You can follow the progress of this unusual project virtually right here, in our live updates. Read on to discover the challenges the project team faced and the opportunities that arose from these unique circumstances.
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April 2020 – the decision
The launch project for the learning management system (LMS) SAP SuccessFactors was scheduled to start at Randstad in mid-April 2020, which ended up being in the first few weeks of the coronavirus lockdown. Yet instead of postponing the project indefinitely, Randstad opted to roll out the software remotely. It aimed to have a ready-to-use software solution within just a few months.
The conditions were perfect. As SuccessFactors is a cloud-based software package, no local computers were needed. On top of that, all staff were already equipped with laptops, cameras and microphones. This meant they could easily access the LMS from home. Travel and hotel costs were eliminated as a result – a good way of conserving financial resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, as no one had yet launched a system on an exclusively remote basis up to that point, both Randstad and the implementation partner initially had reservations:
- Could the deadlines be met and the LMS go live on schedule, despite the extraordinary circumstances?
- Was it possible to achieve the kind of collaborative teamwork that leans heavily on personal qualities, but through online meetings only?
May 2020 – the kick-off
The SuccessFactors project was launched at the start of May. However, the official kick-off was not organized as a face-to-face event, as is usually the case. Instead, following initial discussions and preparations, it was hosted on Google Hangouts with two different groups of participants:
Firstly, everyone who would be involved during the project got together – from IT and project management to the data protection officer and specialist personnel. The project plan and the milestones were presented and the implementation partner was introduced in this meeting.
The next steps were then discussed within the core team, consisting of the specialist personnel, project management and implementation partner. The team looked at questions such as: What takes priority? What dates need to be planned? Which people need to be consulted?
The actual implementation of the LMS project began just as it does during an on-site implementation – with the basic configuration of the test system. However, it quickly became apparent that the implementation concept that is usually applied under “normal” circumstances needed to be adapted to the exceptional conditions. Right from the start, the team had one particularly large challenge to tackle - how to complete the implementation on brief and on time, despite the numerous staff absences caused by reduced working hours, part-time work, maternity leave and the coronavirus lockdown.
Would you like to find out how the project team accomplished this task? In August, we’ll be publishing a new article here offering insights into the implementation process and communication in the project.