Fostering HR and IT Collaboration When Implementing SAP HCM
Over the years, I’ve assisted many organizations in implementing SAP HCM Solutions to support HR business processes. There’s a stigma that HR and IT can’t get along and have differing opinions on how to implement a solution, manage a project, etc. HR often voices concern and frustration that they feel as if the solution is being implemented in a vacuum, without input from the business, while IT complains of HR’s lack of technical knowledge and project management experience.
Traditionally, SAP HCM solutions were implemented on-premise and heavily relied on IT for everything from software selection through project completion. With the shift to cloud, we are now seeing the reverse. HR is now in the driver’s seat, selecting the appropriate solution to streamline and automate their business processes. With HR empowered to make their own decisions, they often underestimate IT’s involvement in the implementation, leaving IT feeling out of the loop. These mindsets often cause issues and can ultimately create a rift between the two departments.
It’s important to realize that both HR and IT are integral parts of any SAP HCM implementation, including SAP SuccessFactors solutions deployed in the cloud.
On one hand, IT has a terrific grasp of data, integration, and the requirements needed to implement a solution. IT also offers the experience of managing simultaneous projects (upgrades, testing and continuous updates) that are necessary to maintain the various applications they manage for the organization.
On the other, HR has a deep understanding of the ins and outs of their business processes and the data that is required and needed to generate analytics and reporting. HR is able to offer insight into the business strategy related to people.
So, how do you foster collaboration between these two areas of the organization to ensure a successful outcome?
- Identify where HR and IT’s strengths reside. IT’s strengths are data integrity and technical aspects of systems/solutions. HR’s strengths are with business processes and the people element of the implementation.
- Delegate responsibilities during the course of the implementation. Ensure that tasks align with each team member’s strengths.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Setup weekly meetings with key project members to stay in sync with each other on status or issues that arise. Be conscious not to make decisions which affect the other without talking through potential impact. Ultimately, the solution impacts the business and the end users
As a result of collaboration, IT gains a much better understanding of HR and what they need from the solution. HR gains more exposure to the technical side of solution (including any limitations that would impact business process) and how to get what they want from IT. The end result is the successful implementation of an SAP HR solution in which all stakeholders will be proud.