Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
September 11, 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
Joe Hennes, DISC
Kent Olson, Sunflower Project Director
Gary Schneider, Sunflower Project Implementation Manager
Peggy Hanna, Deputy Project Director
Alan Conroy, Legislative Research Department
Dennis Williams, Department of Corrections
Jim Conant, Department of Revenue
Elaine Frisbie, Division of the Budget
Jeff Peter, 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
Kirk Teal, Salvaggio, Teal & Associates
Loren Westerdale, DISC
Connie Guerrero, Enterprise Readiness Team Manager, Sunflower Project

I.       Project Status & Activities

The meeting began with Kent Olson, Sunflower Project Director reflecting that he is realizing now more than ever how the pace of work has picked up and the amount of interaction between agencies and the Sunflower Project continues to increase.  He indicated that the project has recently begun to rally around agencies that are showing slippage in tasks associated with their agencies readiness for go-live next July.  He reminded members that the August meeting was cancelled as the project was in good shape and there were no change requests needing steering committee approval.


Project Timeline
Mr. Olson gave an update on the overall status of the activities being conducted by the project team.  He reminded members the project is in the build phase.  The finance and technical teams continue working together on developing modifications, reports and data conversion programs.  Agencies are working on coding their systems to produce interface files to be ready for system testing later this fall.  This activity applies to agencies that are not decommissioning certain programmatic systems within their agencies and a few agencies that have Financial Management systems such as the Regents Institutions.  Later this year there will be workshops on workflow to help agencies understand how to define their workflow configuration values.  There will also be a security role mapping acting early next year.


Project Status and Activities – Build Phase
Kent Olson gave an update on the activities being performed by the four teams on the Sunflower Project. The Finance team led by Annette Witt has been working on defining and loading SMART system configuration values provided by agencies.  These values are needed to get the system configured for system testing and for go-live next year.  Finance team members are also responsible for developing change requests for additional system modifications.  Mr. Olson reported that this activity has slowed down considerably.  The finance team is developing the functional designs for modifications and reports that have already been approved by the Change Control Board.  The Finance team also helped with the developing Business Process Workshop materials and providing support for questions and answers that need to be addressed during the workshops.  This team worked on preparing information for the cutover plan for next July.  In the coming weeks they will begin the process of drilling into the details of how the cutover from STARS to SMART will occur next year.

The Enterprise Readiness team has helped coordinate several demos of specific system functionality to help agencies finalize decisions on decommissioning systems.  The demos included one on asset management and purchasing functionality for the Department of Revenue, demos on  asset management and project costing for the Department on Aging, several demos for  the Department of Wildlife and Parks and most recently one on the project and grants module for the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The Enterprise Readiness team has conducted 11 of 18 business process workshops.  Other members of the Enterprise Readiness team continue developing training materials and recruiting for trainers, facilitators and training facilities.  The team is very close to having enough trainers recruited. The most recent appointment on the Sunflower project was an individual from Wichita State University who will help evaluate help desk software and develop support procedures. This team has also worked with staff in the Project Management office to identify interfacing agencies that are experiencing some slippage in their tasks.  Identified five agencies with areas of concern and send out notes to three of the agencies yesterday and have already received feedback from them. 

The Technical team is developing the technical designs for modifications and reports that correspond with the functional designs developed by the Finance team.  Team members are also developing interfaces, modifications and reports.   This team is also responsible for implementing the data warehouse.  Most recently they are working on identifying security requirements that may need to be applied to sensitive data elements in the warehouse.  Agencies will be receiving a survey in the next few days asking them to identify any data elements that may need to be secured based on agency specific requirements.  Agencies should note that this data will be secured by agency and only staff within a specified agency will have access to the information except for staff in the legislative branch and the Department of Administration.  They have also begun work on a disaster recovery plan which is part of the evaluation criterion for determining the project achieved a successful go-live.

The Central Systems team did analysis of the cost of providing consulting assistance to the SHARP team with data conversion activities.  Mr. Olson reported he was pleased that staff in the Divisions of Information Systems and Communication, Accounts and Reports and Personnel Services indicated that they would take on more of this work which resulted in a cost savings of approximately $200K. The Central Services team has also been working with the Division of Budget on a statement of work with the IBARS vendor for changes needed due to the new chart of accounts.  The team is also working on developing options for performance testing of SHARP due to the addition of the Time and Labor module and the ability for employees to enter time via Self-Service as this will increase the number of staff accessing the system at any given time.

Next, Mr. Olson gave an update on several other activities that are in progress.  The Technical team continues to conduct monthly forums regarding interfaces and conversions to assist agencies with answering their questions and addressing any concerns that may be keeping them from making progress.  The Project team recently sent a communication to existing members of STARS and SOKI list serves to invite them to subscribe to the Sunflower Project list serve and have seen an increase of around 100 subscribers in the last couple of weeks. The Sunflower Project is finalizing the logistics with Washburn University on a remedial accounting course.  Peggy Hanna asked Steering Committee members to assist with ensuring that the right employees are sent to this training.  Specifically, the training is geared towards those employees who may have been in administrative support positions and promoted into accounting positions without any formal training. The project team will also be holding a kick-off meeting with potential participants of a SMART service center dedicated to assisting small agencies with data entry in SMART after go-live.  The Sunflower Project also recently held an ‘all-hands’ meeting for State of Kansas team members to keep the communication lines open.  Most of the questions were regarding the upcoming test phase and regarding the post go-live organizational structure.

