Workforce management software is hot right now as companies look for solutions to manage workforce diversity and streamline human resources (HR), and one of the key players in the workforce management software space is Kronos. Its newest product—Workforce Dimensions—is a cloud-based suite with modules for timekeeping, scheduling, HR, payroll, talent acquisition, and much more.
If you’re in the market for Workforce Dimensions, you’ve come to the right place—we’ve helped plenty of companies in a variety of industries with their implementations. We’ve also noticed that there are some common mistakes companies tend to make over the course of these implementations, which is why we’re going to cover everything you need to know before, during, and after implementation in a three-part series.
We’ll kick off the series here with a list of mistakes to avoid before you even go to Kronos to get started.
Make Sure You Have the Right Project Team
The first step is making sure you have the right project team in place. This typically involves stakeholders from HR, Payroll, and Finance. (Plus IT, of course.) IT is usually the obvious choice to run this kind of project, as it’s so technology-focused, but it’s vital to include HR and Payroll as well.
Far too often, we find that clients end up creating headaches for themselves down the road because IT sets up the system in a way that makes sense to them, but not the people who will need to use this software on a daily basis. HR and Payroll will have insights to offer that may not even occur to IT, so make sure they’re involved.
Know That Program Managing is a Full-Time Role
Next, it’s critical to designate a person who will own the project after it’s implemented. Your Dimensions program manager needs to be involved from the get-go, and you should also assign a backup. Also, it’s important to realize that whosoever serves as your program manager is taking on a full-time role—handling things like address changes, adding pay rules, and other changes/enhancements to the platform isn’t a part-time gig.
We find that many clients don’t have a program manager at all, or they don’t give that person the time and resources they need to succeed, or they realize that they need someone and hire them on months and months after the project has already started. This creates a huge learning curve, potentially putting the project (and its on-going success) at risk.
Have a Strong Internal Advocate
Another vital role you’ll want to have on your team is a strong internal advocate. By this, we mean a person with external knowledge and experience with Kronos, and who’s able to use this information to help implement the system based on your unique needs.
For example, you might want to set up Dimensions to do A, but when you ask Kronos about how to accomplish A, they may tell you the software can only do B, C, and D. An internal advocate who knows what they’re talking about can push back on this claim, and then you might learn that technically Dimensions can do A, but it’s kinda complicated. Well, there’s a world of difference between “not possible” and “difficult,” and if A really is that important to your organization, you might decide to pursue it anyway.
Having someone on your side who knows what goes on behind the scenes of Kronos can dig into claims about what the software can and cannot do, and that’s invaluable. Additionally, your internal advocate also needs to be able to keep everyone (internal team, consultants, Kronos rep, etc.) up-to-date with the right information.
Get Your Policies in Place Before Implementation
Now that you’ve gotten the right people in place, it’s time to start making plans for the software itself. We recommend that you review your policies before you involve Kronos at all. It’s best to outline all of your current rules and policies so that you can get implement them as cleanly as possible into Dimensions. (We’ve seen clients try to change policies during the implementation, and it’s not pretty.)
This is another area where an experienced consultant/third-party program manager can be a great help. Our Kronos consulting team has plenty of experience with Dimensions and can tell you where the software will (or won’t) accept your rules and policies, ensuring you know what you’ll need to tweak before you even try to implement them.
Develop a Detailed Business Structure
On a similar note, you’ll need a detailed business structure for your Kronos Dimensions implementation to succeed. This is due to a change in how Dimensions sends general ledger (GL) information to payroll, security, filtering, reporting, etc. compared to how things were structured in Kronos Workforce Central. Because of these changes, Kronos now has to approve your business structure.
You’ll need to put together everything tracked by the GL for reporting purposes, including location, company codes, cost center, department, and more. (And did we mention it can take 2-3 weeks for Kronos to approve your business structure?) This is one more area where a skilled consultant can lend a hand.
Someone with experience with this sort of thing can figure out what fields your business structure actually needs so that you can stay in that sweet spot between “What your organization needs to succeed” and “What Kronos will actually approve.” (Because if Kronos doesn’t approve your business structure the first time, that 3-week process can turn into a 6-week process…) You can see how we helped a hospital solve this kind of problem in our recent case study.
We hope this article will help prevent you from making any significant mistakes when getting started with your Kronos Workforce Dimensions implementation. In Part 2, we’ll cover what you need to know about data gathering, configuration, and User Acceptance Testing.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, our Kronos consulting experts are here to help.