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7 ways to fail a Successfactors implementation

When companies implement a new Human Capital Management (HCM) system, they may realize they’ve taken on more than expected. While it is very easy to understand the value of having a full-scale best-in-market HCM solution, there are several pitfalls during an implementation.

These will lead to higher costs and a greater resource effort than necessary. To avoid these, you need to know what to look out for. Here are some key pitfalls to guard against while undertaking a SuccessFactors Implementation:

1. Alignment of Implementation and Business Goals

SuccessFactors is the market leader in HCM solutions. It is a platform that enables businesses to reach their full potential in managing and growing employees. But, it is only a tool; it cannot drive company priorities or goals. First and foremost, companies need to determine their HR vision and priorities. Once these are identified, they can be cross-referenced with the SuccessFactors solution to ensure that the implemented solution helps the company reach its desired strategic goals and priorities.

2. Ignoring Best Practices

Too many times, implementations start off with all parties open and willing to review current processes and change to “Best Practices.” Unfortunately, this enthusiasm starts to wane when the process changes start to directly impact people’s day-to-day jobs. Project teams need to be reminded that processes become complex over time and the team should take a step back and review. This can lead to simplifying and redefining, both of which bring value to employees and HR business partners.

3. Don’t underestimate the importance and complexity of integrations

One of the selling points for cloud technology is the belief that it is plug-and-play regarding third-party solutions. While SuccessFactors has made strides with tools and API development, integrations still need to have a dedicated focus. It is no longer important to just have clean HR data; the company needs the ability to share the data with other solutions and systems. While you can have the best processes and cleanest of data, if that data cannot flow to other systems, you will not realize the full value of the solution.
Read more on integration services here.

4. Not incorporating employee feedback

In any HCM solution, employees are some of the key stakeholders. One of the strengths of SuccessFactors is the ability to engage employees within HCM processes via Employee Self Service. It is crucial to speak to your employees to understand what they consider important and how they can utilize the newer functionality and mobile technologies. If you know your employee skill set, you can build an adoption plan that drives the ROI.

5. Underestimating Training and Change Management

A key element of effective implementation is what happens after the system is up and running. Employees caught off guard or inadequately trained or communicated with regarding the system can become easily frustrated when mistakes occur. This will result in the slowing of the user buy-in and system utilization essential for a successful software transformation.

6. Not enough skilled resources on the project

Clients can underestimate the size and complexity of an implementation, especially when it’s on a global scale. If there are not enough skilled resources committed, particularly in HR, with deep knowledge of the current and future state, the speed of implementation and quality of the end result will suffer. Senior management plays a vital role in securing these resources. Your SuccessFactors implementation partner should help you understand early on which resources are required.

7. The wrong implementation partner

When deciding on which partner to use on your journey, clients need to consider many different aspects. In addition to knowledge and history on delivery, don’t underestimate how the prospective partner and its team members fit into your company culture.

Taking on a SuccessFactors implementation is possible for every organization, be sure to prepare.


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