Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has used CGI Advantage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for over fifteen (15) years. Approximately seven (7) years ago BCPS completed its upgrade to version 3.8 of the CGI Advantage ERP system. A project is underway to upgrade to version 3.11 of the software.
The Advantage ERP suite includes modules for budget, financial management, human resources management, procurement, and business intelligence. BCPS uses several other commercial off the shelf software packages that have required interfaces to the ERP system. Examples of systems that interface with Advantage HRM include Kronos Time and Attendance, SmartFind Express Substitute Management, Frontline Applicant Tracking, and SilkRoad Onboarding / Offboarding. Data is also extracted from the HRM and financial systems and sent to vendors to support employee and vendor payment processes. All interfaces are developed, enhanced, and maintained by BCPS personnel and will have to be addressed as part of the upgrade project.
In conjunction with the upgrade project, BCPS plans to implement several baselines features available in version 3.11 of Advantage the ERP software that either do not exist in the 3.8 version or that were deferred during the last upgrade. Changes to time and leave reporting processes and the organizational structure used in Advantage HRM are critical to the success of implementing these features.
Critical success factors identified for the project include:
•No loss in existing ERP functionality.
•Paying BCPS employees accurately and on a timely basis.
•Implementing the HRM reporting hierarchy restructure.
•Reducing the number of paper-based process used for collecting, approving, and updating financial and HRM data.
•Implementing secure access features including controlling access to sensitive information with flexible, role-based security.
•Managing the ERP Upgrade project within budget and if the budget is exceeded ensure that an orderly process is followed to submit and gain approval for change requests.
ERP Upgrade – Project Manager (PM) Responsibilities
Project Management – PM will take the lead on the following elements:
•Communications relating to Project Activities, Issues, and Risks
•Weekly Status Meetings with Core Project Team Members, Bi-Weekly Status Reports to Key Stakeholders, Periodic Progress Reports and Monthly Steering Committee Executive Updates
•Maintaining Project Scope as Defined in the Change Control Plan
•Development of Work Plans for BCPS Resources
•Managing a centralized SharePoint repository for project related documents
Project Activity Oversight - PM will work closely with the Business Management Information Systems (BMIS) team and the CGI business analysis team to monitor and report on the progress of the following project tasks and activities lead by BCPS:
•User acceptance test planning and execution
•Training preparation and execution
Project Deliverables – PM will assist the Director of Business Management Information Systems with the review of project deliverables, invoices, and contracts/amendments.
ERP Upgrade – Project Manager (PM) Key Assumptions; BCPS has identified the following BCPS key assumptions for the ERP Upgrade PM:
•Experience – PM will have extensive ERP project management experience and be able to demonstrate excellent client-facing communication skills and effective strategies to ensure stakeholder engagement and motivate cross functional teams.
•Location – PM will be located at the BCPS – Greenwood Campus. Occasional travel may be required to other BCPS locations to attend meetings and provide briefings.
•Work Hours – PM will work a 40-hour work week onsite during the core business hours from 9 am to 4:30 pm with flexibility around start and end times to accommodate early morning and late meeting times.
•Duration – Services are needed through July 31, 2019 to support a projected go live date in May 2019 and a two-month post implementation support period.
•System Training – BCPS will provide the PM the necessary training needed to support the PM responsibilities.
•Reporting – PM will report to the Director of Business Management Information Systems on a day to day basis and provide updates on project status to the PMO Manager and the ERP Steering Committee.
ERP Upgrade Scope - Modules / Functionality
•General Accounting / Disbursements
•Procurement / Vendor Self Service
•Fixed Assets Management
•Travel and Expense Management
•Human Resources Management
•Employee Self Service
•Manager Self Service
•Upgrade Existing ERP System Interfaces to External Systems