8 SAP SuccessFactors Implementation Mistakes to Avoid
As an SAP gold partner for SuccessFactors implementations we know just how transformative this world class HRMS can be, but we also know that success isn’t simple. While the SuccessFactors suite provides all the features and functionality you need to achieve masterful HR, it’s imperative that your solution is implemented and utilised properly to really make it successful for your business.
Often there are mistakes we see time and again before, during and after the implementation process. If you’re thinking about taking on one, several or all of the SuccessFactors suite, or if you’re already part way through your implementation process, make sure you read through these 8 mistakes SAP SuccessFactors implementation mistakes to avoid.
With business functions all working on different schedules and decision makers often busy with the day-to-day, sitting stakeholders down together is no small feat. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do before you start your SuccessFactors implementation.
Make the time to sit down and work out what you want your future HR to look like and what you’ll need to achieve that. If you’re not entirely sure what features and functionality it might take to get there, no problem. That’s what your vendor is for. Equally, be honest about what you really need. Complicating your HR solution with unnecessary functionality will only make it clunky and distract you from what’s important for success.
Defining your success criteria will be the foundation of your solution so make sure you look at your HR from every angle honestly. Which brings us to…
We see many clients go straight to the top to work out what they need from their HRMS which is great for some criteria, but you’ll probably miss out a lot of the important things if you don’t go to the right people - the ones using your solution. When it comes down to it, your employees are the ones that spend the most time interacting with and benefitting (hopefully) from your HR initiatives. Then there’s your HR team, the ones on the ground managing the everyday admin and intricacies of these initiatives. Make sure you get some detailed feedback from both of these parties about what they would like to see from the new solution.
Having a budget that falls short of the success criteria spells bad news for the rest of the implementation, especially since this mistake might not be discovered until much later in the process. Both customers and vendors can contribute to this mistake, so it’s important both both parties are clear about what they need and what the costs are from the outset.
To ensure that the budget is aligned with business needs, make sure you present your full list of criteria to your vendor, even if you think it might be outside of your initial budget. Once your implementation partner understands your needs completely, they can present you with what your SuccessFactors solution will include as a standard and if there are any extras you’ll need along with a final cost.
If it’s outside of your ideal budget, you can work with your implementation partner to figure out if there is anything you could sacrifice or if there are more affordable alternatives. Be sure to double check this outline against your needs before moving forward.
If you start to uncover additional costs later in the process that fall outside of your budget, both you and your vendor should be able to see exactly what functionality and deliverables were agree on at the start.
Data can be a huge problem during implementations. Working within their own silos, many project leaders are unaware of just how much data their businesses have as well as how long it can take to sort, cleanse and migrate this data to SuccessFactors. Data problems can cause huge delays and ultimately push the project over budget.
To ensure this doesn’t happen it’s best to assign a team to handle the data side of the project right from the outset. Assigning singular responsibility to this area helps to make sure all data angles are covered and the process is kept organised and on time. This will involve identifying all your data and what’s needed for the project to move forward, analysing and surveying it so you can cleanse data and then migrating to your SuccessFactors solution.
In any project, testing is key to achieving project goals. Testing throughout helps to ensure that your solution is meeting your needs at every stage and delivers a fully functional solution at the end.
Your HR team has the best knowledge and experience to know what your solution will be handling day-to-day after the launch so it’s up to you to constantly test the most common use cases. Ensure other stakeholders including a selection of your employees also test according to the most important and common use cases you identify, and make notes of any shortcomings or problems that arise. You may find potential issues that weren’t considered or identified during your criteria outlining and need to be addressed before launch.
So we’ve tested and it’s all working, we must be ready to launch, right? Wrong. Before you even consider going live it’s vital that you train all the relevant stakeholders on your system including any end-users. At a bare minimum this will help to prevent potentially serious problems that could arise from people misusing the solution. At its best this means making the most of SuccessFactors right from the outset so you can achieve maximum productivity and efficiency as quickly as possible.
A good implementation partner should be able to provide all the specialised training you need to not just use the basic functionality of SuccessFactors, but actually uncover powerful capabilities to help you achieve your business goals. Not only does this mean making the most out of your system, but people that are confident in their expertise are much more motivated to use their knowledge and therefore the solution.
Once your HR team and key management are trained up on your solution, you should then focus considerable time on training and familiarising employees or other end-users with it. Time and again we see clients struggle with adoption after launch because employees haven’t been informed properly of what the solution is and how it can benefit them. If no one uses your HRMS, do you even have one?
While training should be part of your pre-launch preparations, we also find many customers struggle just as much post-launch. This is usually due to a lack of ownership, either because they lose motivation and become distracted once the project is “over” or simply because they lack understanding of and subsequently underestimate post-launch requirements. Instead of becoming distracted or overwhelmed, it’s vital you continue to commit to using and improving HR initiatives with your solution.
To really make the most of SuccessFactors it takes continual improvement and maintenance, just like any skill or process. You’ll need to commit both time and resources consistently after the launch date, including ongoing training and refresher courses for your HR team and even end-users if needed. Make sure you take the time to look at what is working and what isn’t with your solution, and if there are any areas to improve upon. A lack of motivation and commitment often leads clients to start ignoring best practices and underutilisation functionality.
Choosing the wrong implementation partner to begin with can really wreak havoc with your project. There’s a lot that goes into what makes a great implementation partner and it can often come down to what suits your business style and culture. Communication is key to keeping your project on track so make sure you take your time to speak to all your vendor possibilities carefully and try to get to know them as a partner.
There are some basic things you can look out for, however, that will indicate whether they’re the right partner to see your project through to successful completion. Look for an approved SAP partner which you’ll find on the SAP partners page and will be indicated by a partner badge on the vendors website. SAP gold and platinum partners have been approved by SAP themselves to offer the best services around.
You can also look out for additional services they provide. As well as specialised pre-launch training which should come as standard, look out for post-training opportunities as well. Ongoing support and health-checks can also help ensure you continually make the most of your solution and can save significant time in the future.
As an SAP gold partner we offer superior SuccessFactors implementations and a whole host of other services to help you take your HR to the next level including our exclusive Optima implementations which can have you up and running in just 12 weeks. Contact us today to start your journey.