An HR transformation journey

So is this another article on the pros and cons of an HRMS – specifying vendors and Dos and Don’ts. No. What inspires me to write this article is my journey being a part of this transformation. So what do companies experience? Starting with a pen-paper based management to well macro-fied excel sheets to first-hand SAP R/3 ERP set up to a new age new cloud-based HRMS.

Why the need to move from an Excel based approach?

  • Data Security
  • Data Sanity
  • Restricted Access
  • Huge File Size
  • Not Intelligent Enough
  • Data Maintenance only at the HR level
  • No Self Service Model

Why an HR system?

To cater to everything that Excel based system is not offering or is getting compromised.  So are organizations striving for a better and an easy system to thrive?

Quickly, what is HRMS about?

A system that manages end to end employee life cycle and all events that are contributing to complete this life cycle.

So, what does each stakeholder want from an HRMS?

What does an employee want?

      • A self-explanatory and attractive UI
      • Few clicks navigation
      • Immediate Notifications & Updates

What does a manager want?

      • Complete Team View
      • Team Dashboards
      • Approvals on the go

What does HR want?

      • Accurate and Ready to use reports
      • Presentable & Attractive Dashboards
      • Follow-ups & Reminder for Process Notifications

The shift

As of today, most of the companies are into some kind of HR system. So what makes you shift or seek out?

Either it’s a flawed product or you need more from the system or you just want to start all over again.

If the need for last option arises, I must say you are not seeking out for a better product but the need to break your rigid processes and clean your data. You just need to hear it from an outside paid HR consultant. And if you are still not ready to come out of the mess. Your want to start all over will become a need and you will soon find yourself into a vicious circle.

If you need more from the system, a true transformation I am talking with an assumption that you have a basic HRIS system with Leave & Attendance and few more, then you should get into the market and explore other systems which offer a highly integrated solution starting right from Workforce Planning to Workforce Management to basic modules to high-end Talent Management with High Potential and R&R Programs and Compensation Planning. They will offer you a more digitized solution than you need and where you will take a step back that you do not want for now.

If you are dealing with a flawed product then you are getting into a Vendor Evaluation phase where you should take care of following points.

Big challenge: finding the product for transformation

  • Get to know the Company Background – This hints at the company’s priority, values and customer service level.
  • Team’s Know-how – Team that will understand your requirements, should be experts to comprehend your policies and your processes. Should be able to understand what you want or what you thrive for. Also, suggest the best in the market.
  • What thought went behind making the Product: If you can get this information, you can evaluate how much the quest for a perfect product you can relate to.
  • Future Plans / Build Architecture: How they plan to expand the product line. How do they Prioritize Customer Needs
  • Product Vs Need: You should broadly fit by at least 80% with the product offering. Anything under development or major functionality in roadmap makes you the guinea pig. Now, do you want to be one.. your choice?

Once you select a Product basis above parameters, you have finished one set and passed on the baton to the next set which is your internal teams. Remember it’s a relay race and every set in the Product has to perform to win the race.

Big decision: finalizing the product

At this dynamic changing environment, let’s think of the perfect positive scenario where everything goes well and look at your need for the next 4-5 years at least. Will this product continue to serve you.

  • Cost: Product Pricing wrt Implementation Costs, AMC, PEPM Cost, and Inflation Rate – All should be taken into account for present and future. Will you continue benefitting from this model?
  • Future Needs – Build your processes, hone your policies. Will system provide you with the bandwidth to build up or you need to seek out.
  • Internal Stakeholders – Various departments – IT, Commercial – all should be in sync and agree to the product offerings at all aspect.
  • Personal Contact – This is not new. It was always there. Who bags the deal? Was it earned or influenced? That will become a talk of your small tinsel town. But let’s accept it. We are far away from doing away with this human judgement.


So in the end, happy with this decision of product change?

Yes – Work towards making it a success system. Work on your Change Management Plan or transformation well in advance.

Don’t wait for people questing the functionalities. Serve them in a beautiful tray to consume.

Work with your marketing team and bombard all possible communication channels with Posters, Videos, Images, Fliers, Cards, etc. Don’t have a budget. Oops! Think of intelligent ways.

No – We are humans. If you were unhappy with any point during the journey, you will look for flaws in the system. You have unknowingly started comparing and seeking out again.

In the end, before I start on human psychology. Sensitize your stakeholders. Harmonize.



(Source:, I the author confirm I have the right to use this image.)

Disclaimer: Not a One Direction fan page and is not about them. Thought as I write would love to write about them in a separate article.

Experienced HR Project Delivery Manager with a demonstrated history of working in cloud based HRMS projects and core HR. Profile Background of Functional Consultant, HR Business Partner and experience in all modules. Strong human resources professional from Tata Consultancy Services, Max Healthcare