PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System
March 2011

5. Observations – Interfaces with End-Users

5.1 User Documentation

PeopleSoft internal system documentation as well as user guides and forms available on the Intranet provide sufficient information for users to navigate comfortably through the system.

The Justice Intranet (JUSnet) includes a specific section on the functionality of the various components of PeopleSoft. Users are able to link to specific topics such as classification/position management, compensation, employment equity, enterprise learning, labour relations, navigating and reports, official languages, performance, pay procedures, PREA, pride and recognition, security, and staffing. Access is governed by job description and roles assigned to the employee. Users can access other relevant HR documentation and forms and relevant links on JUSnet.

During the audit, we reviewed a sample of the documents and links on JUSnet. The documentation we reviewed adequately defines the process for users to follow to complete a specific task in PeopleSoft.

5.2 User Training

The documentation available online to support basic training on PeopleSoft is adequate.

The HR Systems Group has developed training for departmental systems users on different HR-related topics: recruiting and workforce administration, position management, compensation, leave and performance pay, PeopleSoft navigation and reports, Nakisa Footnote 1 organizational charting, labour relations, and enterprise reporting. Basic training on PeopleSoft is provided online through JUSnet, and the documentation supporting the training is complete and sufficient. Additional documentation is also available for users who require more detailed information.

It is the audit team’s opinion that the information available to support basic user training on PeopleSoft is adequate.

There is a need to determine the reasons for the high data entry error rate of HR assistants.

Training costs are identified as part of the overall budget for the HR Systems Group. With the increase in costs related to the maintenance of the system and the lack of additional funding to support special technical projects, funds needed to provide additional and specific training to end-users such as HR assistants are not available. For example, during our examination of the data integrity process, we found that between January 2008 and March 2010 the data entry error rate of HR assistants was significant (20%) and was not always consistent from one year to the next. Between the second quarter of 2008/09 and the end of FY 2010, one region was over the 20% error rate in five of the seven quarters. A second region had a high (over 20%) error rate in the fourth quarter of 2008/09 and in the third and fourth quarters of 2009/10. However, the reasons for the high error rate have not been determined. In our view, the HR assistants’ supervisors need to determine the reasons for these errors and consider whether additional training could reduce the error rate.

Recommendation and Management Response

16. It is recommended that the DG, HRPDD ensure that the data entry activities of HR assistants are assessed to determine the reasons for their high error rate, and take appropriate action to reduce the error rate. (Medium Risk)

Agree. See response to recommendation 14 above, which addresses this recommendation.

5.3 Technical Support

The HR Systems Group has implemented appropriate tools to track problems encountered by PeopleSoft users.

The HR Systems Group has set up a help line that provides technical support to users. The recently implemented version 8.9 of PeopleSoft has the ability to register, classify, prioritize, and track problems with the system from start to finish. A problem tracking software called “Perfect Tracker” is used to create reports on open items and statistical information such as counts by type, priority, and location of problem.

It is the audit team’s opinion that the information generated from both systems adequately supports the management of user-identified problems.

The HR Systems Group needs to review the status of unresolved problems on a periodic basis.

The audit team analyzed two reports (outstanding issues and open requests) documented in the bug tracker system as of May 11, 2010. We examined approximately 19% of the issues/requests listed (41 out of 216) and found that, on average, an issue/request remained outstanding for approximately 238 days, with the maximum being 859 days. As a second step, we analyzed a third report of issues closed as of May 11, 2010 and found that, on average, issues were resolved within 49 calendar days from submission. We conclude, therefore, that when an issue can be resolved, it is resolved within a reasonable time, while difficult issues or issues requiring a significant amount of time to resolve appear to take substantially longer.

In our view, a periodic review of outstanding problems by the HR Systems Group would allow management to develop an appropriate action plan to resolve problems on a timely basis.

Recommendation and Management Response

17. It is recommended that the DG, HRPDD ensure that the status of unresolved problems is periodically reviewed. (Medium Risk)

Agreed. The HR Systems Group has recently completed a review of all outstanding or unresolved cases registered within the bug tracker system. It was noted that a number of these unresolved cases had in fact been addressed and resolved but inadvertently left open in the control log. It was also recognized that this log was being used as a tracking system for issues to be addressed as part of future upgrades, product enhancements, or to be raised by the Program Centre that provides support for the maintenance of the GC version of the product. These were not unresolved cases but in reality issues that require attention in the future. As such, in order to ensure that these types of comments are tracked, a separate system will be considered for this purpose so that only outstanding unresolved system bugs or problems will form part of the bug tracker system. In addition, a process ensuring a monthly review of the unresolved problems will be put into place ensure that outstanding BTs are addressed in a timely fashion. Completion date: By March 31, 2012.

5.4 Communications with Users

PeopleSoft users are formally advised on a timely basis of changes to the system.

PeopleSoft users are located throughout Canada and some are co-located within other departments. The HR Systems Group has developed procedures to ensure that users are aware of system changes and new version implementations. The HR Systems Group also initiates a monthly teleconference with the Data Integrity Unit and the regional HR groups to discuss issues pertaining to PeopleSoft. Minutes of the meetings are recorded.

Furthermore, new system releases are announced by way of a formal communiqué that is distributed to all users. We were also told that the HR Systems Group has just launched a PeopleSoft newsletter that will be linked to the communiqués when they are issued. In our view, communications with users are adequate.

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