Switching Without Sorrow: Migrating Your Staffing Software System With As Little Trouble As Possible
Upgrading a software system to a new package (i.e., a new brand, and not just the latest version of the brand you have) can be one of those tasks you want to have done but don't really want to do because of the perceived work involved. Technology has gotten better, certainly, and new software is a lot more user friendly, but at the same time, it does require a lot of learning and stops and starts. You can minimize the negative issues, though, by approaching the migration methodically.
Go in Stages
Most importantly, you need to implement the new software in stages. It's tempting to take a weekend and switch everyone in the company over to the new system, but you risk having your business stopped for a day or two as bugs in the software and implementation process make themselves known.
Instead, choose certain offices to get the software first, and gradually switch more and more over on a schedule. This allows you to see how the software works with your data on a small scale first, and you can catch errors and bugs quickly and implement fixes. Yes, this will take longer than moving everyone over at once, but it should be less disruptive.
Data Mining and Editors
Some software mines your existing databases and automatically populates information into new files that are in a more compatible format. Have people on staff who will act as editors, going through the new files (at least at first; if you have tens of thousands of files, and it looks like the migration did everything correctly for the first several hundred, then you can decide whether to look at the others or assume that the rest are fine). But have staffers start going through the information, looking for errors and correcting them. Do this as soon as possible to avoid perpetuating errors and ruining files.
Everyone in the company needs thorough training. It's best to hire an implementation company for this; if you have an outside company doing the installation, they will most likely have a training module ready to go. But if your in-house software people are installing the programs, look at having an outside contractor come in to lead several training sessions for everyone.
New programs can vastly improve your staffing systems. Taking the implementation one step at a time helps make the transition a lot easier to handle.
For more information, talk to companies like Sixcel.