successful Implementations spread across a broad range of organization size, industry, and location. The Methodology section defines that process in detail. 89% of the Implementation Projects covered by the survey affected the entire workforce (as opposed to Implementations that were part of a departmental endeavor). The results of our survey are broadly applicable across company sizes and industries. This section details our major findings. Important Insights and Major Findings
  12. 12. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 11 About Transformation Successful Implementation Projects are Transformational. W hen we designed the survey, we believed that Transformation Projects would be the hardest subjects to document. Our question read: “Was your last important software implementation a Transformation Project? (Sometimes, organizations purchase software to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of an existing way of doing things. These kinds of Projects are called Optimization Projects. Other times, they purchase software as a way of changing the existing way of doing things. These are called Transformation Projects.)” We were surprised to see that 83% of respondents characterized their successful Implementation Project as a Transformation Project. We believe this means that Transformational Projects are significantly more likely to succeed.
  13. 13. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 12 The notion that Transformational Projects are where Implementation success lies is counterintuitive. Much of the conventional wisdom suggests that Implementation is always a difficult challenge, so that the larger the scope of the Project, the larger the risk. These results tell us about the quality and quantity of management support associated with a transformative initiative. “Conventional wisdom suggests that Implementation is always a difficult challenge. ”
  14. 14. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 13 Reference Checking W hile virtually all respondents considered the vendor’s reputation before awarding the contract (96%), a smaller (but still significant 84%) actually checked references. Of the group that checked references, 84% used independently sourced recommendations to some extent. During the reference checking process, the following topics were discussed: 1. Whether the software worked: 30% 2. The vendor’s response to problems: 72% 3. How the vendor treated the customer: 64% 4. Whether the customer trusted the vendor: 53% 5. Other potential references: 20%
  15. 15. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 14 Scope, Schedule and Budget Building the Implementation Plan involves having a detailed grasp of all of the Implementation Activities in advance of the Project. A Good Implementation Plan includes: The Project Schedule (a detailed definition of project tasks and their relationship to each other) The Budget (hard and soft cost elements) The Project Scope (the contract SOW plus internal work) Work Assignments (team members and their roles) Risks and Risk Mitigation In each element, both the internal and external resources should be clearly defined. Internal Budget External Budget Project Schedule Project Scope Vendor Defined 27% 38% 43% 38% Internally Defined 53% 42% 40% 47% 3rd Party Defined 11% 10% 10% 9% Did Not/Don’t Know 9% 10% 7% 6% T here are several ways to determine and manage the flow of work in an Implementation Project. There is an argument for having a vendor define the Project. They have broad experience across a large range of circumstance. There is a powerful argument for building internal estimates and managing to them. This seems particularly important on situations where vendor-customer trust is tentative. Of course, there are amazing third party firms whose business is the definition and execution of Implementation programs. We asked how the elements of the Plan were estimated. In almost 40% of cases, the vendor had a broad charter to define budget, schedule, and scope parameters. A slightly larger proportion of success stories feature internal definition of key project estimates. Third parties seem to run the show about 10% of the time.
  16. 16. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 15 Administration (Changes) We investigated the question of changes. Missed requirements, misunderstood nuances, unanticipated interruptions, and a host of other circumstances require complex interactions between vendor and practitioner during Implementation. We wanted to understand what practitioners do when predictable changes happen. 1. Ask the vendor for an estimate of costs involved....................38% 2. Offer to participate in the Customer Advisory Board..............15% 3. Organize other users to demand a change.............................15% 4. Embed the problem in the contract renewal process..............14% 5. Use other forms of leverage......................................................9% 6. Say “We thought we paid for that.”...........................................5% 7. Call in a favor or two from the vendor.......................................4% “Building internal estimates and managing to them seems particularly important when vendor-customer trust is tentative. ”
  17. 17. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 16 SOW, SLA or Both? T ypically, a Statement of Work (SOW) is a narrative articulation of the work elements that need to be accomplished in the Implementation Project. The SOW describes what is to be accomplished. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines specific quantitative measures to be applied to the Project’s results. We asked, “Do you use an SOW, an SLA or Both?” Here’s what gets included in SOWs and SLAs: 1. Testing 63% 2. Time-lines 53% 3. Sign Off Requirements 38% 4. Reliability Goals 34% 5. Availability Targets 25% 6. Penalties 22% 7. Adoption Levels 19%
  18. 18. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 17 Implementation Team In successful Implementations, the person who led the vendor’s sales initiative remains involved in the project well into the Implementation process. This ensures continuity and that the expectations created during the contracting phase are met after award. “In successful Implementations, the person leading the vendor’s sales initiative remains involved well into the process. ”
  19. 19. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 18 Another key factor in success is that the Implementation Team know each other before the kick off meeting. 93% of the Implementation Teams worked with each other before this particular Implementation. In addition, clearly defined roles for the Team members are an essential element. N o one works on the Implementation Team as a full time job. Generally, the Implementation Team is staffed by people who are experienced and influential. Implementation Team members are chosen for the following combinations of reason: 1. Experienced 59% 2. Influential 44% 3. Available 33% 4. By Request 21% 5. Political Choice 19% 6. Disinterested Management 16% Chemistry on the Implementation Team is deemed important or very important by 92% of the survey respondents. There appear to be two schools of thought about the tools used to manage Implementations. 53% use Project Management software while 44% use Office software like Microsoft or Google. The remainder rely on action item lists.
