Time & Attendance SAP ERP Implementation

DATA MODELING, CONVERSION AND REPORTING

Saturn Systems worked with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), to assist in the implementation of a very large scale SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation project. NAVSEA was interested in reducing maintenance costs, raising the level of business system integration and reliability and increasing top-down visibility of both short and long-term financial assets.

About the client

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) designs, builds, delivers and maintains ships and security systems for the United States Navy.

THE CHALLENGE

NAVSEA maintained multiple applications and computing platforms, deployed at various sites, to implement business functions such as procurement, asset inventory, contracts and time and attendance for civilian federal employees. These applications interfaced with Department of Defense (DoD) payroll and Accounts Payable (A/P) platforms via text file transfers. Many of these business systems had been in use for decades. Written in COBOL and other mainframe business languages, these legacy systems became increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.

As part of a Navy wide initiative, NAVSEA was scheduled to decommission their old business systems as they ported their business functions into a new SAP ERP system. ERP implementations are difficult under the best of circumstances and the level of risk and complexity increases with the size and bureaucracy of the organization.

Saturn Systems was assigned the Technical Lead role in converting legacy Time and Attendance (T&A) records into the new SAP ERP system, adhering to the following requirements:

  1. Seamlessly transfer active (unpaid) time and attendance records from the legacy system into the SAP ERP system with no disruption to NAVSEA employee paychecks.
  2. Convert T&A records from ten NAVSEA installations, located primarily on the east and west coasts, each with their own payroll system nuances.
  3. All input records must be 100% accounted for in the ERP system. No records will be left behind.
  4. Maximize automation and minimize manual data entry and correction.
  5. Input records must be processed and queued for import into the ERP system within 45 minutes of receipt.
  6. The conversion process and software must be developed and tested within 9 months.
  7. Identify conversion requirements and success criteria while working with teams of subject matter experts (SME’s) over 3 times zones.

Our SOLUTION

The most crucial aspect of this project was assembling the right mix of project leaders and support personnel among the ten participating NAVSEA sites, followed by establishing a highly agile project plan, executed by a seasoned project manager and backstopped by escalation procedures to address potential showstoppers.

From the beginning, it was assumed the custom conversion software would not be able to convert 100% of the legacy records and SME’s would have to manually enter some records into SAP. But based on strict time constraints, the goal was to engineer the process and software to a point that manual intervention would be minimized.

After an initial requirements gathering phase between our development group and the NAVSEA SMEs, the software and reports were developed, refined and tested during a series of five dry runs. Knowledge from each dry run functioned as inputs to further refine the conversion process and algorithms and increase the speed and conversion efficiency of the software. Later dry runs revealed the necessity to develop reconciliation reports that would become the key tool for technicians to confirm that all records were successfully transferred, either automatically or manually, from the legacy systems to the SAP ERP System. All software code was fully unit and system tested through a series of mock conversions before the final conversion was performed.

Figure 1 – Process Flow Diagram

NAVSEA Process Flow Diagram

The RESULTS

Through extreme attention to detail and a focus on continuous process improvement, over a period of nine months, the final conversion effort of over 1 million records was executed with 100% accuracy within the allocated time windows.