Introducing the “Evaluating PS Release 9.2” Series

PeopleSoft (PS) 9.2 – it’s finally coming, and soon.  Over the past several months, the PS community has been reviewing all the pre-pre-release info available in order to figure out exactly what is changing with this newest release. We’ve heard that PS 9.2 is different, and that’s definitely true – in some very good ways. At first glance, it looks like it’s easier to use. I think I could easily and intuitively navigate PS 9.2 with little training and execute transactions with fewer clicks. It includes pre-configured analytics that will provide users with fast, summarized information.

Sierra-Cedar currently uses many PS modules across HCM and FMS.  Some applications we’ve modified (a lot) in order to meet our business needs, and others are used completely out-of-the-box. We don’t automatically upgrade when the next release is available. Why’s that?  I’ll get into this in more detail later, but the short answer is that we first develop a business case to review the costs vs. benefits and then try to time any upgrade to coordinate with our business cycle.  (Sometimes, though, we’re like the cobbler’s children – so busy working with/for our clients that our own internal projects wind up on the back burner).

Over the next few weeks, I’ll use this space to evaluate PS release 9.2 by sharing my observations and experience evaluating an upgrade to PS 9.2 for Sierra-Cedar. I’ll discuss how to assess whether or not an organization should upgrade and provide information on how to prepare an upgrade plan and how to assemble a business case to document why an upgrade makes sense.

I’ll detail why – because of the new look, new functions and possible de-customization an upgrade to PS 9.2 will bring – an organization should plan to include Organizational Change Management (OCM) as a critical part of the project. I’ll explain the value of OCM in real dollars and cents.

I’ll talk about what to do regarding modifications – always a challenge. I have some project sponsors who mandate a totally unmodified (vanilla) system and others that tell me, “We’re not changing our processes to meet a vendor’s design.”  Which position, if either, is right?  I’ll dig into why we (and maybe your organization) should modify its PS system. I’ll look at what makes good business sense ($’s); review design strategies for modifications; and discuss when to change a process vs. the change the system.

If you are interested in these topics and want to know how one organization prepares for an upgrade, then this series is designed for you.  (By the way, Sierra-Cedar provides comprehensive PeopleSoft consulting and hosts over 100 production PS instances across many different business sectors and different sizes.)

I promise to keep it short, to the point and provide links to more information in any areas that are of particular interest to you. Just shoot me a note (PS9.2@Sierra-Cedar.com) with your comments, questions (or disagreements). I’ll do my best to answer or address any issues that arise along the way, and hopefully we’ll all benefit.

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