Friday, April 19, 2013

Workday 19 released - Greater focus on Financials and Mobile

Workday unvelied release 19 few days back. It is mentioned that the new release comes with 170 odd new features. Here are the main improvements that were noted from the press release given out by Workday:

1. Workday 19 comes with the capability to add custom fields and change labels of fields. This has been projected as a major enhancement in release 19. While I totally understand the need for this from customers, it is surprising that it took 19 releases for Workday to bring this out. From my understanding of Oracle Fusion applications, these capabilities are native to Fusion apps. You can read more here on the various 'composers' of Fusion, which can be used to 'configure' the application to change page field labels, page layout etc. globally or for a targeted population.

2. Workday has traditionally had a 'mobile-first' strategy and the user friendliness of their iPad and iPhone apps are legendary. Continuing with that focus, Workday 19 embraces Android with a workday app available for Android.

3. Workday has stated that it's Financials Suite will be a major area of focus in 2013. True to that, Workday 19 has close to 40 new features delivered for Financials. Another focus I have seen is a push to present HR and Financial data together.

Here is a picture gallery of Workday 19 released by Workday. It is interesting to note that Workday is working on a greenfield recruitment module which is expected to release in early 2014.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Business Value Proposition of PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.2

Why should you consider an upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2 for Time and Labor? How does the new features impact business indicators? The following presentation summarises the business value proposition of PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.2

If you are interested in discussing further on this, write into

PeopleSoft 9.2 - T&L Feature summary by role

I had detailed most of the new features in Time and Labor in PeopleSoft 9.2 in previous posts. While we can find information on standalone features through Peoplebooks, Oracle Cumulative Feature Overview tool and other blog posts, I think it is extremely useful to present these features from an alternative point of view to help analyse the feature in the context of an organisation.
So, here is a short presentation on the new T&L features classified by impact to different roles in an organisation - Employees, Managers, Time/Pay Administrators, HRIS and Implementation consultants.

Hope you find this insightful. Next in our series will be an analysis of the new features based on the value proposition to an organisation.

If you are looking to evaluate the features of PeopleSoft HCM 9.2 and want an indepth, under the skin discussion on this topic, reach out to me at

Sunday, April 7, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - T&L WorkCenter - A high impact feature

The Time and Labor WorkCenter introduced in PeopleSoft 9.2, is probably one of the top features of the module in the new release. WorkCenters themselves have been part of previous Peopletools releases and one could argue that customers on an application release prior to 9.2 could easily create new workcenters for Time and Labor without having to move to 9.2. This is a valid argument, but from a practical perspective, I believe that a delivered workcenter for a module like Time and Labor will greatly help drive down the total cost of ownership and benefit a larger number of PeopleSoft T&L customers.
To truly understand the value of a workcenter in T&L, I think it is imperative to look at the tasks carried out by someone managing employees using Time and Labor in PeopleSoft. Given below is a generic list of period-end activities that a T&L manager would have to carry out in PeopleSoft:

1. Check if there is time and absence pending  approval.
2. Check if there are exceptions requiring attention and clear them.
3. Manipulate the timesheet of employees on an on-demand basis - correcting missing punches, incorrect punch order errors etc.
5. Make changes to work schedules as required.
4. Run certain time consolidation and audit reports to ensure that there are no discrepancies in the time generated for the pay period.

There are two important characteristics about the above tasks that have to be highlighted:
  • The above tasks have to be ideally carried out in a specific order.
  • The above tasks have to be repeated, every pay period.
When sequential tasks have to be carried out repetitively, it is important that:
  • The steps to do the tasks are kept to a minimum.
  • The sequence of steps to be carried out are clearly articulated.
  • The marginal investment on new user training is kept to a minimum.
Page navigation design plays a very important role in helping organisations meet the above goals. The navigation structure in PeopleSoft has traditionally been limited to individual transaction pages, with hyperlinks in a page leading to other pages related to the current page. A good example of such a navigation design is the Time and Labor launchpad. True to it's name, the Time and Labor launchpad provides a common entry-page for employees and managers and contains links to related T&L pages.
Given below is an example of a Time and Labor launchpad for a Manager, with links to different transactions.

