Successful implementation of HCM Wave 3b gives a more sustainable, stable solution

Human Capital Management’s (HCM), latest upgrade completed in December 2018. This software is used for CU’s core human resources, payroll and benefits, and other HR-related activities. This project, referred to as Wave 3b, made enhancements to CU’s hiring, rehiring, additional jobs, transfer and person of interest (POI) processes.

University Information Services (UIS) partnered with Employee Services and the CU campuses to migrate the system away from Smart ePAR transactions to use delivered responsive and modernized HCM pages, in an effort to improve efficiency. HCM has undergone continuous development over the past three years, and Wave 3b was completed with over 31,000 hours of work involved throughout the project between UIS, Employee Services and campus partners.

Wave 3b was rolled out in two releases, with the first focusing on transfer and person of interest (POI) processes that concluded in April 2018 and the second on CU’s hiring, rehiring, and additional jobs.

For the second release, the cross-campus project team (CCPT), a team of over 30 campus HR experts across CU, worked together to design a solution that debuted a transaction launch page to simplify and streamline the search and selection process. Through listening and collaboration with the CCPT, a new solution was developed that significantly reduces the transaction time for HCM users.

How were these upgrades selected?

To determine what HCM improvements to focus on, the CCPT prioritized business processes to be changed.

What changed?

Several changes were made to HCM throughout Wave 3b, some noteworthy changes include:

  • Updated look and feel
  • Transaction launch page that simplifies search and selection and takes users to the correct template, resulting in reduced transaction time
  • Expanded use of the Related Content functionality
  • Integration with applicant tracking systems Taleo and Avature (used by CU Boulder) for information gathered during recruiting
  • System validations to prevent contract set-up errors (such as an overlapping contract) before the transaction is saved

What process improvements were made for this wave?

Wave 3b was one of the smoothest recent HCM upgrades, primarily due to refining and improving processes before and during the project. At the end of the previous wave and between releases one and two, a lessons learned session with the CCPT gave the project team insights into areas for improvement. The team took and implemented these suggestions, resulting in a smoother batch of upgrades.

Process changes implemented for Wave 3b:

  • Formation of the cross-campus project team, which supported early involvement from the campus subject matter experts in the design and testing processes
  • Implementing a code freeze seven weeks prior to go live to allow for better training materials
  • Using a formal organizational change management process
  • Implementing and refining formal testing and quality processes, including early campus involvement
  • Relying on strong project governance including the cross-campus project team, designated campus decision-makers and the HCM Portfolio Steering Committee
  • Employing Project Management Advisory Committee processes and deliverables

By implementing these changes, there were very few support calls following go live.

Wave 3b by the numbers

Over 31,000 hours went into Wave 3b from September 2017 to December 2018. Click on the above graphic to see a detailed version on all the work that went into this project.

What now?

On-going governance will continue its efforts to shape HCM systems and set priorities. Future development needs will be determined by the HCM Portfolio Steering Committee, but a continuous focus on meeting business needs will continue.

This project better positions CU to move in the direction of a more sustainable, long-term support model.

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