Implementation is the point at which the employee scheduling, leave management and timekeeping software becomes available to the end user. Depending on the project requirements, you may also utilize this time to perform a straight cutover, transferring data and components from the old system to the new one.
The implementation phase has one key activity: deploying the new employee scheduling, leave management and timekeeping system in its target environment. Supporting actions include training end-users and preparing to turn the system over to maintenance personnel. After this phase, the system enters the maintenance phase for the remainder of the system’s operational life.
All people who are going to use the workforce management system must be trained at this stage. It is important to remember that there will be some resistance from the staff. Employees at all levels, from clerical employees to professionals and executives may show evidence of computer anxiety. These fears can range from fear that employees may be displaced by computers, to worry about breaking the computer and losing control over the work output. To minimize the fears of employees it is important to get them involved in the process from the beginning.
The initial users of the system will have some suggestions for improvement. These suggestions should be investigated, and changes made to the system before it is distributed to other employees or locations.
Documentation regarding the use of the system should be made available. This documentation must be easy to read as well as easy to understand. The documentation would include sample screes, sample menus, data elements, and reports.
Prior to distribution to a new group and periodically thereafter, users’ interests and needs should be assessed. Organizations are not static and new requirements will arise as time passes.
Besides the documentation required by the users of the system, documents for the technical team are also required. Technical documentation provides information regarding the nature of the data in the system, where it is located, what attributes it has, and the relationships data elements have with each other.
As indicated earlier it is important not to try and develop the whole system at once. Typically, once the core workforce management modules are working well integrations should be developed according to a plan.
It is important that the system should be tested regularly, and that the satisfaction experienced by the user be surveyed.
When work on integration is completed, it should be implemented as soon as possible.
The lifespan of a workforce management system is said to be around seven years. During this period the system must be maintained. This maintenance will, of course, also include the addition of new features and interfaces.
It is important that all locations of the company eventually be connected to the system. This will enhance the efficiency of the organization.
One of the most important questions to be asked is “Is the system working?”. Several techniques can be used to evaluate the system’s effectiveness; these include scheduling or payroll grievances, planned vs actual comparisons, error analysis, user surveys, and audit reports. After evaluating the system over a few years, the company may decide to update the workforce management system and the cycle discussed above will then begin again.