While the above design helps to collate related links, it is rarely helpful in guiding the users through an end-to-end business process they have to carry out.

The T&L WorkCenter is designed to specifically address the above needs. The T&L WorkCenter can be utilised as the 'go-to' page within T&L (and even Absence Management, as the workcenter definition can be easily extended through configuration) for Managers and Administrators to carry out their routine tasks. It integrates most of the navigations used within the module, displays pending work items (like approvals, alerts etc.), gives a list of links with sequential activities, provides a list of reports/queries to run etc. In summary, it brings together most of the information and pages that a T&L Manager or Administrator would require. A sample of the Time and Labor WorkCenter is given below:

The delivered Time and Labor WorkCenter page contains a new landing page that summarises most of the commonly used pages with T&L for a manager or administrator. The tabs and pages within each tab can be easily configured using the 'Manage Tabs' functionality that has been newly introduced in the Setup of Time and Labor. One could say that this is pretty similar to the related content functionality - but I think that from a navigation perspective, this layout is superior to that offered by  related content framework.
The WorkCenter utilises the standard WorkCenter pagelets like 'My Work', 'Links', 'Reports/Processes' and 'Queries'. These pagelets are highly configurable and can be modified from: Enterprise Components > WorkCenter/Dashboards > Configure Pagelets
The 'My Work' pagelet (this is a Peopletools feature per se and is common to the WorkCenter framework and not specific to Time and Labor) is conceptualised really well as it gives a snapshot of pending approvals and alerts for a certain user.
Note: There is also an 'Approval Pagelet' that is delivered as part of the 'Manager Dashboard' functionality introduced in PeopleSoft HCM9.1 Feature Pack 2. The Approval Pagelet and the My Work pagelet are similar in functionality - both of them are designed to display pending approvals to a user. I would suggest to evaluate both these pagelets during your implementation/upgrade and deploy the pagelet that is most appropriate for your use (my personal preference is the My Work pagelet as it is more elegant and flexible that the Approval Pagelet).
The 'Reports/Processes' pagelet provides an effective way to enable end-users (especially managers) to run PS Queries and other reports without the need to access a tool like Query Manager. This is important from a Time and Attendance point of view as typically there will be audit and time/absence analysis reports that will need to be executed by those managing time of employees.

Overall, I opine that the Time and Labor WorkCenter can be utilised as the 'landing page' for all Time and Labor transactions for a T&L Manager or Administrator. The simplification that this brings to the overall navigational requirements, training and communication is immense. Imagine telling your managers to just go to one single page to do everything related to T&L, rather than training them to remember individual page navigation. The T&L WorkCenter functionality should be thoroughly examined and rolled-out in any upgrade or implementation involving Time and Labor 9.2 - the operational improvements that this feature can bring in is immense.

For more in-depth review of PeopleSoft T&L 9.2 features, click here.
If you want to discuss more on the new features in PeopleSoft 9.2 or want an in-depth system demonstration, write into

Thursday, April 4, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Enhancement to Monthly Schedule page in ESS

The Monthly Schedule page in PeopleSoft Time and Labor Employee Self Service, provides a calendar based view of the work schedule of the employee for a certain month. Details of absences and/or trainings (if integrated with PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management suite) are also displayed for each day of the month. A sample of the page is given below:

In PeopleSoft 9.2, I have noticed that there is a slight enhancement to the Monthly Schedule page. The T&L product team has added a grid on the page with daily breakdown of the employee's work schedule for the selected month. The new grid on the page is shown below:

As seen above, the grid gives a day by day break-down of the scheduled hours (and with indication of whether there is an absence/training or holiday on a certain day) for the selected month. While this looks like a duplication of the data shown in the calendar format in the same page, employees will be able to download the schedule information from this grid.
Point of View:
  • This is a minor enhancement that duplicates the data that is already present in the same page.
  • This feature will give employees the ability to download their work schedules into an excel sheet.
  • If the purpose of adding this grid was to enable downloading schedule data - wouldn't a 'Print Schedule' link, similar to the 'Print Timesheet' link, served the requirement better?