Recently, we caught up with one of our Kronos consultants to get her advice on how to assemble a team of Workforce Dimensions implementation all-stars (which you can read all about in our article of the same name). Before joining our team, she worked at Kronos for 16 years, but now, she enjoys helping clients with everything from project management to implementing and training them on the new solution from UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group): Workforce Dimensions.
We focused our recent Q&A on two major areas she finds clients struggle with the most: the implementation workbook and integrations. Here’s a summary of our conversation.
Q: Why is the implementation workbook so challenging?
A: The workbook that you’ll need to complete before your implementation outlines every detail of your scheduling policy data, organizational structure, work rules, and more. This spreadsheet can be intimidating, especially for people who aren’t familiar with Kronos.
There are two areas that become the biggest challenge for clients when it comes to the workbook. The first place is not involving the right people in the project. Make sure you involve all of your subject matter experts from payroll, IT, and human resources (HR) to help gather the data and information you need to complete it.
The second issue many clients face is that they’r upgrading to Workforce Dimensions from a previous version of Kronos, and they want everything in their new configuration to “work just like” their old one. It’s best to think of upgrading to Dimensions as an opportunity to start fresh and find out if there’s a better way to do things.
(For example, we’ve found supervisors manually fixing a payroll issue to pay their employees for the last five years, when the problem could have been resolved from the beginning!) Now is the time to determine if there’s a more efficient process. Just because “that’s the way you’ve always done it” doesn’t mean you can’t improve things.
Q: What are the various sections of the workbook, and how much time will it take to complete everything?
A: The time you need to factor in for the workbook depends on your company size and setup. I’ve worked with larger companies with over 700 payrolls and 75 union contracts in about 40 different states. Managing a workbook of this size can take upwards of four or five months. My best pieces of advice: don’t rush it, and bring in a third-party Kronos expert who knows the details of the workbook.
Here’s a breakdown of the main sections you’ll be working through:
The workbook includes a lot of details on payroll, including overtime rules, rounding rules, shift differential overtime, accruals, vacation, sick time, etc.—everything that makes up how an employee gets paid.
Attendance scheduling is how you’re going to track time. For example, if an employee is late one day, they’ll get half a point. If that employee hits five points, they could receive a written warning. Attendance scheduling can be set up with Advanced Scheduler (an add-on module) or Basic Scheduler. Workforce Dimensions runs more on scheduling than any other software, so scheduling is really important.
This is a big piece of the workbook and involves your cost centers, departments, business units, and/or job codes, depending on your organization. Business structure is very different in Workforce Dimensions. In the previous products, you had standalone fields for things like department and job code. Now, they’re all tied together under business units. So it’s essential to make sure you set up these business units correctly, or you could have downflow problems in your HR or payroll software.
This is another critical piece of the workbook, and it can be like a maze. The most challenging piece is the function access profiles (FAPs). It’s all security-driven and new to most customers. If you don’t get the security section right the first time, you’ll be spinning your wheels constantly adding stuff.
Q: How do you advise clients on setting up integrations?
A: Workforce Dimensions will likely not be your system of record. Therefore, that information will need to go into whatever you are going to use as your system of record, (most likely your payroll software). So, the first step is ensuring that your payroll information is exported cleanly from Kronos to the payroll software.
The second step is making sure your payroll software is cleanly loading employee information into Kronos. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually load that information into the payroll software, which requires extra work and could lead to human errors.
You’ll likely have other integrations such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or data warehousing. We often see healthcare organizations have a separate scheduling tool that needs to be integrated. And don’t forget, once the integrations are set up, they will need to be thoroughly tested.
Q: Has anything else changed with Workforce Dimensions?
A: Everyone assumes that the reports are the same from Workforce Central to Dimensions, but they’ve changed a lot. What I typically do with clients is gather information from each of their locations to learn more about their processes and reporting needs. All this information goes into the workbook, so when it’s time for reporting, they’ll have the data they need.
Getting Started with Workforce Dimensions
You can learn more about implementing Workforce Dimensions in our three-part series. Of course, if you already know you’re ready to get started, our senior-level UKG consulting team is here to help. Our consultants and project managers know the right questions to ask to help you fill those gaps, whether it’s with your workbook, integrations, or any other area of your project.
Contact us today to kick things off.