Migrating to a human resource Center of Excellence

Migrating to a human resource Center of Excellence<@VM>Question and Answer<@VM>Submit a question

Lynn Eddy, the Treasury Department's associate CIO for HR Connect, discussed what it takes to migrate to a human resource Center of Excellence under the Office of Management and Budget's Line of Business initiative. Eddy provided details about the Housing and Urban Development and some other HR Connect customer migrations.<@vm>
Moderator Jason Miller: Good morning everyone, and welcome to GCN.com's online editorial forum "Migrating to a human resource Center of Excellence." Our guest today is Lynn Eddy, the Treasury Department's associate CIO for HR Connect, who will discuss what it takes to migrate to a human resource Center of Excellence under the Office of Management and Budget's Line of Business initiative. We have several questions in the queue, so let's get started.

Raymond, Washington DC: What is your connection to Treasury's other COE for finances(Center of Admin Services)? Why does Treasury have two COEs?

Lynn Eddy: 1)I believe you are referring to the Bureau of Public Debt’s Administrative Resource Center that is an approved financial line of business. HR Connect is run out of the Departmental Offices of Treasury and has a partnership with ARC to support HR Services. HR Connect is the system side of HR processing and ARC is the services arm of HR.

district of columbia: Is it possible to get a full transcript of Ms. Eddy's presentation today?

Moderator Jason Miller: Yes. After the forum is complete, you will be able to find the full transcript in GCN.com's Forum archive.

Washington, D.C.: Do you have a detailed set of milestones you used for this project that you would be willing to share with us?

Lynn Eddy: The HR Connect Program has implemented 16 organizations into the product. In doing so, we've developed a well defined methodology including a project management plan that captures our key milestones, dependencies, resources, etc. Our methodology and planning represent a key differentiator between ourselves and other HR LOB's, therefore, we would share it with potential customers.

Washington, DC: Is Treasury looking to perform HR services for other agencies? How many customers can Treasury support?

Lynn Eddy: Yes, we are actively looking to increase our customer base. In terms of scalability we did undertake an independent assessment for IV&V and determined we can grow without additional infrastructure by about 3 times our current population. That would be over 400,000 records.

Fredericksburg VA: Who else does Treasury service?

Lynn Eddy: HR Connect currently services Treasury, HUD, ATF, and USSS. Of those accounts 22,000 are non-Treasury.

Don Perry, Maryland: How is Section 508 (www.section508.gov) of the Amended Rehabilitation Act affecting the design, development, implementation and support of HRConnect? What Best Practices is your agency currently employing to ensure that Section 508 mandated requirements for accessibility are effectively achieved?

Lynn Eddy: Treasury ensures that HR Connect is 508 compliant by using code validation software (ACC Verify and A-Prompt) and JAWS (a screen reader) and by performing visual and manual assessments of the system and code.

Gary Bailey, Pennsylvania: Why did HUD choose Treasury?

Lynn Eddy: HUD explains their decision in the GCN April 24th article. At a very high level, they talk about, the turnkey solution, speed of deployment, and our proven track record.

Moderator Jason Miller: Thanks Lynn for the free ad. Here is a link to the story. Hopefully, this should give you some solid background. I would be happy to give you offline the contact person at HUD as well if you want to talk to someone there for more information.

Dixie, Washington DC: If OMB intends all federal agencies to migrate to a Center of Excellence (or become a COE), what plans exist for expanding HR Connect’s capacity to meet future demands (for OMB’s ten-year time frame)?

Lynn Eddy: We have already addressed the scalability of HR Connect which demonstrates our capacity to handle new customers. As an HR LOB we've agreed to provide the services and capabilities envisioned in the concept of operations for the HR LOB.

DC: What kind of influence do new customers have on the strategic direction?

Lynn Eddy: Our customers, new and old, have a number of opportunities to be heard. Customer representation occurs through the configuration control board process, Governance Board of executives who recommend direction and capabilities of the system, and the executive steering board which brings the technology and CHCO perspective. In addition, there are active user forums available.

Vienna, VA: Do you offer services beyond standard payroll and benefit processing?

Lynn Eddy: In addition to the core HR services required by the HR LOB, Treasury offers operational HR functions such as staffing classification, LER, through Treasury's administrative resource center. In terms of value added implementations, Treasury also offers change management, project planning, onsite support, business process reengineering and training to clients.

Stacy J. - DC: Do you have performance measures in your customer contracts? If so what are the top 3 in terms of importance.

Lynn Eddy: Yes, our service level agreements cover typical measures of performance such as: system availability, help desk ticket resolution, and system utilization.

Moderator Jason Miller: OMB will be releasing a SLA template in the next few weeks. And Karen Evans will be our online forum guest on Friday. I would suggest asking her about SLAs as well.

Washington, D.C.: If I understand your answer to the milestones question, you are implying that the information is considered technical approach that would be shared only during the competitive process. Is this accurate? Agencies are trying to get their arms around the general process, how do we do this?

Lynn Eddy: The project plan covers every aspect of an implementation for example, technical approach, data conversion, change management, fit-gap analysis, training - all aspects of the project lifecycle.

