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  • System Software Upgrade Optimized with Vendor Management

    Who is MCCCD?

    Maricopa County Community Colleges District Office, (MCCCD), is a higher education group serving over 10 accredited colleges and more than 220,000 students each year in Maricopa County, Arizona.

    Since 2013, MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) has worked with MCCCD Human Resources and the Information Technology Services (ITS) division. ITS is responsible for supporting the academic and administrative mission of MCCCD by providing reliable, accessible, and secure enterprise systems and infrastructure.


    Maricopa County Community Colleges District

    10 higher education institutions located throughout Maricopa County

    220,000+ students; 10,000+ employees

    college students

    The Challenge

    MCCCD needed to upgrade their Human Capital Management (HCM) Human Resources software system, to ensure future maintenance and support from the software vendor (Oracle). This system manages HR and payroll functions for all 10 colleges and the district office. The upgrade created an opportunity for MCCCD 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 MCCCD realized soon after the upgrade implementation they were not achieving the desired outcome.

    Due to the implementation vendor’s lack of analysis, rushed requirements gathering, and overaggressive timelines, the HCM integration with MCCCD’s payroll system was poorly implemented and caused significant issues within MCCCD. Incorrect information was sent from MCCCD’s Student Information System (SIS) to the payroll system, resulting in the payroll failures for the adjunct faculty each payday.

    This issue was not discovered until the first payroll ran after the upgrade went into production. A significant stabilization effort including manual reconciliation was needed to address the payroll errors made during the upgrade.

    How MSSBTA Oversight Helped

    MSSBTA provided 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 MCCCD. 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 MCCCD would manage any future software system upgrades was created and implemented during this engagement.

    Software System Upgrade Impact to MCCCD

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


    Leadership and Oversight

    Project Planning


    Resource and Vendor Management


    User Acceptance Testing

    Mock Go-Live

    Cutover Planning


    Download a PDF of this Case Study