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News & Information

Click HERE to subscribe to future issues of the IRIS Insight newsletter.

IRIS Insight Newsletter

Current Issue - June-July, 2016 [PDF]

Project Related News & Updates

2017-01-09 -- Transition to IRIS HRM

Learn more about the transition to IRIS HRM by checking out the What is Changing for State Employees and What is Changing for Current AKPAY Users documents on the IRIS References & Resources Page.

2017-01-05 -- IRIS HRM Video Tutorials & References

A number of IRIS HRM Video Tutorials and References have been added to the to the IRIS References and Resources webpage. This includes an updated version of ESS How to Submit a Timesheet. Several other short video tutorials and HRM related Job Aids have also been added.

2016-12-04 -- New IRIS HRM References Added

New Reference materials for IRIS HRM have been added to the IRIS References and Resources webpage. These materials include:

2016-11-15 -- IRIS HRM Go Live Rescheduled

After careful consideration and consultation with project sponsors, IRIS HRM Project Leadership has decided to reschedule implementation of IRIS HRM to mid-January.

One of the key goals of the project is to implement a stable system. The IRIS HRM team is extremely close to completing all the necessary tasks and set up for Go Live and appreciate the effort agency staff have put forth to provide data by established deadlines and participate in User Acceptance Testing.

The additional time will allow the team to conduct more thorough testing of the payroll accounting management (PAM) process which links IRIS HRM with IRIS FIN and is a critical component of the system. Further testing of ALDER reports is also scheduled to occur during the extension.

What does this mean for Departments?

Payroll and HR staff will continue to use AKPAY for all payroll and employee related transactions. Once a firm implementation date is set, the IRIS HRM team will send out additional information regarding:

  • Deadline for personnel actions entered in AKPAY
  • When access to AKPAY will change to read-only in preparation for conversion
  • Additional training sessions posted to LearnAlaska

If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact the IRIS Project at IRIS.Project@alaska.gov

2016-11-09 -- Employee Self Service (ESS) Information Booths

During the week of November 14th State employees in Juneau and Anchorage are invited to drop by the ESS Information Booth during the below listed dates and times to learn about ESS. Employees will have an opportunity to navigate in ESS if they wish to explore the system briefly and members of the IRIS HRM team will be available to answer questions about ESS.

  • Anchorage - Ted Stevens Room 102, Atwood Building
    • Tuesday November 15th and Wednesday, November 16th from 1:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Juneau - 8th Floor Atrium, State Office Building
    • Monday, November 14th and Wednesday, November 16th from 10:00am to 12:15pm
    • Tuesday, November 15th and Thursday, November 17th from 2:30pm to 4:30pm

2016-07-26 -- IRIS HRM Training Course Catalog Posted

The Course Offerings and Course Catalog documents for IRIS HRM Training have been posted to the Training webpage.

2016-05-17 -- IRIS HRM FAQs Now Posted on the IRIS SharePoint Site!

IRIS HRM FAQs have moved to the IRIS SharePoint site > IRIS HRM FAQs. Please be aware this list is a work-in-progress and the IRIS HRM Project team will be regularly adding FAQs. If you have a question related to IRIS HRM, please email IRIS.Project@alaska.gov.

2016-03-24 -- New Employee Self Service (ESS) Informational Video Now Available!

An informational video on "How to Submit A Timesheet using Employee Self Service (ESS)" is now available! The IRIS Project team developed a short video to demonstrate how time is entered using ESS. A new heading has been added to the IRIS HRM Outreach Materials section of the IRIS Human Resource Management (HRM) Project homepage for these informational videos.

2016-03-11 -- IRIS HRM Overview Presentations

The IRIS Change Management team is offering IRIS HRM Overview presentations in Juneau and via WebEx. This 1½ hour presentation provides attendees with a high level overview of the business functions within IRIS HRM and an introduction to IRIS HRM key terminology. The audience for this orientation is anyone who will be using IRIS HRM after implementation and are not familiar with IRIS, or may be familiar with IRIS Financial, but not IRIS HRM.

2016-03-11 -- IRIS HRM Testing

The IRIS HRM team is currently wrapping up the first round of Integrated System Testing (IST1). The next round of IST – IST2, is scheduled to begin in mid-April and will run through early July. During IST2 scenarios tested will include security and workflow as well as payroll accounting management (PAM) processes which involve both IRIS Financial and IRIS HRM.

