Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
June 12, 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 Carol Foreman.  The following persons were in attendance:

Carol Foreman, Department of Administration
Joe Hennes, DISC
Kent Olson, Sunflower Project Director
Gary Schneider, Sunflower Project Implementation Manager
Peggy Hanna, Deputy Project Director
Chris Howe, Department of Administration
Judy Curtis, Department of Corrections
Jim Conant, Department of Revenue
Alan Conroy, Legislative Research Department
Elaine Frisbie, Division of the Budget
Jerry Sloan, Judicial Branch
Laura Howard, Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
Marty Kennedy, Department on Aging
Marcia Ferrill, Department of Transportation
Cindy Hooper-Bears, State Treasurer
Diane Duffy, Board of Regents
Paul Lavery, Accenture
Kirk Teal, Salvaggio, Teal & Associates (STA)
Loren Westerdale, DISC
Becky Kersting, DISC
Annette Witt, Finance Team Manager, Sunflower Project
Connie Guerrero, Enterprise Readiness Team Manager, Sunflower Project
Les Lauber, Communications Lead, Sunflower Project

I.       Project Status & Activities

Carol Foreman introduced Steering Committee members to Joe Hennes who was recently appointed as the Director of the Division of Information Systems and Communications.  Mr.  Hennes replaces Denise Moore who left the position in May.   He will serve as one of the Sponsors for the Sunflower Project.      

Project Timeline

Kent Olson went over the Project Timeline.  He reported the Project team has recently started posting questions and answers from various meetings.  He stated that conversion workshops are coming up next week and that the monthly interface meeting was held on June 9th.  The monthly interface meeting is to help remove barriers that are keeping agencies from completing their interface mapping activities.  Mr. Olson reported that Project team members have also been working on the strategy for cutover to the new system next July.  Team members are looking at all current activities to see what makes sense during the cutover to the new system.

Project Status and Activities – Build Phase

Kent Olson gave an update on the status of activities that are being completed by each team on the project.   Mr. Olson reported that the Finance Team has been working on defining and loading agency configuration values including the Department ID and Program chartfield values.  These values are obtained by sending out assignments and via workshops and are loaded from completed excel spreadsheets.  Mr. Olson reported that the Division of Budget has been working with Project Team members to attend workshops on defining the Program field with their assigned agencies. Finance Team members are also working on developing data conversion templates for next week’s conversion workshops, defining security roles needed for January 2010 and developing test conditions and test scripts.

Mr. Olson reported the Enterprise Readiness Team continues to meet with agencies to resolve scope issues and to monitor agency readiness.  Enterprise Readiness team members are also preparing for Business Process Workshops with agencies in the fall and developing training materials.  Mr. Olson reported that agencies were asked to send in the names of staff that will assist with training on the new system to Connie Guerrero’s team. 

The Tech Team has been developing technical designs for modifications to the system.  Mr. Olson stated this was to account for required functionality that is not delivered with the software.  The team is also working on architecting the data warehouse including security.  Mr. Olson reported that the team is working on how people will access the new system.  He reported that Project Team members had participated in a demonstration of the warehouse this week.  

Mr. Olson stated that the Central Systems team has been identifying and prioritizing changes to SHARP to support SMART.  He reported that the Project has brought in a person from Accenture with experience on the delivered General Ledger integration and on the payroll process to assist the SHARP team with this process. The team is also working with the State Treasurer’s Office to oversee the integration of the warrant recon process in SMART.   

Kent Olson reported that Project team members continue to meet with agencies to resolve interface questions.  Project team members are reviewing the project plans being submitted by interface agencies to assess agencies’ progress and to help identify any problems early in the development process.   Mr. Olson stated that the Project now has 108 staff members on board.  He said the team was almost at peak staffing and that he felt the team was comprised of good, quality individuals.  He reported that the Project has fallen slightly behind scheduled in the areas of report design, interface development and modifications.  He stated that the team was a little slow in getting out the Chart of Accounts which contributed to some of the delays. Many of the delays can be attributed to the learning curve attributable to State team members. He indicated that the team was taking correction actions to mitigate the situation.  Both the Accenture and State team is working additional hours to get back on track.  Currently the team is still on schedule for testing activities.

II. Change Control
           
Peggy Hanna went over Change Orders that were approved since the last Steering Committee meeting.  She reminded attendees that Project leadership team members approve everything under $50K unless it is a big impact to agencies.  Elaine Frisbie asked for clarification on the acronym ‘RTM’ that appears on slide 10.  Ms. Hanna reported that ‘RTM’ stands for Requirements Traceability Matrix which is used to track all requirements that have been documented for inclusion in the new financial management system, SMART.   Ms. Hanna did point out the Warrant Tracking concept CR was approved at a prior meeting.  The new spreadsheet shows the actual dollar estimate for the request.

The first Change Order presented to the Steering Committee for approval was to obtain a Payroll Subject Matter expert to help the SHARP team.  Ms. Hanna reported that staff lacked expertise in the vanilla general ledger integration.  Obtaining this resource will help the team lay the foundation for the future and help the team identify required changes to SHARP.  Accenture is providing a senior-level consultant to assist team identifying required and desirable changes to SHARP to facilitate integration with SMART.

Carol Foreman asked members to indicate their approval for this Change Request and all members voted in favor of the request.

The second Change Order was to modify Time and Labor Manager Self-Service functionality.  The delivered Time and Labor module does not provide a means to automatically link supervisors to staff.  Supervisors will need to be able to view and approve direct reports timesheets so if the correct supervisor is not attached to their reports the employee may not get paid on time.  Steering Committee members discussed this request and some expressed their concern that this change request and the next one to be discussed significantly increased the implementation costs for the Time and Labor module.  However, many stated they could see the benefit of making this enhancement to prepare the system for the other larger agencies that will come on board with the application at a later date.  Many felt that if this change was not made now the money would not be there to make the enhancement down the road.   After much discussion Carol Foreman asked members to indicate their approval for this Change Request and members voted in favor of the request. One committee member did not vote with the committee on the original decision to implement Time and Labor so also did not vote with the committee on this CR.

