Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
July 10, 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 Kent Olson.  The following persons were in attendance:

Duane Goossen, Secretary of Administration
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
Dennis Williams, Department of Corrections
Dick Koerth, Department of Wildlife and Parks
Elaine Frisbie, Division of the Budget
Jerry Sloan, Judicial Branch
Laura Howard, Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
Alice Knatt, Department on Aging
Marcia Ferrill, Department of Transportation
Cindy Hooper-Bears, State Treasurer
Diane Duffy, Board of Regents
Paul Lavery, Accenture
Loren Westerdale, DISC
Becky Kersting, DISC
Connie Guerrero, Enterprise Readiness Team Manager, Sunflower Project


I.       Project Status & Activities

Kent Olson began the meeting by reminding Steering Committee members that go-live for SMART is less than one year away and that an increased level of intensity can be felt by Project team members.  The Sunflower Project has just submitted a scheduled KITO quarterly report.  Mr. Olson reported that the Project is in good shape as indicated by the metrics.  Tasks are at a 98% completion rate, the budget is at 99% and Deliverable submissions are at 100%.  These areas all exceeded the required percentage for keeping the project in good status.  To date, the project continues to remain on-time and under budget.  Annette Witt and the Finance Team are very busy and working hard to keep up with all of the activities assigned to their team.

Project Timeline

Kent Olson went over the Project Timeline.  He reported the Project team has recently started conducting monthly conversion workshops and continue to hold monthly interface meetings to assist agencies with getting issues resolved around interface mapping activities.  Additional configuration workshops are coming up and the team continues to build system configuration values, modifications, reports, interfaces and data conversions.  Mr. Olson pointed out that beginning in October the team will enter the test phase where we will begin validating all of the build phase activities.

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 continues to work on defining and loading agency configuration values.  The Department ID and Program configuration values are due from agencies today.  The project team has been working with Elaine Frisbie and her staff from the Division of Budget to assist in agencies in defining these values.  Finance team members have also been identifying remaining requests for system modifications resulting in change requests.  Peggy will give an update on current status of change requests later in the meeting.  Mr. Olson reported the Finance team is very busy developing test conditions, test scripts, functional designs for modifications and for reports and on defining security roles.  They are also formulating a preliminary cutover plan for next year.  Mr. Olson stated it is a very detailed plan and it is not too soon to plan for next years.  The cutover plan is currently at the day level but will eventually be broken down to events that need to occur by the hour.

Mr. Olson reported the Enterprise Readiness Team continues to meet with agencies to resolve scope issues as needed.  Enterprise Readiness team members will out reach out to agencies when needed to check on the status of outstanding assignments.   The team is preparing for Business Process Workshops that will begin in August and continue to develop training materials.  Mr. Olson reported that agencies continue to send in the names of staff that will assist with training on the new system.

The Technical Team continues to develop technical designs for modifications to the system and for reports.  The tech team continues to work with agencies to develop interfaces and publish interface file layouts.  Mr. Olson reported that the Project has recently moved a State of Kansas project employee to work on architecting the data warehouse including moving the data from the productions systems in the data warehouse environment. 

Mr. Olson stated that the Central Systems team recently held workshops with the agencies initially implementing Time and Labor.   The Central Systems team has also identified and prioritized the changes needed to SHARP to integrate with SMART.  The work effort equates to approximately 5,500 person hours for primarily DISC staff.  Gary Schneider reported that this work is consuming 100% of the existing SHARP team’s availability to get all of this work done.  He also reported that Sunflower Project leadership had met with Paul Lavery, Project Director from Accenture, last night to continue to clarify and discuss the integration work being done by Accenture to make the two systems talk to each other.   Mr. Olson reported that a statement of work needed for the IBARS vendor to make changes to IBARS resulting from the new chart of accounts has been drafted.  The team has also been overseeing the integration of the set-off system with SMART.  The set-off system was built outside of SMART but needs to be able to communicate with the SMART.

Kent Olson reported that Technical team members have implemented a monthly forum to address and resolve questions from interfacing agencies.  The Project Team has been working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KWP) to identify a solution for their unique Federal requirements.  KWP will be a pilot agency for the use of real-time agency specific combo edits.  Project team members will teach KWP how to configure and test the edits their agency needs to configure.  Mr. Olson stated this pilot will be beneficial to the State and is good to do while Accenture is here to help explain how the process works.

Mr. Olson also reported the Project recently assisted the Kansas Health Policy Authority with issues in defining the Program codes used by Medicaid agencies with very complex needs.  A meeting was held yesterday and the Project is encouraged that all Medicaid agencies are satisfied with the agreed upon solution. 

Diane Duffy from the Board of Regents asked Mr. Olson if the data warehouse was going live at the same time as SMART.  Kent Olson stated that a senior Oracle Data Warehouse expert indicated that customers should implement the data warehouse at the same time or agency specific reporting systems will proliferate.

