The state of the economy has, at times, served as an indicator that businesses fed with their current time tracking solution, will either upgrade or implement a new time and attendance solution. And, while this year have been no exception, waiting on the economy to improve- while still using manual time sheets is probably costing you more in both time and resources to maintain the system that’s not going to help you improve operational profits.
With the Christmas holidays upon us, new projects for 2016 are likely being discussed including which ones should take precedence. And, in those discussions, it’s also likely several departmental managers are hoping to make sure their capital projects tops the list and gets approval for 2016. If you are a CFO, HR or payroll manager use the 12 gift ideas below to your benefit and you are sure to get your time and attendance project approved.
1. Select the right time and attendance and vendor
Glossy demonstrations are just that. Glossy! Evaluating vendors is somewhat of an art form. Navigating through several options can take a toll and the plethora of options can make it confusing. Take your time and resist the urge to buy the cheapest option. Price should always be a factor but, if you are looking for a time and attendance to last 10 year or beyond, that cheap stuff you saw on the Internet a week ago with a “Do It Your Self Brochure” won’t cut it.
2. Assign the right person to the ATS time and attendance implementation
This should probably head the list and it’s as important as selecting the right solution. If you are using a project manager within your organization, make sure that person is not bogged down by other projects otherwise; your time and attendance implementation will take a back seat. A middle manager who has an understanding of the company’s strategic goals is a solid fit for users. They must however, be empowered to facilitate C-level buy-in and support because they will be responsible for choosing how the application is used and how to construct business process flows.
3. A realistic implementation plan
There are no magic bullets with a time and attendance deployment, regardless of their size or scope hence, the need for a realistic plan. Moreover, it’s only natural to experience a series of ebbs and flows during an implementation. Some of the best project plans do not address key critical success factors, such as time for data integration, organizational change management, business processes and workflow design and user acceptance. In order for your implementation to get off on the right foot, you should consider bench-marking your plan against best-in-class and time and attendance solution. Put another way, talk to references and ask them about the challenges they went through during the implementation. The notion that every implementation went smoothly and without a hitch, is a fallacy.
4. Get buy-in
You would not buy a house for you and your fiancée to live in without letting them know so, why would you purchase a time and attendance and not get buy-in from other departments who will have to use the solution and will be impacted by it? The chances of success increases exponentially, when you get your colleagues and other employees understand the benefits of such a system.
5. Keep it simple
If you are having a time and attendance installed for the first time, stick to the basics; tracking employee punches, overtime, paying statutory holidays, and shift premiums. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by adding every conceivable feature and attempting to use it all at once and end up being frustrated. In order to avoid this, take a more gradual approach by seeing if certain new functionalities create too much of a burden. Sometimes it’s better to go-live with the basics and to schedule add-ons later, when you are ready for them.
6. Start over if you have to
If you find that you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere it’s probably best to start over. Take a closer look at your plan; is it realistic? Do you have the right project manager and/or is he/she consumed with other projects within your company while also trying to manage the implementation? There is nothing wrong in taking a step back and between you and your vendor redoing the plan and adding realistic milestones to complete the project.
7. ROI and business benefits
The senior team within your organization is not going to be happy with your implementation unless it delivering tangible business benefits that they can see. Merely implementing the time and attendance solution is not going to deliver business benefits unless; your senior management team can see it. However you can use the ATS “realization framework” that translates some of the expected business benefits into measurable metrics that can be used throughout the organization. Your executive team will be doing back flips over this.
8. Corporate culture
Be mindful of your company’s corporate culture ahead of deploying the solution. Some people will be completely resistant to change. If they are using an automated time and attendance solution for the first time, they will have their own set of ideas that may be solely based on their old system’s functionality, yes even if it’s paper time sheets. People, who are reluctant to move away from their antiquated systems, will focus on the software and not the business functions driving the company. Therefore, it’s important to seek the advice of your vendor to help them understand which processes are necessary and when to revamp it entirely.
9. Make sure you understand why you are implementing a time and attendance solution
This is arguably one of the most important ones. By clearly understanding your business objectives and what you’re trying to accomplish with an ATS time and attendance system, you will be able to make a more appropriate decision on which route to take.
10. Bring in additional resources if you have to
Some companies are notorious for implementing (or trying to implement) with inadequate internal and external resources. No matter how talented your internal team is, chances are that they are not experienced enough to implement without outside the deep expertise of an ATS implement consulting team that can bring expertise and business methodologies to help your team implement faster and more inexpensively than they would otherwise.
11. Bypassing the milestones and rushing to the finish line
One of the major problems with time and attendance projects is that they are treated like sprints to a go-live finish line, when they should instead be treated like a marathon of continuous improvements and adjustments to account for business and technology changes over time. ATS organizational readiness assessments help customers see the areas of resistance and organizational risk that need to be addressed as part of an effective organizational change management plan.
12. A successful time and attendance implementation
A new time and attendance solution is a unique opportunity to improve your data model and improve inefficient business processes. Unfortunately, some executives go into time and attendance implementations with the low expectation of simply not failing. The good news is that ATS have proven with several customers that time and attendance implementations can be a resounding success, and using our proven methodology – they offer relatively smooth go-lives, more efficient business processes that deliver tangible business results.
ATS is happy to help you provide any one or more of these gifts for your senior management team. To learn more about ATS go to our website as you plan for your time and attendance project for the New Year.
From all of us at ATS, we say Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to you and your team.