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Deliver the HR Service experience your employees deserve - Part 7

Determine your preferred release strategy

The seventh blog post in this series examines your release strategy.

Once the planning and design phases have been completed, you’ll be eager to get your new HR Service Management tool in place, but you will need to decide the best way to implement it.

Since the point of rolling out a new tool is to improve workflow and efficiency across every HR function, you will need to plan carefully to ensure that the software is correctly configured, and that people are trained to use it, as intended, to achieve the desired results.

Two common approaches are:

A Big-Bang implementation - where you turn off your old systems on Friday and everyone starts using the new system on the following Monday.

A Phased Implementation - where you roll out the system gradually, perhaps with a subset of services, a smaller number of business units, or by targeting specific geographies.

Both approaches have their merits and drawbacks and you will need to consider how well you have prepared for implementation, how much change your organization can handle, and how well you have balanced the costs and risks of each approach before determining the best release strategy.

As outlined in section 6 above, it is unlikely that you will get your HR Service Catalog 100% right, or that it will meet everyone’s needs, first time. It is only when your Service Catalog has been published and people have started to interact with it and provided feedback, that you will get a good sense of how well it is meeting their needs. An Agile approach helps to mitigate risk by breaking down the release into smaller, iterative deliverables. These deliverables are released early to your stakeholders, so that they can provide feedback, which enables the team to make the necessary course corrections to keep things on track.

Some HR Service Management vendors will allow you to trial the solution so that you can be assured that it meets your needs before making a commitment to purchase. If you can pilot the solution, you will further mitigate your risks, by ensuring that the software works in your environment, with your data and processes. You may need help from the vendor, or perhaps your IT department, to import your data and integrate the tool with existing corporate systems, but the effort will be worth it, as after the pilot, you will know whether the tool provides the functionality you need to meet your objectives.

Whatever release strategy or implementation approach you choose, follow the simple advice below and it will help you minimize resistance as you implement the change that will be necessary to deliver an effective solution:

  • Don’t think new technology (features), think solution to business problems (outcomes)
  • Define the purpose (improvement objectives)
  • Commit adequate time and resource to get the most from a trial or pilot
  • Pilot with a small group including key influencers
  • Set up public and private workspaces within your collaboration tool
  • Populate workspaces with rich and useful content
  • Lead by example (discuss topics, share knowledge, documents and ideas…)
  • Encourage & reinforce good practice to avoid slipping back into old ways
  • Provide adequate training and support
  • Ask participants to share their experiences

By the end of the pilot program, you should have identified a preferred solution, tested the tool in your environment and be confident that it delivers the functionality you need to improve HR Services. If enough time and resource has been invested during the pilot phase, the tool may already be partly-configured. You may need to pay for additional help from the vendor to complete the configuration or get assistance from your IT department to complete integration, but once this has been done, you will be keen to get your employees using it. However, you’ll need to think about how you can let people know about the new HR Service Management tool, so in the next blog post, we will discuss how to market your services and announce the launch of your new HR Service Management tool.

If you’d rather not wait, download the Smart Guide now to help your organization - Deliver the HR Service Experience your employees deserve.

Deliver the HR Service Experience your Employees Deserve

Patrick Bolger

Written by Patrick Bolger

Patrick is dedicated to the communication of industry best practices, working with customers, industry associations and IT luminaries to identify trends and educate organizations on the opportunity associated with service excellence. Patrick is an active contributor to a number of strategic groups and partnerships that influence the service management industry, including the Service Desk Institute (SDI), Help Desk Institute (HDI), and the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF). He is a compelling and popular speaker at events worldwide and contributes to many industry publications.