  20. 20. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 19 Data A central risk and concern in Implementation Projects is data migration. This means moving the data from the old system to the new. We asked about the method used to move the data from one system to the other: 1. Worked With Vendor.....................................56% 2. Vendor Did It All............................................29% 3. Spreadsheets................................................29% 4. Software Auto Import....................................21% 5. We Did It All.....................................................9% 6. API...................................................................8% This means that the topic of data migration has to be discussed in detail during the contract award/evaluation process. In less than 10% of the cases, the practitioner was able to migrate data without the assistance of the vendor. In general, it takes less than a month to complete the cleaning and migration of the data. 12% of projects encounter problems with the data that take months or years to resolve. Interestingly, these projects still consider themselves successful. That is likely to mean that historical data is less important than current, live data. “A central risk and concern is data migration; in less than 10% of cases, the practitioners migrated data without vendor assistance. ”
  21. 21. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 20 Communicating Progress, Problems and Success There appear to be two schools of thought about the tools used to manage Implementations. 53% use project management software, while 44% use office software like Microsoft or Google. The remainder rely on action item lists. How do you report progress? 1. Regular Report..............................................81% 2. Staff Meeting Presentations..........................74% 3. Meetings.......................................................71% 4. Executive Presentations................................62% 5. Word of Mouth..............................................52% 6. Email.............................................................44% When asked: To whom do you report progress, respondents listed one or more of the following: 7. Management.................................................91% 8. Team Members.............................................70% 9. Peers.............................................................60% 10. Employees.....................................................59% 11. Business Unit................................................58% 12. Entire Workforce............................................47% “53% use project management software, while 44% use office software, and the remainder rely on action item lists. ”
  22. 22. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 21 Why Projects Go Off Track It is unusual (but not rare) for an Implementation Project to move along exactly as planned. We examined this aspect of project management. Only 1/3 of successful Implementation Projects stay on track for the entire schedule. We asked what caused the project interruption. 1. It Never Happened........................................34% 2. Confused Communications..........................14% 3. Misunderstood Requirements.......................14% 4. Vendor Delays...............................................12% 5. Software Deficiencies....................................10% 6. Insufficient Staffing..........................................7% 7. Change Management Problems.....................7% 8. Insufficient Budget..........................................4% In summary, when projects go off the rails, it is a communication problem 28% of the time, a vendor problem 22% of the time and a practitioner problem 18% of the time. “Only one third of successful Implementation Projects stay on track for the entire schedule. ”
  23. 23. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 22 W e then asked, “How did you get things back on track?” 1. Kept moving forward with deeper additional monitoring and control: 54% 2. Focused on finishing quickly: 16% 3. Revised the project’s scope: 15% 4. Stopped everything and started over from the beginning: 11% 5. Involved the legal department: 3% There is great folk wisdom about project management. The underlying idea is that you should, once you have a basic plan, double all of your estimates. Plans often go awry. It is as true in this case as others.
  24. 24. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 23 Successful Implementation Qualitative Conversations
  25. 25. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 24 Throughout our research on Implementation, we had conversations and interviews with a wide variety of practitioners (our qualitative panel). The vast majority were from Implementation Teams on the practitioner side the equation. We interviewed three members of vendor Implementation Team for perspective and to maintain some level of balance. In discussing Implementation Success, six primary variables emerged. • Resource Availability The availability of the resources required to execute the Implementation is a reflection of the depth of management support. Our qualitative interviews pointed to a desire for management engagement, not necessarily management involvement. We also encountered stories of management that claimed to be supportive, but could never find the resources. • Mission Clarity Implementation Projects that can be described simply and as organizational Transformations are most likely to succeed. Yet, building an effective mission statement is never easy or simple. It always involves significant work to make the goals and plan clear and easy to communicate. • Vendor Responsiveness As we discovered in our first report, “The Ideal Vendor Relationship,” the length of time a vendor takes to answer a question or problem is the best indicator of the Project’s health. It’s worth considering the use of Problem Response Time as a measure of health for all sides of the Project. • Mission Criticality If a Project involves marginal improvements or purely technical changes, it is less likely to garner resources in a crisis (most Implementation Projects have at least one crisis). Securing deep management support completely depends on the degree to which the Implementation is critical to the organization and its future. “The length of time a vendor takes to answer a question or problem is the best indicator of the Project’s health. ”
  26. 26. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 25 • User Satisfaction A significant majority of our qualitative panel focused on the importance of User Satisfaction. While they uniformly agreed that Transformation was a great framework for success, User Satisfaction is the glue that keeps the success in place. • Team Continuity It is important that the contract not be negotiated in a vacuum. Members of the Implementation Teams (on both sides) should be a part of the initial Evaluation process. One way of thinking about the Project team is that the Evaluation and Contract Award periods are courtship. Implementation begins the real marriage. Of course, the software must actually do what it was supposed to do. We heard a number of horror stories from well designed initiatives that were unsuccessful because the software didn’t actually deliver what it promised. Does the software work and does it do what it is supposed to do were key factors in reference checks by our survey respondents. Each of our panelists also emphasized the need to check references as a part of building a Successful Implementation. “Evaluation and Contract Award are courtship; Implementation begins the real marriage. ”
