Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time and Labor enrollment through Template Based Hire

Enrollment of employees into Time and Labor is a pre-requisite in every PeopleSoft Time and Labor implementation. Most implementations have a custom enrollment process to automate the assignment of Time and Labor attributes to employees. We want to present the option of using Template Based Hires (Smart Hire) to drive the initial Time and Labor enrollment of employees. Template Based Hire is a powerful functionality in PeopleSoft Workforce Administration module, that can be used to fasten the data entry related to hiring an employee in PeopleSoft. Using Template Based Hire, we can create custom templates containing only the fields that are relevant to a company/position. Defaulting of values can also be done for the fields and this helps in reducing the data entry requirements. A Template Based Hire template is made up of multiple sections. Each section contains a list of fields pertaining to a certain functional area. There are delivered Template Sections related to Time and Labor enrollment functionality, that can be added to a Template Based Hire template. If employees using a certain Template have common Time and Labor attributes, the values of the T&L attributes can also be defaulted through the Template Based Hire setup.
This solution of using Template Based Hire templates for Time and Labor enrollment can be applied to implementations where the Time and Labor enrollment details of employees do not change frequently. In such cases, customers might have a lower Total Cost of Ownership using Template Based Hire templates rather than developing a custom process to automate the entire enrollment. 
a screenshot of a Template section related to Time and Labor is given below:

Template Section related to Time and Labor added in a TBH Template
This post is authored by HRoi Consulting - The PeopleSoft Time and Attendance experts.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Design Flaw in PeopleSoft Work Schedule Defaults and design in Oracle Fusion HCM

For a Human Resources ERP suite, PeopleSoft HCM has excellent Time and Attendance features. One area that is highly under-appreciated (but lauded by customers when they see the complete potential!) is the Schedule Management features in PeopleSoft Time and Labor and Absence Management. Some of the features, like the ability to define flexible work schedules, ability to create work schedules on the fly, integrated Time Calendar views with Time, Absence and Training information etc. are very exciting and useful. In this post, I want to highlight a glaring flaw in the design of the work schedule defaulting feature in PeopleSoft. A Work Schedule can be attached at multiple levels in PeopleSoft HCM, for eg:
a. At the employee level in the Assign Work Schedule page (underlying datastructure is SCH_ASSIGN)
b. At the Absence Management/Global Payroll Paygroup level
c. At the Payroll for North America Paygroup level
d. At the Time and Labor workgroup level

If a work schedule is not directly attached to an employee, PeopleSoft follows a specific hierarchy to resolve the work schedule that has to be assigned. In this hierarchy, Absence Management/Global Payroll paygroup takes precedence over Payroll for North America paygroup, which takes precedence over Time and Labor workgroup.
In our opinion, it is not a good practice to default a work schedule from a Paygroup or Workgroup. The primary purpose of a Paygroup/Workgroup is to group employees with similar pay/absence/time characteristics together and is not to group employees working similar schedules. The fact that Absence Management/Global Payroll paygroups take precedence over other definitions makes the case more rigid in our opinion. This is because, the Global Payroll/Absence Management organisational and processing frameworks are extremely flexible. It is possible to define very generic paygroups and then drive application of specific rules to concerned group of employees through the use of conditional processing elements or even payee level overrides. An optimal design of Absence Management/Global Payroll frameworks should make use of this inherent product flexibility and design simple,lean and flat frameworks. The simpler the configuration, the more generic will be the assignment of paygroups, i.e. most employees will share the same paygroup. But, most often it is required to have more specific groupings for the purpose of work schedule defaults. So a simplistic Absence Management/Global Payroll framework design will not help in proper defaulting of work schedules. We have seen many legacy Time and Attendance applications (applications from which the client moved to PeopleSoft Time and Attendance) where the time processing rules were tightly tied to the work schedule of employees. This is our mind is similar to the concept of tying a work schedule to a paygroup/workgroup. But, all these systems suffered from the complexity introduced by the tight coupling of rule processing groups and schedules and the same deficiency exists in PeopleSoft as well.
My suggestion to the PeopleSoft Time and Labor/Absence Management product managers would be to take a relook at the schedule default options in PeopleSoft and provide a mechanism to default work schedules from a data definition that is more attuned with the actual business process of wok schedule assignments. In our opinion, Jobcodes and especially Positions are excellent candidates for this. From an operational point of view, employees in a certain jobcode or position have more probability of sharing a work schedule that those in the same paygroup (ofcourse the challenge of global implementations and shared jobcodes/positions do come in here, but we believe that these definitions are better candidates for work schedule defaults than a paygroup).

