Enterprise-wide Workforce Management System Implementation: Key Elements, Must-Haves, and Factors to Consider
Whether your organization is moving to an entirely new workforce management platform or bringing new locations onto the current system in an effort to standardize across the organization, an enterprise-wide workforce management system implementation is a complex undertaking with many moving parts. While this kind of initiative can yield powerful results in the form of labor cost reductions and efficiency gains, meticulous planning and execution directed by expert leadership are of utmost importance.
Throughout the numerous workforce management implementations Workforce Insight has led, our teams have always moved forward with both project successes and lessons learned in mind. This has not only helped us adapt and fine-tune our own approach to enterprise-wide implementation projects, but has also brought to light recurring themes across industries and organizations–key factors that have made an invaluable difference and that were a major contribution to project success.
Four of the biggest areas for consideration when embarking upon this type of project include:
1. Internal project staffing.
Identify the right internal project resources, actively involve the right departments before the project begins, and make project time commitment expectations clear and reasonable. The internal project team should be significantly involved in initial project planning, technical resources should be closely involved throughout the initiative to ensure appropriate knowledge transfer, and change champions should be appointed early on to assist on a site level with the transition to the new system. Internal project leaders from various sites should also be identified early in the project help to ensure a standard enterprise-wide approach is applied with local accommodation.
2. Strong implementation methodology and project management approach.
An initiative of this magnitude requires a scalable, time-tested, phased implementation methodology to support a design that is global in scope but that also allows for regional or site-specific variations. A well-thought-out project management approach is also foundational to the success of an enterprise-wide implementation, helping to negate challenges before they become major project risks. The right project management approach should define, document, and communicate the measurement of the project’s success; identify and mitigate risks early; consistently meet budget and resource requirements; and facilitate adherence to the timeline and milestones outlined in the project plan.
3. Change Management & Communication.
The transition to a new system can be overwhelming, but the right change management plan can make it a smooth and positive adjustment with an optimal outcome. The number of project team members, stakeholders, end users involved in such an expansive project means that there are many different voices to be heard. Communication should be a significant part of your change management strategy, and should be comprehensive, timely, and carefully planned in order to achieve optimal adoption. For implementations across borders, messaging to employees regarding change should take into consideration language differences, local cultures, customs, and employer-employee relationships that may differ by country or region.
4. Ongoing support –
Even though your implementation may have been a success, the story shouldn’t end there. Continued system maintenance is paramount to achieving optimal return on your company’s investment in workforce management technology. Although internal technical resources will have been involved from very early on as part of the implementation project, consider whether these same resources be responsible for ongoing system support, including system adjustments as your company grows or as state and local labor laws or collective bargaining agreements change.
Is your organization considering a move to implement a new workforce management system, or standardizing the current technology across the enterprise? Workforce Insight’s implementation specialists have led hundreds of workforce management system implementations—including many of the largest known enterprise-wide system deployments for well-known organizations with locations across the country or with an expansive global presence. Click here to learn more about our history of success in partnering with other organizations to implement and optimize workforce management systems, and how we can help your company navigate a successful workforce management initiative that helps realize the return on your workforce management investment.