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How to make use of the implementation project in growing new talent

Is your organization getting ready to implement a new HR system? When a project involving many internal and external stakeholders starts, it is easy to lose the big picture for life after the go-live.

Teija Elomaa / August 27, 2023
Digital HR Insights Community

You can use the HCM implementation project as an opportunity to grow your talented HR technology team when you think ahead and get prepared. Foresee the future to source your project wisely. Let me tell you about my tips on how to ensure your internal HR talent gain experience throughout the implementation project, and why is it important for your return on investment into the new system.

At the beginning of the implementation project, there are always huge expectations on how the new system will save up HR resources for more strategic HR work. It might come as a surprise that HR Technology has become one of the strategically important areas which require dedicated resources. Though the leading Cloud HCM solutions such as Workday and SAP SuccessFactors deliver intelligent automation, support self-service, and empower your employees and managers, there are new tasks, knowledge and roles required after the implementation. How can the implementation project help you to tackle this challenge? The project gives your team a good insight into what type of work is required in the future as part of system development, business process optimization, testing, security analysis, organizational changes, integration and automation, reporting or implementing new functionalities - to name a few. It is necessary to think about how you want to resource this work going forward. HR functions at all companies are challenged to reskill their HR due to the new technology. To become more self-sufficient with your new Cloud HCM platform, involve your employees more. However, you can consider using more external resources in the customer roles.

Picture the new ways of working

HR work changes along with the new HCM system, so it is essential to set your operations on a new track already during the implementation project. To make sure your HR team members know what is expected from them after the go-live, enable them to grow to their new day-to-day roles during the project. In many projects, people are pushed to their limits by combining daily work and project involvement. One way of measuring a successful project should also be the well-being of the implementation project team. It takes time and resources to commit to the new technology and adapt to the new way of working. To support this, you should reserve time for your team to be curious about the new technology and learn about it during the project. Testing stages provide early access to the system, which offers great learning opportunities. Testing aims to support you to become self-sufficient with the system. Your team should access the new system tenant early and often to increase their knowledge and gain confidence with the system.


It is important to start building a bridge to the future at an early stage. Talk regularly to your implementation team members to be on track with their new career ambitions and find ways to create new opportunities for them. There are many customer roles needed in the project. Assign the deployment roles to employees who express interest in continuing with the system after the implementation. For example, Business Lead or Project Manager could be excellent in a hybrid role after the project with all the knowledge gained during the implementation. Technical or Test Lead could be a great extent to your HRIS team. Don´t forget the rising stars in these projects who adapt to the new technology faster than others. Be sensitive in spotting these talented professionals and offer them new opportunities. Some might be eager to take on new roles while some need encouragement. It is important to think about how you can engage your employees during the project and after it. You want to keep your key people motivated and engaged. All the knowledge they have gained in the implementation project is vital for “life in production”.

Think hybrid

With modern HR work, the meaning of hybrid roles is growing. You don´t necessarily need to be an expert in HR or technology but rather a tech-savvy HR. It is a great advantage to have someone in-house who can speak HR, technology and business – an interpreter between business and technical team; someone who is familiar with your company culture, HR management processes, the way teams operate and who understands the advantages and challenges of digital transformation for your company. The Cloud HCM implementation methodologies typically give many opportunities to involve employees. Think ahead who you want to involve in the project preparation, customer training, tenant sessions for design, configuration and data conversion, testing stages and user training. Pair your employees with consultants who are experts in their field. Don’t be afraid of the new system. Too often HR is underestimating their own skills. During my career, I have seen how the customers' project team's knowledge and skills have grown along with the project. Your HR can also learn to speak technology.

Depending on the modules you choose to implement you might require new in-house roles in the future. It is important to think already when planning the project what strategic goals you have for modules you have chosen. The ownership of the HR processes and the modules should be clear already at the beginning of the project. Who owns for example the processes within Onboarding, Talent Management, Recruiting, HCM Core, Learning, Time Tracking, etc.? Do you need dedicated lead roles for those modules in the future? If so, then make sure that these roles are resourced already early on to ensure that future leaders can influence the design and decisions and participate in the testing stage to support configuration and business process optimization. To make sure that the system will be used to its full potential, your team should be dedicated to following the trends in their specific area. Depending on the number of different modules you might also need several HCM system administrators for support.

How will you organize the day-to-day operations of the new system?

It is good to keep in mind that the leading cloud systems such as Workday and SAP SuccessFactors are designed to be highly flexible and configurable. These solutions allow you to respond to rapidly changing business requirements without the help of IT. You can realign organizational structures, manage and configure your business processes, and share data with other systems by using the system´s toolset. Improving the user experience requires continuous optimization of new features, user guidance and training. The best Cloud HCM platforms are adaptable and constantly innovating. You as a customer will receive regular updates in your system that will require your attention. Make the best of these features to keep the system up to your business's speed and needs. The question is: will you monitor and work on the latest updates, new features and functionalities yourself? Or would you prefer to get release management support from an experienced partner?

Be realistic about your company resources and get ready for life after go-live

Start the discussion of the post-production support early enough to recognize what is the best solution for you. Take into consideration your resources such as budget, timeline, knowledge and skill set of your employees. This helps you to allocate your employees during the project and identify the learning opportunities. Think of the level of self-sufficiency you want to achieve with the new system. What does it require to get there, and what is the realistic timeline for your organization?

There can be a transition period considering your budget and resources. You should decide on how you want to fill in the competency gaps you have and find a good balance with your internal and partner´s resources to make sure that you are using your new HCM system to its full potential now and in the future.


Whether you decide to be very self-sufficient or you need more support, at Tietoevry we have a dedicated team of HR technology experts who can help you. Contact us to discuss how our advisory, implementation and post-production services would fit your needs. Check more about staffing your team with knowledgeable professionals - we are ready to join you on your HR digitalization journey! 

Teija Elomaa
Lead Functional Consultant

System-oriented and IT minded HR professional with over 15 years of professional experience from the HR field. Especially in HR Technology adoption, People processes and Colleague Experience. Certified in Workday HCM Core, Workday Compensation Core and Advanced Compensation.


Teija Elomaa

Lead Functional Consultant

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