Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
May 8, 2009
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Room 102, Landon State Office Bldg.

The meeting of the Sunflower Project Steering Committee was called to order by Secretary of Administration Duane Goosen. The following persons were in attendance:

Duane Goosen, Department of Administration
Carol Foreman, Department of Administratino
Denise Moore, DISC
Kent Olson, Sunflower Project Director
Gary Schneider, Sunflower Project Implementation Manager
Peggy Hanna, Deputy Project Director
Chris Howe, Department of Administration
Marty Kennedy, Department on Aging
Dick Koerth, Department of Wildlife & Parks
Jim Conant, Department of Revenue
Loren Westerdale, Department of Administration
Jeff Peter, Judicial Branch
Marcia Ferrill, Department of Transportation
Diane Duffy, University of Kansas
Cindy Hooper-Bears, State Treasurer
Paul Lavery, Accenture
Elaine Frisbie, Division of Budget
Becky Kersting, DISC
Kirk Teal, Salvaggio, Teal & Associates
Alice Knatt, Department on Aging
Donna Harold, Enterprise Readiness Team Manager, Sunflower Project
Les Lauber, Communications Lead, Sunflower Project

I.      Project Status & Activities

Kent Olson began by introducing Donna Harold, Accenture’s Enterprise Readiness Manager. Donna was attending to present the Enterprise Readiness update. Kent also reported that the IV & V report was received on May 1.

Kent Olson noted that the Project Timeline is going deep into agency work. The Project is developing system modifications and reports in response to agency needs. The Project has also begun Data Conversion work.

Gary Schneider noted that the Project is now 62 weeks from go-live. The Project will conduct a one-year walkthrough near July 1. He will provide an updated timeline for the remaining year at the June meeting.

Kent Olson explained that Phase 2 lays out the timeline for the Build, Test, and Deploy phases. This plan was approved by the Kansas Information Technology Office.

Several deliverables have been rejected for small issues of clarification. Those deliverables have been clarified, resubmitted, and accepted. A significant effort is being devoted to the development of training through the Enterprise Readiness Team.

Kent Olson reported that the Interface Team sponsored Data Conversion Workshops to assist agencies in preparing for transitioning their data to Sharp. Denise Moore asked how much data would be converted. Peggy Hanna replied that only open encumbrances and similar data would be converted, with no transactional data to be converted.

Kent Olson reported that the Data Warehouse Advisory Group has begun meeting.

In response to Agency concerns that they do not have enough information to design systems and interface changes, the Project is working to reduce obstacles. The Project piloted a one-stop shop meeting and will conduct another the week of May 11, 2009. Additionally, both the Finance and Technical Teams participated in Regents Coordination Workshops. Diane Duffy suggested coordinating with the University of Kansas to offer agencies video-conferencing capacities. Donna Harold, Enterprise Readiness Manager, said she would share the offer with the Project.

The Project Leadership Team hosted a State Employee Retreat on Friday, May 1. Kent Olson reported that morale project is high. The Project Leadership Team explained to State Employee staff at the retreat that there will be project work to do after the go-live date. That work will include providing support to agencies, refining the system, and the like. He reported that the Project is developing a demo of SMART to help agencies better understand how the system’s modules and interfaces will operate.

Kent Olson reported on lessons learned in the project, including the need to include cross-functional team members and the interest agencies have for detailed information. Gary Schneider pointed out that the Project is finding the right balance between constraints of Project staff and workload and providing personalized attention to the agencies.

Kent Olson shared information about the next Change Agent Network Meeting, pointing out that it will include a basic demo previously mentioned in this meeting. The Project is planning Data Conversion Workshops to discuss individual modules. 

II.     Change Control

Peggy Hanna told the Steering Committee members that there were no Change Request decisions at this meeting. She summarized project-level decisions approved by the Change Control Board in April and May 2009.

Peggy Hanna reported that contract administration is going well. Accenture has been reasonable with contract changes, and provided credit to the Project for lower-than-anticipated cost associations in replacing FARMS.

