EIS-R Update- Moving Forward!

Submitted by Clay Butcher on August 8, 2013 - 9:27am

The EIS-R Project Team is continuing to make steady progress toward meeting our October 1st deadline for Release 1a Go-Live! This update includes some very exciting information about the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and upcoming events.

ARIES Kickoff Meeting Highlights:

Our ARIES Lead orientation meeting on July 31, 2013 was well attended. The meeting was facilitated by Berry Kirksey (EIS-R Program Manager) and Suzi Pulczinski (Chief of Field Operations). The agenda included an overview of the project, the project status, upcoming events, the ARIES Leads roles and responsibilities, and an overview of the upcoming Medicaid policy changes.

• The ARIES Leads were treated to a special surprise at the meeting – the debut of ARIES! This was the first demonstration of the new system. Since the system is still in development, the demonstration did not include the entire system, but Deloitte was able to walk-through some of the case scenarios using the actual ARIES screens that will be implemented during Release 1a. The ARIES Leads provided some very candid comments about their first exposure to the new system. Some of their comments include:
• “I can’t wait until 2015 for Release 2.”
• “ARIES will now allow us to spend more time focusing on the customer, and less time focusing on the system.”
• “I like the point and click…it’s simple.” (in regard to using ARIES)
• “It’s super slick…I really like it.”
• “Deloitte was listening. It appears they’ve captured our requirements.”
• “I’m glad it will create the notices for us.”
• “Awesome!”
• “I really liked the drop-down boxes with pre-popluated data.”

The level of excitement was very high!

In order to obtain a more in depth understanding of the operation of ARIES, the ARIES Leads will serve as testers during the upcoming User Acceptance Testing. This will also allow them to become familiar with the business process and policy changes contained in Release 1a. Additionally, the ARIES Leads will participate in a weekly conference call until the implementation of Release 1a is completed. This will ensure two-way communication between the ARIES Leads and the Implementation Team. As we get closer to Go-Live and disseminate additional project updates, please contact the ARIES Lead in your office / area if you have any questions or comments.

Reminder: The listing of the ARIES Leads is provided in the attached list: ARIES leads. (pdf)

Field Office Visits

Our last DPA Web update announced that a team consisting of representatives from DPA leadership, Field Operations, Staff Development and Training, and Policy will be visiting the field offices to provide you in-person project updates, answer your questions, and solicit your feedback. The Field Office visits began in Fairbanks on July 24th, and are schedule to conclude on August 16th. If your office hasn’t been visited yet, you can expect to see the team very soon.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Update:

We want to make sure the new system works for you. As previously posted under http://dpaweb.hss.state.ak.us/node/478, the testing of ARIES is an important step toward ensuring a successful implementation. UAT provides the ARIES users with the opportunity to accomplish several objectives. These objectives include:
• Providing the end-user with the opportunity to understand the operation of ARIES;
• Assesses whether ARIES can support DPA’s daily business operations;
• Provide critical input into the formal system acceptance process;
• Build end-user confidence in using ARIES;
• UAT will also serve as the first step in preparing the ARIES Leads for their role in the upcoming implementation of Release 1a.

The UAT testing will begin on August 19th and will last for approximately five weeks. The testing teams are:
• Week 1 (8/12 to 8/16) will involve the Qualis Health team (the State’s quality assurance vendor).
• Week 2 (8/19 to 8/23) will involve the Systems Operations team (the State’s Technical Team).
• Week 3 and 4 (8/26 to 8/30, 9/2 to 9/6) will involve the ARIES leads.
• Week 5 (9/9 to 9/13), Qualis Health (with Systems Operations staff) will conduct a final end-to-end test of ARIES.

The UAT testing will be performed in Anchorage. During the testing period, Qualis Health and Deloitte representatives will be onsite to provide guidance and support throughout the duration of the test. We are taking every measure possible to minimize any risks to the Go-Live.


In the previous DPA Web update, we shared with you that training will be delivered with two approaches: CBT and VILT. So what are CBT and VILT?

CBT (Computer Based Training) is a course that contains self-paced, interactive information with text, video, and audio content. Knowledge check quizzes are incorporated into CBTs and training delivery is done offline. An internet connection is not required after the training software has been downloaded. CBTs can be revisited at any time for review. The CBTs will be self-directed and serve as a prerequisite to Virtual Instructor Led training. Any content presented in CBTs will build on itself and be reiterated in later trainings.

VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training) involves “hands on practice” with training exercises and more advanced material. VILTs will be taught by project team members familiar with ARIES. VILTs will also provide a brief overview of content presented in the CBTs. Training will be delivered in partial-day sessions through Blackboard. Blackboard is DPA’s current online learning tool. The partial-day sessions are designed to provide flexibility in the scheduling of ARIES training.

Our DPA staff has been expressing a high level of interest and asking lots of questions about ARIES training. ARIES training is on schedule to start no later than 9/16/13, and occur through 9/27/13. Course registration information and details will be coming to you within the next few weeks. The project team has been working hard the past few months to develop training courses.


As promised, our first set of FAQs have been posted to the DPA Web! The FAQs are intended to provide ARIES project background information and address questions that may surface about the EIS-R Project. The FAQs are organized in the following sections of interest:
• Project Overview
• Key Benefits
• System Scope
• Timeline and Deployment Plan
• Business Changes
• Contacts and Support

As new FAQs are added to the list, they will be placed at the front of each section. Please take a look at the FAQs, they can be found at the following link FAQS #1.

Upcoming Events:

As we approach the Go Live date of October 1, 2013, we will provide you updates through DPA Web postings, in-person meetings, e-mails, and team meetings at your office. Below is a reminder of the upcoming key dates:
• Deloitte’s delivery date for Release 1a – 8/12/13
• Qualis Health to conduct independent system test – 8/12/13 to 8/16/13
• User Acceptance Test (UAT) system operations – 8/19/13 to 8/23/13
• UAT with ARIES Leads - 8/26/13 to 8/30/13 and 9/2/13 to 9/6/13
• Qualis Health Final End-to-End test of ARIES (9/9/13 to 9/13/12)
• ARIES Training – Start no later than 9/16/13
• ARIES IMPLEMENTATION – 9/28/13 to 9/29/13

August is an exciting month for us, so stay tuned for our next DPA Web update!