Your organization is using PeopleSoft, but are you fully realizing the capabilities of your on-premise investment? If you are not yet on PeopleSoft 9.2, it may be time to upgrade. Many organizations and decision-makers can be overwhelmed with obstacles to upgrading, like older, hard-coded customizations that may need replacing, and even the task of cataloging and making note of how and why these customizations are in place. Simply avoiding change and putting off your PeopleSoft upgrades may be a natural human response to the potentially overwhelming amount of work that needs to be completed, but fortunately, you are not alone. Our PeopleSoft upgrade experts compiled a few key things to consider for your PeopleSoft upgrade.
PeopleSoft 9.2 is a Game Changer
And by that we mean this is the ideal time to strive for more than a straight-forward “Technical Update.” PeopleSoft 9.2 provides innovative features that represent comprehensive new capabilities across the entire product suite. In PeopleSoft 9.2, you can expect a simple, intuitive user experience via PC and mobile platforms that fundamentally changes the way users interact with PeopleSoft on a daily basis. You’ll gain innovative new business functions and features as well as improved and simplified analytics.
Continuous Delivery Methodology
With PeopleSoft 9.2, a new methodology of maintaining PeopleSoft has been introduced by Oracle known as Continuous Delivery Methodology (CDM). CDM provides a formalized PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) review & update strategy that provides continuous enhancements and new functionality to your user community, meaning in future you’ll spend less time and energy on major upgrade work.
Get Started on Your Upgrade Journey: Develop Guiding Principles
To get started, proactively evaluate PUM Image contents in a formally defined process with the help of proprietary tools and a highly facilitated and organized methodology. Utilize the following best practice considerations when developing the guiding principles of your upgrade project:
- Stress consistency of processes over business unit uniqueness
- Challenge the culture of exceptions – meaning less exception processing, and more detailed review of “necessary” exceptions
- Standardize how the application is being used across the organization. For example, some departments may use the applications completely different than another department. Define best practices and enforce the use of best practice through effective training
- Stress the adaptation of processes to follow PeopleSoft’s inherent best practices rather than tailoring PeopleSoft to support existing processes
- Increase overall effectiveness/efficiency by thoughtful use of available delivered system functionality
- Approve only true value-add enhancements (customizations/bolt-ons)
- Always ask challenge questions, such as “Why will the delivered functionality not work?”
- Be transparent even when the message is difficult
- Clearly communicate everything the future state is providing and not providing
- Incorporate Change Management impacts and strategies throughout the entire upgrade lifecycle
- The new fluid user interface and navigation can be a shift from the traditional “breadcrumb” navigation of prior releases.
- Early and frequent communication will better prepare your team to take advantage of the new features upon go-live.
It’s important to track and identify your customizations. Elire has developed a Proprietary Tool that analyzes and groups existing enhancements (customizations and bolt-ons) to allow for easier review and analysis of those enhancements. We’re able to guide you step by step, beginning with conducting a walkthrough of our overall “Customization Identification” process and results in a finalized list of all customizations.
Conduct a Business Process Review
Evaluate your position through a current state review. The goal of the current-state review is to map the functional business process for each in-scope module. You’ll gain an understanding of where the functional process overlaps with the system to help evaluate which customizations should be removed, retained, or redesigned. Establish who is to be Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed in each project item. This is known as a RACI, and allows for a better understanding of your project team’s roles and responsibilities before getting started on a major upgrade.
Information Gathering and Setting the Scope
This is about establishing where you’ll need to go, and how you’re going to get there. Establishing the scope as part of a thorough Phase 1 Fit Gap Analysis effort allows for time and careful consideration for how you’ll complete your upgrade project. Getting started on the project scope allows you to make any additional adjustments or necessary changes as more information is obtained. Elire’s Scope Object Tracker tool supports the gathering of key data elements on all potential Scope Objects, which allows final Project Scope to be set thoughtfully and with confidence. The Scope Object Tracker also facilitates tracking “In-Scope” items throughout the project lifecycle: from Fit/Gap, to Design, to Build, and finally to Unit Testing.
Performing an evaluation of how the application is being used today is an important part of your PeopleSoft upgrade journey. Identifying key disconnects and pain points, defining application best practices that address these disconnects, and minimizing existing customizations, will set the framework for a successful go-forward CDM strategy. For existing 9.2 customers looking to optimize their PeopleSoft applications, Elire employs a similar methodology for these kinds of optimization projects. For more information on Elire-specific practices and methodology for aiding you in your PeopleSoft upgrade journey, check out the webinar recording for “PeopleSoft – Are You Frozen in Time?” available here through the Quest Oracle Community.