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Last Post 02/13/2013 4:43 PM by  kw250
LTM
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melclan
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05/18/2010 10:59 AM
    Has anyone implemented any of the LTM products in a health care environment; would you sher the pros & cons and implementation time.

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    John Henley
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    08/20/2010 5:06 PM
    How about in any environment? I have a non-healthcare client looking at LTM (Lawson Talent Management), and I'd be interested in any feedback from existing LTM clients.
    Thanks for using the LawsonGuru.com forums!
    John
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    08/20/2010 8:43 PM
    We are not in Healthcare, but we chose Lawson because our needs are very similar to many healthcare institutions - shifts, multiple supervisors, rates based on specific tasks being performed, multiple locations, etc.

    We implemented LTM for SHRM, Talent Mgt, and Comp Mgt at the beginning of July. At the same time, we also implemented S3 Global HRM, Payroll, Benefits, and Absence Mgt along with the herd of other supporting applications (ESS/MSS, Employee Space/Manager Space/Candidate Space,PFI, LBI, LPD, AddIns, Spreadsheet Designer, etc)

    We have approx 7,000 active employees and approx 25,000 total employees that we loaded. We made the decision (against Lawson's advice) to load employee history as well...which wasn't much fun, but it was necessary in our situation.

    Disclaimer: The opinions stated below are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or coworkers...:crying:

    I think the Landmark product has huge possibilities, but it is very new and we have experienced lots of issues. Part of the reason for this is our specific requirements which required custom actions, processflows, security classes/roles, etc.

    Because the Landmark product is so new, and because of Lawson's typical delivery model, they don't offer the tools/ability to customize very much - including security design. This has made our life more complicated since we have very specific security requirements.

    Most of our employee population only interacts with LTM thru the web-based Employee/Manager/Candidate Spaces. These are adequate, but we really struggle with the fact that we can't modify these spaces at all without utilizing Lawson development resources. This would probably be a non-issue for many companies, but it is a struggle for us as we typically have very specific wants and needs, and we are used to customizing everything to get it to do exactly what we want.

    The HR staff uses the actual LTM "Canvas" application for day-to-day work. This is a java-based application that is designed to be installed and run on the user's computer - though we are publishing it through Citrix.

    Canvas looks very similar to their "Smart Office" product for S3, but it is completely different under the covers. I believe SmartOffice is built in .NET, while canvas is written in Lawson's proprietary pattern language and Java.

    Canvas is a very slick-looking application, and is what most of their demos focused on. It works very slick in their demo...but, of course, they only have a couple-hundred employees loaded. We've found performance to be a significant issue - particularly for our field-HR folks who have Org Unit Security (meaning they can only see the employees at specific HR Org Units). This is a fairly new feature, so it will likely (we hope) improve in the future. Application launch performance is also pretty disappointing. From the time a user launches the application, it will take upwards of a minute to get to the login screen, and another minute to get to the canvas desktop. Takes another 30 sectons or so to open the first data form to query data. After the first form, others open pretty quick. On the server side, the application is a memory and CPU hog.

    The biggest complexity we have found is deciphering where the data lives. It isn't as straightforward as S3, where you can use Ctrl-Shift-O on a field and find the table where the data lives. It is much more complex, which makes the application very powerful, but it make life a nightmare for developers and report writers who have to figure out how to pull specific data out. It requires lots of trial-and-error.

    One of the selling points for us was the ability to drive everything through Actions, which integrate change requests with workflows (built with the LTM version of PFI) - so a manager can submit a request, run it through approvals, and do the update to the system without requiring HR interventions. This probably works great for organizations that are willing to use the delivered actions and flows...but we have created a few dozen custom actions based on the delivered processes and these have been a challenge. I expect it will be several more months before we have all our actions refined and working as we expect. This requires lots of manual auditing and review, some of which is because there is no way for managers to designate "delegates" for when they are on vacation or leave. This means that HR must manually approve any actions that are stalled because a manager is not available to do the approval.

    Because we implemented LTM and S3 at the same time, we are also using the LTM to S3 interface to keep S3 updated. All data entry happens in LTM. This is really a number of separate processflows that are supposed to take any LTM changes and "push" them to S3. This has been painful, but mostly because it is understandably complex. Although some people we've talked to thought this would be an automated process, it really is not. It requires extensive manual hand-holding every step of the way. We run the interface once a day, four days a week (so it doesn't interfere with payroll).

    The interface does have some frustrating issues - mostly because of the different ways LTM and S3 handle data. For example, LTM allows multiple supervisors for a position - like a shift supervisor position where there are 4 shift supervisors that "share" the same employee pool. S3 doesn't have this feature, so the interface just passes the lowest employee number as the "manager" of those employees. Another issue is phone numbers - LTM does not allow user-defined phone types, and doesn't provide any means to map them differently than they way they decided they should map.

