Migrate to Kronos Workforce Dimensions: Now or Later?

by | Sep 13, 2018

If you’re a Kronos Workforce Central customer, Workforce Dimensions is your future, but that doesn’t mean you have to migrate to Workforce Dimensions today.  When Kronos launched Workforce Dimensions last November, it also announced the release of Workforce Central 8.1, revealed plans to invest $40 million in its development this year, and promised to support it for at least 10 years. While Workforce Central has a long shelf life, your next generation workforce management solution is Workforce Dimensions. So, here’s the big question: when does your future begin: next month, next year or beyond?

Most of the Kronos customers that I have spoken with, which tend to be large complex organizations with tens if not hundreds of thousands of hourly employees across numerous locations, have expressed much interest in Workforce Dimensions. They like the high-performance, extensible, cloud-based technology platform it’s built on. They like the artificial intelligence and embedded analytics that will help their managers and employees make better decisions faster. And, they like that Workforce Dimensions incorporates responsive design that gives users flexibility to work from any device, anywhere.

Still, when I ask these customers when they plan to move to Workforce Dimensions, the answer is “not now” due to concerns of potential defects that are inevitable with any new product or that the initial releases lack certain functionality.  Although these are legitimate concerns, they should not prevent a Workforce Central customer from developing a roadmap that identifies when to migrate to Workforce Dimensions, the benefits this migration will provide, and what to do with your current workforce management system in the meantime. A well-built roadmap is essential to addressing these concerns and more.

Building a Robust Roadmap
The first and easiest place to start when defining your roadmap is to consider what functionality you use in Workforce Central today. if it exists in Workforce Dimensions, and if it does not, when it will be available. Doing this will help you understand when Workforce Dimensions achieves feature parity with your current use of Workforce Central.

Next, you need to consider what new functionality you should adopt. There will be a lot of focus on new functionality delivered in Workforce Dimensions, but you should not lose sight of features and functions that you never got to use in Workforce Central. Most companies have deferred implementing certain modules or capabilities to a subsequent release or future phase. Is it time to include that capability on your roadmap whether it is part of an incremental improvement to Workforce Central before migrating to Workforce Dimensions, with your migration, or afterwards.

Now, perhaps the most important step of a Workforce Dimensions migration roadmap is to understand the business processes that will inevitably change with the new application. Migrating to Workforce Dimensions gives you the opportunity to rethink the way that you implemented Workforce Central. According to Kronos, 50 percent of all the features ported from Workforce Central have been improved in Workforce Dimensions. In other words, they are going to work better but that also means that they are going to work differently. Given what you’ve learned, are there parts of your Workforce Central implementation that weren’t optimally deployed, were originally setup wrong, need to work differently, or just need to be fixed? What are the best practices that you can take advantage of to improve adoption and effectiveness of Workforce Dimensions? Whether you are introducing new functionality or “upgrading” existing functionality, your roadmap must consider how it will affect your managers and employees and the benefits it will provide to your organization.

Beyond the functional change, your roadmap also needs to consider the technology change when moving from Workforce Central to Workforce Dimensions. Workforce Dimensions is based on D5, a new, cloud-based technology platform. Moving from Workforce Central to Workforce Dimensions will change your current architecture. For example, integrations need to be ported from Workforce Integration Manager to Dell Boomi, Workforce Dimensions’ new integration layer. If you are an on-premise customer, you will need to consider how moving to a cloud-based system will benefit your organization and impact your work.

Finally, what happens if you are not ready to move to Workforce Dimensions for a year or more from now? You cannot stand still and wait. Your roadmap should include plans to enhance your Workforce Central environment until it is time to migrate.

You Can’t Do it Alone
Building this roadmap requires deep knowledge of Workforce Central, Workforce Dimensions, and your organization. Insight into workforce management best practices and adoption strategies is also vital. The good news is that you possess two of those things: you know Workforce Central and you know your organization. You need to look outside of your organization to close the Workforce Dimensions knowledge gap and workforce management strategies.

It would be easy for you to go to Kronos for help. After all, Workforce Dimensions is their product. Kronos can certainly extol the virtues of Workforce Dimensions, and their services team will give you a lift-and-shift migration plan. However, as described above, your roadmap will inevitably be more than a like-for-like replacement of your current Workforce Central implementation and consider broader workforce management strategies. On top of that, many organizations are skeptical of advice coming from the vendor who is selling them a new product.

Another option is to work with a trusted, knowledgeable consulting firm like Axsium Group. In fact, Axsium already offers a two-week, fixed-price consulting package to help you accelerate building your Workforce Dimensions roadmap (click here to download a brochure of our service). As a certified Kronos partner, our consultants have been trained on and using Workforce Dimensions since its release. Not only can we bridge your Workforce Dimensions knowledge gap, our broad workforce management expertise can help you uncover opportunities to add more value by adopting, not just the best practices, but the right practices for your organization.

As I said at the beginning of this post: if you are a Kronos customer, Workforce Dimensions is your future. Having a vague idea about when your future arrives is the same as having no idea. Now is the time to build your Workforce Dimensions roadmap. Help is available. What are you waiting for?

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