  27. 27. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 26 Why Is There No Definition of Excellence? We asked each member of the panel to describe “excellence” in Implementation Projects. For the most part the response we got was, ‘We were happy to just get through it.’ Implementation success depends on the Team’s ability to manage and navigate social and political risk within the organization. ‘Getting ‘er done’ constitutes most articulations of Implementation Excellence. In our interviews, there was a good deal of laughter about the reward for great performance being a ‘reduction in punishment.’ Work on Implementation Teams is usually a fairly thankless addition to an already heavy workload. Since Implementation Team membership is a project assignment, it usually takes some effort to align rewards and performance. Surprisingly, none of our panelists cited leadership as a driving factor in Implementation progress or success. We didn’t hear a single story about charismatic individuals at the heart of effective project management. Rather, the stories involved keeping track of what was happening and adaptive responses to trouble when it developed. Echoing our quantitative research, we found a definite preference for leaders with project management experience. About 70% would rather have a seasoned project manager than a software expert. Success was broadly seen as the completion of the Project rather than a specific impact on the organization and its processes. Even in the most celebrated Transformative Projects, the end of the Project is more likely to be a winnowing down of the Team than a dramatic conclusion. That is why celebration of the final milestone is elusive. We could not find an example of an organization that reconstitutes its Teams six months or a year after Project conclusion. Even in the best circumstances, reflection and recognition of accomplishment are not really a part of this sort of project work. Excellence is difficult to understand and measure without some distance from the work. Even though the acquisition and installation of software (and the accompanying set of relationships) is central to organization function, it appears to be inconsistently managed in HR Departments. “Success depends on the Team’s ability to manage and navigate social and political risk within the organization. ”
  28. 28. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 27 It is not the case that HR is ignoring either complexity or risk. Rather, the tendency for a Transformation effort to turn into a jungle of new policies is not lost on practitioners, and they take efforts to manage that. Knowing that work expands to consume the available resources, practitioners are wisely uneasy about the prospect of have a ‘project office.’ While the Project may be imagined and championed by a highly social, upwardly mobile executive, the work of ‘bringing ‘er home’ usually falls to a leader whose specialty is getting things done. By Project completion, these people are ready to be off to work on the next thing. These leaders are deliverers, not stable administrators. They thrive on problem solving rather than the maintenance of the status quo. Without a department or at least a sustained role, there is no way for an organization to retain the knowledge gained from individual Implementations. The result is a tendency to repeat mistakes. While it would make sense for a professional association to offer training and certification in this area, there doesn’t seem to be any immediate takers. Much of the huge learning in the process happens as the Project is coming to a close and the software is working systemwide. That’s when the really unanticipated problems (caused by actual usage of the new software) pop up. Developing a feel for solving those early operational issues seems to be an intuitive skill that is built through experience. The other possible repository of wisdom could be the large independent HR consultancies. Unfortunately, organizational transformation is rarely executed well by a third party. When we asked our panel what would make a great outcome for an Implementation, our panelists offered some possible visions of excellence: • Installing User Delight • Joy at Completion with a Festive Celebration • Immediate Productivity Improvements • Pride on the Team and Across the Organization • Minimum Interruption/Minimum Learning Curve • Expanded System Wide Recognition • Reducing the Actual Hassle In Users’ Work “Much of the learning happens as the Project comes to a close and the software is working systemwide. ”
  29. 29. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 28 Why Is There No Professional Implementation Training? As we noticed in our first report, there is a vast gap between the training that HR practitioners need and what is available to them. As software expands its reach and new special service companies emerge, HR is becoming part execution and part purchasing. Managing the various parts of the purchasing and installation process is central to the future of the profession. Our panelists were puzzled by the lack of professional support available to them. Their work responsibilities are shifting quickly, while the professional association(s) seem mired in the past. Sometimes, it looks like the disruption of HR is underway already. The SaaS Paradox: Those Changes As a group, the panel was concerned about an area that lies just outside of the bounds of traditional implementation. With Software as a Service, the vendor continues to issue updates and little improvements which must be incorporated for the software to continue to work. But what’s little for the vendor creates real work for the customer, especially if an update changes how a function works. One practitioner commented, “We can’t stay on top of the changes.” It’s hard to control the configuration of the software because it’s not your software. This was the tip of the iceberg for a topic that seemed to be much larger just below the surface. Organizational reality is shaped by the current state of the software the organization uses. If it is incomplete, or not providing all of the functionality a customer requires, additional workflows and work-arounds begin to emerge. “We have to get the work done regardless of what the software does,” says a Midwest CHRO. “Knowing how to forecast the rate at which our ‘temporary processes’ will disappear is a large part of our budget consideration.” In other words, incomplete or imperfect software causes additional cost that is rarely monitored and controlled. The impact on user morale is also a substantial factor in these updates and changes. The latest “improvement” in the software can undo weeks or months of work-around development. As a result, users’ jobs are often changed without warning. “What is little for the vendor creates real work for the customer, especially if an update changes how a function works. ”