    From an HR perspective, the application does provide lots of places to put "stuff" relating to the employee. The one thing that will be frustrating for HR users is the way history is stored. Lawson took the approach of "audit logs" which show everything that has happened to a record. This is an OK approach, except that the data is stored in a way that makes it nearly impossible to query or report out of. A Canvas user can right click on a record and get a step-by-step history of the employee, but there is currently no way to export this data or create a report based on history data (such as an employment history report or job history report). This is something they will have to address in the future - employee history is too important to be non-reportable.

    Implementation took us approx 15 months - but this is for LTM, S3, and everything else. Since we did both systems, we had to do data conversion into both systems...which wasn't very fun. The S3 conversion programs have been around forever and are very solid. The LTM conversion programs are brand-new...we were one of the first two customers to use them...and they were buggy and frustrating. However, because of the pain we went through, they are much better now - Lawson really put a lot of effort into getting them fixed so we could use them.

    Expect to spend lots of time in conference rooms with stakeholders figuring out what your processes need to be, and building your organization structure, job/position structure, pay structure, and everything else that has to be configured. This is extermely painful, but the better you do it on the front end (before trying to build it) the better off you will be.

    Our implementation team consisted of 5 "business" leads (S3 Payroll, S3 Benefits, S3 Absence Mgt, LTM Talent Ack, and LTM SHRM), 2 App Analysts, 2 Developers, 1 project mgr, 2 Security, plus several technical/infrastructure folks). We also had a number of other folks from the business that were more subject matter experts, such as compensation, benefits, location hr, etc. From the Lawson side (Lawson Prof Services), we had a project manager, a technical project manager, and several consultants (2 LTM, 3-4 S3, 2 Security). We pushed Lawson hard for their best consultants - we "fired" at least one LTM consultant because they we're cutting the mustard. We ended up with an outstanding consultant team...but that wan't an accident. We did our previous non-Lawson implementation with bad consultants...and we weren't going to do that again - it makes life too difficult.

    We were very fortunately to have leadership who can and would make decisions when then needed to be made. If you don't have decision makers on your team, don't even bother...it will never happen.

    The LTM product has huge potential, but it will take a bit more time for it to get where it needs to be. Fortunately, Lawson is focusing significant development efforts into this product. I believe they will make huge strides over the next couple of years.

    Although we have had lots of frustration, I still feel we made the right choice. Once the bugs are worked out, it will be exactly what we wanted.

    I hope this is helpful! Good Luck!
    Kelly Meade
    J. R. Simplot Company
    Boise, ID
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    05/20/2011 2:18 PM
    Kelly, curious to know if any of the issues you mentioned have been addressed or improved since your post. Specifically interested in application performance with implementation the Org Unit security, automation of the LTM/S3 interface, and delegation of manager roles. Thanks!
    Woozy
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    05/20/2011 2:48 PM
    Hi HRCompGeek,

    There have been many changes in the Landmark and LTM products since August. We recently upgraded to Landmark 9.2.1 and LTM 3.4.1. This upgrade made significant improvements in several areas.

    Application performance is much improved, and though it is still pretty slow to open, it is better than it was. Org Unit Security performance has been improved, but it is still slower than "open" security - no surprise there.

    The LTM/S3 interface has been completely overhauled with LTM 3.4.1. It has been moved from S3 Pflows to LTM Pflows (S3 pflow is being phased out), and many of the bugs have been worked out. We haven't yet automated this interface process, but I think we could do it now as long as someone was monitoring for errors on a regular (daily) basis. We are planning to automate parts of this interface in the next couple of months (it's lower on the priority list than some of the other stuff we want to do). Part of the reason for the delay is that we want to run these from an external scheduler rather than the delivered Pflow scheduler, but there isn't a lawson utility that makes this easy like there is in S3 so it is more difficult to set up scheduling.

    LTM 3.4 added the ability to assign proxies for managers, so if a manager is going to be out another person can take action for them. This change resulted in some new security roles, and some changes to some of the actions. Because of this, some of our customized security roles, customized actions, and customized pflows had to be updated by Lawson Professional Services so that they work correctly. Not a big deal, but it required a lot of testing.

    There are still issues we're working with Lawson to resolve, but things are generally getting better with each release. We plan to take Landmark 9.2.2 and LTM 3.4.2 in June, which is supposed to fix some of the issues we have reported. The next major release of LTM (3.5) is supposed to add quite a bit to Talent Acq and Performance Management. I believe it will be released this fall, but we probably won't take it until early spring next year.

