ESS MSS An Implementation Approach
Self service applications continue as the main focus of HR Departments as these applications try to control the cost incurred by IT departments for HR services and deliver increased and efficient services, processes to both employees and customers. It also gives an enhanced productivity with minimal manpower for all organizational departments
The blog will be in four different Parts summarizing the companies can benefit with the overall service delivery strategies, change management process. It also explains the delivery approach highlighting some critical success factors. It also has pointers on testing strategies and issue resolutions during the self service implementations.
Role of Change Management
Adoption and Compliance One of the key steps in change management is to ensure universal acceptance or adoption across the business, and then to test that the systems are working as planned. Conduct usability testing process as early as possible with a particular user group for their acclimatization to the processes. During the realization phase of the project, we should check if the self service applications are working as required. Create a user group that can test the applications for the different process forms. Conduct working sessions that can provide the end users with real time business scenarios and complete the piece of functional process flow. Once the users have tested the functionality collect the results and isolate the common issues. The best practice is to address the user issues before rolling out the process in order to gain the maximum acceptance and adoption of the new functionality. Depending upon volume of changes which needs to be incorporated we need to be proactive in planning diligently the realistic implementation timelines if we are at the assessment, build /development or testing stage of the application. The big challenge here is the change management and scope of changes incorporated in the timeframe of the project. We need to explicitly communicate the terms and guidelines and factors which might create roadblocks and hindrance that may not be evident to the employees and Managers. One approach to mitigate the impact is to introduce the unfamiliar terminologies with the FAQ document that is readily accessible on the portal for users to easily access during the transaction. Educating users on new terminology helps to remove the apprehension associated with the new technology or products we are planning to deploy at the customer site.
Communication plan should be pretty effective and straight forward. Always limit the number of emails generated in the system. Email automation should be kept to a minimum in the self service design.SAP software's standard workflow functionality can be leveraged or enhanced for approval process and notifications. Some of these notifications will be based on Portals .Try to manage certain notifications centrally from HR. In some companies, that is not a change .It is a good idea to manually manage communications from the compensation department or HR as it is a condensed period of time when system generated emails could provide burden to the users and also have system dependency issues in case of timely notifications not reaching them during the crirtical business functions .At the end of blueprint stage, it is important to review the various communications that employees and managers will receive throughout the process to ensure they will not be confused by repetitive messages.
Steering Committee: A steering committee should be formed and is highly recommended during the project to review project status and to provide advice on key and outstanding issues addressing the business concerns and aligning them with the IT development team. The senior management is normally representing this group. As the project reaches a critical path anytime during the implementation, it may be necessary to increase the number of meetings or call meetings to resolve issues and remove any roadblocks along the project. Many companies have the post go-live committee which I highly effective and recommended to hash out any post go live issues and sync the business acceptance level with the business community.
Review any changes to online forms, Transactions and processes with the affected business units and functions. Workflow enabled process should prompt a review from other areas in the company that may have critical dependencies or feedback about how the new forms and processes will impact them. Making processes and forms too complicated may have minimum acceptance from business community from using them company wide, if business rules and user's interfaces cannot be reconciled or standardized between the groups. We need to optimize and design the workflows to the simplistic possible and adhere to the business acceptance levels and criteria.