Implementing a new payroll system is a major upheaval for any organisation. When this is managed in-house, conflicting priorities for different parts of the business can mean that new projects fail to gain the momentum that they need to succeed.


Argos recognised the need to replace its payroll system as it was about to become unsupported. The system had complex requirements due to the size of the business and the diversity of employment. The company had identified a new supplier but the project had ground to a halt because the key parties in the implementation could not agree a way forward.

Because of its track record of successfully delivering business-critical change for the client, i-Realise was brought in to manage the project.

The key issues

  • The project requirements had not been clearly identified from a business perspective.
  • The project had failed to gain any traction because an IT solution that met the needs of the business could not be clearly identified.
  • The HR and IT departments were unable to agree on a way forward with the supplier.
  • The key stakeholders in the project needed to be identified.

The approach

The i-Realise team met with the senior management, HR department, IT department and the supplier to
understand all of the challenges that were preventing the project from moving forward. Using their knowledge
and experience of payroll implementation along with tools from their ‘business toolkit’ for managing change, the
i-Realise team completed the following:

  1. A thorough analysis of the current operating processes around the payroll system and identifying the
    requirements of the project (point A).
  2. Defining the end goal of the project, including the specifications of the new payroll system and the
    operating processes around it (point B).
  3. Developing a change plan to get from A to B, which included defining all of the resources required, all of
    the stakeholders involved and how they would be engaged in the process.
  4. Managing the implementation of the programme, forming a bridge between the client and the supplier,
    facilitating communication and understanding to enable the project to keep moving forward.
  5. Taking away the pressure from the client’s project team, allowing them to fully focus on the
    implementation itself.

Successful outcomes

i-Realise achieved buy-in from all parties and was able to provide additional resources to successfully
implement the new payroll solution.

  • The system was implemented smoothly with the client achieving all of its anticipated goals.
  • The IT department gained a greater understanding of how to meet the business needs, which extended
    beyond the life of the project.
  • The ongoing relationship between the client and the payroll supplier improved beyond the life of the
    implementation project.
  • The client was empowered to actively manage all of the key stakeholders.
  • New opportunities were identified for the client, leading to unanticipated further business benefits.

i-Realise brought experience, impartiality and structure to the project, enabling all parties to focus on the needs of
the business, and providing the tools and resources to enable the project to move forward. Not only did the client
achieve a more up to date and efficient payroll system, but there was also a better understanding of the business
needs and better relationships both within the company and with the supplier.

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