As we are approaching our October 1st GO-LIVE date, the EIS-R Project Team is moving at high speed to bring us closer to a successful ARIES implementation. Now, it is time for user acceptance testing. August is a busy month for technology readiness and testing, a month full of anticipation and excitement.
ARIES Leads and UAT:
As our last DPA Web update reported, the ARIES Leads received an ARIES demonstration and the excitement over ARIES continues. They will come together in Anchorage again in one of two groups on either August 26th or September 3rd to conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This is our staff’s first practice run using the system under scenarios we encounter as part of our daily field operations.
The ARIES Leads are also participating in weekly conference calls with the Project Team. The meetings are held every Thursday at 10:00. Your ARIES Leads are bringing your questions forward during the meeting as they become more accustomed with their role in the Project.
UAT is officially underway!! It started on Monday with five members of the Systems Operations staff. Deloitte provided an overview of ARIES, and Qualis guided the testers through the test process and procedures. Each group of testers will spend their first day of UAT undergoing the same set of activities in preparation for their week of testing.
Field Office Visits
During the past three weeks, a DPA leadership team has made field office visits and provided information on the upcoming business changes and ARIES implementation. While this was a good opportunity for the leadership to disseminate operational updates, it was also beneficial for them to hear the DPA staff’s concerns, issues, and questions. This two-way information exchange will enable DPA leadership and the Project Team to better understand issues from the field operation’s perspective as well as identify opportunities for improvement in regard to the Release 1a implementation.
Since our DPA Web posting of FAQS #1 on 8/8/13, the field office visits have been completed. During these events, we have captured new project questions. These will be added to the FAQs in the very near future. You will be notified of these additions as they become available on the DPA Web.
As part of the ARIES go-live, will there be an impact on my computer?
Will I need to do any setup or changes to my computer?
The simple answer is – No!!
This is great news as it shortens the learning curve for Release 1a in regard to what we need to do to start using the new system. You will not need to download any software or make configuration changes to your computer. The only software required to access ARIES is an internet browser…the same software you are using to read this update! This makes the technical rollout and adoption of ARIES much easier for everyone.
Prior to October 1st, you will be provided a web address to save into your Internet Explore Favorites. Accessing ARIES will be as simple as point and click…and login.
Our last DPA Web update discussed the two upcoming ARIES training delivery methods: Computer Based Training (CBT) and Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT). In addition to these approaches, we have also developed the following training resources to support you during the ARIES Implementation Release 1a:
• Training Environment Access: Training is conducted in an environment that can be used during and after the training period. The availability of the training environment is intended to provide ARIES users with as much opportunity as possible to practice using the new system. You can access this training environment through a unique web address that will be provided to you at a later date.
• Exercises: Training exercises are typically one-to-two-page Word documents that allow you to practice sample scenarios by following the step-by-step processes. These exercises will be placed on DPA’s Staff Development & Training website.
• Online User Guides: Online user guides are step-by-step instructions that you can access from inside the ARIES system.
• Live Moderated Question and Answer Sessions - Post Go-Live: Training and/or system questions will be collected and submitted for answers during live, moderated question and answer sessions. These sessions are conducted via conference calls once each week for three weeks after Go-Live. The purpose for having these sessions after the Go-Live date is to provide DPA personnel the opportunity to ask questions after they’ve had a chance to actually use ARIES in an operational setting.
• Help Text: You can access Help pages and get detailed descriptions specific to a screen and/or explanation of terms and processes from inside ARIES.
• Training Evaluation: Training evaluation will assess trainees’ preparation for using ARIES exercises and quizzes during CBT, and identify what trainees liked and disliked about the training experience. The feedback will be used to identify aspects of the training that require further clarification or improvement. The training material will be used by DPA to train personnel between Release 1a and Release 2 (new material will be created for Release 2). After Release 1a, if required, the ARIES training plan and material will be updated. Please keep this in mind as you progress through the training. Your feedback on training will be extremely important.
Look for upcoming DPA Web updates on training registration and schedule information.
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. It’s not uncommon to have schedule changes with a project of this size. Since the last DPA Web update, we had to make a few changes for this project. We are still on track to make October 1st! Below is a slightly revisited of schedule of key dates:
• Deloitte’s delivered Release 1a to DPA on 8/15/13
• User Acceptance Test (UAT) system operations – 8/19/13 to 8/23/13
• UAT with ARIES Leads Group #1 - 8/26/13 to 8/30/13
• UAT with ARIES Leads Group #2 - 9/2/13 to 9/6/13
• Qualis Health to conduct a complete end-to-end, independent system test (with System Operations) – 9/9/13 to 9/13/13
• ARIES Training – Start no later than 9/16/13
• ARIES IMPLEMENTATION – 9/28/13 to 9/29/13
August is when many of the moving parts for the ARIES implementation begin to come together. Stay tuned for more project updates! Don’t forget to contact your ARIES Leads if you have questions!