2016-01-05 -- IRIS HRM Detailed Timeline

A detailed timeline of IRIS HRM activities has been posted to the General Timeline webpage.

2015-11-25 -- IRIS HRM Outreach Materials

IRIS HRM outreach materials including posters and chatterboxes have been published to the HRM Project homepage.

2015-09-18 -- IRIS HRM Module Implementation Date Revised

The implementation date for the IRIS Human Resource Management (IRIS HRM) project, previously planned to be January 1, 2016, has been extended to November 2016.

You may be aware that the IRIS HRM project is in progress and will replace the State’s current HR/Payroll system (AKPAY). The extension will allow more time to complete design, build, test, and training tasks, and will be accomplished within the current project budget.

2015-09-18 -- Stay Current with the IRIS Newsletter

Each month, the IRIS project distributes an e-newsletter, IRIS Insight, full of project updates, activities, timelines, and IRIS features.

Starting this month, we will begin focusing more on the HRM portion of the project. If you would like to be up-to-date on IRIS HRM happenings, click HERE to subscribe to our distribution list.

Current and past editions of the IRIS Insight newsletter are archived on this webpage, IRIS Project News & Information.

2015-07-06 -- IRIS Financial/Procurement is Live!

The implementation of Alaska’s first statewide financial and procurement software system is here! At noon on Monday, July 6th, State of Alaska employees were able to begin working in IRIS for Fiscal Year 2016 financial and procurement activity.

To help users with some of the more common system activities, the IRIS Team has published a series of short video tutorials to assist users with some of the most common financial and procurement activities in IRIS. These tutorials may be found on the References and Resources webpage.

2015-04-22 -- IRIS Fin/Proc Classroom Training Kick-Off

Classroom sessions of IRIS content courses kick off in Anchorage on Monday, April 27th and manuals for all IRIS course offerings are available on the IRIS course materials webpage. In addition to training, the IRIS Project team is working with department representatives on User Acceptance Testing now through May 8th as well as preparations for Go Live.

2015-03-16 -- IRIS Training Registration Opens March 16th!

IRIS Training is here! All State of Alaska employees who will be using IRIS must complete the IRIS End User Prerequisite Curriculum BEFORE they can register for any classroom training sessions. Classroom sessions will be offered in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Sessions begin April 27th! For more information check out the IRIS Training Course Catalog. To register, log on to LearnAlaska.

2014-12-31 -- IRIS End User Training Prerequisites

If you will be attending IRIS training in the spring, log in to LearnAlaska now and register for the IRIS End User Prerequisite Curriculum. This curriculum includes the following online courses: IRIS Overview, IRIS Getting Started, IRIS Workflow, IRIS Chart of Accounts Overview, and IRIS Procurement Overview.

2014-11-25 -- Preparing for Cutover & UAT

The IRIS Project team is currently focused on preparations for the next cutover and User Acceptance Testing, which involves verifying that department information is ready to load into IRIS and making sure the data to run the selected test scripts is in the system. The team is also conducting online performance testing, which simulates the workload IRIS will need to handle once it is live. Preparations for Train-the-Trainer and end user training continue for the Financial/ Procurement side, while the HRM team continues to work on the business design and draft decision papers for modifications to the Human Resource Management module.

2014-09-02 -- Integrated System Testing Continues

The Finance and Procurement teams are executing test scripts (scenarios) of financial and procurement processes as part of Integrated System Testing Pass 3 (IST3). In this 3rd round of IST, we are testing end to end scenarios which include testing information entering IRIS through interfaces and outputting information from IRIS to reports. This is done to ensure that the data and changes we’ve built into IRIS work as intended. The Technical team is assisting with IST3 and analyzing the results of the remote Network Performance Testing conducted earlier this month.

The Human Resources Management (HRM) team continues to evaluate the baseline design of the HRM module and began drafting business flow diagrams to document how current HR and payroll processes will be designed in the IRIS.

The Change Management team is building the end user training schedule and will be offering additional IRIS Preview sessions in Juneau and Anchorage this month. For more information or to register for a session, please log on to LearnAlaska via the LearnAlaska portal page.

