PeopleSoft upgrade for Finance project receives new implementation date and program structure

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The PeopleSoft Upgrade for Finance (PUFF) project team recently announced a new implementation date and program structure. The project was originally planned to launch Sept. 1, 2015 has now been rescheduled to March 1, 2016. The new date has been set to ensure effective coordination with other finance initiatives, such as the Chart of Accounts redesign. This additional time will enable a more robust implementation with a deeper focus on process improvement and training.

In addition, the overall project now named the Financial Improvement Transition (FIT) program will take on a collective program structure to combine all three initiatives; the PeopleSoft Finance system upgrade, a new way to do budgets with Hyperion Planning, and the Chart of Accounts re-design. The Hyperion Planning system will be implemented at a later time in 2016.

Aside from the new implementation date and program structure the team is close to completing System Configuration. This part of the project is where the team sets up the PeopleSoft software to support specific financial and business workflow needs in a virtual environment and is critical to a successful implementation.

As configurations are completed, they are tested individually as each workflow task is examined and tested. The requirements for the configuration were determined through Fit-Gap sessions held earlier in the project, and requirements gathering meetings held with business areas. Once System Configuration is complete, then System Integration Testing (SIT) will begin.

Key team ITSS lead Kem Marcum, ERP application development director in Information Technology Shared Services, is excited with all of the progress being made on the project,
“It is exciting to see the system coming together as all of the configuration and setup work is being completed,” Marcum says. “SIT will involve using the test scenarios that are being created to test all of the system’s functionality. This is a major milestone in the project as we move forward.”

System Integration Testing is the testing process performed by the project team on various scenarios. This is done by testing generic financial transactions from beginning to end. For example, in order for an employee in a department to purchase a new item for their office, they must take steps for approval that include: create a purchase requisition, gain approval for the purchase requisition, create a purchase order and order the item. Once the item is received, the invoice will need to be processed and then finally, payment made. The testing is scheduled to begin late September and conclude in November.

The goal and main activity during SIT is to test specific common work activities called test scripts. They are testing to find glitches. Once the bugs are found and fixed, then they will be re-tested. This is a structured way to track different scenarios and ensure a successful completion. There are multiple test script scenarios that need to be reviewed and tested. After SIT is complete, it’s time to start User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the last phase of testing. User Acceptance Testing is very similar to SIT, except UAT will be performed by a broader functional group of users that have not been involved with the project to date. This may include 20-30 people from different departments within UNT System. This is a group of people who currently use the system and will continue to use the upgraded system in the future. Their input is valuable since they work with the current system and they will be able to provide input for areas of improvement in the new system.

The team also is looking forward to starting work on other aspects of the project such as interfaces to other systems and continuing work on financial reporting.