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Last Post 10/04/2010 4:11 PM by  Julie A Eby
Dedicated Resources After Go-Live
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Craig Derksen
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09/09/2010 9:48 AM
    My organization is currently in the implementation stage of 9.0.1 Technology/Applications, as well as LBI and ESS/MSS for Human Capital Management. We have approximately 250 Technology users and 8,000 ESS users. It certainly is a handful managing the day to day needs of our functional and business units during this stressful time.

    The question that keeps coming up is how many staffing resources should be dedicated on a go-forward basis to the upkeep of the system. According to our Statement of Work for the implementation, we need to have a dedicated System Administrator, Database Administrator, Project Manager, and Business Function Coordinator. How many of these resources will be required full-time once the system has gone live? I am assuming that an LBI administrator will also be needed, as well as a Security Administrator. Has anyone encountered the need for other staffing resources that are not mentioned above?

    I would certainly welcome any advice that you could provide,

    Craig Derksen
    City of Columbus, Ohio
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    mark.cook
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    09/09/2010 10:30 AM
    We are a healthcare facility with 4000 employees(ess) users, 700 RSS users/approvers, 9.01 Technology, apps, LBI, Process Flow, Design Studio, MSCM, ect.

    We are structured to have our DBA and PMO handle other products and project than just Lawson. In addition the Lawson team in IT is Sys Adm, 2 Application support analyst and 2 development (DS, PFLOW, LBI) analysts and myself as the team lead. From what you wrote above the key will be who is supporting the application in terms of errors/ patch needs/analysis/business process improvement? The other question is who will develop LBI content, mods, custom DS forms, and process flows.

    You should plan to put the latest MSP/ESP at least once a year with all that is included with testing and migrating that to PROD.

    Security admin depending on structure and amount of changes to your roles/rules/classes could be a part time task. That skill set can be included with one of the others you are looking for. One of our development analysts is also our security guru.

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    Craig Derksen
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    09/10/2010 2:42 PM
    Much of what you mentioned above has been discussed internally, so I am glad we are on the right track. Unfortunately, the two questions you raise are the same we are attempting to deal with: "Who is supporting the application in terms of errors/ patch needs/analysis/business process improvement? The other question is who will develop LBI content, mods, custom DS forms, and process flows."

    As a public sector entity, we have to be very cognizant of how our staffing resources are utilized and how our constituents perceive our use of their tax money. The direction we need to follow is one of maximizing our cost savings -- Unfortunately, although using dedicated resources may make the most sense to the members of the project team and of the various business units, the justification for "pulling resources away from other tasks" must be sold to the executive sponsors.

    Having said that, what we would really like to learn from the group is: When it comes to identifying "dedicated" staff for a Lawson team, are there any positions that should not be assigned as ad-hoc requests come in? For instance, if the security is stable and only needs updates for terminations, reassignments, etc., is a full-time security admin needed? At the same time, if there are programming needs (we have 4GL customizations), even though there is a larger pool of developers available if non-dedicated resources are used, does the accessibility of a dedicated developer with hands-on Lawson experience outweigh the larger resource pool? Ideally, any real-world experiences that can be shared where either over-staffing or under-staffing occurred would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
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    stephanie
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    09/13/2010 4:45 AM
    We, too, are public sector - 10500 ESS users, approximately 75 core users. We're in the process of adding to our dedicated group - we have 2 FT application support positions, and will have 2 sys admin/engineering spots. Right now, since we only have one sys engineer, we are supplementing some custom work with a contractor, who works with the app support side. The app support determines viable change requests, support day to day users, oversee project management, determines functionality roll outs, etc. Our tech spots handle security changes, patching (based on app support recommendations), upgrades, ESPs, etc. Up until now, we've made do with 2 app support and one tech spot, but it hasn't been easy. At least with 4 spots, we won't have any real single points of failure, but having an extremely cohesive team helps.
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    CindyW
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    09/16/2010 12:37 PM
    Public Sector here, too. Probably no more than 250 "back-office" users, and an ESS population of 16000 staff (we are a large school district). We have a support team of 5, though we all have additional business systems that we support as well (although I should make it clear that Lawson is far and away our main priority - Payroll RULES. :P )