2014-08-05 -- Integrated System Testing, Round 3

This month, the IRIS team will begin the 3rd round of Integrated System Testing (IST). Members of the Technical team will be traveling to remote locations to test how the system performs in these areas. The Human Resource Management team continues to review and evaluate the baseline design and has started to work on flowcharts of business processes for use during testing, training and configuration. The Change Management team is focused on developing training materials and analyzing departments’ training needs.

2014-04-02 -- IRIS HRM Module

Work on the IRIS Human Resources Management (HRM) module has begun! In April, the HRM team will begin prototyping, which involves looking at the starting model for how HRM processes occur in the new system, discussing what works and considering how current processes may be revised to take advantage of the system’s capabilities. On the Financial/ Procurement front, the teams are busy conducting the second round of Integrated System Testing. For additional information on IRIS Project activities, check out the March 2014 edition of IRIS Insight, the IRIS Project newsletter.

2014-02-25 -- Integrated System Testing, Round 2

On February 19, the second round of Integrated System Testing (IST) began and will run through June 27, 2014. Several state employees from the Department of Administration’s Division of Finance and Division of General Services will be assisting the IRIS team with this round of testing to gain familiarity with the system. The IRIS team is also busy mapping all of the data from AKSAS to IRIS and testing that the conversions are working correctly.

2014-01-29 -- IRIS Workshops and Data Conversion

Now through April, the IRIS team is preparing for and conducting workshops on Accounts Receivable, Cost Accounting, Security & Workflow, and Fixed Assets. The purpose of the workshops is to assist departments with understanding and completing IRIS related tasks. Behind the scenes, the team is updating test cases from the first round of Integrated System Testing (IST) and converting data to be used in the second round of Integrated System Testing which is scheduled to begin in February. For additional information on what’s happening with IRIS, please check out the January 2014 edition of IRIS Insight, the IRIS Project newsletter.

2013-11-26 -- Integrated System Testing Status Update

The IRIS team is focused on Integrated System Testing (IST). To date, 45% of test scripts have been completed and the team is on track to complete this first round of testing by December 20, 2013. In addition to testing, the IRIS team is now offering workshops each month to help departments complete IRIS related activities. The current workshops focus on completing department Chart of Accounts (COA) Mapping and Configuration spreadsheets, which are due Friday, December 6, 2013. For more information regarding the IRIS workshops contact your department's IRIS business lead.

2013-10-15 -- Change in Financial and Procurement System Go-Live Date

A one-year change to the implementation date for the IRIS financial and procurement module was announced today. Project management determined that a properly tested system with sufficiently trained users was a significant risk that could not be overcome by the July 1, 2014 timeline. At this point, the project team is two to three months behind schedule due to earlier project delays which has limited the core team’s ability to guide and prepare departments. The complexities of implementing a statewide accounting system any time other than the end of a fiscal year makes a one-year extension for the financial and procurement module the preferred action. The overall project timeline is unchanged with the HR/payroll module development commencing on time.

Work will continue with emphasis on completing development and unit testing based on the current project schedule. The additional time will be used to execute more thorough testing and improve training with a fully functional system to allow department’s ample opportunity to adjust their decentralized chart of accounts, security, and workflow to meet their specific needs.

2013-08-29 -- Go Plans Outreach Phase 2

The IRIS Project is preparing for Go Plan Outreach 2. The Go Plan is a coordinated effort to gather departmental information needed to build and implement IRIS. The plan is broken down into 3 phases of activities. Since May 2013, departments have been helping the IRIS Project complete the tasks outlined in Phase 1. On September 3rd, the team will host a meeting with department representatives to discuss the tasks associated with Phase 2.

2013-07-09 -- Chart of Accounts

Currently, the IRIS team is focused on the activities required to construct the building blocks of the new system – the chart of accounts (COA) structures. First, and most important for all departments, are the decentralized COA structures. Everything in IRIS is based on these structures. IRIS Liaisons and functional team members are conducting COA outreach meetings with each department, in an effort to assist departments in completing this work.

2013-07-09 -- Training Needs Assessment

IRIS Liaisons are also working with departments to obtain an estimate of how many people in each department need to be trained on IRIS and where they are located. This information will serve as input into our training plan and help make sure everyone who will be using IRIS gets the training they need before Go Live.