    I hope this helps.

    Kelly
    Kelly Meade
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    Jung Sun
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    01/18/2012 8:05 AM
    Kelly, would you be willing to do a teleconference with us here at Nationwide Children's Hospital. I'd like to hear more about lessons learned from implementing LTM at J.R. Simplot.  We are about to begin implementing LTM modules TA, Goal, Performance, Compensation Management, and ESS and MSS.   If you are interested in talking with us, please contact me at jungsun.miller@nationwidechildrens.org.  Look forward to hearing from you. This invitation is open to any others who have implemented LTM as well.  Thank you.
    Woozy
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    01/18/2012 9:55 AM
    Hi Jung Sun!

    I’m probably not the best person to chat with regarding the areas you are looking at. I’ve been involved, but more on the development side. I’ll pass your request on to the person who heads up our Lawson team.

    By the way, there is an “informal” LTM User Group that meets via teleconference about once a month. This is a group of folks from a number of companies – I’m thinking 20 or more - that are either using LTM or in the process of implementing LTM. The conversation centers around issues people are experiencing and solutions others have found.  That may be the best resource for you. The person who is moderating that group is Kerry Green (kgreene@affinityassoc.com). I’d strongly recommend contacting him and seeing about joining that group.

    Kelly
    Kelly Meade
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    karenr
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    06/12/2012 4:40 PM
    We have loaded LTM 10 in test and are reviewing the new features and functions. One thing we were told by Lawson during an LTM 10 overview is that they were adding the ability for customers to create user defined fields and add them to certain forms. Has anyone had any experience with this?
    Woozy
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    06/12/2012 5:08 PM
    I haven't used this yet, but I spent considerable time at Inforum with the Landmark/LTM development folks and pestered them with questions on this topic.

    Yes, you will be able to add user defined fields that related to existing business classes.  Theorhetically, there is no limit to the number of userfields that can be created, although there is a limit of 99 userfields that can be included in the LTM/S3 interface.  Note that for these custom userfields, the field configuration and data are stored in separate tables/business classes from the "base" class, so if you add userfields to the EMPLOYEE business class, the field definitions and values will be stored elsewhere.  This really doesn't matter within the application as they will appear to be in the EMPLOYEE business class, but is important if you are planning to query the data using SQL or other non-Lawson tools since the data won't be in the EMPLOYEE database table.

    You will also be able to add these fields to existing forms.  You will also have the ability to move, remove, reformat, change, etc. the existing form layout and fields.

    As far as I know, we will not be able to create new business classes or forms.

    All of this functionality is within their new "Configuration Console" which allows user personalizations, global configuration (both of the above fall in this category), security configuration, and other functions.

    I hope this helps!  Kelly
    Kelly Meade
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    02/08/2013 2:18 AM
    Karner,

    If you have any questions over how to use the Configuration Console I may be able to help you. I have been configuring the LTM Forms for the company I work for and have found that it is not that difficult at all to do.


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    02/12/2013 4:17 PM
    I am a process flow developer and I'm fairly new to Lawson Process Automation.  I've got the hang of the product fairly well, but I'm not sure exactly if there is a built in method for updating the parameters on an action request? For example, if a user triggers the HireResource action, and I want to update a parameter (say the WorkType parameter) via LPA, is there a built in method to do this?

    Thanks.
    Woozy
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    02/12/2013 4:47 PM
    Hi kw250,

    It would probably be better to put this question in a new thread, but I'll answer it here anyway.

    It may be possible to do this, but I'd be very cautious because the action data is stored in more than one business class and it would be a challenge to make it work as you expected. 

    At the very least it would require querying the ActionRequest business class to get the action parameters, parse the xml, find and update the field, rebuild the xml, and finally update the ActionRequest business class with the revised parameters.  However, that action data is also populated in "pending" status on the destination business class, and i'm not sure how that would react if you just update the ActionRequest bc.

    What we do instead is evaluate for incorrect values and return or reject the action if it isn't what is expected and make the submitter do it right.

    Good luck!

    Kelly
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    02/13/2013 4:43 PM
    Thanks so much for your reply.  I do check for the initiator's errors and send it back, however, in S3, we have several processflows that use custom design studio screens, some of which use forms that allow the approver to update values in the flow.  Because we are replacing some of this functionality, I'm trying to replicate that in LPA for LTM.

    I was told by the Infor consultant who did our training that this should be possible via the Landmark node by selecting the action that was used to initiate the process, selecting CreateUpdateDelete, setting the key fields and then selecting and setting the values for the data I want to change, however, this isn't working for us right now.

    I was hoping someone else out there would have some idea about how this should work.

    I'll start a new thread to fish for some responses.

    Thanks again.
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