WaveLink: Episode 3

The WaveLink: Episode 3 video is here, with:

  • A message from SBCTC’s Mike Scroggins (thanks to FirstLink colleges, some lessons learned and next steps)
  • ctcLink staff spotlight on Ciber’s Joe Carl
  •  An introduction to the Lucidchart tool for mapping out business processes
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Wave 1 go-live update

Status on the Wave 1 go-live date was mentioned in this post. It wasn’t official then, but we can now say that August 2016 will not be the go-live date for Wave 1. Wave 1 leadership, the project team and other system-wide stakeholders have been in conversation about an alternative go live date. The next step is an evaluation involving impacted stakeholders (followed by a recommendation) of an alternative date for Wave 1 colleges to switch over to ctcLink.


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ctcLink status update and a WaveLink video

The stabilization phase for FirstLink colleges continues as ctcLink project staff and college staff work together and diligently through the remaining issues in the new system. The IRS forms (W2s, 1099s, 1098-Ts) are complete following a rigorous process to validate data in both the old system and ctcLink to make up the correct, combined tax information for 2015. A huge thanks to everyone involved!

The entire project team’s main focus remains on FirstLink colleges’ stabilization. On February 8, the communication model for FLC support will shift from all day, open web/phone lines to an as-needed basis. The online ctcLink Service Desk will be the initial point of contact for logging issues and requesting assistance. If a quick phone call is needed to help clarify or resolve the issue, ctcLink support staff will call or if a WebEx would be beneficial, they may suggest a quick online session.

In addition, Andy Duckworth’s training and organizational change management team have begun the process of updating and creating some new quick reference guides, creating lecture videos and learning assessments, and refining the ctcLink business process diagrams for the ctcLink Canvas classrooms. This material will provide quick how-tos to immediately assist FirstLink college staff, and will also aid in preparing for future hands-on instructional sessions at the ctcLink training classroom in Olympia. “Initially, these tools are meant to help facilitate knowledge transfer and a deeper understanding of ctcLink for FirstLink staff, but ultimately, all wave colleges will soon benefit from the various forms of training tools we’re creating,” Andy said.

Speaking of Andy…if you have a few minutes, check out his team’s latest WaveLink video. A portion of the video was filmed at Clark College, in the heart of Penguin Nation!

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Introducing the “WaveLink” video series

SBCTC’s Andy Duckworth and team have launched their first in a series of videos for the upcoming wave implementations of the ctcLink system. There will be a focus on Wave 1 this year, but the videos will be posted here for everyone to see.

Here’s the first video: WaveLink: Episode 1.

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Wave 1 go-live date and other ctcLink news…

Those of you who work at one of the Wave 1 colleges may have already heard that Wave 1 project leads have requested an October 24, 2016 go-live date (rather than August 2016). The request is based on a detailed review by Wave 1 project leads of all of the activities that currently take place around the end of summer quarter and the beginning of fall quarter and what would be the best and least disruptive for students. The request was discussed at the presidents’ meeting (WACTC) last week and next steps are for ctcLink and SBCTC leadership to review the project schedule, discuss the recommendation with the ctcLink Steering Committee and get any changes to the schedule approved by the state’s oversight agency for state IT projects.

At their meeting, the presidents also voted to standardize the Chart of Accounts and related codes in ctcLink. The group will be asking the Business Affairs Commission (BAC) to form a subcommittee to work on this project along with the SBCTC Finance staff. Also related to ctcLink, Dr. Ryan Carstens, president at Spokane Community College, was formally nominated to represent WACTC on the ctcLink Steering Committee. Welcome Ryan!

Back at project headquarters, the joint SBCTC/Ciber project team continues to support FirstLink colleges through the stabilization period. Issues are being addressed daily as college staff phone or “WebEx” in to the team rooms to ask questions and get support in using the new software system. The Campus Solutions team is getting the most business, averaging about 15 calls per day. The other dedicated teams available to take calls are Finance, HR/Payroll and General Ledger. Simultaneously, the ctcLink Service Desk tickets are also being addressed. Only seven percent of all tickets logged remain open and we are down to twenty-some tickets that are currently marked “critical” or “urgent.” Thanks to all team members and everyone at the FirstLink colleges for working together to resolve the issues as they arise.

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Stabilization period for FirstLink colleges continues

Campus Solutions Room

The Campus Solutions team is available via WebEx and an open phone line from 8-5 pm to assist FirstLink college staff in areas such as Financial Aid, Student Financials, Student Records, and all other PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules. The other pillars (Finance, HR, Payroll) are also working together in separate conference rooms in Olympia to assist FirstLink college staff.

Last week, the ctcLink project put a revised support model in place to better assist FirstLink colleges (FLCs) through the ctcLink stabilization phase. The FLCs and ctcLink Support Team continue to use the online ticketing system to request assistance and document solutions, but the team is also now available via web conference and open phone lines for individuals or teams at the FLCs to get immediate assistance on processes or issues as they come across them throughout the workday.

ctcLink Project Director Dennis Colgan said the revised model seems to be working well. “We’ve received positive feedback from both Spokane and Tacoma colleges,” he said. “Not only has the team been able to significantly resolve the number of critical and urgent tickets in the online ticketing system, but we’ve also heard from college subject matter experts that they appreciate the immediate and personal access they have to the project team.”

The Stabilization phase for FLCs is expected to continue through December. In addition, project leadership is putting a significant amount of focus on prepping implementation activities for Wave 1 colleges, which are currently scheduled to switch over to the ctcLink system in late August 2o16. (As a reminder, Wave 1 colleges are: Clark, Columbia Basin, Grays Harbor, Green River, Lower Columbia, Peninsula and Pierce).


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ctcLink project update

The ctcLink project team continues to support FirstLink colleges during their stabilization period. Beginning this week, most of the Ciber/SBCTC project team staff joined forces with the ctcLink/ERP Support Team in Olympia to focus on the outstanding critical and urgent “trouble tickets” that have been logged with the service desk. With everyone working together in one place to address the critical issues, while also supporting FirstLink colleges remotely, 13 of the critical issues have been resolved in the last few days. There is definitely more work to do, but as TCC’s Andy Duckworth said, “It’s awesome to see that kind of progress in such a short time.” There is also a daily status call with FirstLink college project managers to address the issues and progress of the day.

A handful of project staff remained on-site at Tacoma and Spokane to support the Finance departments and another group in the Bellevue office is focusing on the “high, medium and low” service tickets.

In addition, some changes to project leadership are underway. J.C. Chappell is now the ctcLink Senior Project Manager. He has been with the ctcLink project since Ciber came on board in February 2013, so he is definitely a familiar face. He was Ciber’s program director for the ctcLink project, but now J.C. will assume the role of senior project manager.  He has 31 years of experience in the information technology industry, specializing in managing large, complex programs and projects in a wide range of industry environments.

Also, as reported earlier this month at various meetings, Dennis Colgan is now the ctcLink Project Director for SBCTC. Dennis replaces Barbara Martin who announced her retirement coming up in January (congrats Barbara!). Dennis was most recently the Wave 1 coordinator (Jason Gordon has transitioned from Wave 2 coordinator to Wave 1 to fill that role). Dennis has been involved with the project from the early stages. He was a member of the ctcLink Vendor Evaluation and Selection Committee (VEST) and is a past member of the ctcLink Steering Committee. Dennis has been with the community and technical college system for nearly 20 years, at both Highline and South Seattle colleges.

Posted in FirstLink Colleges | 1 Comment