What are the Main Reasons behind Implementing Failures of HR Software?

Execution is the most crucial aspect of any idea. Implementing HR Software is easy if you do it right. Read below to do it right.

You may have invested in new efficient HR software for your organization but that does not necessarily mean all your business issues will be fixed, or the processes will get streamlined automatically.

There are still high chances for the new project to fail and its promised return on investment results would never see the light of day!

Many projects fail because the ‘drivers’ for the project are not clear

Well, no business goes for a software implementation expecting it to be a failure. Nobody ever does!

Right from the planning phase of a project, it is imperative to determine the potential failure points; however, defining failure is not an easy task when it is in context with the complicated HR software system.

Alternatively, there are businesses that taste the success of software implementation and that too at their first attempt.

Mostly, the HR software itself is not responsible for its implementation failure in an organization. So, the million-dollar question here is if not always the HR software, what exactly are the reasons behind the failure of the implementation project?

A recent survey of HR leaders finds their HR software implementations frequently fall short of expectations

An automated HR system can either make or break a business.

Robert Charette perfectly puts it as “When a project fails, it jeopardizes an organization’s prospects. If the failure is large enough, it can steal the company’s entire future.”

Undeniably, the HR software implementation is associated with complexity, challenges and risks in equal measures. Whether it is putting the entire system in place or simply a major upgrade, there are numerous pitfalls that can account for the project failure.

We waste billions of dollars each year on entirely preventable mistakes

Below we have listed some of the most common yet the major reasons that attribute to HR software implementation failures:

1. Is the Software Required or Not?

Prior to implementation, many businesses are not clear if they really require HR software or not. In fact, various implementation projects fail before they could not even start.

Most of the organizations already have HR management software in place but owing to issues in reporting, efficiency or integration associated with the current system, they are convinced that investing in a new one would be the right decision.

As such, companies bring in large and expensive software when a simple upgrade or small add-on application such as employee portal or better reporting can easily solve their purpose.

2. Lack of Clear Objectives

Before implementing the HR software for business, it is important to be clear about the expectations. The absence of objectives is one of the most common contributing factors related to the failure of implementations.

Many enterprises undertake a project without well-defined and measurable goals, which leads to various challenges and consequently controlling the scope of the software.

Clear objectives here mean defining the critical business processes, deadlines, financial benefits, etc.  Even for calling a project unsuccessful, a company needs to measure the pre-implementation assessments of significant objectives.

Without a certain degree of measurement beforehand, it gets difficult to determine issues for failure or success of the project.

3. Improper Planning or Poor Project Management

For any HR tech to do wonders for your business, a strong and detailed plan is an absolute requirement.

Poor planning or improper project management will not just add to the failure of HR software implementation but it often leads to staff embarrassment as well as job loss.

When the project management is unrealistic, not detailed or specific enough, it is bound to result in failure of the project implementation.

It has been seen that companies frame high-level plans having assumptions at a wide level, but an essential part they underestimate during this stage is the number of business changes involved.

For successful HR software implementation, businesses need to make logical series of tasks to know the status of the project as well as determine any loopholes in the process.

4. Expecting the Software to Fix All the Issues

Most of the businesses forget the fact that HR software is simply a tool or an enabler; it cannot fix all your problems until and unless the company’s workflow is efficient.

Despite how obvious it may sound, but this is among the most common contributing factors for project implementation failure.

‘Rubbish in equals rubbish out’ is a popular saying in the technology industry. Irrespective of how advanced or robust your HR software is if the data is outdated and duplicate, you might end up with incorrect automation and data.

5. Deficiency of Staff Training & Support

Lack of appropriate training and support from the management can ruin a project.

The user adoption rates decline due to multiple issues but the two crucial reasons are the absence of training and much-needed support before and after the HR software implementation.

What’s surprising here is that many times, it is not due to insufficient training or support, but because these are not provided to the staff or employees in the right format.

When implementing new software in business, the workforce needs knowledge along with some new skill-set; not taking the personal development of employees seriously is a quick route to HR software implementation failure.

6. Underestimating the Power of Right Resources

Not involving the resources having right skills at the right time is another major reason that accounts for project failure.

It is imperative on the part of business project managers to conduct skill assessments of employees at the initial phase of the software implementation.

This will help them to understand the intricacies of the project, how to roll it out successfully and make it a part of other employee’s workloads.

7. Lack of Communication to Various Stakeholders

Many HR software implementations derail as the project management is more concerned about the installation and running phase.

They forget to communicate the employees about the new software installed in their systems.

For HR software system implementation, the management expects employees to update their records, access HR advice via new mediums or even get payslips online.

Be it any kind of change in the system, success can only be achieved when there are two-way communication and proper engagement of core stakeholders at almost all the levels.

8. Using & Adding Every Feature of the HR Software Straight Away

This can either attribute to the success or failure of new HR software in a business.

It is recommended to not implement each and every inherent feature right away.

To achieve success, it is better to adopt a phased approach i.e. have a list of key objectives and work in that particular direction. Further, too many customizations, in the beginning, can drag the project down, cost overrun and keep success away from sight.

9. Not Keeping Track of Changes

Mostly neglected, lack of tracking changes in the HR software can also fuel up the implementation failure.

Every single change made in the working of the software costs money and time.

It is essential to evaluate every change to determine that the cost of change implementation does not outweigh the benefit involved with it.

For instance, a little change in the interface of payroll software can have a huge impact on its collaboration with the finance system.

10. Insecure Hardware to Support the HR Software

Having an unstable network platform or insecure hardware can pose a threat to the system integrity that might end up in burying HR software implementation.

It is extremely critical in the case of hosted solutions that offer poor internet connectivity.

Prior to implementing hosted HR software, ensure that that you have reliable and fast internet connectivity.

11. Too Much Consultant Dependency

Relying too much on a consultant for HR software implementation can also contribute to the downfall of the system.

Most of the projects involve consultants for best practices, expertise and extra resources they bring along. Although their involvement seems helpful for a project there can be a risk of becoming too much dependant on the consultants.

Businesses need to have an explicit plan for imparting the knowledge from the consultant to the company’s employees as the project unfolds.

12. Inadequate Testing of HR Software

Insufficient testing of new HR software can doom the project implementation.

As it is a system that consists of employees’ confidential details and may integrate with the payroll software, a small mistake can impact the entire project adversely.

Testing must be seen as a rectifying stage where you can locate bugs and glitches in the automated system. Neglecting the testing phase prior to project implementation can definitely increase the risk of software not performing functions well or dissatisfied end users.

Bottom Line

Employees being the core of any organization need to be managed in the best possible way. Realizing this, a large number of businesses are investing in the HR technology infrastructure for better and accurate employee management.

However, implementing HR system is a challenging and complex process that involves the risks of being tempted to economize, to keep people out of communication loop or to make the project live soon.

HR and IT should work hand in hand every step of the way

The list above covers the major reasons that make the HR software implementation projects, the victim of failure, but certainly, there are several other factors that contribute to it. However, businesses can adopt a proactive approach to avoid these pitfalls and make implementation project a success for the long term.

techHowever, businesses can adopt a proactive approach to avoid these pitfalls and make implementation project a success for the long term.

Utsav Upadhyay

I am currently advising clients how to create and manage effective advertising campaigns in accordance with the principles of Inbound Marketing. I offer Inbound Marketing auditing services, which are a great way of determining what your company’s strong and weak points are. I also provide Inbound Marketing training and consultation sessions via callhippo Marketing Sessions. In Free time I research about HR and Business management services.

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