  30. 30. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 29 Mark Berry on Implementations We asked Mark Berry, a very senior HR Analytics Leader, to tell us about his experience with Implementations. Mark represents the school of thought that the entire purpose of a department can be something like continuous Implementation. As the driving force behind Evidence Based HR, individual software installations were a small part of a much larger initiative. Mark was uniquely able to consolidate the learning from ongoing Transformation. Here is what he had to say: Five years ago, in a company far, far away, I began the process of building an evidence-based capability within the HR organization of a Fortune 200 company. Although we started small, we had big aspirations and (over the course of the months and years) were able to lay the groundwork for evidence-based human resources. Through the course of that journey, I—mentally—referenced what I had read in “Ultramarathon Man” and what I had experienced in countless ultramarathon events of my own. “Run if you can. Walk if you have to. Crawl if you must. Just don’t quit.” Since beginning that journey, the most often-asked question I receive is encapsulated in one simple word, “How?” People—especially HR peers in organizations that lack capabilities in fact-based decision making, good self-service on-demand descriptive analytics, workforce planning, and inferential or predictive analytics—want to know “how”—“how” to obtain the support of senior leadership, “how” to initiate the work, and “how” to get traction with evidence-based decision making within their respective organization. Honestly, these are the questions that need to be answered before even considering the journey. Failure to do so will—at the very least—complicate the journey and—at its worst—virtually guarantee its failure. What I learned as I embarked on the journey may not be applicable to all organizations, but in many, the steps on the journey are common, repeatable, and will result in success if followed. “People want to know how to obtain the support of senior leadership, initiate the work, and get traction with evidenced-based decision making. ”
  31. 31. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 30 “Evidenced-based HR” and “HR analytics” are not synonymous terms. Evidence-based HR is really about changing how HR addresses—using data, metrics, analytics, and insights—decision making regarding critical business issues affecting people. HR analytics—on the other hand—is a discipline within HR (and an important one within organizations that aspire to embrace evidence-based HR practices) that helps to support evidence- based HR practices. “Evidence-based HR”—in the truest sense—is the collective effort of leaders in HR organizations to transform how HR makes decisions, focusing more on data, analytics, and facts than feelings, beliefs, and intuition. How do you begin the journey? Here are some practical considerations. As I noted, no two organizations will—necessarily—follow the same steps in the process of implementing evidence-based HR, but here are some of the steps I undertook (with lots of running, walking, and crawling through the process): • Prepare a compelling story, relevant to the business in which you operate. Paint a panoramic picture of what “success” will look like—as well as what the more immediate, short-term “wins” will be. • Get senior leadership sponsorship...or don’t move forward. Recognize that—initially—­“support” does not equal full comprehension. • Don’t neglect the critical, foundational issues—customers, data, technology, and acumen. Due diligence must be done to ensure that you understand your customer • Solve for the immediate needs of the organization. It’s great to be aspirational—but don’t allow your failure to focus on the immediate opportunities cause you to be perceived as delusional. • Minimize major investments in consultants or technology. Yes, consultants are smart and the technologies are cool, but you don’t need them to succeed short-term (and they may—in fact— adversely affect your success). • Leverage good will from solving for the immediate needs to expand the work being undertaken. Addressing pressing issues that are easy to solve will be “equity” for your practice and good will with your stakeholders you can use to “fund” future work. “It’s great to be aspirational, but don’t allow your failure to focus on immediate opportunities cause you to be perceived as delusional. ”
  32. 32. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 31 • Look for opportunities where others have feared to tread. Don’t be afraid of going after something that has derailed others. Just be careful how you do it. It might derail you as well. • Recognize that there are no “islands of excellence” in an “ocean of incapability.” Workforce analytics “centers of expertise” are cool, but you’ll never drive significant, sustainable organizational change if you don’t engage the broader “network of expertise”—others in HR who “get it.” • Continue to tell the story—and stories—of how evidence-based decision making drives relevance and results in HR. Your role is not only as a purveyor of workforce analytics, but as the “PT Barnum” of analytics. Learn to approach this as the business approaches product marketing—leverage the capabilities of your marketing folks to build your team’s brand equity. • Grow as you go. What’s important is not a PhD in I/O, statistics or mathematics—it’s about passion, purpose, and perspective. You don’t need to be a master of workforce analytics or planning to begin to build your practice. You simply need to be one step ahead of your smartest customer. “What’s important is not a PhD in statistics or mathematics—it’s about passion, purpose, and perspective. ”
  33. 33. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 32 Successful Implementation Data Points
  34. 34. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 33 Overview • 87% of Implementations affected the entire workforce (n=824) • 82% of Implementations were Transformational in nature (n=824) • Successful Transformations require process redesign 88% of the time. (n=808) • 17% of companies do not pay for Implementation services (n=806) • 64% of companies believe that the relationship between a vendor and a company is mostly a form of negotiation. (n=803) • 90% of companies believe that a vendor can be a trusted advisor at least sometimes. 51% believe it without question. (n=804) Planning • 95% considered the vendor’s reputation before the purchase (n= 748) • 82% of respondents met the vendor’s Implementation Team before purchasing (n=748) • 84% of companies check references before purchasing software. (n=748) • 20% check vendor supplied references. 16% check independently gathered references. 64% use a combination of both methods. (n=748) • The most important factor discussed in reference checking was whether or not the software worked (81%) (n= 632) • Whether or not the software worked was significantly more important (95% vs 79%) in reference checks involving non-transformational Projects. (n=632) • 47% of companies use external sources to define the scope of Implementation (vendor or 3rd party). 46% define scope themselves based on prior experience. 4% do not estimate Implementation scope in advance (n=749) Schedule • 55% of companies use external sources (vendor or 3rd party) to estimate Implementation schedule. 39% estimated based on experience. 6% did not estimate the Implementation schedule. (n=748) • 32% of Implementation Projects never go out of control (n=746) In other words, 68% of successful Implementation Projects go off track at some point. • The legal department is only called in 3% of the time when Implementation goes off track. (n=500) Unsurprisingly, Legal is not called in to successful Projects. “The legal department is only called in 3% of the time when Implementation goes off track. ”
