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Implementing Market Pricing Technology : 5 Best Practices for Success

Whether you’re starting off with your first market pricing software or replacing an underperforming solution with one that’s a better fit, getting implementation right is key to your long-term success. After years of helping companies implement market pricing technology, I’ve got some tips for making your implementation as seamless as possible and setting your team up for the future

1. Choose Your Time

While there’s no real down time for comp pros, there are certainly more optimal points in the cycle to bring on a new solution. If you’re not constrained by an expiring contract with your previous vendor, you can choose the time of year where implementing new market pricing technology will produce the least disruption. 

This generally depends on how your annual merit cycle aligns with data migration and survey participation. Most comp teams find that the space between survey participation and annual data migration is the best choice for them, but if your fiscal year ends in July and you’re working on merit increases, that might not work for you. Look at how your team’s workload ebbs and flows and lean on your chosen partner for advice.

If possible, one of the best ways to choose your time is to implement alongside your existing solution - whether that’s spreadsheets or a legacy technology - and transition tasks to your new software as appropriate. We had one customer implement BetterComp a full year before their previous vendor contract was up, and it made for a truly seamless transition. 


2.  Plan Ahead

At BetterComp, you can walk into implementation totally green and we have the knowledge and experience to walk you through it. That said, customers who are prepared and have a clear plan have faster, easier implementations. One of my customers was able to go live in just 2 weeks, made possible by their well-developed plan.

Start off with people. Who on your team - and on other teams like IT - will be involved and what will their roles be? Assign a point person for your implementation to own your deliverables and work directly with your new partner. 

Next, think through your goals. Based on your workload, what are the tasks that need to be accomplished in your new software first? This is particularly important if you’re up against the clock with your previous vendor‘s contract expiry approaching. 

Finally, think through your timeline. You’ve already done your best to choose the optimal point in your cycle to bring on new software, but understanding when you need to go live and what you will be working on at that time will help you and your new partner create a viable project plan for your implementation.

3. Gather Your Data

In comp, we live and die by our data. To assure a smooth, easy implementation, make sure you have all your data readily accessible. This includes your survey reports in spreadsheets - not PDF format; employee, job, and range information; pricing policies such as geo differentials or premiums; and currencies.

Policies-Procedures-BindersYou’ll also want to pull together all your documentation for structure, processes, and procedures. Having things like your job architecture, how your levels map to your surveys, which data cuts you use, your general approach to job pricing and exceptions to that approach documented and assembled before you begin implementing your new market pricing software will help streamline the process. If you don’t have a lot of this information documented, this is a great excuse to develop and formalize that documentation for the future.

4. Over Communicate

Communication is key to a successful implementation - both internal and external. You want to make sure that your team and stakeholders outside your team know what is happening. You also want to be certain that you understand the deliverables on your end and that your partner is clear on your expectations and goals.

That said, you don’t want to overwhelm your team with minutiae. The majority of your communication should route through your point person who is owning the implementation for your team. They will be best positioned to provide updates to the broader team and from your company to your market pricing technology partner. They should also be empowered to bring in other members of the team throughout the process if and when called for.

Beyond your team and partner, you’ll want to ensure that senior leadership, department heads, recruiters, hiring managers, and other people throughout the organization that rely on your team understand what is happening, the expected timeline, and how the implementation may affect requests from the comp team.

5. Don’t Forget Onboarding

A lot of people mix up onboarding and implementation, or assume that onboarding is a given. The reality is that no matter how user-friendly your new system is, your team will Team-learning-softwareneed both training and some time to become familiar with your market pricing solution. Expecting expertise after one training session isn’t realistic. 

When I’m working with a new customer, I always include training that’s tailored to their near-term goals and work. As the team gets deeper into using the system, we have self-service training resources available. I also frequently set up follow-up training including “just-in-time” subject-specific training and/or Q&A sessions where the team can get more specific, personalized guidance after they’ve had a chance to work in the system.