The next Change Order was to modify the Time and Labor module to distribute labor costs to projects and grants.  Delivered Time and Labor does not distribute fringe costs to projects and grants. These State expenditures are reimbursable by the Feds but for most State agencies these costs are based on actuals vs. a multiplier or burdening factor. Without this modification agencies will be required to manually compute fringe costs and enter these costs into Project Costing to support billing for federal reimbursement.  Steering Committee members discussed and voted to approve the modification.

The fourth Change Order was to allow for Multiple Set-ID’s for agency-specific Chartfields.  This modification will allow agencies to only see their values in dropdowns for Fund, Department Program, Budget Unit, Project, Service Location and Agency Use. Steering Committee members voted to approve the request.

The fifth Change Order presented to Steering Committee members was for adding Speedchart functionality in the Travel and Expense module.  Ms. Hanna reported that although the ability to use Speedcharts is delivered in some of the other modules unfortunately it has not been incorporated by the vendor in this module.  Speedcharts increase data entry efficiency by greatly decreasing the number of keystrokes and reduce errors. Speedcharts will be used extensively by many agencies for Accounts Payable. During Fiscal Year 2008 a total of 116,335 travel vouchers were processed totaling over $50,000,000.  Steering Committee members voted to approve the request.

The last Change Order was regarding the replacement of the Interfund process being managed in SOKI.  Four alternatives were presented to Steering Committee members including:

      1. Using the delivered Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable modules with no customizations
      2. Replicating SOKI’s Interfund capabilities and integrate with delivered PeopleSoft processes
      3. Replicating SOKI’s Interfund capabilities and integrate with delivered PeopleSoft processes  but with no final A&R approval
      4. Obtaining and modifying  code from the University of Kansas  used for inter-department transfer customization

Ms. Hanna stated that the project is recommending approval of alternative 2 which includes the proposed modification with all features and functionality, i.e. paired transactions, bi-agency approvals, A&R approval and concurrent processing and notifications fully integrated within PeopleSoft.  Steering Committee members agreed with the importance of this functionality including Jerry Sloan who wanted to go on record for supporting this Change request.  The request was approved and Steering Committee members agreed with going with Alternative 2 or 3 and indicated it was up to Project Leadership to determine which one of these alternatives would be implemented.

Ms. Hanna reported that we are nearing the end of the modifications that will need to be brought to the Steering Committee.  A total of 15,970 hours out of a possible 19,130 for modifications and enhancements has been authorized to date. 

III. Agency Visits and Interactions

Gary Schneider provided an overview of recent agency visits and interactions.   Several meetings have been held in the last month including meetings with staff from the Department on Aging to discuss purchasing and assets; staff from the Kansas Corporation Commission to discuss how this agency processes billings and with the representatives from the State Hospitals to discuss how they track assets.     Mr. Schneider also went over some responses received from recent workshops sponsored by the Project including one that was specifically held to reduce barriers for agencies who are working on interfaces.  Mr. Schneider reported that participants to this workshop were asked to evaluate if they workshop clearly outline agency tasks over the next 60 days.  He stated that unfortunately only 67% of respondents marked that this question favorably even though the Project has done many things to help give agencies specific things that can be accomplished now.   

IV. Data Warehouse Advisory Group

Gary Schneider reported the Data Warehouse Advisory Group (DWAG held its second meeting on June 10, 2009).  During this meeting DWAG members participated in an all-day hands-on workshop hosted by Oracle to tryout the data warehouse reporting tools and dashboards.    DWAG members also brought proto-types of dashboard templates to share and discuss with the group.  During last month’s meeting all members were asked to go back and meet with others within their organizations to come up with ideas on types of data would be meaningful to be included on initial dashboards.  The next DWAG meeting will be held in September.

IV.  Project Success Factors

Gary Schneider updated Steering Committee members on an initiative to identify Project Success Factors that Project Leadership has recently started and will soon involve other members of the Sunflower Project team.  Many of these success factors were identified prior to the start of the project and are included as objectives in the Project Charter document available on the project website.

Mr. Schneider went over several of the success factors contained in the presentation including actions for achieving success in gaining efficiencies in central and programmatic agencies by eliminating dual entry of data and the need for manual reconciliation and providing data and analysis tools for agencies to measure and improve internal performance, to improve management decision-making and to improve customer service.   Mr. Schneider reported that agencies will soon be participating in Business Process Workshops and then given the information to go back and look for opportunities to gain efficiencies in their internal business processes.  He also stated that the team is working having approximately 100 reports available at go-live to give agencies the data they need to conduct business in their agency.  Another success factor that was discussed was to build upon the core financial system, in future phases, to integrate budget development, labor distribution, AR/billing, travel and other functionality as needed to support agencies’ missions.  Mr. Schneider was pleased to report that some of this success factor is already being incorporated into the initial implementation of SMART.  The team is already working on implementing labor distribution, A/R billing and travel and expense functionality.  However, the team is ensuring that the system is being built in a way to enable the addition of enhanced functionality post go-live and reminded the Steering Committee that the Project team is already tracking a list of Phase II functionality requests.

Next Steering Committee Meeting

Kent Olson concluded the meeting by reporting that the Project continues to be on schedule, scope and timeline and is currently under budget.  The next Steering Committee meeting will be on Friday, July 10, 2009 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in Room 102 of the Landon State Office Building. The meeting was adjourned.