 

II. Change Control
           
Peggy Hanna went over Change Orders that were approved since the last Steering Committee meeting.   Ms. Hanna specifically pointed out a credit for Change Order 17 which descoped the Real Estate Module.  It was determined by Project Team members that this functionality was something we didn’t need at this time.   Ms. Hanna stated that there were no change requests over $50 K since last month’s meeting so there is nothing for the Steering Committee to specifically discuss today.    The net effect of all Change Orders that were processed by the Project’s Change Control Board last month was a credit of $47K.  This was partially due to a Time and Labor CR that was cancelled resulting in a credit of approximately $88K.

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 15,806 hours out of a possible 19,130 for modifications and enhancements has been authorized to date.   This leaves a balance of 3,324 hours or 17% of the available balance.  Ms. Hanna stated that Project Leadership is being very conservative with the remaining number of hours and cognizant of the amount of effort it takes to implement these modifications.

Ms. Hanna went over a list of remaining Change Requests that are expected to be submitted by the project team.  The majority of requests are still being reviewed to determine the actual cost estimate but research has been completed on a couple of the requests.  The first one is for a requirement to create 1099’s for BPC vendors.  A customization will also be required to create the 1099-S form for land transactions and the 1099-DIV form for dividend payments.  Neither of these 1099’s are delivered with the software.   The SHARP integration change request is still being worked as well as one that may eliminate the Enterprise Portal resulting in a credit.  The Project team has determined that the Portal, while nice to have, is not needed to make single sign-on work.

 

III. Measuring Progress

Gary Schneider provided an overview of how the Projects uses several measures to track progress.  These measures include the Project Plan, budget to actual, status reports that included action items that get tracked as well as earned value calculations.  The KITO plan has over 2,700 activities the Earned Value calculations are used to breakdown activities in the project plan to a much lower level than what is tracked in the KITO plan.  The Earned Value metrics provide an early warning of problem areas.  This may result in activities being shifted or more resources being brought on-board.    The following metrics were presented to the Sponsors last week.  The IV&V vendors will also be on-site in two weeks to look at progress.

Mr. Schneider went over several different earned value metrics being tracked by the Project Team.

Test Scripts – The development of Cycle 1 & 2 Test Scripts is tracking behind.  Mr. Schneider reported that the Finance Team is focusing on getting Cycle 1 Test Scripts submitted first and on-time.  Once the team finishes Cycle 1they will work on catching up on other tasks such as the creation of functional design documents for reports and modifications in order to give the technical staff enough work to keep them busy. The goal is to finish Cycle 2 test scripts by the end of July.

Configuration Values - The Finance Team has created a revised plan that delays some configuration data entry in order to work on the functional designs discussed above but they still anticipate finishing this work on time.  Mr. Schneider reported that the work is being shifted a little bit as the Finance Team is stretched to the limit.

Reports – The Finance Team began working overtime at the end of May to complete the first set of 30 contingency report designs which are due by mid-July.    The team was trending up on this activity but has recently slipped in order to get the test scripts completed.  Paul Lavery commented that the teams looks at all of these metrics weekly and juggles tasks appropriately to keep everything on track.

Mods – The functional design of modifications is beginning to fall behind schedule.  Accenture is doing a staffing and resource analysis of the Finance Team and will present the results on July 21rst.  Accenture has brought in new resources to work on the functional design of the Interfund solution (SOKI replacement) and to work on a specific Purchasing related functionality called Direct Connect.  Most all of the modification requests are being assigned to Accenture as they have the capability to work additional hours and bring on more staff.

Phase 1 Interfaces -  The development of Phase 1 Interface designs had fallen slightly behind schedule but technical team members worked overtime to get this work caught up and submitted on time.

Phase 2 Interfaces -  This work has been delayed for a variety of reasons.  Several additional interfaces have been added including some to accommodate unique agency needs.   This work is expected to complete about 2-3 weeks behind schedule.

Conversions -  Conversions lost momentum in late-May and early-June but currently the work is trending back towards getting on schedule.

Business Process Workshops – The development of materials for the upcoming Business Process Workshops is tracking on schedule.

Phase 1 Training Materials Development – The first set of training materials for the project were finished and submitted ahead of schedule.

Phase 2 Training Materials Development – The Training and Finance Teams have just begun working on the Phase 2 Training materials and is currently tracking on schedule.  This work is not scheduled for completion until the end of October, 2009.

Mr. Schneider gave a quick overview and indicated that the Project Team does have some catch up to do but this is typical for these size projects. He stated that Project Leadership have confidence that we will catch up and will currently only worry about the critical tasks that need to be done right away.   Even with some tasks being behind there is no impact to any key milestones or the ‘go-live’ date. 

Mr. Schneider also reported that Accenture has a very large organization of 180,000 staff that can be brought in quickly.  He indicated the person brought in with expertise on SHARP integration was able to step in and add value almost immediately.

