Implementation Made Easy in 5 Simple Steps
The process of designing and implementing a new time and attendance system can seem intimidating, but it’s simple and easy with Acumen. Today we’re going to go over the five most important steps to make sure you have an efficient and successful implementation with Acumen.
Overview of the Implementation Process
There are five simple steps to our implementation process. Those steps are:
- Kick-Off Meeting
- Questionnaire and Discovery Phase
- Administrator Training
- Pilot Phase
- Going Live
This process begins when the sales representative forwards a signed proposal to the implementation department. An implementation specialist is then assigned to the project.
A typical implementation takes four to six weeks depending on the complexity and the motivation of the customer. Some customers have very tight and time-sensitive timelines while others do not, so we work at the customer’s pace.
Communication is key and we are diligent with staying in contact with the customer throughout this process. This ensures that we are on track with the project and available when needed. Project Status reports are sent out on a weekly basis with a high-level overview of the status of the project.
Step 1: Kick-Off Meeting
Once our project manager receives the signed proposal from sales and payment is received, they reach out to the customer to schedule a kick-off meeting.
This meeting includes the project manager, implementation specialist, and sales representative from Acumen along with anyone from the customer side that they want to be included in the call. Usually, this will include the primary users (which we will call administrators), HR/Payroll contacts, and sometimes a member of the IT staff (if necessary for a licensed software implementation).
The project manager will introduce the implementation specialist to the customer, and confirm that the items on the proposal will meet the companies needs. Once that is confirmed, and any other expectations are discussed, the projected timeline is presented. This is an early proposed timeline and may be adjusted, but works well to outline how each step of the implementation will be sequenced from this step moving forward.
At the end of the kick-off meeting, we’ll take some time to answer any questions the customer may still have, and discuss the immediate action items that our team will be working on.
Step 2: Questionnaire and Discovery Phase
Coming out of the kick-off meeting- the Acumen implementation specialist will send a questionnaire to the customer that includes basic questions like pay period, rounding, overtime rules, shift differentials, and other business-specific details. Once we receive the completed questionnaire back from the customer, we can complete the configuration according to their specifications. We streamline the functionality and interface of the software for each customer individually to ensure the greatest efficiency and usability for the customer’s time and attendance solution. This includes enabling and disabling features depending on the customer’s business needs and the options they have selected.
For some implementations, we may provide an employee import format to the customer so that they can send us the employee information that we will import to their site. This makes the process of enrolling a large number of employees easier than manual entry and prepares the system for testing and use.
Additionally, if the customer purchased any time clock hardware, Acumen will place the order during this step. This ensures any necessary hardware will be in place for system implementation later.
Step 3: Administrator Training
Now that we have your software application set up based on the returned questionnaire-we are ready to move to the first remote session with you and your implementation specialist.
The first call will include confirming that the information that was provided in the questionnaire is applied correctly on the site. We will also go over items that aren’t included in the questionnaire, such as if you want employees and/or supervisors to have access to the site and what access they should have.
Next, we will go through the different menus in more detail, such as the time card, employee screen, and dashboard. This training takes approximately one hour and when complete, we will forward the URL and user login information so the company’s administrators are able to login to begin gaining familiarity with the system.
If a second admin training is required, it is typically a review call to go over any questions that may have come up while the administrators were navigating the system. If the employee import hasn’t already been completed, we will send them the employee import format so that we can get the employees imported prior to the pilot phase.
If the hardware is part of the project: Hardware will be on-site at your location(s) and once connected-we will confirm proper connectivity to your software.
Step 4: Pilot Phase
Once the configuration and the administrator training are completed, the next step is the pilot phase. This phase is important because it can catch any errors or configuration issues in the system prior to going live. This is the last step where changes will be made to polish the user experience and finish implementation.
Depending on the number of employees at the company, it’s usually just a small group of employees that would be assigned to test the system. This testing phase should be for a full pay period, or at least for one workweek. It can run parallel to the system that is currently being used, meaning the employees would have to punch in/out on both systems, but this varies per customer.
Most customers have a payroll export format that needs to be tested also. After the employees have completed punching for the testing period, the customer should run the payroll export to confirm that it is the correct format.
Any changes that need to be made will be immediately addressed by Acumen and confirmed by the customer.
Step 5: Going Live
When the pilot phase is completed successfully, the customer goes live with Acumen.
Their previous system should now be disabled. If new hardware was ordered and installed for the test phase, this will become the hardware all employees at the business will use to clock in and out.
Now that implementation is finished, the company’s account will be moved to our support team. Any questions or issues should be sent to support rather than their implementation specialist by calling us or submitting a ticket to our support portal.
In closing, the system implementation can sometimes be a complex process that takes a great amount of time and specialized staff resources. Acumen’s experienced implementation specialist will be readily available to assist every step of the way.
Acumen doesn’t take shortcuts in the implementation process, ensuring that your business’ new time and attendance system will be exactly what was ordered.
At Acumen, we do our best to carefully define and control the project. We work hard to avoid unnecessary delays by setting realistic expectations and providing a project timeline that ensures your implementation is a successful one.
Experts in Timekeeping and Employee Scheduling
Acumen Data Systems is a leading provider of time clock and employee scheduling software. We help organizations manage their most valuable resources, the human kind. Acumen offers robust solutions for time and attendance, scheduling and leave management.
We believe that technology is just one quarter of the workforce management pie. Employees, policy, and the environment are just as important.
Do you have questions about our implementation process?