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Monday, September 10, 2007

LAUSD payroll problems redux

[UPDATE: Thanks to a reader, here's a little more. I was a little behind the curve on this LAUSD payroll fiasco, and followed the Times story as new to print. In fact, here's an article Naush Boghossian in the Daily News wrote very early this year that identified German software concern SAP as the system software provider and Deloitte as the implementer, and spoke directly to the original contracting.

And here's an entertaining press release from SAP in October 2005 in which they celebrate their award and indicate that the District was anticipating growth at that late date, even though most analysts thought pupil growth was cresting about that time. SAP's press release says....

LAUSD’s former payroll system was complex and antiquated. With mySAP ERP, LAUSD will be able to provide employees with real-time access to payroll and benefits information and speed the time it takes to process checks. The new system will also have the scalability to accommodate more employee records as LAUSD hires additional teachers. Using the software’s integrated human resources applications, LAUSD will be able to identify teachers and principals most qualified for job openings and increase recruitment efficiency.
And with that, back to the original post.]

Remember a few days ago, after the fishwrap of record's report on the problem payrolls at LAUSD? Remember when I inquired about what kind of bizarroworld purchasing at LAUSD must have enabled this to happen?

A teacher reminds me that the whole LAUSD pay fiasco came about from the District hiring management consultants at Deloitte Consulting to revamp their payroll system, management consultants who recommended a vendor with a track record of trouble in Colorado.

The teacher tells me that software people who the pricey management consultants recommended were so inept that they apparently didn't even set up a parallel beta before launching the new system; it was more "Let them eat cake" if it didn't work. And the teacher says they also didn't take the added precaution of rolling the new payroll system out to a school or department.

And what's worse: after all this bungling, the District, while it claims to be negotiating with Deloitte for a fix, has also apparently entertained the idea of paying the very same management consultants to make things right!

That's what I hear, anyway---but I'd love it if someone at the District would respond to aguyinla@gmail.com if there are any discrepancies in this report.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

It would be nice if we could believe the district is negotiating a fix. But the fact that they haven't sued these bastards yet indicates to me that Deloitte has got them snowed into thinking that they can fix it if only they give them a little more money.

It's outrageous. Some teachers will also owe money, which they'll feel later.

September 10, 2007 5:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nah, nah, I don't think so. You must have it wrong. My bet is that Deloitte is the primary contractor and they have a sub-contractor to implement. Here's a link. Deloitte is the largest in the world for this stuff, according to this ad.

A payroll system is NOT rocket science. Don't you see what is happening here. Deloitte is the contractor, responsible for the product, and LAUSD is overseeing the contract. LAUSD trusted Deloitte to build them a system. LAUSD didn't use any independant, professional consultants to oversee and manage Deloitte. LAUSD did their own project management. So, Deloitte is screwing LAUSD. Deloitte is squeezing for more money.

That's just my guess. But, LAUSD doesn't care if it wastes money, that's clear. LAUSD doesn't care if it inconveniences anyone, also clear. This is a management failure by the LAUSD Superintendent. It doesn't matter if he came on board late. He either didn't do the appropriate risk assessment on this project or else he just did not care (OK now, I'm getting ready to laugh at any LAUSD suckups that say that it is any different than this).

September 10, 2007 7:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Monica Garcia

September 10, 2007 8:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Deloitte is the primary contractor and probably gave the LAUSD what LAUSD wanted, regadless of the fact that there was no beta testing, no test school for the program, etc. Who is to blame? LAUSD may now say Deloitte screwed up, but Deloitte says "We identified the requirements. LAUSD made changes ouside the scope of the original parameters and they were not well thought out. We can and will make anyc changes that LAUSD requires, but since the changes are outside of the original contract; addition funds will be required to finish the project"

September 10, 2007 9:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Everybody is so quick to ask why the LAUSD selected SAP software and Deloitte to implement the payroll system. In the world of large ERP software systems there are only a few players, and they all have had their problems. There is only the lesser of evils; no company in this business has a 100% track record. So I know everybody wants to say why didn’t LAUSD select another system another vendor and yada, yada, yada.

LAUSD is not the only organization which has had major problems switching their whole organization over to an ERP system like SAP.

A company like Hewlett Packard which has a very large IT staff and specializes in software was a company which did this without too many problems, but they also had the resources other organizations can only dream about. The people who say fire Deloitte, why did they select SAP don't have any knowledge about the magnitude or scope of worked involved in a project like this.

I am starting to see that Mayor Sam’s blog has a bunch of people who just say Mayor V is corrupt, this guy is corrupt for the management of the payroll system project and blahhhh, blahhh, blahh.

September 10, 2007 11:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:22: You're "beginning to see" that? Sam and Antonio Watch hate the Mayor for beating Hertzberg (who?) and replacing Hahn (hence the post about his comeback from the grave). AND they hate anyone the Mayor likes and most Mexicans. (Honestly can't think of one Mexican they DO like.)

In a contest between the incompetent Rocky and the Mayor, no matter what, even though they're both Hispanic, Sam and Antonio will ALWAYS back Rocky and brush off his actions. However, ANYTHING that goes wrong in the city in any capacity, it's that "midget Mayor," "illegal midget Mayor," you get it.

