Selective Adoption

My wife and I have similar business backgrounds and often discuss current issues and events, however when I recently brought up the topic of “Selective Adoption,” she gave me a very questioning look. (Understand that we volunteer with an organization called Safe Families for Children, Safe-Families.org, which focuses on keeping children safe and families intact.) Obviously, I wasn’t referring to families or adopting children! I wanted to review some leading practices than can be used to keep a PSFT system operating optimally. Selective Adoption is really using PSFT tools to minimize maintenance cost and maximize system functionality. Who doesn’t want to do this?

The first thing I always recommend is to update/create your strategic plan on the What, When, Why, and How. This is what great organizations do.[i] They create then regularly update their strategic plan to maximize their investment. A plan may include an assessment of the current system (the Why), include options for the soft and hard pros/cons (Why and What), then lay out your proposed course of action over time (When and How). This is important to do, as it establishes your credibility; plus, it will increase your likelihood of success.

Here’s a quick example of two areas I recommend examining: 1) what your customizations are and 2) what features/functions are available but not deployed. Data from these two areas provide needed details to generate options, benefits/costs, and ultimately data for part of the roadmap. The overall objective is to gain the most from your system with the least amount of effort/cost. This means keeping your customizations to a minimum while adopting the new features and functions.

What Changed

In case you don’t remember, updates and fixes to PeopleSoft were radically changed in 2013. The concept of continuous improvement was announced and deployed via a new tool, the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM). PUM eliminates long costly upgrades. PUM allows an organization to select just one change or everything. If the one change requires some prerequisite, then the prerequisite is included automatically. PUM eliminated the major effort of figuring out what to apply and decreased the risk of deploying a new function.

The other often overlooked feature of PUM is that it simplified the release for all changes in PeopleSoft (fix, tax, feature). Oracle’s PeopleSoft developers now can spend the bulk of their time developing new features and refining processes, and minimize time spent creating a colossal package which would take a big effort to deploy. Now your PeopleSoft updates come often and include meaningful/beneficial changes.

While it isn’t surprising that most customers use PUM and are current, it is surprising that everyone isn’t using PUM and conducting some type of selective adopting. Selective Adoption is simply picking the items you need to update your system, then allowing PUM to do the laborious task of creating the package and applying the updates.

A not-so secret of best run organizations: they further improve Selective Adoption by examining the roadmap to plan what to deploy when the new features becomes available. They also use automated testing tools to complete many of the routine tests, eliminating some potential testing errors and overall decreasing both testing time and testing costs.

Selective adoption + PUM + Automated Testing + Published Roadmap = A long-term solution.

PeopleSoft has a long and beautiful road ahead of it.

[i] Sierra-Cedar 2017–2018 HR Systems Survey White Paper, https://www.sierra-cedar.com/research/annual-survey

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