Tip for the Week: “Keep your focus!”

This week we finished up the Fit/Gap sessions by reviewing the new Approval Workflow Engine (AWE), Delegation Framework and the Self Service functions for both ESS (employee) and MSS (manager).

As the fit/gap sessions continue for your PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 upgrade and new ‘players’ join the working sessions, it’s often good practice to review your fit/gap purpose and objectives again for the team.  Many times we find customers tend to lose focus on what the real objective of these meetings is supposed to be.  The facilitator should always keep in mind the goal of these meetings and be sure to drive the attendees in the right direction.  BTRG and its client were able to complete our fit/gap sessions in a 3 week time frame.  With many Dunkin Donuts, coffee and afternoon candy, we were able to keep enough sugar and caffeine in the team members to keep focus and excitement high for the features we were discussing.  If your project needs to extend the fit/gap sessions to a longer schedule, just be sure to revisit your purpose, goals and objectives and Keep Your Focus!!

We discussed the following list of new features for AWE/Delegation in PeopleSoft HCM 9.1.  AWE was originally introduced in PeopleSoft HCM version 9.0.  Additional functions were included in the AWE tool in PeopleSoft version 9.1.   The following lists our observations based on the feedback we received from user involvement:

  • Approval Workflow Engine
    • We defined the approval workflow engine and the delivered processes already configured in the ‘vanilla’ system.  We highlighted the functions available to the administrators (reassignment of tasks and escalation) and the levels at which approvals can occur (supervisor, department manager, full or partial position management)
    • We defined the delegation framework and the delivered processes already configured to use these proxies.  We explained the levels at which you can delegate (upward, lateral or downward within the organization) and how this is all configurable.
    • We reviewed all the delivered generic email templates that can be used to send workflow messages based on approval or delegated actions.  These are configurable and setup using pages within the PeopleSoft online application, no longer within the Application Designer only.
    • We explained how ‘ad-hoc’ approvers or reviewers could be added at any time to an approval chain.
    • Some of the feedback we received included:
      • Delegation would be useful for upper level management where most of the transactions are delegated to an executive assistant.  Delegating all transactions for an open ended time frame would be useful in this situation.  Many times customers provide duplicate access via security to handle these situations.  Delegation removes this additional security setup and maintenance.
      • Being able to add ‘ad-hoc’ approvers or reviewers when necessary was a great improvement and would be implemented at our client.
      • Escalation procedures build in to the approval process as well as administrator access to escalate when needed was a great improvement.  Many manual hours are spent in reporting and reviewing when approvals are not done in time.  Automated escalation would save much of this time and effort from a support resource.
  • PeopleSoft Employee and Manager Self Service
    • We reviewed all current self service pages used in version 8.9 of PeopleSoft and the customizations our client made to these pages.  For each we discussed if the customization could be removed and if new functionality within these pages in PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 could be utilized.  In many cases we found that moving custom fields to Profile Management within 9.1 would provide access to the employee for self service updates, as well as now include the changes in an approval process if needed.  This was a great increase in functionality for our client as it provided extra levels of review by a manager and/or an administrator and the approval/delegation process was already built right into the process.
    • Another feature that was discussed is the Text Catalog.  The Text Catalog feature stores standard text that appears on the self-service pages within HCM applications, including field labels, button names, links, page instructions, and warnings. It also includes the text and subject lines of automated email notifications. HCM provides predefined text entries, but you can modify them by using the Text Catalog feature.  Many customizations we found in the self service pages were due to text changes on the screens.  By using the Text Catalog, modifications to pages can be dramatically reduced and now maintained in a configuration page.

We completed the week with reviews of our client’s current state assessments for Absence Management and the Time Reporting System.  Visio diagrams and process narratives were reviewed, updated and approved by the business owner’s.

Deliverables: AWE, ESS and MSS Session Agendas; Meeting Minutes from the Fit/Gap sessions, Final Current State Assessment Visio and Word documentation

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