II. IV&V Review, Findings and Recommendations

Peggy Hanna informed members that the last IV&V review was conducted in July.  Ms. Hanna reported that Dan Wenger is the primary person assigned from the IV&V vendor and brings an additional person on-site to help with the review.  During July a specialist in data warehouses participated in the review with Mr. Wenger.
Ms. Hanna reported that the overall health of the project remains to be Very good.  However, a few recommendations for corrective action were identified.  The first area needing correction related to the requirements traceability matrix which contains the 3,056 requirements identified for SMART.  7 requirements were waiting on final approval.  Ms. Hanna reported that all seven have now been approved.  Another 72 were waiting on formal resolution and that number is down to about 50 at the time of this meeting.  The vendor also recommended that the need to freeze agency specific requirements.  Ms. Hanna thanked the sponsors for sending out a message to Agency Heads notifying them of the freeze to any additional agency specific requirements beyond configuration values.  The vendor also indicated that the process for code migrations related to configuration management could be improved.

III. Change Control

Ms. Hanna gave members an update on recent modification requests that were presented to the Sunflower Project Change Control Board.  She reported that no requests in excess of $50,000 have been submitted since the last meeting.

The Change Control Board (CCB) on the Sunflower Project approved a request to modify the BPC process in SMART to include the ability to differentiate between UMB and other vendors to enhance 1099 reporting.   A request to allow agencies the ability to create a pool of approvers for vouchers was also approved.  The CCB also approved requests to design a training course for the Interfund modifications that were previously approved by the Steering Committee and one to adjust the deposit adjustment approval process to allow the approval to happen in the Accounts Receivable module by Accounts and Reports.  Currently this approval is made by the State Treasurer’s office and that process will change when we implement SMART.  There was also a request for assistance on the SHARP conversion tasks which was previously mentioned by Kent.  The SHARP team took on the majority of the effort on this task and ended up saving the Project a significant amount of money.  There were also some credits including the removal of the Portal from the scope of the project.  Ms. Hanna stated the Project team thought the portal was needed to achieve single sign-on between SHARP and SMART but have since learned that is not the case.  Gary Schneider also reported that contacts in his company who have implemented the Portal indicated that it requires a significant amount of on-going maintenance. 

A total of 16,407 hours out of a possible 19,130 for modifications and enhancements has been authorized to date.   There are a few remaining change requests in process including one for the creation of groups for notifications used in the Interfund process.  Ms. Hanna reported that several agencies expressed their concerns about the lack of this functionality during the Business Process Workshops so the Finance team came up with an alternative solution.  It won’t be quite the same as SOKI but it will be similar.  There are also a couple of pending requests related to the Travel and Expense Module.  One is related to modifying security so that agencies who allow their agency staff to enter travel data for employees do not see the data for employees in other agencies.  Another request is related to the direct deposit data that is coming over from SHARP and allowing the flexibility for employees to select a different distribution method for travel reimbursements than what is set up for their paychecks.

Peggy Hanna reported that the number of modification requests is nearly complete.  However, she indicated that there will be things that come up during system testing which is just about ready to start.

IV. Agency Interactions

Agency Interactions
Gary Schneider reported on recent meetings that have been held with agencies.  The Project met with the Kansas Health Policy Authority regarding some chart field work that is just about finished.  Project staff attended several meetings with the Department of Revenue including attendance at their weekly project meetings.  Mr. Schneider indicated that the meeting model put in place by the Department of Revenue would be a good model for other agencies to put in place.  Selected project team members also met with the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center regarding questions specifically related to their interfaces and conversion.  Project team members will also be attending the Regents Controllers meeting next week.  Earlier this week a demonstration of the Grants module was provided to the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to help them ensure that they would be able to meet audit requirements using the functionality available in SMART.  A demonstration of the Asset management module was provided to the Department of Revenue, Department on Aging and the Department of Corrections to help them finalize decisions on decommissioning agency systems.   Mr. Schneider reported that staff at the Department on Aging had indicated how having these demos has helped them understand the configuration tasks that they are receiving.  Several meetings have been held with the Department of Wildlife and Parks.  This agency will be decommissioning an existing agency system that has the ability to do thousands of edits on chart field combinations.  The Project is working with W&P to set up the system in a more detailed level than other agencies to be able to replicate their existing system controls. 

Conversion and Interface Timelines
Mr. Schneider gave an update on the status and timeline of conversion and interface activities. Interface agencies have been participating in connectivity testing to ensure they are able to connect with the DISC mainframe.  Only 3 out of 35 agencies still need to complete this task.  Another task to be completed by agencies is the completion of asset conversion mapping.  A total of 35 agencies still need to complete this task. Project Leadership will be contacting each of these agencies starting next week.  To begin the process of testing interfaces two test files were put on the DISC mainframe to allow agencies to test their ability to connect and download the files.  Some issues with coding on padding of spaces versus zeroes were identified.  Mr. Schneider reported that there has been good attendance at the monthly Interface and Conversion meetings being held by the Technical team.