It's just a curiosity as to HOW much misinformation they're putting out there and if anyone bites. The blind leading the blind mostly.

Oh, and they remove all posts like this one that they don't like -- they exist to dump on everyone but have the thinnest skins. Especially Zuma, who's admits he has ADD and that's just the start.

So, how do YOU hate tthe Mayor and his associates tonight?

September 10, 2007 11:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I wonder if any illegal aliens were used in the payroll project, because we know illegal alien mexicans can't program computers and can only sell tacos from a shopping cart in east L.A.

That damn Huizar was responsible for this disaster.

September 11, 2007 2:55 AM  

Anonymous man o' war said:

I'm in agreement with 11:22's assessment in his first three paragraphs. I should point out that even Bank of America had some problems a few years back with it's Trust Division's computerized system.

I question LAUSD overall selection system. Was the proposal to overhaul their payroll system submitted to an open bid process, or did LAUSD suddenly decide to award the contract to Deloitte because of certain previous financial dealings between the two entities? That is the $64 question.

Whoever was ultimately responsible for awarding the contract to Deloitte must have been a graduate of LAUSD.

September 11, 2007 5:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It was Lauritzen. Just ask the Galatzan campaign...

September 11, 2007 8:15 PM  

Anonymous man o' war said:

Lauritzen is a graduate of the LAUSD? No wonder L.A.'s in such sad shape!

September 11, 2007 10:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No, but he was the home room teacher to all 700,000 students. Just ask the Galatzan campaign...

September 11, 2007 10:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"LAUSD Payroll System to Cost More," L A Daily News article posted Tuesday. the EPI-USE system from Atlanta being called in now for the fix, is also the one that got LACC system out of same pickle with Deloitte. There may not be many systems, but Deloitte was all promises and no track record. Maybe they were a tiny bit cheaper on paper and suckered in a naive Board. Didn't they have a qualified expert advising them on this purchase? The inhouse ITT person may not be enough: need someone to compare other school systems, too.

September 12, 2007 2:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The only way it could be worse is if Kronos timekeeping system was also being used at LAUSD. In Jan 07 our company switched to a combo of Kronos/SAP and life has been hell. Entire program riddled with errors, wrong pays, on going errors... Dan from Riverside

September 25, 2007 11:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

wait till the state of california implements this same system for 300K state employees. and they don't care either.

September 28, 2007 10:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You can't place all the fault with the Application or Implementor selection. Be aware that LAUSD also opted to perform their own project management.

So, not properly testing, not running parallel, not phasing the implementation, and not having an effective rollback or contigency plan are primarily decisions the District itself made.

October 12, 2007 1:53 PM  

Blogger Mr.Professional said:

While any, and many of these statements maybe true. The problem is still there and the sad part is whomever is at fault is costing the district money. This is monies that could be funneled down to the schools for the kids. Personally, as an experienced IT professional, for more then 30 years. I doubt that the purchase and implementation of any product can be worth 95 million dollars. I also have a problem with companies like D&T failing and implementation, simply because of their so called knowledge and experience. If they are as knowledgeable as they claim, they should have known what problems had the potential of happening. It sounds to me D&T failed to do their true do-diligence. On top of that there should have been some penalties assessed for failing to successfully implement this solution. Case and point being, a total review of LAUSD's current application (old and antiquated as it maybe, probably required someone of in-depth knowledge of the application). If D&T was unable to get answers which prevented them from moving forward, then the project should have been halted. If any changes to the original project plan were made by LAUSD appointed employee, or group of employees, then D&T should have validated their request. It sounds as though they didn’t. Bottom line this is a very, very bad deal gone wrong. And the way the economy is, it sounds like it will get worse. D&T should show some good will and get the problem resolved. Their screwing LAUSD, and the city of Los Angeles, and most importantly the children.

May 10, 2009 5:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's also disgusting how this has affected teachers. I was overpaid yet I'd moved out of state by the time they tried to contact me. I really didn't know because I was on maternity leave and figured I was supposed to be paid what I was paid. Some of us truly didn't know. So, I went through a divorce and relocated several times. When I settled down in yet another state, I forwarded all of my mail. Well, I get a note from LAUSD saying I owe them. I call them immediately and they tell me they will not pursue any further action because I made contact. Then they say they have an economic hardship category because I am now a single mom with two part-time jobs to make ends meet. They say they'll call me back to discuss the parameters of the economic hardship group....and....get ready...they send my debt to a collection agency. Lovely huh? Why bother saying they'll contact me and that they'll place me in this group to discuss affordable repayment when they really planned on stabbing me in the back? I can't believe it and continue to write them to get to the bottom of this before they ruin my credit over something I was willing to pay back!

January 01, 2010 9:40 PM  

Blogger vinod said:

The City of new York ias having its own issues with a Payroll system that has been in the works for the last 10 years. Costs have balooned from $67 million to over $700 million. Inbetween, the consultants took of with $80 million ..the investigation is ongoing.

April 17, 2011 8:31 AM  

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