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Eight Myths of HRMS Software (III of IV)

Eight Myths of HRMS Software (III of IV)

May 19, 1999
Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS)
Myth #5:

HRMS Software requires lengthy and costly training
HRMS software merely automates tasks that you already perform (or need to be performing). Well-conceived and well-designed software should take into account the typical ways in which HR tasks are already performed. The wheel does not need to be reinvented.

Granted, you will need to learn how the software does things that you used to do manually, but we are dealing with the capture, storage, and retrieval of information. Any software that cannot simply automate the process of putting information into computer files instead of putting paper into filing cabinets, or that cannot replace an Excel spreadsheet, is probably not well conceived or well designed.

There is an old saying in the software business. "If software is hard to use, it won't get used." An indication of how hard software is to use is how hard it is to learn. If you need weeks and weeks of training to learn how to do what you already know how to do, there is probably something wrong with the software, not you.

Yes, you may need some training with your HRMS software, but if it is more than just a few days, you may be paying for badly designed software, not quality training.

Myth #6:

Customizing HRMS Software Requires Very Expensive Consultants
The normal reason software needs to be customized is because you wish to change the software to more precisely meet your needs. If you know what you wish to change, the hard work is already done. Most quality HRMS software provides some type of user customization capability. A well-designed customization feature will allow you to make most, if not all, of your desired changes in just a few hours or less.

It is very important that you purchase a product as close to your needs as possible. Determine if using the inherent user customization features will allow you to make the final adjustments yourself. You would not purchase a sports car and request the dealer to customize it into a van. Likewise, you would not purchase an HRMS product designed one way and then try to make it work another way. Wise research will assist you in getting a product close to your needs and in getting a product that you can easily and inexpensively customize to precisely meet your needs.

SOURCE: Jim Witschger, "HRMS Software—Myths and Reality," March 1999.

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