We recently spoke with Nancy Eavenson, Senior HRIS Specialist/Team Leader at Cru, about their Fluid User Interface journey. Nancy helped shed some light on why and how Cru decided to implement Fluid, as well as what went well and what obstacles they had to overcome in the process.
- Focus on and allow sufficient time for security
- Fluid users are liking the amount of personalization
- Navigation collections and work centers can help users adapt to fluid
Cru is a non-profit ministry devoted to winning people to Christ, building them up in discipleship and sending them out to continue sharing the good news that eternal salvation is provided through the work of Christ for all those who would believe and follow Him as Lord. They have several ministries in the U.S. that reach targeted audiences in various population groups including students, families, career professionals, athletes, diplomats, the military and other groups. Cru has 7,640 employees and an additional 1,121 volunteers as of January 2017.
Cru began using PeopleSoft in 1994. They started with the HCM and Financials products and built out a custom donor system using PeopleSoft Tools. In 2015, Cru upgraded to HCM 9.2, followed by an upgrade to PeopleTools 8.55 in November 2016. In 2017, Cru upgraded to Financial 9.2 with PeopleTools 8.55 and is now using the fluid pages. Their products used within HCM include Base Benefits, Payroll for North America, Candidate Gateway and Profile Management. Cru used to use Performance Management, but transitioned to a home-grown tool. Their Human Resource Information Systems team consists of five members with an application team of three for Human Resources and one that works primarily with Financials. Additionally, there is a product manager who also works closely with PSHR and Financials tools/projects.
What were the drivers for CRU to begin using Fluid User Interface?
The main driver was the necessity to upgrade to 9.2 and 8.55. Another was the desire to have a way for users to access the system using phones and tablets as well as traditional laptops and desktops.
Where and how are you using Fluid?
Fluid was enabled by default as a part of our upgrade to 9.2 while, at the same time, the ability to use Classic was deactivated. We went ahead and turned on some of the Fluid ESS pages including Paychecks, Personal Details and some of the consent pages. We used some of the delivered Navigation Collections in optimized mode and set them up as tiles. We also created many of our own Navigation Collections and set them up as tiles as well. We created many WorkCenters for our admins including HR, Personnel Records, Benefits, Payroll, and Reimbursements WorkCenters and made them accessible through unique tiles. We also created dashboards or homepages and published them as tiles for conveying information about training or technical help videos as well as instructions for the system.
How are you rolling out Fluid User Interface to your end users (e.g. Pilot, Phased, Big Bang, etc.)?
For HR, we rolled it out with our upgrade to PeopleTools 8.55 and Financials is doing the same. We had a large UAT group with staff chosen from various ministries with the hope that their familiarity with navigation from testing would equip them to be the experts for their areas. We created short one to two minute informational videos and communicated in the weeks leading up to the upgrade showing them what to expect. When we sent the email with the go live info, we included four links to video help for basic issues including clearing their cache, enabling pop ups, adding tiles, etc. We also embedded these links in a custom technical help dashboard. This dashboard was added as a tile on a custom help menu item that was enabled in everyone’s menu list.
What was your experience in deploying Fluid and what did you learn that other customer could benefit from?
Security took longer to sort out than expected. Also, a lot of the Fluid pages can be found in Components with FL at the end of the menu name like PY_EMPLOYEE_FL. If you do a search of %FL for the components, you will see them all and can choose the ones you need. Furthermore, web libraries and web services became more important for us to maintain. In addition, security had to be worked out for the tiles and homepages that we wanted available for our roles. We had to refine our set up before tiles and some of the other features worked well. Finally, we’ve had ongoing issues with browser cache history from the testing phase forward so we created short narrated videos to show staff how to clear their cache (among other things) and set the videos up on a help dashboard we created.
What obstacles, if any, did you encounter in deploying Fluid?
We had a lot of pushback concerning the lack of breadcrumbs. We tried to help people by creating as many customized WorkCenters as was practical, but people just didn’t like losing their breadcrumbs. As I mentioned before, security took longer than we expected. We also had some issues with Recruiting Solutions but that may have been due to our customizations.
What concerns, if any, did your company have in deploying Fluid?
Security – the need for it to function well and still be secure. Also, losing breadcrumbs for accessibility for our end users. The look totally changed and that required some intentional change management. We actually had less problems with this upgrade than others because of the communication steps and tools we provided our users for the upgrade. The most predominate issues we had after the upgrade had to do with browser caching.
Are you deploying Fluid as delivered? If not, how customized/modified are you and why?
We modified certain roles that released more than we were ready to use. We cloned them and narrowed down the rights to suit where we were. We built most of the WorkCenters we use from scratch. Our Recruiting pages are customized and there are a few custom fields on several other delivered pages, including Job Data. We have a whole menu of custom pages that we have created to handle the support side of our ministry among other things.
Since deploying Fluid, what benefits have you seen for you and your company?
More people have been able to use pages more easily with tablets and mobile phones using the new interface. Users like being able to add tiles themselves and arrange them as they prefer.
Where do you want to take your company’s Fluid strategy in the next two to three years?
We want to create more custom Navigation Collections/WorkCenters/tiles to meet user needs. We would like to bring up life events and use more ESS functions as well as Manager Self Service along with Organization Viewer and Charts.
How involved was your company in utilizing the Quest community, or any other user group, during the upgrade process?
We were, and are, extremely involved with Quest and other Oracle groups. We attended COLLABORATE and RECONNECT. We attended relevant Quest webinars to get information that could help and looked through the content library for presentation recordings and slides both on the Quest website and Oracle’s Advisor Webcast website. We got involved with Special Interest Groups, User Groups and panel discussions to ask targeted questions. We also made use of Quest and My Oracle Support by posting questions in those communities’ forums.
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