Dresser & Associates

HRIS Software Implementation – What is a typical install like?

After purchasing your new HRIS software it is now time to implement your new system. This step could either be a “Step Two” in the purchasing of a new HRIS system or it could be the monkey wrench in the process. Common misconceptions and unclear timelines can greatly damage and slow the implementation process. It is important that a clear step-by-step process be outlined, a sturdy timeline be in place and common issues that normally arise, be discussed and prevented before the HRIS is implemented.


A common misconception of implementing an HRIS is the time it takes to get your system up and running. This time includes installing the system, preparing and converting data, training users on how the system is used and trouble shooting to ensure users can be off and running after the system is installed. A typical install usually takes an average of six to eight weeks with a technician spending six to eight hours a day, one day a week. It is important that a timeline be established before the process begins and all involved in the process follows the timeline as closely as possible.


  1. Discovery: In the discovery session, a project manager, consultant and your team drill-down on the information gathered during the Business Process Audit and discuss in detail your requirements, structure and the steps necessary to successfully integrate the solution into your environment. This is also the start of creating the timeline and assigning responsible parties for each step of the project. After the meeting, a finished timeline with dates is forwarded for your approval. It is important that these dates be carefully reviewed, as future changes can cause delays.
  2. Installation: Depending on the solution, installation is performed by your IT department, consultant or both. Some of the products may require skill sets that might require a consultant to do the installation.
  3. Data Conversion: Implementation of relevant HRMS data from your current systems. After core data is implemented, setup and configuration continues to complete this phase.
  4. Review and Testing: An important step in implementation is confirming that the information is accurate and business rules are working properly.
  5. Training: Training sessions should begin with an overview of the system. Through the knowledge gained during setup and review, time is needed to refine the steps required to use the system to match your internal processes. Training should be focused on the core aspects that prompted the purchase. During this entire process, be sure that your consultant records their observations regarding the need for additional training and implementation assistance.
  6. Going Live: This is the day your investment begins to pay dividends.
  7. Post Implementation Review: Some time after the go-live, a review of how the system is being used is necessary. Often, valuable functions are not being used most effectively or not at all. At this point, be sure your consultant provides guidance and remedial training to ensure that you obtain the full value from your investment.


  • Old system data is in an unstable format
  • Old system data can not be found
  • Unclear expectations
  • Prep work has not been done or is incomplete


Have a clear timeline – Realize it is going to take as much time to implement the system as it is going to take to prepare for implementation. Users and consultants should be working as a team to ensure the deadlines that were set before implementation are being met and followed.

Team effort– Users should be reading the manual at each step of the implementation to ensure all questions are being answered before they become an issue. Data that needs to be transferred from the old system to the new should be accessible and ready for the consultant. In most cases, this data is entered into the new system by the users, so be aware that this can take some time.

Clear expectations – Understand that the new system is not the old system. It is going to get some getting used to and some training for users to familiarize themselves with using the new system. The new system should not be used the way the old system was, this defeats the purpose of the new system.

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Dresser & Associates
(207) 885-0809

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