What we have here is a failure to communicate! there was ever a place where PeopleSoft could shine more than every other ERP, the linking of Time and Labor with HCM, through Payroll, and on to the Finance modules of General Ledger and Project Costing should be a no brainer.
How was PeopleSoft Built? The heart of PeopleSoft are the HCM modules. They were the strength that put Dave’s little company on the map. HCM is so strong and stable that its built a base of users unequaled. Payroll, both NA and Global, have complemented the core HCM modules for a while now. It too has proven itself over and over through hundreds of installations. Time and Labor had a rough start, but came into its own with the advent of PIA. It’s been updated, expanded, strengthened, and improved over the years. Now we see it used in many PS shops with all kinds of customizations like any other module. Finance, from its beginning, was built to work directly with the capabilities of the HCM system. It’s not built the same way, but it was always intended to work with whatever any other PS product might throw its way. Just look at the messaging map and the integration points between modules and products. Its amazing and shows the care and thought that has made PeopleSoft the incredible software that it is.
All that to introduce the challenge. As consultants, we really get to know a few parts of the entire product, we understand several more, we’re foggy on most beyond that, but we know how the system works so we can muddle along. We rely on each other to augment our expertise and count on the fact that our shared experience is greater than the sum of the parts. Each client will present us with challenges we’ve not seen before.
Enter a business that wants to help its departments manage its people as well as its budget. So we get time from employees, pay them through payroll, send the dollars to GL, and time/dollars to PC. Now collect the time/dollars from PC, the non-project dollars on the income statement, the time categorization from T&L, along with the PTO numbers housed in HCM, by employee and prepare reports at the departmental level.
If you’ve followed me this far, I want you to work with me!! I’ve just involved 4-6 consultants who have limited knowledge of each other’s needs. We’ve carefully configured our individual modules with the idea that this data is being collected. But the first time we run the data from end-to-end (integration testing) we find all the preparation may not work as designed. Additional testing has found multiple problems that are being addressed. We’ve turned off the combination code table in HCM and the way it receives messeges from FIN. A business process is being created to handle the loading of the account code table in HCM. Time & Labor is being configured differently so that data collected can get enough information attached at the source to send identical information to GL and PC.
We have had to collaborate on an entirely different level than our original open dialog. We’ve had to troubleshoot as a team and try many different unsuccessful ideas before we found one that worked. Oracle has of course been helpful, but in the end, the consultants found the answers and reported the fix to them. Seamless integration is still a long way off. A lot has been learned about the differnt ways that the PeopleSoft products ‘talk’ to each other and the mirade of choices in one module that effect the others.
Communication between products can be quite complex. Working in our module silos, knowing that we’ve left the doors open for the other product/modules to integrate is not a plan that works. Leads need to work through integration issues as early in the project as possible.