Over the past few years I’ve seen, managed and participated in over 500 Workforce Management (WFM) implementation projects together with our customers and partners.
Thanks to awesome colleagues, project managers and experienced customers, a vast majority of these projects have been successful and have achieved the expected return on investment relatively quickly. However, implementing a WFM-solution is always a challenge and we have learnt plenty in terms of what you should consider before and during such project to make it as smooth as possible.
Here’s the 5 things to consider:
1. Employee Contract Terms & Working Time Directives
When setting up your WFM software, whether it’s done by your own organisation or a supplier, you will need to have full clarity in terms of your employee contracts and how their terms are applied across the organisation.
Having your Employee Handbook in good shape is of great help to start with. Many times we find one view at the head office of how the contracts should look like but further out in the organisation it is applied completely differently. Make sure you find real facts of how time is treated in all parts of the organisations. Your WFM-implementation project will be a great agent of change to correct eventual errors or incorrect policies.
2. Master Data
Have a plan for which system in your architecture will be your master data for employee information, contract terms, payroll info, skills & certs, tasks and login credentials. Preferably if it’s a large scale project appoint a specific person with integration responsibility early on.
3. Labour Standards & KPIs
At a certain stage in the project your WFM supplier will ask: “So, which labour drivers do you run and where can we retrieve the data?” Figuring this out can (and probably should) take time, as it is about finding out the true relation in your business between sales, guests, service levels, customer happiness and the work schedule. This can be done through workshops with the right stakeholders or also more advanced Time Studies where, amongst other things, the exact task execution time is measured for your key activities in the business.
4. Allocation of Internal Resources
As a rule of thumb your organisation will need to allocate at least twice the time of the WFM supplier to succeed with a large-scale WFM implementation, many organisations miss this bit in their project calculations. Certain parts of the project simply cannot be executed by the supplier and your organisation need to set aside time to run these activities.
5. Communication and internal buy-in
As mentioned in previous blog posts your WFM solution touches everyone in the organisation. Therefore communication is essential to make the project a success. Buy-in needs to be ensured from C-level executives down to the part time employee. The part-timers are usually easy to get on the train as a modern WFM solution mostly means benefit to them. But consider the unit managers, the schedulers and the payroll managers to make sure they too see the benefit in your WFM-project.
There’s no reason to let any of these factors delay your planned WFM-project, simply make sure to start the work now to have the information and decisions ready for when you have selected a supplier so that your team can hit the ground running. Even if a WFM-implementation takes some effort it is well worth it given the huge potential and savings that are available if implemented correctly.