Co-STAR Award

Lisa Brown, Christine Friedlieb, Bertha Gabrish, Michelle Garvey, Roman Grinberg, Glen Henry, Jessica Martz, James Matyas, Mohammad Muslim, Olha Navalyana, Sara Netzke, Uhuru Epperson-Nyangewso, Barbara Payton, Tyler Pedigo, Sherry Pfleghaar, Manuel Pira and Jay Trevino
Finance and Property Services, Human Resources, and Information Technology departments

Controller Connie Griffith nominated the team for their work on COMET and continuing to meet payroll deadlines while upgrading the City’s payroll and time-and-labor software.

“During the past two years, this team collectively ensured that payroll was paid on time and accurately while also working on the large and complex software upgrade to the City’s PeopleSoft payroll and time-and-labor modules, which are part of the new COMET system. This team worked together to overcome significant obstacles during the software upgrade and create a system that works and will only get better.

“The team’s workload and need to work together to identify and resolve problems became critical during the lengthy testing period from April to August 2015. It was essential that Lisa and Jessica set up and led the team through these efforts and communicated effectively so business requirements were identified and adequately described, appropriate specifications written, and issues and problems addressed. It was essential that each team member entered and reviewed all of the test data and the results of the testing in their payroll areas. Barbara, Mohammad and Roman had to understand the issues, problems, customizations and changes to the software to be able to come up with the technical solutions for the upgrade. 

“The week the upgrade went live, the team had only four days to process payroll under the old system and ensure all paychecks and direct deposits were ready for the following week; payments for taxes and benefit plan vendors and all other processes were completed early so all transactions and information could get over to the financial system in a timely manner. This was especially significant on "go live" weekend as the City was essentially transitioning from one version of the system to a different version, which meant everything that would normally be processed and verified over two to three business days had to be done within hours on the last business day of the old system ... The work got done and the payroll was successfully processed; everyone got paid correctly and on time the next week.

“The old version of the system was successfully migrated to the new version of the system in part because Mohammad spent two days of Labor Day weekend working on all the fixes and doing major, complex development work to ensure all of the customizations and processes would work in the new version and the payroll could get out in the next week.

“The successful upgrade of the payroll and time-and-labor modules (despite many setbacks along the way) and the ability to continue to issue paychecks on time, pay taxes and benefit vendors, and ensure the correct transaction information got over to the City’s financial system is largely due to the collaborative efforts of this group of people. This took a huge amount of effort on the part of all these team members working together to be successful, and their efforts continue. The team continues to work together to identify problems and issues and make improvements.

“This team worked together to overcome significant obstacles during the software upgrade and create a system that works and will only get better.”

Published Feb 23, 2016

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