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St. Paul Public Schools

PeopleSoft 9.2 Upgrade - Change Management, Training, and Communications  

The St. Paul Public School system serves roughly 32,000 K-12 students in the Twin Cities metro area. St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is a thought leader in serving diverse student populations. As an organization that educates students that speak over 125 languages, SPPS is an inclusive environment for students to learn each day. SPPS serves students across a variety of school formats, both in an online environment, through nontraditional schools, and the more traditional K-12 format. SPPS offers additional opportunities for learning in the community by providing early childhood education, English language learning, and college readiness. 


Scope of the Project

SPPS recognized the value of partnering with Elire’s team to work on each step of their PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade. The engagement includes upgrading SPPS to PeopleSoft 9.2 for FSCM and HCM, PeopleTools 8.59 Upgrade, and leveraging Change Management expertise throughout the project to ensure proper user adoption and success. 

The Challenge

The client had several unanticipated roadblocks related to COVID-19’s impact on students and teachers’ wellbeing and shifting priorities of educators. There was difficulty in ensuring that SPPS project team members had time to test the system as well as focus on their expected day-to-day job priorities. This caused difficulty in providing critical answers and components to their Elire partner with several month-long delays to re-engage on their PeopleSoft upgrade.  


Success Delivered

The team engaged SPPS with a variety of components designated to ensure organizational change management success during their PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade. The Elire team focused on communication, engaging change champions, and training throughout the project.  

Early on in the project, Elire engaged clerks and principals from a variety of schools within the district in a listening tour to see what pain points staff of all levels experienced during previous implementations. There was a common desire for frequent, transparent communication and comprehensive training. 

Elire developed a communication matrix that outlined all of the communications that would be sent to the impacted end users for the entirety of the project. This communication matrix outlined the subject of the communication, who would draft it, who would review it, who would send it, what modality the communication would be sent by, and when it needed to be sent. By developing this matrix up front, communications weren’t missed later on when the project got more complicated and ‘in the weeds’.  

To ensure the change was adopted by end users, the project team engaged Change Champions to act as go-to person for their colleagues and help them navigate through the uncertainties of the change. These individuals are engaged early in the project so they are made aware of all changes that happen because of the project. 

One of the primary responsibilities of change champions is their active participation in user acceptance testing (UAT). Change champions get a first look at the system during UAT, giving them talking points for their peers to build excitement and also letting them become familiar with the system earlier on so they can provide at the elbow support during go-live. 

Training is a key aspect of educating staff on how they can best utilize their new software investment to the fullest extent of its capabilities.  Elire’s advisory team focused on creating training materials and processes such as Payroll Employee Self-Service, Payroll Administrator, Grants, and Fluid Navigation so that uses adoption goes smoothly. These areas are points of focus because they had the highest score in the change impact analysis; an analysis that focused on the biggest changes from a system perspective as well as an end user’s perspective. Elire also delivered the training in multiple formats including quick reference guides, job aides, and e-learnings.  

The team engaged SPPS in organizational change management which included the training, communication, and change champion approaches to ensure strategic success. The team leveraged a consistent feedback cycle to educate SPPS in new methods of learning and engaging in the new PeopleSoft environment. Go-live was successfully completed on 6/21/2022.  


Interested in learning more about how Elire can assist your Advisory team? Visit our Management Advisory Services Page or contact our team at [email protected].

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