Most businesses, regardless of their size, are under pressure to effectively assign time and attendance resources and control labor costs. However, they also need to balance time and attendance complexities, competitive pressures, and limited budgets or IT support. This leaves very little margin for error in identifying a solution.
Participating customers recommended establishing a cross-functional task force as the critical first step selecting an automated system. This allows decision makers to share vital information and feel involved the vendor selection process from the beginning. As logical as this advice seems, many businesses we did not start their selection process by creating a task force, and only after some false starts did they the need.
The task force organizes information about the needs of various departments and the current process. Members also promote understanding within and cooperation from each department, which are vital successfully changing over to automation or updating an outdated system.
Who’s on the team and what do they do?
A typical task force is made up of three to four people. You should appoint a chairperson to coordinate the committee’s activity and oversee all aspects of the selection process. Seek out participants who have the time and motivation to do a good job. And make sure you have a representative cross-section of managers, IT staff, and payroll staff. Some companies augment the task force with an employee advisory group to encourage and incorporate a wide range of ideas from everyday users. This also helps foster acceptance of the solution after it is implemented.
Formulating a project plan
As early as possible, your task force should conduct a kickoff meeting and formulate a project plan for its time and attendance project. The written plan should include due dates and clear definitions of individual responsibilities.
- Conduct a situation analysis: Define your current manual time and attendance processes. Determine your current policies
- Establish specific goals for the new automated system: Corporate goals. Technology goals. Process goals. Other goals/
- Prepare preliminary analysis showing potential cost savings
- Go/no-go decision: Do we continue to pursue?
- Create a list of potential vendors
- Review and compare offerings to pare down the list to three or four competitors
- If necessary, solicit proposals with a Request for Proposals
- Define detailed product requirements so you can evaluate offerings
- Select two or three finalists
- Determine the cost of each solution
- Determine the potential return on investment
- Conduct company background checks
- Conduct a services capability survey, including the following: Visit customer sites. Check references. View demos/presentations.
- Select a vendor
- Develop an implementation plan
- Manage implementation
- Take the plan live!