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Enhancement Requests, Scope Transfer, and Remediation: Wheels Are Turning

August 31, 2022 by SBCTC IT Communications

WACTC Commission & Council Top ctcLink Priorities at the Fore

The Washington State Student Services Commission (WSSSC), Instruction Commission (IC), and Diversity and Equity Officers Commission (DEOC) met with Tara Keen, ctcLink Project Management Office (PMO) Director, and ctcLink Support team members during a combined WSSSC/IC/DEOC meeting on Aug. 3, 2022.

An ongoing topic of concern was a list and status of pending ctcLink Enhancement Requests, fixes, and top priority items. The open dialog, while sometimes difficult, was insightful and productive.

Several WSSSC councils—Advising and Counseling Council (ACC), Admissions and Registration Council (ARC), Disability Support Services Council (DSSC), Financial Aid Council (FAC), Multicultural Student Services Directors Council (MSSDC)—presented a combined list of their top three ctcLink Ranked priorities.

The PMO team organized the Councils’ ctcLink Priorities spreadsheet into three individual worksheets by Priority Level 1, 2 and 3. Two priority-level 1 financial aid items have since been escalated and are in motion:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) was reprioritized from a Level 2 to a Level 1
  • Financial Aid Mass Packaging

What’s next?

The PMO team has begun to tackle research on each item to ensure SBCTC is properly tracking the path each item has taken (or should take) to get into a work queue. Each item on the list will be reviewed and categorized (e.g., Remediation, Scope Transfer, Enhancement Request (functionality, bug fix).

From there, the PMO will determine ownership of each of the priorities (e.g., Data Services, App Services, Customer Support, SBCTC bug fix, Oracle bug fix, etc.). Some, but not all, may need PMO intervention to manage the delivery conversation.

The PMO team will likely need to reach out to the councils to make sure the intent of each priority is fully understood.

Where’s my Enhancement Request?

During July and August, the newly formed PMO team worked to bring together Enhancement Requests (ER) from disparate “project era” sources (e.g., ctcLink Working Group log, Project Web App, Service Desk, mandates, policy revisions, etc.) into a single, combined location in the ctcLink Reference Center: ctcLink Operational GovernanceEnhancement Request Status

On Aug. 10, the PMO shared this resource with the commissions (WSSSC, IC, DEOC) and ctcLink College Leaders, seeking feedback before promoting it more broadly.

Several ctcLink College Leaders provided positive feedback and input. They have been reviewing the content and reaching out to get action on those Enhancement Requests pending final Working Group decision.

Which Enhancement Requests are included?

  • Those submitted to the ctcLink Working Group from May 2018 through August 2022.
  • Submitted via service tickets: The PMO team has scoured the SolarWinds ticketing system for any enhancement requests not already submitted to the ctcLink Working Group and continue to search for any submissions to date.
  • External and internal mandates (federal, state and SBCTC agency policy).

How to use the list

For each item, you can see where it is in the governance review process, approval status, and/or any other actions taken. New Enhancement Requests will be added as they are submitted.

As the ctcLink Working Group evolves from a “project governance” to an “operational governance” model, the Enhancement Request process and protocols are being re-aligned to increase transparency. So, this resource will continue to evolve based on system feedback.

Why don’t all the WSSSC Councils’ top priority items show up?

It was noted that some items on the Councils’ ctcLink Priority List don’t show up in the Enhancement Request Status list. Here are a few possible reasons:

  • It’s embedded in an Enhancement Request, but it’s not clear from the title or description.
  • It might never have been formally submitted in the SolarWinds ticketing system as an Enhancement Request.
  • It was submitted, but not extracted from SolarWinds and sent to ctcLink Working Group.
  • The item falls into a category other than Enhancement:
    • Remediation - Certain items needed an overhaul (remediation) after the initial 2015 go-live but were put on hold until they could be addressed systemwide after full implementation. For example, Satisfactory Academic Progress, which has been escalated and is in motion.
    • Scope Transfer - Certain requirements which were “in scope” went unfulfilled or were not fully completed. Those 250 items were transferred from the Project implementation team to the SBCTC IT/Support organization for review. For example, financial aid Mass Packaging, which has now been escalated and work efforts are underway.

How do I submit an Enhancement Request?

The existing Enhancement Request submission process is outlined in the Overview of Working Group guide in the reference center and will be updated as the ctcLink Working Group finalizes the operational governance process model.

What are the ctcLink Scope Transfer Items?

The final review of the ctcLink Project Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) found 250 (of 2,488) original requirements were either not implemented or partially implemented for various reasons (e.g., remediation/optimization, colleges don’t use, functionality not needed by the college system, requirement fulfilled with another solution).

To close out the ctcLink Project, during its May 31, 2022 meeting, the ctcLink Project Steering Committee approved transferring these 250 items to the future PMO team for review. See the Project Closeout Agreement with SBCTC IT/PMO.

ctcLink Support team members and functional analysts are reviewing each of these 250 items by pillar area to determine its status, so items can be moved into a work queue if needed:

What About Guided Pathways?

The scope of Guided Pathways (GP) optimization effort required funding and time which was not part of the ctcLink implementation budget and schedule, so the GP optimization project was set aside until all colleges were live in ctcLink. This project will need to be planned, approved, and funded by WACTC (presidents).  

The Guided Pathways Advisory Council (GPAC) has renewed the conversation and is working with interested parties systemwide.

Tara Keen and the PMO team are working with GPAC and the SBCTC Education Division to map out next steps to get the Guided Pathways work on track. The PMO is gathering system artifacts (e.g., minutes, memos, notes, reports) to document past communications and set a baseline of “what we already know about GP” to date.

Previous conversations suggested the ideal solution for Guided Pathways Meta Majors in ctcLink will be to reconfigure the ctcLink Academic Structure.

The Academic Structure re-design will require significant effort and active engagement by skilled college subject matter experts (SMEs)—especially, but not limited to, staff who configure Academic Advisement and Enrollment Requirements—making local college and systemwide decisions and collaborating with campus instructional colleagues and SBCTC.

ctcLink Operational Governance Resources

Learn more about current activities. These pages continue to evolve with new and revised content:

Last Modified: 1/14/23, 1:24 PM
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