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Just What Is HRIS? (Intro Part 1 of 6)

About the Genesis of The HRIS World Project Insight Series™ #thwCES

The genesis of this series comes from 6 posts written to introduce the Client Executive Sponsor role as well as the need to perform a needs assessment on Project Management methodologies.

Those 6 posts are as follows...

It is highly recommended to refer to these posts early on -- they will be updated as this series grows and new thoughts, practices and successes come about.

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About The HRIS World Project Insights Series™ #thwCES

This series is focused on approaching HRIS Project Management from outside of the box as experienced and documented by Garrett O’Brien of CGServicesUSA Inc as well as Lauren Gander of HR Software Solutions, Inc.

Let’s be clear right up front that we are not ditching any of the methodologies of Project Management. Instead, we are taking a look at just why some projects go so well while most others do not from our own experiences as well as those documented elsewhere. From there we are focusing on the successful elements that seem to be missing from most Project Management methodologies. The projects that do not go so well happen more frequent than not and it seems most Project Managers just give in to timeline extensions and over budget occurrences as being part of the learning curve to gain for the next project as well as being part of the job.

Garrett did as well until his 5th project and decided there was more to making a project come in on-time and within budget than just luck and more likely the cause of missing skills as well as incorrect perceptions. If some Project Managers could run most if not all their projects on time and within budget while most others could not, then we sought out to find out why some could consistently do so well.

We look into what contributed to those consistent successes in our entire content series The HRIS World Project Insights Series™ with the first 6 posts sharing the professional experiences of Garrett O’Brien. These 1st 6 posts are the foundation of most of this series and it is highly suggested you give them a good read. They are easily found with the short URLs to /thwCESintro6 as well as in the listing of related content in the toggle box at the end of all posts related to this series.

All other content arrives from contributors like you as well as the sharing of experiences from Lauren Gander’s company. Feel free to reach out to us if you wish to contribute some your thoughts via a post by clicking the contact us button on the lower right of any page.

Feedback, debates, discussion, collaboration and conversation are always encouraged in the comments section below... For more information about this series, use the blue contact us button on the lower right of your screen to contact us -- or if you are reading this by our newsletter, then hit the reply button to get back to us!

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Well, simply stated, HRIS is an acronym for

Human Resources
Information Systems…

HRIS is also known as HRMS…

Human Resource
Management Systems…


Human Capital Management…

But this only enlightens you to acronyms and tells you nothing about HRIS…


HRIS, HRMS, HCM is the management of data and application system(s) whose ultimate goal is to produce a check as well as  store and provide information of the employee population, either individually or collectively in part or in whole.

The name differences with HRIS, HRMS and HCM are usually the preference of the application provider.

Overall, HRIS is refers to the industry while HRMS and HCM are usually more representative of the systems.

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But this will vary with each person you talk to as well.

The Differences in the Systems

About as succinct as a graph can get…

Reads left column to right, carry over from previous column noted by color


Only Part of the Bigger Picture

All are part of Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP), and more often than not, describes an environment of 2 or more systems than describing just one particular system.

Each business, each company will have a different set of systems, depending on the providers they have hired, the needs they have and the size of the budget.

The Concept of HRIS

The concept of a HRIS environment is simple – to keep track of relevant information company wide related to paying all employees, and sometimes non-employees as well.

This can be for any combination of or all of the following…

  • tracking applicants that apply for employment
  • Process of hiring
  • Contact information for each employee
  • Information of dependents
  • Eligibility programs for beneifts
  • Education development
  • Reviews for work progress
  • Rate history
  • Pay Rules
  • Work Rules
  • Probation tracking
  • Hours worked
    • Regular hours
    • Overtime
    • Direct
    • Nondirect
    • Consultant hours
  • Benefit hours
  • Mandatory Benefits
  • Voluntary Benefits
  • Insurances
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Management Self-Service
  • Taxes
  • Terminations, rehires
  • Transfers to other companies within the establishment
  • Bonuses

And this is only a partial list!

Add to this all local and national laws that must be programmed and implemented within the systems.

An HRIS System is Complicated

The HRIS environment has many parts and in a perfect world, all the parts are integrated seamlessly.

In reality there are complications and these complications will be discussed in a future article.

The location of the system is only the first consideration, there are many considerations to be discussed and addressed by a discovery team.

  • An undertaking of a considerable review of current processes
  • Identifying the failures of current processes
  • Research the needs and processes that are needed now but not implemented
  • The needs expected in the coming years
  • Seeking a vision of what would be an ideal system
  • Providing the correct information to the market so providers know your company is searching for a system but not yet ready to commit to a purchase
  • Providing the correct information to the market so providers know your company is ready to commit to a purchase
  • Determining your best options from the market from cost analysis as well as return on investment (ROI)
  • Determining the budget for necessary resources and the project
  • Establishing a project plan and the necessary teams
  • Transitioning the discovery team to the project team, electing and appointing executive roles




Complicated Systems Requires Experienced & Successful Leadership

Before changing your current or 1st HRIS system, it is highly recommended all these considerations — as well as other considerations that will arise during the project — be undertaken with the leadership within the company as well as with an external team that has already accomplished such tasks with a high rate of success.

The external team does not necessarily have to be consultants that work for the vendor — professional independent consultants that have worked with multiple vendors as well as successfully implement several systems is where you need to focus.

Do know that the biggest concern is not the budget — focusing on money will only take your focus away from focusing on your long-term needs.

The Last Word

A properly chosen system will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your business processes by understanding the operational costs of the systems once they are in production.

Without this understanding, the systems will become a very expensive endeavor in quick fashion.

In our future articles, examples will be provided in how efficiency and investment can be won by proper focus — and the inefficiencies and expense of a system won by an improper focus.

Either way you win, it is just a matter of what you desire to win.

In future writings, will also discuss in detail many of the thoughts and considerations discussed here.

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Garrett O'Brien

CEO, Chairman, Publisher, Editor at The HRIS World Research Group

Garrett is the publisher, editor, writer forThe HRIS World Research Group, which includes The HRIS World, The HRIS World Research, The HRIS World Jobs, The HRIS World News, The HRIS World NewsMagazines, and The HRIS World Videos

With more than 20 years in roles as a client executive sponsor (#thwCES), project manager as well as functional/technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise for project insights, thought leadership, and team management globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He maintains his fluency in Portuguese, German, French, and English with his various endeavors and contacts..

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing -- and accompanying his wife on her various likes

About The HRIS World Research Group

The HRIS World blog, which is read by more than 50,000 from more than 160 countries monthly, manages to have more than 550,000 pages viewed monthly. 40%+ of the audience are decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).

As CEO for CGServices USA Inc, he focuses on multi-provider, multi-line implementations consultation for HRIS systems

Council and Education Member of Gerson Lehrman Group Council, helping institutions of the world leaders meet, engage and manage experts across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

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If you'd like to provide a post, a series of posts, or become a regular contributor to The HRIS World, click the blue contact us button on the bottom right of your screen to send us a message or reach us through our social media for details...

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