HR and Payroll Implementation – 9 Steps to Success

by | Feb 8, 2021


There are tons of software to choose from when talking about the Philippine payroll system. Each one is different, the functions depending on the emerging trends in Human Resource. However, choosing the right one isn’t the only thing that matters. If your implementation process isn’t planned out properly, chances are the resources you used on the system would just go to waste, no matter how good it is.

The key to effective implementation is to take it step by step. Even though some of these steps are interchangeable, the first step is always to plan carefully.


The first question is, who are the people involved in the planning? The usual people are the C-Suite executives, the HR, and of course the Users. The planning process should include inputs from these people since you can gather valuable information from them which you can use to your organization’s advantage in implementing the new system.

You can also decide to create a dedicated team to execute the plan. It is advisable that they are employees possessing the appropriate skills needed.

Change Management

Statistics say that HRMS implementations fail. Regardless of the failure rate, it is important to ask why there were situations where it failed before. The answer is in a factor of software implementation that’s often overlooked: people.

People can cause a big impact in an organization, so this factor must not underestimate. To make sure your HR and Payroll implementation is effective, you must consider how people respond to change.

Models such as the Change Curve by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross can help in aiding you create strategies based on predicted “response path”. The ADKAR methodology by Prosci can help by providing the five key stages of change management which are: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.

Hiring an HRMS Consultant

Hiring an HRMS Consultant for your HR and Payroll implementation can be a big help. The key here is picking the right one. When hiring an expert, it is crucial to hire the right one. Ideally, you want a consultant who has handled several HRMS implementations in the past and understands the capabilities of systems completely.

Costs should not be the only thing considered when it comes to hiring a consultant. But your consultant will likely have a high hourly or daily rate. Advanced planning can be of a big help here, as well as negotiating on a fixed price or capped daily fee. This will prevent you from spending all your budget on the consultant alone.

Ultimately, the necessity of hiring a consultant depends on how big your project and business is. A small workforce might not require a consultant, but if you have hundreds of employees in multiple sites and roles, you’d need all the expert help you can get.

Data Migration

When implementing a new cloud payroll system in the Philippines, it is important that whatever data you put in there is “good data”.

Accuracy is also important in the implementation process. Information or data can become corrupted due to either a system error or human error. This can be a potential risk when transferring HRMS data to a new system. The greater difference between the old and new systems, the bigger the risk is. What you want is the data in the new system to be as accurate as the old data.

There is also an opportunity to cleanse employee data. You may have your employees personally check their own information, as this could be a test for the new system’s self-service functionality. Employees can also update their own records.

Data security is also another crucial concern. You may not be sure if your data is secure 

since the HRMS vendor may have it installed on a platform from another provider. So, you should inquire with the vendor first. Security and accuracy are both essential in the implementation of a new system.

System Testing

Once the new system underwent all the necessary processes (cleansing, checking, fixing, etc.), you must first undergo system testing. If you want your system to be as smooth and functional as possible, tests must be conducted. You can create a schedule for testing the system’s processes and procedures, as well as integration with other systems. Put the same data from your old cloud system into the new one and if the new cloud system isn’t functioning faster, then you must find out why.

Some tests would require different test groups to see the limits of its capacity.

Lastly, you must check the user reports that the new system is expecting to produce. Since this is a new system, there will be no benchmark so in this case, you can refer to your business objectives and goals in relation to the system and check whether such expectations meet.

After each test, expect a set of problems that will require either technical or procedural solutions. After said problems are solved, test once again.

You might be tempted to skip testing, but first impressions are critical. Testing also lessens the risk of your new system failing when it goes live. If the first thing users experience is a failed login, your system might lose its integrity. Your employees know that this system will be storing their personal information, tracking work performance, and managing their salary. A bad impression is not the best start.

User Training

Everyone in your organization should be able to use the new system. Every single employee needs to be able to log in and use the system to manage personal data management tasks so that your HR staff’s workload would be decreasing.

Everybody would have to re-learn tasks due to the new system implemented. User training is obviously a make-or-break part of the implementation process.

There are different user groups – the “users” whose training instruction differs depending on their roles. Examples of users are: C-Suite executives, line managers, employees, and HR staff.

For the training process, it’s not different to an upskilling project. First of all, you need to define the capability of each user group. Second, define what the users can do at the moment. It saves you a lot of time when you don’t teach them things they already know. You can’t jump to conclusions of what they don’t or do know. Next, create learning programs to take each group of users to their destination state. Evaluate this learning solution and redesign it as needed. Lastly, review your progress and determine if you are now ready to go live.

An effective and well thought out training process mirrors your commitment to provide an improved, fully functional, and user-friendly HR system for your organization.


A smooth “Go-Live” is a sign of a well-thought-out implementation. So, after doing all the preparations stated above, all that’s left to do is to transfer to the new system.

Just like the preparations, the implementation also has to be meticulously planned. A big factor in planning is to identify which support would be available to users. The support you offer may include:

  • (a)  JIT guides – This is also known as the “Just-In-Time” training. It describes any material that is available to use immediately. This is useful for users who need a refresher of the training program while using the new system.
  • (b)  Super-users – Also known as the “human version” of JIT guides. There will always be some users who are more engaged in the project compare to others. People like this are ideal candidates to assist their peers with any questions they may have on the new system.
  • (c)  Automatic reminders – One example of this is the alert that appears when an employee logs into the system. The automatic window will remind them a few points to make the most out of the new system.
  • (d) Technical support – This should always be available, especially on a regular day. Should a software or hardware problem occur, it should be solve instantly?

Don’t forget to arrange for bug reporting. Problems and errors are a pain to deal with, but it’s best that they’re known than to leave them in the system.

Post Go-Live Challenges

At this point, hopefully your Go-Live went smoothly. Just like the maintenance activities you must deal with in the future, there are several things you need to address after your system goes live for the first time.

First, you have to see if your system functioned as expected. Asking more specific questions like “What errors occurred?” or “Were the bugs and glitches fixed immediately?” is also a big help.

Second, consider your stakeholders. In the earlier steps, you identified the needs and concerns of the stakeholders. Now, you may ask if those needs and concerns were properly attended to in the Go-Live. Addressing them early gives you a chance to fix them before they become detrimental to the new system.

Third, consider user training. Did the training process truly help the users? Take note of the training gaps by checking on the feedback from users.

Fourth, decide if you can let go of your external support. This decision should depend on the initial success of your system during the Go-Live.

Finally, review the launch in its entirety. Identify what worked, what didn’t, and what needs improvement. This information will also be useful for the systems you may decide to implement in the future.

Measuring Implementation Success

At the end of the implementation, you can ask if the project was truly a success.

First, look at the costs and benefits. Did you get what you paid for? What was the overall cost? After establishing figures, find out how it compares with the benefits you received.

Aside from costs, another major factor are the users. What were their opinions? Were their needs met?

Finally, look ahead of the system you just implemented. What other possible issues could occur? What other functions can you implement?

This post-implementation review also gives a micro approach on how the newly implemented system is fairing according to the standards set for it. This is key to ensuring the engagement of stakeholders, employees, and HR staff – and also to the overall success of your newly implemented payroll system in the Philippines.

Is your company ready for an upgraded HR and payroll system? Please contact us or email us at

by: Gia Panuncialman

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