This article originally appeared in HR Excellence Essentials.
Anyone that has ever attempted an HR project internally, without experienced outside help, is nodding vigorously after reading the title of the post.
HR projects are difficult, no two ways about it. If timelines aren’t followed, or checklist items fall through the cracks, the entire HR project is in jeopardy.
That’s why I highly recommend hiring a professional consultant to work through your latest HR transition*. Whether it be a new HRIS implementation, a payroll overhaul, or a staffing review – working with an individual that has years of experience and dozens of complicated HR projects under their belt is critical.
*Full disclosure – My business, HR Software Solutions, is an HR software consulting firm.
Here are a four reasons why:
- Consultants can help with pre-project planning
You should contract a consultant even before the project begins. Pre-project planning and research (for example, system selection for an HRIS implementation) is critical to the campaign’s success. Having a professional advising your team from the start will ensure a successful launch.
- Consultants keep you on track
Once an HR project begins, all management will want to know is when it will be done. They will be vocal about this. Missed deadlines or setbacks will not be accepted without some grumbling. A HR project consultant will have training in managing large projects, and they’ll know the buttons to push to keep the entire team on track.
- Consultants have seen it all
Something will go wrong. A deadline will be missed. A module will not sync up with transferred data. It could be a small, trivial issue or a months long problem. Either way, it will happen, and having a seasoned pro on your project team will remove the stress from the situation. HR consultants know the potential potholes around any project, and can help steer the direction of the team away. If disaster does strike, they’ll know how to deal with it.
- Consultants can train management & staff
Once the system is selected and implemented, there is a steep usage learning curve from management on down. Even the HR department, those who will be the in-office experts in the system, will need training. The HR consultant can help the transition, so employees don’t feel confused or frustrated by the new system. This will reduce time wasted on general inquiries for the HR staff once the project is considered complete.
Don’t let issues with project planning, management, and training ruin your next HR project. There’s too much time and money at stake to leave anything to chance. Hire an HR consultant to run the show and the tame the beast.