  35. 35. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 34 Tools for Successful Implementation • 69% of successful Implementation Projects use a Service Level Agreement as a part of the management process. 58% use a Statement of Work as a part of the management process. 38% use both. 10% use neither. (n=743) • In successful Implementations, management is the focus of status reporting. (n=743) • Successful Implementations use routine meetings more frequently than email for reporting progress and concerns. (n=743) Implementation Teams • Implementation is only rarely (4%) a full time assignment. 47% of Implementation Team members are assigned for 25% (or less) of their time. (n=807) • In big companies, 100% Implementation work is unusual. Most Implementation Team members work 50% of their time on the Project (n= 805) • 3rd parties manage successful Implementations a small percentage of the time (7%). (n=805) • 70% of the members of the internal Implementation Team are chosen based on their experience. (n=808) • The Vendor trained the internal Implementation Team through a combination of on the job training (OJT), classroom training, and support documentation. OJT was the most significant tool (67% of the time) used to train the Implementation Teams. (n=806) • Companies use 3rd party Implementation Teams whether or not the Project is considered Transformative. (n=805) (The decision to use 3rd party help has more to do with the company than the Project.) • 44% always use internal specialists to manage Implementation. 44% use internal specialists on a case by case basis. (n=805) • The internal specialists come from HR (44%), IT (42%), or are hired from the vendor (9%) (n=676) • 97% say that the internal specialists make a difference. (n=676) (Q43) Data Migration • The vendor was a part of the process of moving data into the new system 86% of the time. (n=807) • 85% of all data was moved into the new system in a matter of weeks. (n=808) “Successful Implementations use routine meetings more frequently than email for reporting progress and concerns. ”
  36. 36. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 35 Management of the Implementation • Completion criteria are defined by the vendor 37% of the time. (n=804) • Only 76% of companies believe that senior management support is critical to Implementation success. (n=802) • The primary tools used to manage Implementation are 1- Project management software (49%), 2 - Office software (Docs, Spreadsheets and Slides) (40%), Checklists (11%) (n=804) • 66% of companies prefer the Implementation leader to have project management experience. 34% prefer that the leader have specific experience with the software. (n=804) Training New Users • 48% of companies require passing a test of some kind in order to use the new system. 52% do not. (n=799). Attributes of a Successful Implementation • 1- Quality (user satisfaction), 2- Cost and 3- Speed. That’s how companies prioritize the fundamental aspects of Implementation.) (n=798) • The number of Implementations a vendor has been involved in is a key driver of Implementation success. (n=805) • 85% of companies say that the vendor’s Implementation methodology is a key driver of Implementation success. (n=805) • 91% of companies believe that chemistry on the Implementation Team is a key indicator of success. (n=807) • While all of these Implementations were successful, 40% of companies were very satisfied with the results. 56% were simply satisfied. In total, 96% were satisfied or very satisfied. (n=803) “The number of Implementations a vendor has been involved in is a key driver of Implementation success. ”
  37. 37. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 36 Successful Implementation Myth Busting—Management Support Management support is often described as critical to the success of an initiative. Our research indicates that there is a group of practitioners who see it differently. Between 20% and 30% of practitioners (depending on company size), see management support as irrelevant to Implementation success. We found that pretty interesting. 1 to 200 201 to 500 501 to 2,500 2,501 to 10,000 10,001+ Not at all Important 1% 1% 0% 1% 1% Very Unimportant 3% 4% 4% 4% 7% Not Important nor Unimportant 24% 21% 18% 18% 12% Very Important 72% 74% 78% 77% 80% Importance of Management Support for Implementation Project Success It would certainly be predictable to write that off as the naivety of the HR workforce. Given the operation’s low organizational status and general reputation, it is no surprise that this is the first conclusion that many will draw. What most analyses miss is that HR professionals are the savviest social and political players in the organization. They have to be to survive and be effective. The HR professional is always walking a line between one set of loyalties and another. Rather than country bumpkins who just fell off the turnip truck, HR practitioners understand and navigate the universe of “Change Management”. “Transformational Implementations are successful because they have focused and enduring support at the highest levels. ”
  38. 38. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 37 The basic role requirements demand that a practitioner be quickly able to tell the boundary of one area from another. They always hold information that someone is not allowed to know. They fix problems discretely. They understand the pluses and minuses of management support. The US Navy has a colloquial term for a famous consequence of being managed. “Seagull Management” is what happens when a high ranking muckity muck comes into the office. “They poop on everything and then leave, just like a seagull.” Practitioners are well aware of what happens when management ‘gets involved.’ One view of the ideal level of management support is unlimited resources. Any project that has unlimited access to money, people and materials will get done. A reasonable measure of management support is the friction (or lack of it) required to acquire resources. Anyone who has run a large-scale internal campaign of any sort understands that management has a notoriously short attention span. Because HR is central to the company’s function, practitioners have ‘seen it all.’ This is why Transformational Implementations are successful. They have focused and enduring support at the highest levels. They are projects that are about the company first and only incidentally about HR. They are about changing things not maintaining the status quo. The level of executive involvement required to transform a company is not a variable thing. You either want the transformation or you do not. The best level of commitment comes when the project is tied into the executive’s compensation. Without that level of support, the fate of the project is in the hands of political variables. As the priority of the project shifts, the likelihood that it will be successful declines. Transformational Implementations always involve variables that are different from and larger than a pure technical problem. That said, there are some classic circumstances (documented in Dilbert) in which the transformation is more likely to succeed if the executive is not involved. M anagement support is a two edged sword. The very things that can make a project succeed can make it fail. Because executive attention is always tied to a single champion, that person’s success or failure has a large influence on outcomes. In our last report, we showcased three executives who are changing their organizations with data and processes that cross organizational boundaries. Their work succeeds because they diligently pay attention to the flow of praise and attribution. By making sure that their efforts make other people successful, they get things done quietly. People involved in transformational projects understand that management support is like any other tool. You want to use it as little as possible so that you don’t become dependent on it.
