I have recently been working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on their PeopleSoft Financials upgrade from 9.1 to 9.2. This upgrade brought a great many new features which KCTCS wanted to take advantage of immediately.
With the upgrade to PeopleSoft Financials 9.2, KCTCS was able to eliminate several customizations and improve their efficiencies.
Preparing for the Upgrade
With the upgrade to PeopleSoft Financials 9.2, three key improvements were delivered which KCTCS wanted to take advantage of. These included the Supplier Financial Audit trail, the new Search Framework, and WorkCenters. All of these features require configuration decisions before starting the upgrade.
With the new delivered Supplier Financial Audit trail, KCTCS was able to eliminate a customization to audit changes to the Supplier. In preparation for the upgrade, we reviewed the fields available to be audited and had to decide which fields to audit along with determining when a reason code was required.
When reviewing the Search Framework, we needed to determine which to enable and deploy. Along with assisting in navigation, the Search Framework provided KCTCS with the ability to improve efficiencies for users searching for information within the system, making it easier for them to navigate to menu items that they only use occasionally and may not remember how to find.
WorkCenters for the Buyers and Accounts Payable staff is also new in Financials 9.2. The delivered WorkCenters are delivered as empty shells and require organizations to configure. We held several meetings with both groups to identify the items to include in each section of the WorkCenter, including the My Work, Links, Queries, and Reports tabs.
During the Upgrade
After making the decisions on how each of the above three features were going to be used, these configuration decisions were documented and reviewed. The configuration documents were used during the upgrade to set up the functionality for testing. As KCTCS tested the new features and changes were identified, the changes were made in the test environment and to the configuration documents. These configuration documents, once finalized, were then used in setting up the production environment.
After the Upgrade
During testing for the upgrade, KCTCS focused on the new functionality along with key areas where changes were noted. In the area of Procure-to-Pay, along with the above new functionality, there were improvements made to several other areas. In Procurement, changes were made to the auto-numbering of procurement documents and to the PO Short Close process. In Payables, changes were made to the Pay Cycle and Matching process. In Expenses, improvements were made to the workflow process. These were the areas we had focused on during testing to verify that everything was working correctly.
The three biggest challenges that we faced with this project were (1) determining the overall configuration requirements, (2) finding time for thorough testing, and (3) determining how to communicate and train the colleges. We started by determining the configuration requirements to support the implementation of the three new processes. Each process required review to determine set up requirements, access requirements, and training requirements. This involved discussions with the Procure-to-Pay staff.
We spent a lot of time working on the configuration requirements. Documents were created for the configuration decisions. Existing Business Procedures were reviewed and updated. Training documents had to be reviewed and updated to include the new functionality.
Once the decisions were finalized and documentation was completed, this had to be communicated to the college users. We started by presenting an overview of the changes between the existing PeopleSoft Financials and the new PeopleSoft 9.2 to the business officers for the colleges at their annual meeting at the System Office. In addition, emails were sent out to the financial users and the updated training documents were made available ahead of time. Also, the users were given access to the test environment prior to the upgrade to get a preview of the new Financials 9.2 system.
Working with KCTCS staff on this project – especially Brenda Nolan, Procurement Manager, and Kim Freeman, Director of Procure-to-Pay Services – has been a great experience.
Interested in learning more?
I will be co-presenting a session at Alliance 2015 with Brenda Nolan (Procurement Manager at KCTCS) titled “OH NO , another upgrade – What should I be doing before, during, and after the upgrade to 9.2.” (Session #34031) on Tuesday, March 17, 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.