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Your HR21 Implementation will be easier if you take the right approach

You may be considering a HR21 implementation. I know from experience that there are a significant number of organisations who use Chris21 and haven’t implemented HR21 – you may be one of these. Given the obvious advantages of online employee self-service systems I often wonder why this is the case.

The answer may be that you think a HR21 implementation is complicated and a heavy drain on your resources. It can be, but it can also be a relatively straightforward process. It all depends on the approach you take.

There are two ways you can go about it. The first is to implement the system with all the functionality your organisation requires in one fell swoop. The second is to implement in stages. From my experience, the staged approach usually works best.

What do I mean by a staged approach?

I consider a good staged approach to be:

  • Stage 1. A basic HR21 implementation that gives employees access to their information but with limited opportunity to perform updates. Simple information updates such as address details are ok. Not much can go wrong at this stage and, when complete, you have implemented a functional system.
  • Stage 2. Introduce workflow. As a minimum you will want to implement leave workflow so that employees can request leave online. This stage introduces some complexity, for instance, workflow escalation and email functionality. This will take some planning and testing.
  • Stage 3. Open up the system to allow employees to update more of their information. There are many areas you can comfortably allow this, such as personal details, work details, and bank details. While this is a very straightforward stage to configure, you will need to consider user training and your own reporting requirements to track updates.
  • Stage 4. Consider implementing some of the other HR features. For example, e-Performance, e-Recruitment, online training requests. There will be much more work involved when considering these options but once done it is just a matter of adding a new menu option to HR21.

Of course, once stage 1 is implemented the other stages can follow at a time that suits your timetable.

Why is the staged approach better?

From my personal experience implementing HR21 for clients I prefer a staged approach because:

  • By its very nature, HR21 is a system that will be used by many of your employees, if not all. Therefore, there is a risk involved – if things don’t go right, users will lose confidence in the system. You can mitigate this risk to a large degree by approaching your HR21 implementation in stages.
  • It will make training easier. HR21 is a simple system to use, especially for employees who are already used to browsing the internet. The first stage is very basic and will require minimal training. In my experience a short user manual covering things like how to access and navigate the system usually suffices.
  • It enables you to deliver a functional system to employees within a short period of time and with little risk. Employees will now have access to their details such as leave balances and history, payslips, training history, and other details depending on how the system is implemented.
  • It gives you time to receive and digest user feedback. This is critical before you go to the next stage. Better to address issues before ploughing ahead with more features.
How long does it take to complete stage 1?

If you are considering a basic HR21 implementation similar to the one I suggest at Stage 1, I would estimate two days for an experienced consultant. This is assuming you have completed the planning, documentation and approval processes within your organisation. The two days includes:

  • Installing HR21
  • Creating the menu and sub-menus
  • Configuring security
  • Installing your logo and colour scheme
  • Testing

See my blog “HR21 Implementation – Some Useful Information” for more details.

You would also need to consider the degree of training required. As mentioned, for a basic implementation this could be minimal. Your planning process should have already determined this.

Once your HR21 implementation is complete you can plan your rollout to users. The system is ready to use but users won’t be able to login until you setup their security access. This way, you can control the rollout to be all users at once or in groups.

As you can see, your HR21 implementation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out, onerous process. You can take the plunge and have a functional system within a few days. Then you can add more stages to the implementation as a work in progress.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions from your own experience implementing HR21.