  39. 39. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 38 Successful Implementation Notables In each of our surveys, we ask practitioners to name vendors who are ‘Notable” in specific areas. The question uses a blank, fill in the box, format. No prompts are offered. The practitioner must answer the question based on unaided recall. This is our second attempt to portray the practitioner view of the marketplace. We know that it will be vastly different from the vendor’s perspective. Like two sides of the same coin, the two vantage points are radically different while describing the same reality. From the vendor’s perspective, the market is composed of the other people who go to the same trade shows and engage the same demographic. At KeyInterval, we have a list of 1,000 vendor names that we generally expect will show up on that list. The vendor perspective is largely about direct competitors in the same niche. Most other analyst firms present a picture of the vendor landscape that resembles the vendor point of view. The practitioner perspective is different. Formed from a combination of marketing inputs and direct experience, practitioners are more interested in the tools that they use than an analyst’s view of what matters. Name recognition and reputation are built from the grassroots. In the practitioner’s view, the buyer and the vendor can be somewhat indistinguishable (depending on how far removed they are from the process). That is why vendors who might be perceived as smaller made it to the top of our first list. Practitioners can only tell us about their experience. There is no incentive for them to have or maintain the analyst/vendor’s view of the universe. There is a second dimension to the question. Every single HRTech vendor works in some sort of niche. They only serve customers that have a certain size and complexity. They fare better in one industry or another. They have deeper reach in some geographies. Their audiences are limited. The practitioner audience is not niche specific. None of the companies paid to be mentioned in this report. In each of the following sections, the word cloud and Top 10 list reflect the practitioner’s perspective on the subject.
  40. 40. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 39 Notable for Administration T he ten most notable vendors in administration are: 1. Oracle 2. IBM 3. ADP 4. SAP 5. PeopleSoft 6. Kronos 7. Lockton 8. SalesForce 9. Workday 10. Cornerstone
  41. 41. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 40 Notable for Implementation T he ten most notable vendors in Implementation are: 1. Oracle 2. IBM 3. ADP 4. Kronos 5. PeopleSoft 6. SAP 7. SalesForce 8. HR (Internal) 9. HPWorkday 10. Lockton
  42. 42. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 41 Notable for Training T he ten most notable vendors in training are: 1. ADP 2. Oracle 3. IBM 4. Kronos 5. SAP 6. PeopleSoft 7. BambooHR 8. SalesForce 9. Ceridian 10. OPM (Government)
  43. 43. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 42 Vendor I Would Most Like to Work With T he ten most notable vendors respondents would most like to work with are: 1. IBM 2. ADP 3. Oracle 4. SalesForce 5. Kronos 6. SAP 7. Mercer 8. HPWorkday 9. Halogen 10. BambooHR
  44. 44. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 43 Successful Implementation Methodology KeyInterval is an experiment. It is our goal to stay experimental for the life of the company. With each new report, we are experimenting with survey methodology, data sourcing, data screening, the mix of qualitative and quantitative information, and the edges of HR Technology practice. It is a search for standard practices. We are more interested in what practitioners do that what some self- appointed guru thinks they should do. Our goal is to understand the actual experience of the people who use HR Technology. Then, we want to reflect it back to practitioners as a toolset. The Story of the Data This report, is the first time we ventured into terrain where none of the KeyInterval team has direct experience. John Sumser spent many years on hardware/software implementations in military environments. William Tincup is a master of the evolving message delivery project. Neither have direct, hands-on experience in HR Technology Implementation. That meant that the data had to be really, really strong. We included 824 responses in our final survey group. We sifted and sorted through 2,407 fully completed surveys to find this final group. We discovered that a large number of earnest people wanted to respond to the surveys but that their answers disqualified them. We selected for Implementation success and recognizable names of HR Technology providers. We limited the success stories to those that covered one of the top 1,000 brands in HR Technology. The report synthesizes the experience of 824 practitioners who played a role in a Successful Implementation. As far as we can tell, this is the largest collection of data from Successful Implementations ever collected. If you listen to the industry’s water-cooler chatter, Implementations are complicated and they do not usually go very well. 824 success stories is an impressive number. The group includes a representative sample of American geography, industry company size, and practitioner role. The details are spelled out in the following sections. S ince the data is exclusively focused on success, there are some things we could not do in our analysis. We cannot provide you with cautionary tales. We cannot warn you about the things that guarantee a project’s failure. We cannot wag our fingers and tell you what you should not do. This report describes the standard practices in a Successful Implementation.
