EIS-R update - sneak peak at ARIES!

Submitted by Clay Butcher on July 1, 2013 - 4:36pm

There continues to be a tremendous amount of activity with the EIS-R Project. Since March, the Project Team has completed six weeks of requirements sessions followed by ten weeks of system design sessions for Release 1a. As a result of these sessions, Deloitte has started the actual software development of ARIES. As we enter July, the Project Team is focusing its efforts on preparing for the system testing, training, and implementation. Release 1a is on schedule to ‘Go-Live’ on October 1st. Many of you probably have a lot of questions about the system, and the upcoming sequence of events. This update will start to answer some of these questions. It is a continuation of prior EIS-R Project Updates. If you haven’t had an opportunity to read the EIS-R Project Updates 1 & 2, they can be found at the following links:

Update #1

Update #2

Let’s take a peek at ARIES. The two screenshots provided below were produced by Deloitte for review by the Project Team during the design sessions. They haven’t been finalized, nor are they related to one another in regard to how ARIES will actually be utilized. They were selected for this Project update solely for the purpose of providing an initial insight to the ‘look and feel’ of the new system.

The next item for this update is in regard to the Release 1a Implementation Strategy. This strategy includes system testing, training, and the actual system installation. The Project Team is still finalizing some of the details of the implementation strategy, but we can provide an overview. More detailed information will be provided in the near future.

ARIES Testing

The testing of ARIES is the first major task involved in the implementation. Qualis Health has been contracted to perform Quality Assurance for the Project. This includes testing the new system. The system testing can be broken down into three segments. First, Deloitte is contractually required to conduct a full test of ARIES prior to delivery of the system to DPA. Qualis will participate in Deloitte’s test of ARIES, and provide test reports to the EIS-R Project Office based upon their observations of Deloitte’s testing. The Deloitte testing is scheduled to begin in the latter half of July. Second, upon Deloitte’s delivery of ARIES to DPA, Qualis will conduct a complete test of the system. They will develop their own test scripts and test plans in order to provide a true independent test of the new system. This testing is scheduled to begin on August 12th. The third type of testing is the User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Users from throughout DPA will be selected to test ARIES. Qualis will lead DPA through UAT. Detailed preparation for this activity began in May. UAT is currently projected to start on August 19th and last for approximately three weeks.

ARIES Training

The system training for Release 1a is being provided using the ‘just in time’ concept. This concept provides training within 30 days of the implementation of a system. It is designed to ensure the knowledge and skills obtained from the training can be utilized within a reasonable timeframe. Additionally, the ARIES training will include policy, process, and system training. The training material is being provided by Deloitte as part of their contract with DPA. Deloitte has been working closely with the EIS-R Program Office and DPA’s Staff Development and Training section to develop the training plan and material for Release 1a. We estimate the training material for Release 1a will be delivered to the EIS-R Program Office the first week of September. The Release 1a training will consist of a combination of Computer Based Training (CBT) courses and instructor-led training. We know this is a topic of interest to everyone. As the finishing touches are being put on the training plan, more detailed information will be provided on this subject in the very near future.

ARIES Leads

The actual system implementation is scheduled to occur on September 28th. The ‘Go Live’ date for Release 1a is October 1st. In order to ensure a smooth implementation, ARIES Leads will be leveraged to the fullest extent possible. ARIES Leads are personnel selected from the DPA field offices and several other key areas within the Division. They will serve as the focal point for interacting between the Implementation Team and the DPA field offices as issues arise throughout the implementation. Initially, the ARIES Leads will participate as testers during UAT. This will provide them with ‘hands on’ experience of the new system. They will obtain an understanding of the operation of ARIES, and also become familiar with any business process and policy changes that might occur as a result of Release 1a. After UAT, the ARIES Leads will receive the system training prior to the rest of DPA. During the end-user training, the ARIES Leads will serve as an on-site training advisor and focal point for two-way communication between the Implementation Team and field staff in the event training issues should occur. The advanced ARIES training, combined with the UAT experience and further direction from the Implementation Team, will help prepare the ARIES Leads for this role. During the remainder of the implementation, the ARIES Leads will continue to serve as a focal point for communication between the Implementation Team and field offices. These personnel will also play a key role in the post-implementation activities. They will serve as a conduit for feedback from the field offices as Release 1a is evaluated, and help ensure lessons learned are captured and documented in preparation for Release 2. Over the next few weeks, the responsibilities of the ARIES Leads will be defined in much greater detail. More information will be provided regarding the role of the ARIES Leads in the near future.

In closing, there continues to be a tremendous amount of activity for Release 1a. The Project remains on schedule for a successful implementation. The DPAWeb will be the primary communication medium for disseminating Project information. As we get within the final 90 days of the ‘Go-Live’ date for Release 1a, updated information will be posted on a more frequent basis. Stay tuned!