ctcLink Goes Live for Green River and Skagit Valley Colleges
The first Deployment Group 5 colleges (DG5-A) — Green River College and Skagit Valley College — went live on ctcLink PeopleSoft yesterday morning, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.
Welcome to the ctcLink family; now 20 members strong with 19 colleges and the SBCTC agency.
A recurring theme heard during Sunday night's meeting was that this was the smoothest go-live weekend to date; with both Green River and Skagit Valley demonstrating outstanding organizational effort, data cleanup, and advance preparation which netted 99.9% to 100% accuracy in conversions from Legacy to PeopleSoft in nearly every category.
Navigating an ever-shifting landscape
DG5 deployment group colleges, SBCTC support, and ctcLink Project implementation teams were presented imposing challenges. With the unsettled landscape of the current remote and hybrid operations (including the impact to college HR SMEs to track the vaccine mandate), college and SBCTC teams met one challenging task after another these last many months, all while running a complex go-live process.
Throughout this week, 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). Green River and Skagit Valley staff are taking advantage of a two-week, post go-live, dedicated support WebEx available for immediate response needs, troubleshooting, and reporting issues.
After college staff have had some time to acclimate to the system and conduct post-conversion clean-up, Green River and Skagit Valley students will see their new ctcLink interface beginning Oct. 25.
Lead-Up to Go-Live
Beginning Thursday night, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 10, 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 the colleges’ data from the HP Legacy system to ctcLink PeopleSoft.
Technical PMs, 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, Oct. 10, college subject matter experts (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. Bellevue College SMEs also validated payroll and made sure security was in place, because BC runs payroll services for Skagit Valley College.
DG5-A ctcLink Project managers — Dave Ortega, Green River College, and Benjamin St. Germain, Skagit Valley 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 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.
Tara Keen, ctcLink Project Director and Solutions Architect; PeopleSoft pillar PMs and leads (John Henry Whatley, Campus Solutions; Sanjiv Bhagat, Human Capital Management; Christyanna Dawson, Finance; Charles Velasquez, Student Financials; and Stephanie Casino, Financial Aid), and technical lead, Chandan Goel, shared results of the validation session, any issues encountered, how they were corrected and those still outstanding. 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 both colleges for their excellent work and for setting a high bar as the opening act of DG5. “This is the most positive ctcLink go-live meeting I’ve attended yet,” Yoshiwara said of her seventh such event since the ctcLink Project relaunched.
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 subject matter experts (SMEs) to the finish line. “The continuous improvement from deployment to deployment has made all the difference,” he said.
Christy Campbell, SBCTC Chief Technology Officer-ctcLink Program, thanked the ctcLink team, Green River and Skagit Valley colleges — especially their project managers and teams — for the months and months of hard work and partnership. “The colleges showed great dedication and character preparing for this moment,” she said.
Campbell acknowledged the extraordinary leadership of the DG5-A PMs (Dave Ortega, Green River College, and Benjamin St. Germain, Skagit Valley College) and the hard work and resiliency of their ctcLink teams; the steadfast guidance of their executive sponsors (Camella Morgan, Green River College, and Carolyn Tucker, Skagit Valley College); and the ongoing leadership and support of campus leaders (Dr. Suzanne Johnson, Green River College president, and Dr. Tom Keegan, Skagit Valley College president).
College Roll Call to Go-Live
Following the review and input from SBCTC/ctcLink and college leadership, the official “Go” status was determined for DG5-A.
Green River College
“We feel confident, ready and prepared to go live,” Dr. Suzanne Johnson, Green River College president, said.
“Goodbye to Legacy, hello to ctcLink!” she added, addressing the many Green River employees gathered back on campus to listen in and hear from the ctcLink Project team how incredibly well they did. “We can mark this off our bucket list!”
Johnson praised Camella Morgan, Green River College Executive Director of Information Technology and ctcLink Executive Sponsor, for her leadership and persistence; and Dave Ortega, PM, who hit the ground running in July, picking up the well-organized gauntlet left by Sherry Felchlin, long-time Green River PM.
Skagit Valley College
Carolyn Tucker, Skagit Valley College Associate VP of Human Resources and District Title IX Coordinator and ctcLink Executive Sponsor, called out the outstanding coordination efforts of Benjy St. Germain, ctcLink Project Manager, and Vanessa Allen, Customer Relations Management Specialist, to bring their campus to readiness.
Tucker also commended Bellevue College for its key role in Skagit’s go-live as they provide Payroll services for both Skagit Valley College and Everett Community College.
St. Germain said they are ready to move forward and “Skagit Valley is a go!”
Bellingham, Big Bend and Whatcom (DG5-B) step to the plate
From Thursday night, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 24, the SBCTC teams will work together around-the-clock to convert DG5-B data from the HP Legacy system to ctcLink PeopleSoft.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Bellingham Technical College, Big Bend Community College and Whatcom Community College will be live in ctcLink PeopleSoft on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.
After college staff have had some time to acclimate to the system and conduct post-conversion clean-up, Bellingham, Big Bend and Whatcom students will see their new ctcLink interface beginning Nov. 8, 2021.