Transitioning to FI$Cal Department-Wide

Published by Will Cuper

Implementation of the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) represents massive change across the entire state. Highlands Consulting is wrapping up the second phase of a FI$Cal transition effort for a large state department. Phase one transitioned administrative staff in the Accounting, Budgets, and Procurement areas to the new FI$Cal system; phase two has rolled out functions to program areas to leverage PeopleSoft’s enterprise-wide capabilities. Bringing more staff on board with a complex new system has provided us with valuable lessons to share.

A structured organizational change management (OCM) plan was critical, as was having a strong sponsor who actively supported the change and championed the benefits for the whole department. Engaging peers to message the “what’s in it for me” ensured a collaborative and successful roll-out, and helped to mitigate the natural resistance when it crept up. We also found that having an internal team of subject matter experts (SMEs) helped translate FI$Cal’s messages to be department-specific for the user community, and managed the tricky task of FI$Cal security role mapping. Finally, we leaned on FI$Cal for support with training sessions (at both our location and theirs). Their User Support Labs continue to be a great way to explore the additional functionality available.

Though the go-live date has long passed and FI$Cal has become the new norm, we continue to uncover new opportunities to streamline our client’s business processes enterprise-wide, resulting in improved financial management of billions of tax dollars.