The Change Control Board is considering options for replacing or rebuilding the State’s current, obsolete Warrant Tracking System. A solution will be presented at a future Steering Committee meeting.

Peggy Hanna reported that the Project has 10,967 hours of contract hours available for modifications and enhancements, or 57.7% of its allotted amount.

III.     Independent Validation & Verification

Peggy Hanna reported that the second of five Independent Validation & Verification (IV&V) reviews was completed. She summarized the process as a two-week review. In the first week, the IV&V team review Project documents off-site. The second week is an on-site review in which the review team attends meetings and conducts interviews with team members and customer agencies. The IV&V Team has reported that the overall health of the project is very good. They noted the melding between the State and Accenture teams. As risks to the Project, they notice the aggressiveness of the Project scope and the “Big Bang” approach to implementation that brings the entire State on board at once.

Peggy Hanna noted some specific IV&V recommendations included monthly review of agency plans, but the Project reviews those plans more often than monthly. Peggy Hanna and Kent Olson will reach out to agencies that do not have plans developed to appropriate detail or on time. KITO standards for project plans may not necessarily include the detail necessary to successfully implement this Project. Gary noted that, similar to the Project scope being a risk it faces, some agencies face similar risks due to their size, specifically the Departments of Revenue, Transportation, and Social & Rehabilitation Services, and the Universities.

IV.    Project Decisions

Gary Schneider displayed the “Decisions To Date” matrix shared with State Team Members at the May 1 retreat.
He also summarized pending decisions, including

  • Encumbrance Processing: Ensuring funds are available for purchases that cross fiscal years
  • Interfunds: System modification to approximate existing functionality
  • Auto-Numbering: Creating options for agencies to use their own numbering schemes will mitigate some change management issues
  • Additional Interfaces: Designing interfaces for State Hospitals will reduce rekeying/dual entry

V.     Agency Visits and Interactions

Gary Schneider informed the Steering Committee that multiple meetings have been held with key agencies such as the Health Policy Authority, Department of Labor, Secretary of State, KPERS, Aging, and Education to finalize outstanding decisions on these agencies interactions with SMART. Agency ScoreCards will be available at the June Steering Committee meeting. Only two agencies have not yet met with their Agency Readiness Liaisons. Those meetings were cancelled at those agencies’ requests.

VII.     Knowledge Transfer Plans

Donna Harold, Accenture Enterprise Readiness Manager, explained the Project’s process for ensuring that the State will have the knowledge it needs to succeed with SMART after its Accenture partners leave. She said that Kansas has taken this process a step further than she has seen it go before. The State and Accenture share the goal of preparing the State to manage the Post Go-Live Structure. The approach the Project is utilizing is to engage State staff with activities that will provide them the skills they need Post Go-Live.

Donna Harold explained the flow of the Knowledge Transfer Project. The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) the Project is developing in State staff are role-specific. Each State team member has a knowledge mentor on the Accenture staff who works to ensure the team member is following their Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and augmenting that PLP with additional KSAs necessary for Post Go-Live. This approach has been very successful and each Team Member has an individualized PLP.

Tracking the PLPs allows the Project to create a Project-level Knowledge Transfer Scorecard. This Scorecard will report on Knowledge Transfer progress in specific areas. Diane Duffy asked about tracking progress on specific individuals. Donna Harold and Kent Olson explained that the KT activities will prepare Team members to return to agencies. When a team member has not achieved the desired KSA level, the knowledge mentor will not sign off on the PLP. This is a structured, formal on-the-job training. During the testing phase, any deficiencies in KSAs will become apparent and can be addressed. The PLP process is iterative, and will be strongly supported by job aids. Becky Kertsting pointed out that the UPK tool is very strong and provides step-by-step assistance to agencies in any processes where KSA deficiencies may be of concern.

Next Steering Committee Meeting

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on Friday, June 12, 2009 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in Room 102 of the Landon State Office Building.

Duane Goosen adjourned the meeting.