  45. 45. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 44 Position: Distribution by Function by Company Size Company Size 1 to 10 11 to 50 51 to 200 201 to 500 501 to 1,000 1,001 to 2,500 2,501 to 5,000 5,001 to 10,000 10,001+ Total Benefits 4 28 71 67 67 60 50 30 31 408 Business Partner 1 10 23 30 28 24 22 10 7 155 Compensation 4 29 46 49 47 38 31 20 27 291 Compliance 7 19 47 53 47 36 32 17 21 279 Diversity 1 17 38 37 37 28 21 15 14 208 Employee Relations 9 32 75 81 70 55 51 34 31 438 Generalist 2 12 25 36 39 30 30 10 9 193 OD 7 16 40 47 42 42 34 22 18 268 Payroll 6 29 48 47 42 51 31 19 17 290 Recruitment 2 26 52 56 52 62 39 30 28 347 Safety 2 12 31 27 29 18 16 12 7 154 Talent Management 2 17 29 46 40 34 32 23 26 249 Training/ Development 8 26 75 64 69 60 54 33 34 423 University Relations 1 3 8 18 14 10 11 3 8 76 Other 3 2 4 2 3 3 1 1 5 24 Total 16 48 141 130 131 110 85 57 75 793
  46. 46. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 45 Role: Distribution by Role by Company Size Company Size 1 to 10 11 to 50 51 to 200 201 to 500 501 to 1,000 1,001 to 2,500 2,501 to 5,000 5,001 to 10,000 10,001+ Total CHRO 1 3 7 2 5 3 8 10 3 42 SVP 1 0 2 4 5 8 5 4 2 31 VP 1 2 8 11 11 21 15 5 5 79 Director 3 6 37 37 40 35 22 9 17 206 Manager 8 26 63 52 58 34 25 21 32 319 Business Partner 1 3 7 4 4 3 2 1 4 29 Recruiter 0 3 8 7 1 3 1 1 4 28 Other 1 5 9 13 7 3 7 6 8 59 Total 16 48 141 130 131 110 85 57 75 793 H ow We Collected Data We used a variety of methods to acquire responses. • Email to our in-house panel • Social Media Outreach • Response Purchases Quantitative responses were captured in an online survey (89 Questions) using software from Qualtrics. 31 Respondents (2%) did not disclose their demographic information, which is why the charts below say 793 instead of 824.
  47. 47. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 46 Geographical Distribution of Responses
  48. 48. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 47 Accounting 5 Airlines/Aviation 2 Alternative Dispute Resolution 1 Apparel Fashion 3 Architecture Planning 15 Arts Crafts 2 Automotive 6 Aviation Aerospace 4 Banking 35 Biotechnology 8 Broadcast Media 4 Building Materials 5 Business Supplies Equipment 22 Capital Markets 2 Chemicals 10 Civic Social Organization 1 Civil Engineering 6 Commercial Real Estate 1 Computer Network Security 2 Computer Games 1 Computer Hardware 4 Computer Networking 7 Computer Software 18 Construction 36 Consumer Electronics 1 Consumer Goods 22 Consumer Services 11 Cosmetics 1 Dairy 1 Design 1 Education Management 58 E-learning 2 Electrical Electronic Mfg 3 Entertainment 5 Environmental Services 3 Executive Office 3 Facilities Services 1 Farming 3 Financial Services 24 Food Beverages 4 Food Production 4 Gambling Casinos 2 Government Administration 21 Government Relations 3 Graphic Design 2 Health, Wellness Fitness 15 Higher Education 5 Hospital Health Care 41 Hospitality 3 Human Resources 78 Import Export 1 Individual Family Services 1 Industrial Automation 4 Information Services 6 Information Technology Svcs 23 Insurance 10 Internet 5 Law Enforcement 2 Law Practice 3 Legal Services 10 Logistics Supply Chain 2 Machinery 16 Management Consulting 3 Marketing Advertising 3 Mechanical or Indust Engineering 4 Media Production 1 Medical Device 6 Medical Practice 1 Mental Health Care 1 Military 3 Mining Metals 4 Music 1 Nanotechnology 1 Nonprofit Organization Mgt 16 Oil Energy 3 Package/Freight Delivery 1 Packaging Containers 3 Paper Forest Products 1 Pharmaceuticals 3 Photography 1 Plastics 1 Primary/Secondary 1 Printing 4 Professional Training 3 Program Development 1 Public Relations 2 Public Safety 1 Real Estate 11 Recreational 1 Facilities Services 1 Restaurants 1 Retail 61 Sporting Goods 1 Sports 1 Staffing Recruiting 6 Telecommunications 9 Textiles 1 Transportation/Trucking/Railroad 11 Utilities 4 Warehousing 3 Wholesale 11 Total 793 Responses by Industry
  49. 49. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 48 Successful Implementation Pocket Guide: Successful Implementation Checklist
  50. 50. © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 49 Successful Implementation 1. Project Mission The project mission drives success. Transformational Implementation Projects make up the lion’s share of success stories. The transformation of your organization is an inside job. • Have a very clear mission for the Implementation Project. Don’t just install software; change the company. • Build support in management ranks for the change. Never say, “We’re upgrading our software.” Always say, “We are improving the way we do business.” • When your executive team publicly acknowledges the importance of your project to the company’s work and future, they are much more likely to provide needed resources and support. 2. Contract Implementation begins before the contract is signed. • Every Implementation contract can benefit from having both a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Statement of Work (SOW). The SOW describes the scope and scale of activities, while the SLA describes specific measurable performance requirements. • Check references carefully before engaging a vendor. Use a combination of customers the vendor puts forward, but also find some without vendor input. Ask references what it was like to work with the vendor. • Include the measurement of User Satisfaction as a performance metric in the SLA. • Make sure that training results, measured in usage growth, are included in the SLA. • Members of the Implementation Team (on both the vendor and practitioner sides) must be a part of the Evaluation process before the contract is awarded. 3. Implementation Team(s) Both the vendor and the practitioner should have at least one Implementation Team. • Meet with the vendor’s Implementation Team before the contract is signed • Make sure that the vendor’s Implementation Team understands and supports your larger mission. • Review your Implementation plan in detail with the vendor’s team as soon as the contract begins. • Develop a detailed Implementation plan that includes Schedule, Budget (both internal and external) and Scope. Add an additional 20% contingency for both cost and time after the plan is complete. 4. Management Involvement Every successful Implementation Project has some level of management support. It ranges from a passive reporting relationship to hands on day to day involvement. • Recognize that active executive involvement comes at a cost in time and resources. • It’s better to have your senior leadership committed in a way that guarantees their support in a crisis, but without requiring their active routine involvement. • Develop a set of guidelines that describe when to ask for intervention and how to optimize its impact.