In this context, we want to introduce the work schedule defaulting features available in Oracle Fusion HCM. In Fusion HCM, the hierarchy of work schedule resolution is given below:
  1. Primary assignment of the worker
  2. Position
  3. Job
  4. Department
  5. Location
  6. Legal Employer
  7. Enterprise
It's excellent to see that Oracle Fusion HCM offers a more flexible and elaborate work schedule assignment mechanism, which in our opinion is more in tune with the business requirements. We do hope that the PeopleSoft design team takes a cue from the Oracle Fusion HCM design and provides a more flexible work schedule defaulting design.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To GP or not to GP, that is the question!

One of the most prevalent configurations in a combined Time and Labor/Absence Management implementation is to have payroll processed by a third party vendor. So, in this configuration Time and Labor and Absence Management will be processed in PeopleSoft, while payroll will be handled by a third party payroll system. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Workforce Administration related data is passed to the payroll vendor using a custom process. The question we are discussing in this post is, what should be the Pay System chosen for assignment in Job data for employees in such a configuration? Should we assign Payroll Interface as the Pay System or should it be Global Payroll?
Common wisdom might suggest to use Payroll Interface, as the customer is not implementing PeopleSoft Global Payroll per se. But, our recommendation is to use 'Global Payroll' as the Pay System in Job data for employees. The reason behind this is many folds:
1. It eliminates the need for extra configurations to get Payroll Interface up and running.
2. Assignment of paygroup at Job data level becomes much easier as extra fields related to Payroll Interface paygroup need not be populated.
3. Integration between Absence Management and Time and Labor is possible only with pay systems of Global Payroll and Payroll for North America. Probably this is one of the most compelling reasons to choose Global Payroll as the pay system in such a configuration.

So, we strongly recommend implementations to use Global Payroll as the pay system of employees in Job data in configurations with T&L and Absence Management implemented in PeopleSoft and payroll housed outside PeopleSoft and not utilising the PI engine to send workforce administration/benefits data to the payroll vendor.

This post is authored by HRoi Consulting - The PeopleSoft Time and Attendance experts.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fifty is the new thirty: Implications to Time and Attendance policies and systems

Seth's Godin's blog today touches upon a very topical subject - that of the challenges of an ageing population. The content of his post is pasted below:
"Baby boomers continue to redefine our culture, because there's just so many of us, we're used to being the center of attention.
Add into that the fact that we're living much longer and careers are becoming more flexible and it's pretty clear that in just about every cultural respect, fifty year olds are living, acting and looking more like thirty year olds every day.
This changes more than personal financial planning. It changes the marketing of every service and product aimed at consumers--and yet most traditional advertisers are stuck in the mindset that thirty is the end of your chance to find a new customer or build a new brand."

Much has been said and written about managing a multi-generational workforce, increasing the age of retirement, integrating older workers to the workforce etc. These factors have become a necessity for many countries to remain productive and there is no doubt in our minds that we will see policies and legislations to encourage and integrate older workers to the workforce.
This change will ofcourse call forth features in Time and Attendance product design that supports a multi-generational workforce. Time and Attendance products have been providing slick, mobile based applications in line with the current trend. But, probably the product design requirements for an older workforce is way different from that of the younger generation and it would be interesting to see how Time and Attendance product companies react to this change in employee demographics!
A more compelling challenge would be for the HR departments to design Time and Attendance policies that will support the integration of an older workforce into the organisation.
In our assessment, this impending change will translate into a unique market opportunity for Time and Attendance product/consulting companies. We foresee a niche market for T&A products that offer features supporting older workers in the workforce.

