Thursday, August 09, 2007

HCM DTA Hands on Open House Workshop Event

A hands-on, open workshop for Departmental Time Administrators (DTA) has been scheduled for Friday, August 10, 2007, in Computing Commons Room 207.
You can stop in anytime from 9:00am to 5:00am.

You may bring your own laptop or use one in the room. Please bring your work, and experts will be available to assist with questions and techniques. We look forward to seeing you.


DTA training and Forum time conflict

Today’s Forum will not be replacing the DTA training. If you feel that attending the training session would be in your best interest then by all means please attend the training. For those who cannot attend the Forum and would like to address their concerns, please contact my assistant Marsha Frank at to schedule a time to meet with me either one on one or as a group.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Don Henley was in Phoenix tonight, appearing with the Pretenders. I've always liked Henley. I think he's a political poet. He opened with one of my favorite songs -- Dirty Laundry -- and closed with another favorite -- I Will Not Go Quietly.

Gotta love Henley. I find him inspiring...


Open Forum on Payroll Conversion, Thurs. Aug. 9

Since last week, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of people about their questions and concerns regarding the payroll conversion. I have been impressed both by the quality of the conversation and the commitment everyone has to the success of the university and its mission. I promised last Friday to hold an Open Forum to enable people I have not been able to reach individually to engage in this same type of dialogue. The first of these Open Forums will be Thursday, August 9, from 2 until 3:30 p.m. in the Pima Room of the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. I am setting up similar sessions on the other campuses next week, and I’ll update my blog and send an additional email with those times and locations. Please come to the forum if you still have unanswered questions or a perspective you’d like to share with me. I look forward to meeting with you.


Sunday, August 05, 2007


In a comment to my previous post, Kristi writes:

Dr. Sannier,
Isn’t it usually customary when converting such a large legacy system to a new one that the new system shadows the old system for a period of time to work out bugs before it goes live? As far as I know, this was not done with the HRMS to PeopleSoft conversion. Why is this?

Deploying a system of this magnitude without a plan for testing it would be reckless indeed, and deserving of censure. But that has certainly not been the case with ASU's OASIS project.

We could not have been nearly as as successful as we have been over the last 18 months if we had not followed a rigorous testing plan. Payroll is the most recent in a series of successful system deployments, systems that include Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Registration, Benefits, Talent Acquisition -- all major applications which have been in steady, high volume use by the university since their respective launches between January and June of this year.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the testing that the new Payroll system underwent in 2007.

In January, the OASIS team initiated the record conversion process to move data from the legacy system to HCM. Unit testing of individual modules and data conversion tests were begun and continued to be run until the go-live in July. From February through April, over 50 test payrolls were run on a regular basis, to identify flaws in the new system and ensure their correction. By March, the majority of payroll records had been successfully converted, but continual evaluation and improvement of that data continued through to go-live.

In May and June, a series of test payrolls were run in parallel with the Legacy system, to help the team identify any remaining errors. Over 150 separate audit procedures were created and run after each conversion and test payroll to verify accuracy and identify issues. Beyond the testing for delivered software, all modifications and interfaces ASU created itself included their own set of unit, regression, integration and parallel testing.

Despite this extensive testing, which included parallel runs with the legacy HRMS system, some problems remain to be fixed once the system comes live. Testing and quality control can only do so much. Like the punch list on a new house, some flaws must be repaired all together, at the end. It's tempting to believe that any system can be tested to perfection, but complex systems like these, involving hundreds of thousands if not millions of records, are moving targets. Testing can tell you a lot about the robustness of the operational components, but it can't reveal every flaw - a fact that provides little consolation when the error directly affects you.

That’s why it’s important to remember that the key to our success so far -- in each of the OASIS rollouts -- has been the combination of extensive testing with the adapability and flexibility of ASU's staff. It is staff members who are making this system work: by quickly learning new procedures, by having patience and confidence while issues are resolved, by helping to identify remaining gaps, and by working together to solve any challenges we face.

It will be due to staff cooperation and diligence that, after the dust has settled, ASU will regard OASIS as a collective success, one that reflects positively on the New American University. It will be because all of us will have worked together that we've been able to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy new application systems to help ASU achieve its goals. Those goals - access, excellence, impact - a quality education for the public good – are surely worthy of our best efforts.

I assure you that everyone involved with the deployment of the payroll project -- from managers, to coders and testers, to those entering data or helping staff to ensure their pay is correct -- all of them are working hard to fix any outstanding issues and make things right for anyone who has been adversely affected by the recent changes.

If you are experiencing an issue that the regular OASIS channels aren't fixing quickly enough, please email me at I will personally ensure that the problem is addressed quickly.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Fire Adrian!!!!

It's not everyday that you see people calling for your head in the public square.

Of course I’ve been reading yesterday's Tribune article and the comments posted there ( And you can bet I’m losing some sleep over the comments that ASU employees and concerned family and friends are leaving there.

So, what are we doing about it?

First and foremost, Matt McElrath, Christine Cervantes, Carol Campbell and myself are scheduling an Open Forum for this coming Thursday (August 9th) to hear the community's concerns and discuss the issues. When we have a room and time booked, I will publish it here and send a blanket email to all employees. I'm also happy to meet personally with anyone and everyone who has a concern they would like to discuss privately (my email address is I appreciate that there are those who might be concerned about "retaliation” – that some of you might be uncomfortable speaking directly to a member of the university administration about your frustrations. All I can say is you need not fear speaking out.

Second, I’m opening the conversation here at my blog where comments come directly to me and I can publish them with responses.

Finally, and most importantly, the OASIS team is working tirelessly to correct the remaining implementation issues. They have worked very hard over the past year and a half to transition ASU's legacy administrative systems into the PeopleSoft environment and their efforts are laudable and hard fought. I encourage you to consider that they too are ASU employees and continue to work diligently to provide this community with the best managed PeopleSoft implementation possible. When the dust has cleared, I am confident their efforts will be judged a resounding success.

So we will meet publicly, discuss your concerns and produce from the discussion a better ASU administrative system.

And if that means we have to fire Adrian, then that's what it means.