IV. System Acceptance Criteria
Gary Schneider reported that State Team members are beginning to document the system acceptance criteria for the State’s official acceptance of the system.  Each of the four major teams on the project (Finance, Enterprise Readiness, Technical and Central Systems Integration) are creating sub-teams of three to five members to help develop specific acceptance criteria for items assigned to their teams.  They will include some members that are not on the official project team such as Becky Kersting and Loren Westerdale from DISC who will help evaluate some of the criteria.  One of the system acceptance criteria is the ability to run two consecutive payroll cycles from SHARP without having any level 1 fixes outstanding.

 

IV. Agency Readiness Activities
Connie Guerrero gave a brief update on recent Agency Visits and Interactions.   The Enterprise Readiness Team has assisted the Kansas Health Policy Authority with scheduling meetings and getting Project resources to help with defining the Program chartfield value for KHPA and other Medicaid agencies, assisting the Department of Revenue with questions about the Purchasing and Asset management module, obtaining information from SRS and the State Hospitals regarding their invoicing system requirements  meeting with staff from the Kansas Corporation Commission to learn about their billing system.

Ms. Guerrero gave an update on upcoming events including the July Monthly Interface Technical meeting scheduled for next week on July 14, 2009 at the Memorial Hall Auditorium from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.   The July Monthly Conversion Technical meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Room 106 of the Landon State Office Building.  Two Data Configuration Workshops are being offered, the first set of workshops is for Grants Setup Configuration and the other set of workshops is for Automatic Entry Type and Item Type Configuration.  Both sets of workshops are offered on multiple dates.  Ms. Guerrero reminded Steering Committee members that agencies should attend these workshops when they are offered as they are an indication that the configuration activity that will follow is more complex and requires a greater level of explanation prior to an agency beginning these tasks.

Ms. Guerrero also informed members that the SMART website will be re-launched in the next few days.  She also told members about upcoming Business Process Workshops (BPW) that will be offered starting in August.  The BPW sessions will be held in locations outside of Topeka to give participants the chance to attend a face-to-face session.

The Enterprise Readiness Team sent out a Baseline Readiness Assessment on March 16, 2009.  A total of 96 agencies responded to the questions about their agencies readiness for go-live.  Ms. Guerrero thanked agencies for providing us with honest feedback as that helps us focus our energy into the areas that need our attention the most.   The next assessment will be sent out in September 2009 and the frequency of the assessments will increase during the test and deploy phases of the project. 

The assessment contains six areas of focus:  Progress on Agency Tasks, Primary Contact's Engagement with Project, Agency's Engagement with Project, Agency Perception of Ability to Achieve Readiness, Effectiveness of Readiness Liaison Relationship and General Comments and Concerns.  Ms. Guerrero stated that these metrics help us identify areas of special need.  The initial assessment identified that the majority of agencies are completing their tasks on time; some agencies do not feel they have what they need to move forward with their tasks; sometimes it is unclear which tasks and events apply to each agency and some Change Agents are unclear on project goals or the Change Agent Role.

Ms. Guerrero reported that the Enterprise Readiness team has taken the following actions based on these initial findings. 

  • Continue to clarify and improve the agency task list to help agencies sort out tasks that do not apply to them based on modules they will not be using.
  • Target communication to the correct agencies by ensuring that we are not sending things to agencies about modules they will not be using.
  • Sent out a letter of support from Governor Mark Parkinson to show his support of the Sunflower Project.
  • Provide clearly stated, actionable next steps in our meetings for the work assigned to agencies.

The post go-live organization for SMART will include a shared services center.  Ms. Guerrero stated that this concept was also used when SHARP was implemented back in 1994 as a way to mitigate risk to the project go-live and alleviate the burden of small agencies having to attend so much training over a period of several weeks.  An initial group of approximately twenty-five agencies will be considered for inclusion in the shared services center based on low transactional volume and a small number of employees.  Additional information about the center will be shared at future meetings.

Ms. Guerrero ended her remarks by telling Steering Committee members that the Project team was also negotiating with Washburn University in Topeka to offer a basic Accounting Course in Topeka on October 8 and 9th and in Salina on November 13th.   Further details on this course will be provided soon.

Next Steering Committee Meeting

Paul Lavery, Project Manager from Accenture, spoke to Steering Committee members about the status of the Sunflower Project in comparison to other similar size projects.  Mr. Lavery reported that the State has made wise choices in how they are choosing to implement the functionality.  He stated that looking at the near term hill climbers and knowing we are one year away from go-live he feels really good about the overall health of the project.  There is good issue resolution and no big items that are unresolved and the entire Project team works together collaboratively on all tasks.

Duane Goossen stated that the Project continues to track on schedule and budget and based on what we know today we do not anticipate changing any of the costs associated with the supporting the project.

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, August 14, 2009 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in Room 102 of the Landon State Office Building. The meeting was adjourned.