FI$Cal: A Non-IT Project?

The Financial Information System for California, known as FI$Cal, is setting records for state IT project expenditures. But from the perspective of departments transitioning to this new technology, it’s not an IT project in the traditional sense. For these departments, success depends upon their ability to manage the people side of change.

Within most departments, the legacy accounting system was just that – an accounting-only system. FI$Cal, which is built on Oracle’s PeopleSoft platform, is an enterprise resource planning system which blends functions of accounting, procurement, budgeting, human resources, and business services. Because of this, many impacted staff must adjust to new roles and processes they have never performed. This requires empathy and positive communication about the future environment with staff who may not see a benefit of adopting new processes.

Organizational change management theories tell us that the success or failure of a project depends upon each individual’s adoption (or rejection) of a change. Which is why when departments ask for additional help, they don’t need programmers or PeopleSoft experts; they need partners who will help their people succeed. Because FI$Cal is not an IT project; it’s a long-term investment in people.