NM DWS Enterprise UI System Project Sue Anne Athens, CIO May 21, 2014
Current Status - Completion • System stabilization has occurred. DR site has been set up and test event preformed in December. Enhanced security review and lock down on user accounts, various other access controls. Continuing security assessments and monitoring in progress. • All critical and high defects remaining for contractor completion were addressed and resolved in December – build in January. • Change Management migrated to centralized SharePoint/TFS system which incorporated CCB reviews, DWS work assignments, test cases, results, code check in and build management. • Cross training and mentorship continue – very successfully. DWS are managing builds, testing and deployment. Joint development team producing minor release and contributing to major release cycle improvements. • Final contract documentation, close out review, invoicing completed. • Ongoing maintenance – DWS driven and directed based on business prioritization with follow on contractor support.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Project Objectives • Creating a flexible customer-focused environment for service delivery. • Use of information technology to efficiently deliver services. • Integrate and partner with other New Mexico state agencies to maximize service to customers. • Increase support, training and education. continues • Promote interagency and business community participation that encourages economic development and sustainable job growth. - continues • Improved service to claimant through Internet-based self service • Streamlined business processes through automation of manual functions • Reduced data entry through increased electronic filing for our staff • Redesigned problematic functions in current system • Migration to a common business and technical architecture for UI systems • Retirement of the current system that is antiquated and difficult to maintain • Migration from a mainframe infrastructure that is very expensive to maintain • Departmental ownership of the system to allow for quicker and less expensive modifications due to business needs or regulatory changes
NM UIA System Issue Management Manageable levels of defects – working on quality of release since January. Cut over to new CR/TFS system managed by DWS.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Transition to Operations • Contractor will ensure that necessary equipment, software, network connectivity, interfaces, power, data storage and conversion, and other required components are in place prior to production cut-over. COMPLETED. • Contractor will monitor related tasks and resources to ensure that all production site and environment preparations are ready and completed in accordance with specifications and cut-over plans. COMPLETED. • Completion of Work Product Production Site Preparation will be delivered in form of a letter confirming that all of the required activities are performed. COMPLETED.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Performance • NMDWS has seen dramatic results in performance data since the launch of the new UI Tax & Claims System in 2013. The new system not only enhanced the level of service provided to unemployed workers and businesses but strengthened the state’s ability to prevent, detect, and recover improper UI payments. The system integrated automated cross-match tools with external systems such as the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and databases such as the National Directory of New Hires. • NMDWS has reduced UI fraud by as much as $10 million, or 60%, (from 5.22% in 2012 to 2.11% in 2013) and New Mexico’s UI program is ranked number one in the United States by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) for quality of claims determinations (quarter ending September 2013). New Mexico has also significantly dropped from ranking 4th highest in the nation for improper payments in 2011, down to 26th highest in 2013. Improper payments are currently less than 8% for 2013. • Performance levels have also exceeded expectations. The percent of eligible UI claims issued a determination within twenty-one days from the date of claim has jumped from a low of 55.4 percent to 89.8 percent, and the percent of all first payments made within fourteen days after the waiting week has increased to 88.9 percent, up from 70.8 percent. • Service levels have greatly improved with the new system. As opposed to the old tax and claims systems, the new fully-integrated system rarely has any disruptions and system outages and scheduled downtime has been minimal
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Lessons Learned Preparations – staff and operations • Approach:NMDWS reached out to our fellow states to gain best practice alternatives for modernizing our operations while we also modernized our technology system. The team evaluated necessary changes primarily associated with supporting on line claims and tax processing. Reorganization was done to ensure a larger pool of resources would be available to respond to phone calls and provide a structured escalation with advanced specialist and subject matter experts knowledgeable about UI and on the new system. The approach was to have a flexible workforce with a greater ability to handle not only incoming calls and initial claims but other related business areas. These changes were expected to provide real time adjustment to support incoming work by reallocating staff to handle increase phone calls or redirect them to larger work queues. • Lessons Learned: Staff had limited ability to conceptualize the major change in process and procedures. Modernizing technology from legacy systems changes the way the business is done. Agency reorganization in parallel with technology change must be completed. Changes in business processes resulting in changed job duties and classification must go hand in hand with the change to the application and system in order to achieve success. Staffing levels could not support maintaining legacy systems and current operations while also defining, evaluating, testing the modernize framework and preparing for operational implementation. Organizations should review resource planning and prepare for ramping up support levels especially during the final stages of project efforts.