2013-04-04 -- Build Phase Begins

IRIS is starting the Build Phase of the project, which means we’ve begun configuring the software to match the way the state wants to use it. In order to properly configure the system, Project Team members will meet with departments to introduce the IRIS GO Plan. The GO Plan is a framework for how to gather and organize the information needed for configuration at the department level, and the work that is involved. Each department will receive a copy of the GO Plan specifically tailored for them, which includes a checklist of tasks (for both the department and the IRIS team) to complete prior to Go Live, a tools and templates, and a way to track progress.

2013-03-01 -- Wrapping Up Envision

The IRIS Project Team is wrapping up the Envision Phase of the project which involved the Financial and Procurement Teams working with departmental Subject Matter Experts to conceptualize and design how the State of Alaska’s business functions work in IRIS. The business design is an essential component of the project as it serves as a blueprint for configuring the new system during the Build Phase and provides a more specific understanding of what will change. Both teams have been working extremely hard and are starting to see the fruits of their labor! Included in the Envision Phase were the fit-gap activities to disposition the system requirements identified in the contract.

Fit-Gap Wrap Up
  • Financial Team: With 651 financial requirements, the team has only 6 remaining requirements pending resolution.
  • Procurement Team: All 336 procurement, vendor and warehouse requirements have been resolved.

After the teams finish the business designs, the IRIS Project Team will use the completed designs to begin the Build Phase, which as the name implies, involves the actual configuration of IRIS. Additionally, interfaces, forms, and data conversion components will also be developed and tested during Build.

For more information on IRIS project phases, visit the IRIS Project Schedule page. To view past news updates, visit the IRIS Project News & Information page.

2012-12-01 -- Fit Gap Analysis Underway

The IRIS Project Team is conducting its Fit Gap analysis which involves assessing the SOA requirements against what was demonstrated during the prototyping sessions. "Fits" are those requirements that work in IRIS, while "Gaps" are those requirements that IRIS does not currently accommodate. The team will focus on mitigation strategies for the Gaps, including recommendations for customizations, conversions, enhancements, business process reengineering, interface, or other (knowledge, reports, documentation, set-up, training). The Project Team will continue to collaborate with Subject Matter Experts for input to inform and help define our future state.

2012-10-05 -- Prototyping Sessions in Progress

TO_BE Prototyping sessions, a collaborative effort between the project team and departmental SMEs are underway.  The sessions are broken out by procurement and finance business functions, with some overlapping sessions. In the first few week of sessions, the workgroups have made significant progress towards developing the future of the SOA Financial and Procurement business functions in IRIS.

Financial Prototyping Highlights:
  • Conducted decentralized sessions on Chart of Accounts (COA), reviewing all COA elements available in IRIS
  • Mapped SOA structures to IRIS COA using example scenarios from SOA departments
  • Conducted centralized and decentralized General Accounting sessions, modeling SOA business scenarios in IRIS and discussing important configuration needs
  • Reviewed IRIS Budget capabilities, describing controls and COA elements as relate to budget structures
Procurement Prototyping Highlights:
  • Conducted in-depth discussions on Vendor Self-Service (VSS) including external perceptions, efficiency, and potential changes to the organization
  • Reviewed proposed models for requesting goods and services in IRIS exploring the different requisition types available in the system
  • Identified areas in the starting model that require refinement
  • Conducted sessions on generating awards, managing awards and contracts, and requests for alternative procurements
  • Reviewed the different types of Catalogs available in IRIS.
  • Explored Contract and Master Agreement management functionality available through IRIS 

2012-07-17 -- IRIS Debt Management System is Live!

As of July 17th, the first IRIS module is live! The IRIS Debt Management System allows the State of Alaska to comprehensively manage and administer its debt program. This technology includes management for debt issues, issuance costs, summary reporting on interest and principal payments, outstanding debt balances, and variable rate interest calculations as well as the ability to interface with enterprise-wide cash flow reporting.

Debt Management System Benefits include:
  • Increased efficiency and accuracy for debt reporting purposes.
  • Consolidation of debt information statewide for a single system of record.
  • Standardized process for debt management.
  • Real time visibility and tracking of debt management activity.
  • Bond amortizations calculated by the Debt Management System and reported through a financial system interface (AKSAS, and later IRIS).
  • