Congratulations! You have done your homework, carefully assessing the assignment management system (AMS) options in the market, and you have opted for the one that best suits your requirements. The selection process is over, the paperwork has (finally!) been signed, and it is now time to focus on implementation, so that the chosen system can be set up to enable maximum efficiency gains for your global mobility programme. In this post, we will share some tips on how to make this stage as smooth as possible. Aside from facilitating quicker delivery and access to your new system, a well-thought-out project is also likely to be less costly for you, saving both time and money.
Implementation is the official start of the partnership with your selected provider. Throughout the project, you will get to know the team working on the project very well. It is crucial that both sides can rely on clear and honest lines of communication – particularly at those unfortunate (and often unavoidable) moments when something hasn’t gone quite as planned. So, establishing contact points and preferred feedback channels from the start will be essential, as the teams involved learn to align their ways of working. Be detailed rather than generic in your feedback. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something isn’t as it should be – your provider will want the project to be successful, too.
When implementing an AMS, it is likely that the chosen functionality will cover a wide range of uses and multiple business requirements. Although the natural instinct is to hope for everything to be up and running as quickly as possible, taking a pragmatic approach typically pays off. Identifying which aspects of the solution are more urgently needed than others will be key, and also allow you and your provider to spot any quick wins. It could be that you want to start reaping the time-saving benefits of automating package updates while waiting to internally finalise your new processes, or you might be yearning for quick and easy management reporting at a click of a button. Work together with your provider to ensure they are clear on your priorities, so they can get to work to help alleviate the most immediate pain points.
It helps to break a large implementation project down into meaningful chunks, creating phases of dedicated work. This makes it easier for everyone to focus on the task at hand, though still with the ultimate goal in mind. It makes sense to align the phases with your priorities, to make sure your most urgent requirements are accommodated through early releases. The planning works best when the project teams set realistic timelines: if you know it will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for your team at the start of the year for salary reviews, it makes sense that that period is quieter on the project front.
Commitment might also be required from people outside your global mobility team. Depending on the phase of the project, you may need to rely on an IT or information security specialist, or your in-house HRIS team for integrating the two systems. Considering their workloads in advance when planning the different phases of the project can make a big difference in delivery efficiency.
Implementing software is typically a means to an end - when you choose a system, you are likely to have a vision of how it should contribute to the transformation of the mobility function at your organisation. So even in the thick of an extensive implementation project, it helps to keep the overall objectives at the forefront of everyone’s mind – you don’t want to lose sight of the forest for all the trees. It can also be a great way to motivate your team along the way to remind them how each step will contribute to the wider goals. For example, a client of ours decided to invest in an AMS with the aim of bringing structure and harmony to a large, decentralised set of teams and processes. Getting there wasn’t always a straightforward journey, but the visible outcomes have been very positive and applauded by the wider business.
As a trusted partner, your provider will be there to do the heavy lifting on your behalf. However, both parties will of course need to dedicate time and resources to the project. Even though with ECA you don’t need to know anything about coding because we take care of it all for you, we will still need you to be available for testing each new release and let us know your feedback, so that we can get closer and closer to your requirements. You’ll also need to sign off, but that is the exciting bit – then we can go live!
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At ECA, we have a 100% track record in delivering successful implementations with our clients. Relying on an experienced partner like us means your project is also likely to be a success. Together, we can share the benefit of that experience, avoiding common pitfalls and focusing time and energies on achieving your goals.