Oracle verified integration by Cesium - Time Clocks for PeopleSoft Time and Labor

Friday, March 16, 2012

Microsoft Outlook integration for Absence Management in PeopleSoft 9.2: Update

In a previous post, we had talked about the integration that Oracle will be providing to Microsoft Outlook from PeopleSoft Absence Management. We had mused upon the level of integration that Oracle will provide for this feature. If a sneak peek we got has it right, Oracle has designed a bi-directional integration between Absence Management and Microsoft Outlook. This feature is bringing in the functionality to request absences from....hold your breath - Microsoft Outlook!! Now, that is one of the best functionalities I've seen in PeopleSoft Time and Attendance over the last few releases (the integration of Absence requests in Time and Labor and integration to OWS would ofcourse top my list!). Oracle would be delivering an add-in to MicroSoft outlook with fields similar to the Absence Request page in PeopleSoft, from where you can directly request for an absence.
Seeing is believing for me and I would really wait to see this in action before being excited about this functionality. There are a lot of scenarios that this integration would have to cover like:
1. Absence edit/cancel functionalities: Will we have these features in the Outlook version and will they be synchronised with what exists in the Absence Request History page?
2. Will it be possible to adjust the absence dates by simply moving the absence event in the Outlook calendar?
3. Will forecasting be supported in the Outlook add-in?
4. Will user fields be supported in the Outlook add-in?
5. Will there be support to report half day/partial hour leaves? Will there be support for a true start time/end time based absence reporting which is supported by Outlook? (Oracle Absence Management product managers - it is extremely imperative to have an absence management system where employees can report accurate Start and End time. This is a pretty common requirement outside USA and has implications to payroll calculations in many countries. It is a pity that PeopleSoft doesn't support this and defends by saying that Absence Management is not a punch time based system!)
6. Is there integration from Absence Event page to an employee's Outlook or is it only supported for self service based leaves?
7. Are translations supported in the Outlook add-in?
8. If a customisation is done to some of the fields in the Absence Request page in PeopleSoft, how will that affect the Outlook add-in?

One of the main reasons why I am upbeat about this functionality is because it brings enterprise functions to the desktops/tablets - which is the way to go. The fact that you can carry out enterprise transactions through desktop applications is greatly enabling for an employee and in turn the organisation. Another major advantage of this feature will be the ability to present a team calendar of absences. With absence events coming over to Outlook Calendar, employees can easily look up the planned absences of their colleagues, which is a commonly requested functionality during implementations.
Note to customers when you implement this functionality:
Ensure that you run through all possible use cases of Absence reporting to ensure that this add-on covers all valid business cases. Also look at how you would be keeping the ESS Absence Request functionality in sync with the Outlook add-in features.

This post is authored by HRoi Consulting - The PeopleSoft Time and Attendance Experts. Email us at to see how you can leverage ROI on your PeopleSoft Time and Attendance investments.

Effective California Meal Penalty management using Time Clocks in PeopleSoft

Wage and Hour legal requirements in Calfornia necessitates that all non-exempt employees should get 30 minutes of uninterrupted meal break after working for 5 hours. If there is a violation of this law, employers are supposed to pay a penalty to the employee. It is a common requirement to encode this rule into PeopleSoft Time and Labor for CA based implementations. We have seen instances where employees get around this rule by cleverly clocking in 2 or 3 minutes prior to the 30 minute meal break period (that is, taking a meal break for 27 or 28 minutes instead of 30) and thus getting entitled for the meal penalty payment. For companies with a significant non-exempt population, this can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll leakage. An effective way in which we have reduced the abuse of this rule is to take advantage of the capabilities at the time clock level. In PeopleSoft Time and Labor implementations with an integration to a Time Clock (or a Time Collection Device in PeopleSoft parlance), we have got the time clock vendor to put a restriction at the clock side to prevent employees from clocking In from their meal breaks prior to 30 minutes. This means that if an employee tries to clock in after 28 minutes of meal break, the clock will issue an error message to the effect that 'You have not completed your 30 minutes of stipulated meal break' and prevent the employee from clocking in. If there are scenarios where it is required by business urgency for the employee to clock in, we can designate a supervisor who can override this restriction.
When you are designing your Time and Labor system, make sure that all potential areas of Payroll leakage is being addressed and an integrated system solution can surely help prevent these costly leakages!