Washington, D.C.: Can you "outsource" to Treasury a specific part of your HR functions? For example, our main problems are with getting out jobs posted, cert generated and selected candidates called. Could we take that part of HR and contract with Treasury to do just that piece (or is is an all of HR and all of its functions or nothing proposition)?

Lynn Eddy: Our current operating model allows options for performance of HR office services. You can essentially separate the technology offerings from the HR Office services provided by the Administrative Resource Center. At this point, we have no plans to split the technology, eg: automated staffing from personnel action processing.

Dave, Chicago: Are you subsidized or fully funded by customers?

Lynn Eddy: We are fully funded by customer payments to our working capital fund.

Moderator Jason Miller: This is a great question, Dave. A good many COEs are dealing with this issue about how they are funded. Rep. Todd Platts is looking into the idea of whether federal COEs need to be franchise funds or have working capital funds instead of being governed by the Economy Act. Here is come background that might help.

Jim, Dulles, Virginia: How long did it take to implement HUD?

Lynn Eddy: Just about six months.

Moderator Jason Miller: GCN's story from April 24 highlights HUD's move in some detail.

John, Baltimore, MD: What authority do you use to provide inntra-governmental services? Economy Act?

Lynn Eddy: We use interagency agreements authorized under the Economy Act.

DC - Sue Peterson: What are the 3 biggest hurdles facing your business model in the next couple of years?

Lynn Eddy: The HR LOB model does not "direct" agencies to a provider as was the case with ePayroll. One large hurdle is seeing how well this voluntary model really works in bringing customers to the LOB including Treasury's. The second challenge is probably timing - Treasury is ready today to bring on additional customers to its full suite of HR offerings. And we are awaiting more definitive guidance from OPM and OMB on migration strategy. These are the main two challenges.

Robert: How and why did Treasury get into the HR business?

Lynn Eddy: Treasury was well positioned to be an HR LoB because it had just completed successfully migrating the Treasury bureaus from legacy systems on to a modern COTS platform (HR Connect) in 2004. In addition, because we were designed to support a larger Treasury department we had untapped capacity in terms of infrastructure. So, the HR LOB which was first described in April 2004 seemed like a good fit for us and for the government as a whole.

Washington, DC: You keep refering the the administrative resource center. Who are they? Are they another part of your organization? Do they report to you? It's kind of confusing.

Lynn Eddy: Treasury's HR LOB offering includes backoffice HR services provided by Treasury's Bureau of Public Debt Administrative Resource Center (ARC). ARC provided these services for almost 10 years - in advance of the HR LOB and now has a business relationship under the Treasury HR LOB umbrella.

Vince, Arlington, VA: Can you speak more specifically about the range of HR services provided by the Administrative Resource Center and provide a point contact for them?

Lynn Eddy: Access to ARC and it's full range of HR services (staffing, classification, LER, time and pay, benefits counseling, personnel action processing) is available through our office. Please contact Catherine Conner ([email protected]).

Vienna: This is my first forum. Its very interesting. Do you plan to do more in the future?

Moderator Jason Miller: Thanks. We have another one scheduled for Friday on the Lines of Business with Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and IT. We also have another in the works for May on Systems Modernization. We will do these about once a month or so in connection with special reports.

Vienna, VA: Have you competed for an agency against the other HR LOB's? What was the outcome (i.e. what are/were the three major discriminators)?

Lynn Eddy: Because we are awaiting OPM and OMB migration guidance there have been no formal competitions. However, we feel our 3 major discriminators include: change management (full time on staff organizational development specialist who helps new customers define their business processes), customer service and support through our help desk and training teams, and our proven capability of delivering on time, on schedule implementations.

Mark, Greenbelt, MD: What have you found to be the biggest challenges faced in transitioning from existing customer's operations to your solution?

Lynn Eddy: Because its a fully federalized COTS solution challenges of implementing new customers are reduced. In addition, our current customer base includes non title 5 employees, employees under demonstration projects, and organizations who have already implemented strategic compensation plans. This means HR Connect is well positioned to deliver the kinds of services civil service modernization envisions while reducing the challenges of transitioning new customers.

Cindy - St. Louis: Can you talk more about your corporate governance structure? Where is the COE located within Treasury? Is it located under Central Command?

Lynn Eddy: We are located in Washington DC under the Departmental Offices (Office of the Secretary). Please see the previous question about our configuration control board, Gov. Board, and executive steering board.

Fredericskburg VA: What services does Treasury offer when a customer chooses to migrate to HR Connect?

Lynn Eddy: Project planning, business process re-engineering, training, help desk support, post go-live support. The total package for a successful implementation. We are commited to our customers.

Moderator Jason Miller:

And with that last answer, it's time to wrap up today's forum. Our apologies to those whose questions were not answered; we endeavor to answer as many as we can in the allotted time. Thanks to everyone who participated today, and especially to Lynn for sharing her insights and expertise.

We have another forum, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 5, that will feature Karen Evans, Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and IT, to discuss the nine Lines of Business initiatives that the administration is pursuing.

For the transcsript of this forum, or any other GCN.com online forum, please vist our Forum archive.


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