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Lessons Learned Functional testing, including UAT • Approach 1:The contractor’s development methodology was neither Agile nor waterfall, but had components of each. This led to misapprehension of what UAT was for quality of software to expect . In many ways, UAT turned out to be sprint testing in an Agile methodology rather than UAT in a traditional waterfall model. DWS’ investment in testing far exceeded its expectation for time and cost, and it was revealed that the contractor’s testing was inadequate, assuming a waterfall methodology. • Lesson Learned: Make an investment heavily in the time and cost of UAT. Provide more resources and time to these tasks to ensure users are comfortable with the system, and allow for greater exposure to the system to reduce the training time and provide more resources post implementation to work as mentors and teachers to struggling staff. Active test involvement by all parties - early on - will improve the overall quality system and provide a cadre of subject matter experts for continued improvements. Ensure UAT testing is performed using the defined security roles rather than Super user roles. • Approach 2: DWS’ approach to testing was dictated in large part by its prior experience testing the legacy system. Accordingly, DWS’ testing was characterized by: Testing specific functionality: many test cases were constructed to test at a specific detail function rather than a higher business event level. Testing ‘outlier’ conditions: many test cases were aimed at infrequently occurring scenarios/circumstances. • Lesson Learned:Client testing plans should be reconciled and driven by actual business activity with the application of the 80/20 rule. Test cases should be scenario-based and those scenarios should track to actual business events and volumes however do not ignore 20% of UI claimants with issues. Provide enough time for UAT, ensure appropriate testing resources are secured, put a premium on additional testing of converted data. • System environments for UAT were not stabilized resulting in errors being received during testing sessions. Ensure control over environments and manage releases of updates to the application are functioning prior to running the sessions.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Lessons Learned Technical aspects including Data Migration, Final ETL • Approach: Numerous dry run’s and testing was done for the data conversion with the documentation kept within the DBMS. A technical review took place to ensure data structures conformed to entity relationship diagrams and referential integrity was enforced. Queries were written to verify the dependencies among different tables. Several procedures in Oracle were written to identify discrepancies in legacy information. Dry Run’s were performed every week measure performance time and to log any necessary enhancements or defects in the application. Reports present in our new system were compared with Legacy system reports. Example: Monthly, Quarterly and annually ETA Reports. • Lessons Learned: Start early with data conversion. Dedicate data conversion resources as much as possible. Plan conversion across multiple modules at the same time, track good data and start testing newly developed application or under developed on good converted data. Data conversion testing will reveal legacy data integrity issues. Application should be tested early on with migrated data to expose both data and system issues. Considerable technical and business resources can be consumed with identifying the underlying cause and cleansing data. Most participants served multiple roles on the project. Be careful that in the busiest part of the project (UAT, data cleansing, transition planning) these resources don’t become scarce due to overutilization.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Lessons Learned Handling and triage of post-implementation challenges • Approach: Triage of post-implementation challenges/issues were critical to ensuring quick resolution of issues Direct communication escalated through SME’s directly to our ‘command center’ enabled issues to be prioritized effectively and provided the technical team to ensure resources were focused effectively. Issues were separated into code or legacy data issues. Code issues were prioritized first based on functionality required for payments and based on volume of users impacted. Data issues were handled en-mass and logged separately. Weekly builds were established to quickly deploy and resolve critical defects. • Lessons Learned: The triage ‘command center’ approach was very effective. Ensure your contractors and vendors are part of the command center response team. Ensure tools are readily available for logging issues and that the prioritization is as effective as possible and based on volume impact. Ensure a well-defined escalation and categorization of issues. Legacy data issues will be a major challenge. En mass resolution however – created subsequent challenges are special program cases. Recommend that a separate team be set up to review and subsequently address the special program challenges.
Enterprise UI System Project (UIA)Lessons Learned • Business and IT training and knowledge transfer Approach: A training plan for both business and IT was developed in collaboration with the DWS staff. The contract called for a ‘train the trainer’ solution. Lessons Learned: • Time constraints on the training caused implementation challenges. • Ensure staff are involved in development of the training materials as much as possible so that the hand off of the materials can be done more effectively. • Ensure that user guides and other materials necessary for constructing a curriculum be available in sufficient time to prepare curricula and trainers. • Ensure the availability of a reliable and available training environment and tools to populate it are critical deliverables.
Conclusions • Leveraging of other State system and experience vital for quick progress and preparedness • Legacy data issues and conversion are a major risk, new systems have advanced data quality controls that expose discrepancies • Stabilization timeframes depend on responsiveness and outside factors introduced such as changes to UI program rules, labor market volatility • Post implementation issues will occur and coordinated communication and action plans to address these issues needs to be put in place to ensure prioritization based on impact to customers
Contact/Questions • Sue Anne Athens, CIO (505)841-8465