• MSSBTA Staff

Case Study: Vendor Management Optimizes System Software Upgrade

Client Detail:

The client is a higher education institution. For more than seven years MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) has worked with their Information Technology department to support their systems and infrastructure.

The Challenge:

The client needed to upgrade their Human Capital Management (HCM) Human Resources software system to ensure future maintenance and support from the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendor. This system manages HR and payroll functions for all of their locations. The upgrade created an opportunity for the client to dramatically reduce prior software customizations and enhancements made to the HCM platform and to deploy a simplified code base that was significantly easier to maintain and upgrade. This was the intent but the client realized soon after the upgrade implementation they were not getting the desired outcome.

Following the upgrade, an issue was discovered after the first payroll run. Incorrect information was sent from the student application system to the payroll system, resulting in payment failures.

After MSSBTA investigated the issue, they found it was due to a lack of analysis, rushing the design and implementation, and not spending enough time vetting and testing the new solution. A significant stabilization effort, including manual reconciliation, was needed to address the payroll errors made during the upgrade.

Our Solution:

MSSBTA provided leadership and oversight of the stabilization and reconciliation effort, and was responsible for project planning, scheduling, resource management, vendor management, communications, user acceptance testing, mock go-live, cutover planning, and implementation.

MSSBTA provided ongoing oversight through daily vendor management meetings, escalations, budgeting, contractor management, resource management, and further system testing. Leadership, governance, and accountability practices were introduced to the vendors through a new release management process for the client.

MSSBTA also managed steering committee meetings where the priorities were set for the stabilization. Finally, project management processes and oversight were provided to prioritize tasks and ensure stakeholders were responsible for their role in the stabilization.

A new optimized release management and change control process describing how the client would manage any future software updates was created with support from MSSBTA. This new process was also implemented during this engagement.

Their Results:

Leadership, Governance, and Accountability principles were utilized by MSSBTA to help the client successfully stabilize the upgrade and address payroll issues. While the payroll issues were addressed immediately, the actual reconciliation of funds took over a year. With new release management and change control processes in place to ensure software stabilization, the client was able to focus their efforts on enhancing and optimizing the fully operational system.


  • Leadership and Oversight

  • Project Planning

  • Scheduling

  • Resource Management

  • Vendor Management

  • Communications

  • User Acceptance Testing

  • Mock Go-Live

  • Cutover Planning

  • Implementation

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