    Our team consists of 1 team lead (very techy and hands-on), 3 developer/analysts, and 1 sys-admin/analyst. We have 2 DBAs that are not dedicated to any particular system, and I really don't beleive that Lawson consumes a high percentage of their day. We do not have a single person dedicated to security - most of the day-to-day security changes are handled by our help-desk staff. Anything over that, the sys-admin handles.
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    Darin
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    10/01/2010 5:12 PM
    Most of the organizations with which I've worked have struggled with this topic, you are definitely not alone. My experience through the last 4 installations is as a contract LBI resource. I usually start a few months before go-live and finish the last of my passdown/training a few months after the dust has settled. In all cases, the dedicated personnel needs for Lawson change after the first few months of using a live system. What is needed before go-live is training, education, help and support for the change management aspect of learning a new system. Once Lawson has been live for a few closing cycles and a payrolls, then the system starts to give back huge returns in the timeliness of reporting tools based on the dashboards, reports, smart notes and potentially process flows. People are beginning to be quite comfortable with the new system and now you need resources who can handle all the new requested enhancements (new reports, flows, triggers, notes, etc.) Throughout this all you need competent technical resources to ensure the system stays stable (patch management, security, server work, database work, etc.) Now, this can all be done by a small team whose roles overlap and are good at diverse tasks. Usually it's done by outside contractors and dedicated Lawson employees before go-live (who work extensively with the existing technical staff of the company,) and some form of contract/permanent employee after go-live with support for major incidents (year end close) from Lawson folks. The size of the organization does matter to a point, but even at the largest I've seen (>$2B annual revenue, over 50k employees) the system can be handled by one or two dedicated technical resources. The ongoing support however varies greatly with the org chart. Big companies have a team of people with dedicated resources in each functional area of LBI, Payroll, HR and any other suite that requires ongoing work. Small shops (<$100M annual rev and hundreds of employees) have most of the support done by a handful of generalists that each take on multiple areas of responsibility. After the first year (and might be MUCH shorter), the routine will have settled in and the only blips will be new initiatives from upper management to implement the organization's long term goals (and generally the real reason Lawson was chosen in the first place.) For that, YMMV since it all depends on the scope of those projects. Best wishes & hth.
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    Kevin Cubillas
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    10/04/2010 10:26 AM
    Hello Craig,

    Former school district employee here and as part of leadership there, this topic was always on my mind. To answer your question directly, I think you would be best served to have dedicated development staff on hand. The number and skill set can vary depending on your needs but having them on hand is much better than contractors. I am a contractor now so it pains me to say this.

    As far as 'administrative' type tasks go, you will typically not need a full time person just for Lawson. It's just not a full time job to 'admin' Lawson apps and LBI. So typically your admins will also participate in some development type work or perhaps admin other systems. Having a dedicated Lawson development staff who thoroughly knows Lawson is invaluable. The number of staff and their desired skill set is debatable. It all depends on where you see the majority of your work. For example, if you have 4gl customs but the ongoing work is minimal, then maybe you farm that out and make your internal staff application and LBI (Crystal, Process Flow, SmartNotes) experts. It would definately be in your best interest that the LBI developers be Lawson functional experts.

    Now selling these ideas to executive sponsors is another matter. While I wasn't entirely successful at this at the school district I came from, I do have a lot of ideas and talking points if you'd like to continue this discussion. I'd be happy to share with you my experience in attempting to sell the idea of investing in technology to a govenment entity. A difficult proposition to say the least but not impossible.

    Kevin Cubillas
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    Julie A Eby
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    10/04/2010 4:11 PM
    Do any of the organizations on this topic have PSA added to the mix? When you add this load to a System Admin/Security Admin (we have one resource that does this - and we are outsourced for application management/database/servers etc), it becomes nearly a full-time job.
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