What does it take to run a successful global payroll implementation? That is the issue webinar presenters Mary Holland, CPP, Chief Customer Officer for Payslip, and Travis Seville, HR Systems Lead for Wave, addressed in the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) webinar, “Running a Successful Global Payroll Implementation.”
Challenges are sure to accompany any global implementation, simply because there are so many moving parts. Some of the global implementation challenges include laying the groundwork for the project, which involves planning, preparing, and road mapping all before the implementation process commences.
Other challenges to consider include receiving support from key stakeholders and finding a suitable in-country partner (ICP).
Seville said finding the most suitable ICP could be difficult for some organizations, particularly if something isn’t going well with the current ICP. However, Seville said planning for the 2022 change management would likely be the most difficult task for global implementation.
According to a poll conducted during the webinar, approximately 61% of those surveyed agreed that the planning process was the most difficult step in the global implementation process, followed by receiving stakeholder support at 23%, and finding a suitable ICP at just 14%.
“I think with the pace with planning, it takes longer than you think,” Holland said. “Because in the payroll world, we’re trying to process for year-end. Sometimes, we run out of time and try to shortcut, but if we have the plan and the project defined, it makes the project go a lot smoother.”
There are several key considerations that must be taken to account at the start of implementation, such as documenting the defined scope, having the support of senior management, having an approved business plan, data automation, RFP for a reliable vendor, and choosing the correct technology or ICP.
Another consideration is guarding against employee burnout. If there are too many assigned tasks happening all at once, then it’s likely those who need to be present for the implementation could burn out, Holland said.
The project scope also needs to be stringently monitored and maintained. Too often, organizations involved in the process will add project components that were not part of the original implementation plan. Thus, the project leader should be firm and may suggest that any additions not in the original project scope be considered later.
Holland said having incompatible or incapable ICPs, and not doing due diligence in choosing the right ICP, can also cause problems during implementation.
“The last thing you want to have to do is replace that ICP or have to go back to the stakeholders and ask for more money for the project, because you have not factored in some of the expenses you might have with that ICP,” Holland said.
Of course, the key to any successful project implementation is communication with staff, as well as global partners, and ensure everyone involved understands their role and how information will be exchanged. Organizations must be consistent in their communication.
“At the end of the day, we are making the decision to support the business,” Holland said. “As payroll professionals, that’s really our role—to support the business.”
"Running a Successful Global Payroll Implementation” is currently available on demand. Register for the free webinar today.
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Bryan Kirk is the Senior Writer and Editor of Membership Publications for the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) and the American Payroll Association (APA).