  51. 51. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 50 5. Implementation Project This includes configuring, customizing, installing, testing, modifying, and updating the software. When the project is Transformative it also includes other elements of workflow modification and organization redesign. • Use project management software to stay on top of the activity flow. • Identify key areas where cultural change is required. Highlight them and make the cultural improvement milestones a part of every status update. • Measure user satisfaction as a part of ongoing Implementation Project efforts. 6. Training Once the software is in place, the primary interaction between the Implementation Teams and the community of users (practitioners, their managers and company employees) is instruction (to varying degrees) in the use and maintenance of the system. • Test any suggestion that the system is “intuitive” and users don’t need training. System usage and usage improvements are key indicators of satisfaction. If the system naturally generates more and more use, good. This is not usually the case. • Make an informed decision about whether to test users for basic competence before they get access to the new software or system. This guarantees a level of training, but is not always necessary. 7. The Inevitable Disaster Most successful Implementations go through a period when the project goes awry. A significant subset, about 32%, don’t have major problems, but 68% do. So, smart planning should include how to deal with likely delays and problems. • Add a 20% pad to any budget or schedule estimate. Maintaining this reserve allows for one or two setbacks. 8. Acceptance (Sign Off) In theory, Implementation is complete when the requirements of the vendor’s contract have been met. • Make a sign off checklist that includes all of the essential elements of the SOW and SLA 9. User Satisfaction There is a bit of disconnect between software buyers and their management. Both users and executives see User Satisfaction as a better indicator of project completion. There is generally a lag between the Acceptance and optimal system performance. • Make final acceptance of the Implementation Project contingent on a level of user satisfaction about six months after project completion.
  52. 52. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 51 Research Calendar KeyInterval Research is mapping the complexities of practitioner experience in the HR Tech universe. We help HR understand what’s possible and what fits best. We do disciplined, pragmatic research to help practitioners separate fact from anecdote. Here is our 2015 research calendar. January: What Is The Ideal Vendor Relationship? Purchase Report There is a diverse range of possible ways to build a relationship with a vendor. We’re eager to discover what works and what doesn’t. As we map the area, we expect to find amazing success stories and examples. February: Why Do Implementations Succeed? We are going to seek and discover exemplary success stories. We are really curious about the factors that create memorable successes. What are those drivers? Is there a difference between a great success story and something merely adequate? What’s the difference? March: What Is The Optimal Technology Stack? The HR Stack is all the software, data and apps in a company’s HR Department. No two are the same. Every instance is truly unique... like a cultural fingerprint. We will map what’s being purchased and by whom. April: Is There a Best Data Strategy? The future of HR is anchored to its ability to harness data. We aim to map the optimal data model and its critical components. These are the early days of HR data mastery. We can't wait to report what we learn. May: Do Users Love Your Software Purchases? (Software Engagement) Enterprise HR software users can LOVE the software you purchase. They can also hate those purchasing decisions. What makes an optimal environment for love of enterprise software? We are on it. A cknowledgements William Tincup: Principal Analyst John Sumser: Principal Analyst Heather Bussing: Copy Editor and Keeper of the Peace Michal Grisset Tincup: Smoother and Keeper of the Peace Anne Hill: Production Julian Seery Gude: Web Tech and Focus Group Reinhard Joelli: Market Research Counsel Ray Sumser: Art D. Mark Hornung: Advisory/Focus Group Dwane Lay: Advisory/ Focus Group Tim O’Shea: Advisory/ Focus Group Mark Berry: Case and Counsel And a host of others.
  53. 53. Successful Implementation © KeyInterval Research | keyinterval.com | Page 52 June: How Does This Go Together? We’ll summarize the data and try to understand and explain how each variable can make for a better HR department. We will also include MA and Transaction data. We review new ideas and products. July: What Is The Model Purchasing Process? Most companies have a sophisticated way to buy software. We want to understand the Purchasing Process. Changes are afoot. We’re excited about staying on top of the evolution as it happens. August: What Is The Perfect HR Budget? The further we look into HR’s budget, the more we understand that this is the best way to explore the overall organization’s commitment to HR and its issues. The budget is a good way to understand what matters. September: Do Employees Use The Software? (Adoption) We are researching how much, how often and why employees use HR Enterprise Software. We think that organizations that get optimal User Adoption also achieve the maximum ROI. October: Which Metrics and Analytics Are Useful? We research which HR metrics and analytics are working under what conditions. We are fascinated with the emergence of HR as a quantified discipline. This area will grow significantly in the coming years. November: Are HR Processes Effective? Exploring the relationship between HR and its customers has our attention. We’re pretty sure that increased accountability is a part of HR’s immediate future. We are excited to see it unfold. December: What Happened This Year? What Did We Learn? What’s Coming? We hold ourselves accountable and examine the cumulative understanding for a year of research. Throughout the year, we will be soliciting questions to be answered in the year end research report.

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