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The common sense approach to HRIS projects

prWe hear about so many project management methodologies that are used, however, regarding how successful or not they are, is open to the individual managing HR projects. You may be wondering what makes a project, a project? The definition of a project is a one off piece of work, that has a start date and an end date and a set of tasks that are assigned to people to achieve the end result on time and within the budgetary constraints.

When managing HR projects, the most key member of any project is a leader. The leader has to manage all aspects of the project and provide the direction and drive for the project team. A project manager is not just someone that is a resource scheduler, produces plans and documents. Instead, they need to wear many hats and be a leader, people manager, planner and a communicator, to list but a few. This individual is the key to the success of any project, which means it is crucial in selecting the right person!

Many smaller HRIS projects do not have a dedicated project team. Which means that the work is carried out by the existing team who have their current role to fulfil during as well as undertaking project related tasks. This kind of management is a recipe for a disaster and can only result in failure for the business.

On these projects, the need for a dedicated project manager is greater. The management of the project requires a hands on individual who has a vast amount of knowledge about the HRIS sector. This is to ensure that the relevant steps are covered at the required times. There is also a high dependency on the project manager in terms of their knowledge and a large element of the role becomes that of managing the change that it is occurring.


Common Sense steps of Managing HR Projects are:
  • Gaining a thorough understanding of the client’s requirement. As well as setting the deliverables for each phase, as this can ensure that the project’s success can be measured.
  • Divide the project into realistic phases, on HRIS implementation these are generally:
  • Ensure business as usual following the switch over from the legacy system as phase 1
  • An enhancements phase and introduction of new features and functionality as phase 2
  • Constant improvements to meet with changing business requirements as phase 3
  • Agree realistic timescales for any project. A little bit of pressure is good but there is no point in setting unrealistic goals. If you were to do this the project will be doomed for failure from the outset.
  • Produce the project documentation for the project which should include a project plan, issues register, risk register, change control and communication plan. These are working documents that should be updated and issued at agreed times throughout the project.
  • Agreeing the communication structure so that all involved parties are kept up to date constantly on the progress of the project. The communication will generally be internal and external suppliers to ensure that both organisations are aligned with the needs and time demands of the project.


Be smart, follow the common sense steps, be successful!

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