ctcLink Goes Live for Bates, South Puget Sound and Yakima Valley
We are pleased to share a huge milestone for SBCTC and Washington’s community and technical colleges as the third and final set of Deployment Group 6 colleges (DG6-C) — Bates Technical College, South Puget Sound Community College, and Yakima Valley College — went live on ctcLink PeopleSoft yesterday, Monday, May 9, 2022.
Welcome to the ctcLink family, now 35 members strong with 34 colleges and the SBCTC agency.
A recurring theme heard during Sunday night’s go-live meeting was how quiet and smooth the four-hour Sunday validation session went.
While DG6-C may have been last to go live, thanks to their outstanding local efforts, Legacy data cleanup, and advance preparation, they pulled off a few firsts! DG6-C had 100% enrollment conversion for the Go-Live Term (Spring 2022), with the exception of a few duplicate students from Legacy. All three colleges set a ctcLink go-live weekend record for zero enrollments falling out and 100% Historic Classes conversion in the Campus Solutions pillar.
Navigating an ever-shifting landscape
With the continuing unsettled landscape of the remote/hybrid operations and loss of personnel, the DG6-C deployment group colleges, SBCTC Support, and ctcLink Project implementation teams were presented one daunting task after another these last many months, all while running a complex go-live process.
College employees will log on to their new ctcLink PeopleSoft accounts for the first time, checking their data and basic settings in Human Capital Management (HCM), Finance (FIN) and Campus Solutions (CS).
Bates, South Puget Sound, and Yakima Valley subject matter experts (SMEs) will take advantage of a two-week, Post Go-Live Support Activities series dedicated to immediate response needs, troubleshooting, and reporting issues.
These sessions provide focused support to walk college SMEs through critical first-time business transactions such as processing payroll, check disbursement, financial aid awards, and refunds, to name just a few.
After college staff have had some time to acclimate to the system and conduct any post-conversion clean-up, students will begin to see their new ctcLink interface beginning varying dates per college: Bates (May 16), South Puget Sound (May 16), and Yakima Valley (May 19).
Lead-Up to Go-Live
Beginning Thursday night, May 5, through Sunday, May 8, teams worked around the clock for three days straight leading the multiple layers of conversion and validation. Legacy Customer Support, ctcLink Project technical and functional teams — SBCTC Application Services, Data & Infrastructure Services, the ctcLink Support organization, and Burgundy Managed Services (Amazon Web Services service provider) — all worked together to convert the colleges’ data from the HP Legacy system to ctcLink PeopleSoft.
SBCTC Application Services, led by Sandy Main, successfully brought everyone back online for business by 9 p.m. on Sunday night.
Checking and re-checking before Go-Live
On Sunday, college SMEs—supported by the ctcLink Project team, as well as Dani Bundy and the ctcLink Customer Support team—conducted a go-live check to validate the system.
SMEs and pillar leads representing student services, financial aid, payroll, accounting, purchasing, human resources, and grants management (to name just a few) spent several hours Sunday afternoon validating the conversion and walking through the system to check for issues, not to mention the countless hours they have spent validating and testing the data in several cycles over the last many months.
DG6-C project managers — Nick Lutes, Bates PM and executive sponsor; Missy Yates, South Puget Sound; Clarissa Wolfe, Yakima Valley — helped guide their SMEs through the day’s validation activities. As issues were found during the validation period, they were either addressed by the ctcLink/SBCTC teams or noted as issues to be resolved in the days ahead.
The "Go or No-Go" decision process
During the Go/No-Go briefing on Sunday evening, college and SBCTC PMs and leadership were presented a review of the full conversion weekend, including outcomes and issues.
Data validation findings—including any issues encountered, how they were corrected and those still outstanding—were presented by Tara Keen, ctcLink Project Director and Solutions Architect; PeopleSoft pillar PMs and leads (Rebecca Clayton, Campus Solutions; Sanjiv Bhagat, Human Capital Management; Christyanna Dawson, Finance; Charles Velasquez, Student Financials; and Stephanie Casino, Financial Aid), with feedback from Bhuvana Samraj, technical lead. A few minor issues were noted, with plans in place to correct any findings over the next few days.
It’s a Go!
Jan Yoshiwara, SBCTC Executive Director, acknowledged the colleges for their excellent work and for getting to this day successfully. “This is a momentous day for this entire project and has taken armies of people to get this done,” she said. “I am going retire with a smile on my face due to the ctcLink turnaround.”
Grant Rodeheaver, SBCTC Deputy Executive Director for Information Technology and ctcLink Project Sponsor, expressed gratitude to ctcLink Project technical and functional implementation team, SBCTC agency teams (Customer Support, Legacy, Application Services, Data Services and Infrastructure Services) for providing exceptional support and coordination to keep the project moving forward and guide college SMEs to the finish line. “It’s been a heck of a journey,” Rodeheaver said. “We went remote in the middle of DG-3 with 26 colleges yet to go, but thanks to outstanding partnerships with the colleges, every deployment has improved.”
Christy Campbell, SBCTC Chief Technology Officer-ctcLink Program, thanked the ctcLink team, Bates, South Puget Sound, and Yakima Valley colleges for the months and months (and years) of hard work and partnership.
“Congratulations to DG6-C colleges! It’s been many long months for everyone,” Campbell said. “But you did it! The minimal go-live findings and issues meant there was clean data from Legacy, all thanks to the colleges’ outstanding work.”
In addition to the colleges' ctcLink Project Managers, the ongoing leadership and support of executive sponsors and campus leaders — Dr. Lin Zhou, Bates Technical College president; Nick Lutes, Bates PM and executive sponsor; Dr. Tim Stokes, South Puget Sound president; Rip Heminway, South Puget Sound executive sponsor; Dr. Linda Kaminski, Yakima Valley College president; and Dr. Teresa Rich, Yakima Valley executive sponsor — played a vital leadership role supporting their college PMs and acting as ctcLink Project champions.
Tara Keen, ctcLink Project Director and Solutions Architect, praised DG6-C colleges for the quality of their excellent conversion execution overall and flawless go-live term conversion. “Today’s smooth conversion validation activities demonstrate the quality of work done by the colleges and this team,” Keen said.
College Roll Call to Go-Live
Following the review and input from SBCTC/ctcLink and college leadership, the official “Go” status was determined for DG6-C.
Bates Technical College
Nick Lutes, Bates ctcLink PM and executive sponsor, said he was blown away by the volume of work completed by the Bates SMEs and is very proud of them for their dedication. “Compared to where we were three months ago, it’s like a different universe,” Lutes said. He thanked SBCTC and the ctcLink Project team for its patience when the college was at its lowest.
Dr. Lin Zhou, Bates president, said it was a great day on campus, with about 20 staff coming together for a team lunch followed by validation activities. She thanked the ctcLink Project team for all its additional support to get Bates to go-live and acknowledged Lutes for his heroism in a pinch. Dr. Zhou said, “We are confident to go live.”
South Puget Sound Community College
Missy Yates, ctcLink Project Manager, said the SPSCC college team was diligent and did great work. “The day was smooth and quiet,” Yates said. “Most of our findings were minor and we have a plan to address them.” She thanked SBCTC and the Project team for their support and patience.
“Today was a great success, due to amazing hard work of our teams who put in countless hours,” Rip Heminway, ctcLink Executive Sponsor said, expressing thanks to the SBCTC team for its support along the way. “We look forward to getting going live tomorrow.”
Dr. Tim Stokes, SPSCC president, said the day was a great success and acknowledged their team for reaching this huge milestone. “A huge shout-out to Missy and Rip and all the SMEs who did such a great job,” Dr. Stokes said, “We are a go!”
Yakima Valley College
Clarissa Wolfe, YVC ctcLink Project Manager, said the final conversion validation was a great experience. Their president and vice-presidents spent the day in person with the SMEs during validation, which was a morale booster
Dr. Teresa Rich, ctcLink Executive Sponsor, expressed appreciation for the YVC SMEs for their dedication and thanked SBCTC for reducing Sunday stress by offering practice validation sessions in advance.
Dr. Linda Kaminski, YVC president, thanked her college team for their great work. “We’ve had a lot of communication all weekend and couldn’t be more pleased,” she said. “Yes, we are a go!”
SBCTC looks forward to implementing the newly approved ctcLink operational governance model in the coming weeks and months ahead as we continue to learn and grow, right along with our students.