Upcoming Events
Mr. Schneider gave an update on upcoming events.  The September Monthly Conversion meeting will be held on September 23rd and Business Process Workshops continue during September and October.  The next Change Agent Network meeting will be held on September 30th and the Data Warehouse Advisory Group meeting will be on September 26th.   The October Monthly Interface meeting will be on October 13th.

V. Agency Reporting Strategy & Approach

The Sunflower Project has identified approximately 150 reports that will be available at go-live for agency use.  The Project team has recognized that agencies may have other reports or data feeds that may not be replaced by available reporting options in SMART.   Gary Schneider reported that in order to identify and resolve any critical agency reporting gaps an approach has been identified to conduct this analysis.  The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor are assisting the project with piloting the approach that has been developed.  The approach is comprised of the following steps.  First, agencies will identify a list of reports that are critical to their ability to perform work on Day 1 of go-live.  Next, agencies will receive a report book and compare it to their list of reports to identify gaps. The pilot agencies are helping the project determine if this approach will work without actually providing report samples.  The final step will be an analysis conducted by Sunflower Project team members to verify that no reporting solution exists to meet each agencies high priority reporting gaps.  Agencies will be invited to participate in a reporting lab next Spring to develop agency specific reports in the data warehouse.  Staff will attend training on the data warehouse reporting tool.

Steering Committee member Diane Duffy asked if 150 reports was a reasonable number.  Mr. Schneider indicated that he had initially thought the number would be smaller and that more reports would be available in the data warehouse.  However, do to some limitations in being able to combine data from different marts and some data elements that are not in the warehouse more reports are being provided from the transactional environment.

VI. Measuring Progress

Gary Schneider reported on the overall progress of key scope elements of the Project. Overall the majority of tasks are on track and to date there is no impact on key milestones or the “go-live” date.  However, Mr. Schneider pointed out how quickly the status of any given task can change and indicated that at the last Steering Committee Meeting the Interface Design Phase 2 task was in green status and this month it is red.  Accenture has brought in four additional developers to help bring this task back to green status.

Issues and Challenges
The Technical resources assigned to the project team are barely adequate to complete the remaining amount of work.  To mitigate this issue the State team is reassigning an individual that is working in a coordination role to a development role as he has many years of experience as a PeopleSoft developer.  As mentioned earlier, Accenture has also brought in more technical resources.  The Finance team is also very busy and will continue to be until the Project is over. 

Mr. Schneider stated that agencies are generally making good progress and attending meetings and workshops.  He stated that approximately 5 agencies consume about 50% of the time he works with agencies but these agencies are key to the overall success of the SMART system implementation.  He indicated that approximately 50% of the agencies are behind on their asset data conversion mapping activity and the Project Leadership will begin contacting agencies next week.  Mr. Schneider stated that agencies have been busy working on budget preparation and likely just have not had time to get this task completed.   The project has continued to retain 2 months of schedule contingency that was built in the original project plan by Accenture.  This gives time for disaster recovery and operational readiness testing in the months preceding go-live.

Another challenge on the Project was getting the Data warehouse implementation on track for go-live.  Mr. Schneider stated this wasn’t moving the way it should so Accenture has taken corrective action and brought in a senior manager who has developed a detailed project plan.  There are also plans for Accenture to bring in an additional data modeler and a Business Intelligence consultant.   The State is coordinating the scope definition and security requirements.

Next Steering Committee Meeting

Steering Committee member Dennis Williams asked if it was true that agencies would not be able to print payment vouchers in SMART.  Mr. Olson reported that agencies would have the ability to do a screen print or find information quickly in the system if being requested to provide information to auditors.  He also indicated that the Division of Accounts and Reports have started a list of audit issues and plan on discussing with Legislative Post Audit, auditors currently on-site conducting the statewide single audit and with agencies who are grant recipients to identify areas where actual hard copies of paper could be replaced by accessing data in the SMART system.  Gary Schneider also advised Mr. Williams that he could list this report on the reporting survey task that was being sent out to agencies.

Mr. Williams also asked if Imprest Funds were going away.  Mr. Olson reported that Imprest funds were not going away.

Steering Committee member Diane Duffy asked about the status of SHARP activities related to the implementation of SMART.  Connie Guerrero reported that SHARP is scheduled to cutover on June 23, 2010 and that agencies will be receiving a task to begin identifying updated funding data to be loaded into SHARP.  Ms. Guerrero will provide a copy of the communication being sent to HR/Payroll contacts to Steering Committee members.

Kent Olson concluded the meeting by stating he feels good about where we are on the Project and doesn’t want to look back 10 years and have any regrets regarding things that could have improved as part of the implementation of SMART.  The next Steering Committee meeting will be on Friday, October 9, 2009 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in Room 102 of the Landon State Office Building. The meeting was adjourned.