ctcLink Goes Live for Lower Columbia College and Olympic College
On Monday, March 9, 2020, the first set of Deployment Group 3 (DG3-A) colleges — Lower Columbia College (LCC) and Olympic College (OC) — went live on ctcLink PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM), Finance (FIN) and Campus Solutions (CS).
College employees logged in to their new ctcLink PeopleSoft accounts for the first time, checking their data and basic settings. Since then, LCC and OC staff have been taking advantage of a dedicated post go-live open support line available for immediate response needs, troubleshooting, and reporting issues.
The most common calls to the support line for CS-related issues have been related to quick enroll, combo codes, grade rosters and class permissions. For HCM, it has been creating job files, combo codes and security setup (users having the correct access and permissions). FIN has had questions around POs, customer IDs and bank statements. There have also been a few navigation questions.
Many of the calls have ended in users excited to figure it out and complete a process in ctcLink, like a student services staff member who said, “It feels so good to be successful! We’ve got this!”
Students at both colleges will see the new ctcLink interface beginning Monday, March 23.
Christy Campbell, SBCTC Chief Technology Officer-ctcLink Program, thanked the ctcLink team, LCC and OC — especially their project managers and teams — for the months and months of hard work they’ve all put in to preparing for this moment, adding, “We are all very excited that two more colleges have joined the ctcLink family.”
Grant Rodeheaver, SBCTC Deputy Executive Director for Information Technology and ctcLink Project Sponsor, thanked all teams for their hard work and collaboration. He said this go-live success is a result of months of planning, development and continued improvements from lessons learned during the Clark College and SBCTC deployment in October.
“I especially want to acknowledge the tremendous effort by the ctcLink teams at Lower Columbia and Olympic colleges,” he said.
Campbell and Rodeheaver both gave an extra dose of gratitude to the ctcLink Project, ctcLink (ERP) Support, Legacy, Infrastructure, Data Services and Application Development teams for a successful job prepping the colleges to go live in the ctcLink system and supporting colleges all the way to the finish line.
Next up, work continues to support DG3-B colleges — Cascadia College, Peninsula College, Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom, and Pierce College-Puyallup — as they are set to go live on May 11, 2020.
The Conversion Process
Beginning Thursday night, March 5, through Sunday, March 8, the Legacy team, ctcLink Project technical and functional teams, SBCTC Application Services, Data Services and Infrastructure Services, the ctcLink Support organization, and Burgundy (Amazon Web Services service provider), all worked together around-the-clock to convert LCC and OC’s data from the HP Legacy system to ctcLink PeopleSoft.
Technical leads, Chandan Goel, Bhuvana Samraj and Venkat Gangula and their teams worked round-the-clock for three days straight (with little to no rest) leading the multiple layers of conversion and validation, partnering with Sandy Main and the SBCTC Application Services team to bring everyone back online for business by Monday morning.
Checking and Re-Checking Before Go-Live
On Sunday afternoon, March 8, LCC and OC subject matter experts (SMEs) conducted a data validation check to validate the system and guide the recommendation for a “Go” or “No-Go” decision later that afternoon.
SMEs and pillar leads representing student services, financial aid, payroll, accounting, purchasing, human resources, grants management (to name just a few) spent several hours 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 few months.
Project managers Nichole Seroshek, Lower Columbia College, and Rich Lunden, Olympic College, 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 resolve in the days ahead.
The Go or No-Go Decision
During the Go/No-Go briefing on Sunday afternoon, college and SBCTC PMs and leadership were presented a review of the full conversion weekend, including outcomes and issues.
Tara Keen, ctcLink Assistant Project Director and Solutions Architect; PeopleSoft pillar leads (John Henry Whatley for Campus Solutions, Sanjiv Bhagat for Human Capital Management, Christyanna Dawson for Finance, Dani Bundy for Student Financials/Financial Aid), and technical leads (Chandan, Bhuvana and Venkat) shared results of the validation session, any issues encountered, how they were corrected and any still outstanding.
Following the review and input from SBCTC/ctcLink and college leadership, the official “Go” was determined for DG3-A.
It’s a Go!
Marty Cavalluzzi, Olympic College President, commended OC's ctcLink team leaders for their hard work and setting a positive tone. “The level of commitment is just through the roof!” he said. “They’ve all been working nonstop to prepare for ctcLink.”
He thanked the SBCTC ctcLink teams , saying, “Everyone here at Olympic has been raving about how responsive everyone is at the State Board, how quickly you respond.”
Chris Bailey, Lower Columbia College president praised the LCC team for remaining confident and committed. “I can’t say enough about this team.” He said. “I’m very proud of the LCC family.”
Reports from the Field
Project managers from Deployment Group 3-B — Scott McKean, Cascadia College; Pauline Marvin, Peninsula College; and Paula Henson-Williams, Pierce Colleges — were on-site at OC and LCC to observe and learn on the ground to prepare for their own turn at go-live. They were impressed at how prepared the college staff and leaders were and were able to take good ideas back to their own schools.
At Olympic College, the CS Pillar Lead SME was excited to begin activities in the new system and started working before the ctcLink Project team arrived. OC generated grade rosters and was getting things ready for the end-of-term processes. This helps the local organizational change management activities for Faculty Change Agents. Paper registration forms and admissions applications to be manually processed after Go-Live were also being worked on.
John Henry said there is an air of calm and a growing confidence among OC staff who participated in on-site workshop activities.
Scott McKean, Cascadia College Project Manager, said it put him more at ease to see how well Olympic College’s go-live went as Cascadia prepares for its own go-live and that he got some new ideas for their local plans.
The CS team was on-site at LCC for Day Two and said staff were prepared and ready to start working in the system.
“People at LCC are ready and confident,” John Henry said. “There is no sense of panic, but rather a can-do ‘Let’s get started and make sure I’m doing it right.’ spirit.”
ctcLink HCM team members were working with payroll staff at both colleges to address any issues and college HR staff will visit SBCTC in Olympia next week to work with the HCM team to get ready for their first payroll.