If there is one thing that we have learned from our lessons from 1,000 HCM implementations, it is that your level of transformation success hinges on the things you do before you ever start. There are a number of best practices that should drive how you prepare for your SAP SuccessFactors or Workday implementation.
After you finish comparing SuccessFactors vs. Workday and arrive at a final decision, your natural instincts may be to rush straight into implementation. Your vendor and system integrator will encourage you to do the same thing – not because it makes sense to you, but because it makes good economic sense to them. However, this is a bad idea.
Before you jump straight in, you will first want to build your operational, organizational, and technical blueprint. Just as a general contractor does not bring in the framers, roofers, drywall, and plumbers without a clear blueprint, neither should you do this with your HCM software vendor and system integrator. The more prepared you are about what you want and need from SuccessFactors or Workday, the more successful your transformation will be.
The graphic below summarizes the various risks associated with “cliff diving” straight into your SuccessFactors or Workday implementation:
There are a number of technology-agnostic workstreams that should be addressed as part your SuccessFactors or Workday implementation:
This is a way to drive real material improvements to your business and employee experience. For example, setting goals for your HCM transformation to improve talent management, total rewards, and employee self-service should be decided up front. Strategic decisions around standardization, shared services models, HR competencies, organizational design, and other key variables should be decided before getting your HCM system integrator involved.
The future state of our HR department and hire to retire business processes should be driven by your business and organizational needs – not by the needs of the software. For example, you may decide to leverage SuccessFactors or Workday to enable standardized performance management across the globe. The software won’t define these details for you. Instead, you need to define a clear vision of what this process will look like so the software can better support it.
Because HCM implementations affect most employees and often result in significant cultural shifts (think: employee self-service models), this is even more important for SuccessFactors and Workday implementations than other enterprise technologies. Add the fact that the HR department is one of the unsung heroes of most digital transformations, and it becomes clear that organizational change is especially important to begin early.
This is an exciting time for those implementing HCM technologies such as SuccessFactors and Workday. Gone are the days of the HR department focusing on “personnel” and regulatory matters. With new technologies enabling and automated key HR processes, HR departments are better able to improve the employee experience and focus on more strategic topics like how to increase morale, build a better culture, and drive performance.
But cliff diving won’t get you there. First you need to build a clear human capital blueprint to prepare for a successful SAP SuccessFactors or Workday implementation.
Feel free to contact me to brainstorm ideas on how to apply this framework to your HCM transformation. I am happy to be a sounding board as you begin your HR transformation journey!