This post is authored by HRoi Consulting - The PeopleSoft Time and Attendance experts

Locking timesheet during payroll run: Planned Oracle enhancement

Customers (especially those using punch time reporting) have always had the need to lock out timesheets during payroll processing period to prevent changes to processed time related data. There have been some interesting discussions on ITToolbox regarding this as well. Traditionally, there has been no delivered mechanism to achieve this requirement. But, looks like good news is round the corner! Reading some of the product direction documents from Oracle tell me that Time and Labor product development team is envisaging incorporating a feature to lock out timesheets during a payroll run. I hope this feature comes out in version 9.2.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Microsoft Outlook integration for Absence Management in PeopleSoft 9.2

If I read the summary of main HCM features in version 9.2 correct, Oracle will be providing a functionality to integrate Absence Management with Microsoft Outlook calendars. This is a feature enhacement I will cheer for. There is a real business need for this as I had argued in a post almost two years ago. It will be interesting though to see the use cases that will be supported by this integration. For example, will there be a two way integration in this case, just like what is present for recruitment solutions? I would assume no as the edit functionalities of Absences is pretty minimal in PeopleSoft (and one of the major pain points of the module!). Let's look ahead to the actual Release Value Proposition (RVP) document to see more detailed features.

Ongoing maintenance processes to be run for Time and Labor

Most rule based modules in PeopleSoft HCM require maintenance jobs to be run in the system, especially during the start of a new year. PeopleSoft Global Payroll or Absence Management would require the calendars for the new processing year to be created, Absence Management would require the processing calendars and even forecasting calendars to be created, core HR would require the Holiday Schedule for the new year to be created etc. This post details the various maintenance processes that will need to be run in Time and Labor:

1. Build Time and Labor calendars: Time and Labor calendars are extensively used in Rule, Online and Time Administration processing. The Calendar table contains the detailed start and end dates of various Time Periods defined in Time and Labor. As the entire T&L module relies heavily on accurate and up to date values in the T&L Calendar table, it is essential that the calendars are built to cover all days of processing. The Time and Labor calendars can be built using the delivered utility found in the navigation: Setup HRMS > Product Related > Time and Labor > Time Periods > Build Time Period Calendars

2. Load Dates: The Time and Labor dates table is a critical table used extensively in almost every rule template. As this table contains a row for each calendar day with useful details like day of week etc., this table can form a very useful reference point while building certain system wide queries. Just like Time and Labor calendars, it is extremely essential to ensure that the T&L Dates table is also up to date to cover the days being processed. The T&L Dates table can be loaded by the delivered utility in:
Setup HRMS > Install > Product and Country Specific > Time and Labor Installation > Configurations

3. Timezone Offsets: Timezones are extremely important for accurate time processing in Time and Labor. It is used in storing time in the TL_RPTD_TIME table, retrieving the correct time to display on timesheets, day light savings processing etc. Timezone offsets can be created using the 'Generate Query Offset' utility available in the navigation:
Peopletools > Utilities > International > Timezone

The above list more or less capture all the processes that need to be run on an ongoing basis in a PeopleSoft Time and Labor system. We believe that it's important to dwell upon the considerations that need to be given to the above processes during the system solution design. Some important questions to be raised are:

a. Who will have the responsibility of running these processes on a periodic basis? Will it fall under the Business umbrella or will this be an IT maintenance activity? This will also have implications to the security design of the implementation.

b. Should there be any automatic alert mechanism if any of the above tables are not accurate or will it be a manual process to check the data sufficiency of the above tables?

c. For how many years should the above tables be built during the initial implementation?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The woYOUrk campaign

I have always been in awe of human potential and talent. The wonders that the human mind and will can achieve is unimaginable and has been the bedrock for all progress. So, I have been convinced from the very start that I need the right people to work with me to take the dream of HRoi forward. People who get high on new thoughts and innovation, people who would go any length to solve a problem, people who create, people who take pride in their work, people who help and mentor others to grow....This was the central thought in our minds when the short campaign for hiring our first employee was released today. A central theme across the various ads we created is the word woYOUrk. It's a simple play with words and is meant to mean 'Putting YOU at the center of work'. We wanted to convey to our potential hires that HRoi offers an environment centered around them. We believe that the purpose of any company is to tap the full potential of it's employees and we are hell bent on doing it. We are ready to put you at the center of work, but are you ready to woYOUrk at HRoi? Mail into

We are hiring! PS Technical Consultant to turbo charge our innovations!

HRoi Consulting is looking to add one PeopleSoft technical consultant with 2 to 4 years of experience to join our team in India. This role would be to augment our core team and will have excellent learning/growth opportunities in both technology and business. We have released few videos to get the word out. You can check them out below. If you are interested in joining our team of experts, write into