Stage 3 of Global Payroll Implementation
Dec 5, 2017
In reviewing the key needs and challenges involved in planning your global payroll transformation and evaluating potential solutions providers, you’ve no doubt developed a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s objectives both for payroll and future company goals.
Given the critical role of payroll as an essential business function, major cost center, and strategic data source, it’s clear how a transformation in global payroll can create tremendous value. By shifting from a fragmented system of legacy software and multiple disconnected vendors to a single cloud-based solution, multinational companies can standardize their payroll processes, reduce errors, and achieve vastly higher productivity and efficiency levels over time.
With so many stakeholders and considerations involved, organizations must approach global payroll implementation with a multistage approach:
- Planning & Preparation
Building a Business Case, Establishing Scope, and Assembling Resources
- Deployment & Onboarding
Strategizing the Rollout, Maintaining Vendor Alignment, and Training Your Teams
Once your new global payroll partnership is in place, your entire organization will be motivated to achieve the shortest time to value possible. Yet, as with the entire implementation process, smart strategic planning is key to your success in the Deployment stage.
Throughout the earlier phases, you’ve been laying the groundwork for deployment by designing the ideal end-state of your global payroll operation and selecting the right foundational solution for your needs. Now, it’s time to use collaborative project management efforts to make that end-state a reality.
Strategizing Your Rollout
To determine the smartest plan for deploying your new global solution country-by-country, work with your vendor and internal country SMEs to understand the headcount in each international office and the complexity of managing payroll in each location across your global project scope. Then, use your knowledge around your existing payroll challenges to determine which rollout strategy – volume-based, need-based, or ease-based – makes the most sense for your organization.
Some organizations opt to onboard their highest-headcount countries into a global payroll solution ahead of smaller ones. This allows them to realize the greatest amount of efficiency or productivity benefits from the new services provider in the shortest amount of time possible.
Rapidly expanding organizations often find it best to load their newest countries into the global solution first. This lessens the need for existing staff to spend time learning local payroll and compliance guidelines for locations that will ultimately be managed by the new global vendor.
Other companies choose to onboard their simplest countries ahead of those with greater complexity. Which countries are ‘simplest’ can vary across organizations, whether it means the fewest payrolls, the easiest compliance standards, a wholly salaried population, or another factor. This method gets a small group of experts comfortable with the system before launching it broadly across the enterprise.
Maintaining Vendor Alignment
Once you’ve mapped out which countries to implement in which order, you’ll need continued collaboration with your selected service provider to reach 100% deployment. Your vendor should adhere to customized project management plans throughout the deployment phase – complete with clear, pre-determined schedules around status updates, meetings, calls, and review cycles. Other best practices from your vendor include:
- Launching implementation discovery as soon as the contract is final (or sooner);
- Providing compliance and country-level readiness checklists for each location;
- Adhering to clear escalation procedures and a firm project governance model;
- Delivering comprehensive information on testing cycles and parallel-run processes;
- Setting (and meeting) reasonable, achievable go-live schedules for each country; and
- Motivating your team to acquire all resources and move the process forward.
Training Your Teams
Your selected global payroll provider should also be committed to facilitating ongoing knowledge sharing between their organization and your payroll staff. That means hosting training sessions, providing useful guides and resources, and conducting educational webinars – especially for any new or updated features and functionalities.
In addition to establishing a training schedule and monitoring employees’ use and comfort level with the new solution, it’s also important for you to secure staff members’ support by:
- Providing status updates on implementation progress with local payroll teams throughout the entire Deployment phase;
- Communicating the benefits and advantages of the new solution for everyone involved;
- Making educational resources and training materials available and accessible during onboarding, as well as after; and
- Soliciting regular feedback from your staff on what aspects of the new solution they may be struggling with (then addressing it with your vendor).
Each phase of a global payroll transformation is key to making good decisions that will support and enable your organizational goals into the future. By taking the time and investing the resources required to answer the questions presented throughout this blog series, you can help position your company for the best possible outcome.
Download the complete paper on The 3 Key Stages of Global Payroll Implementation to keep this information at hand and for additional tips for making your payroll project a success for your team and organization.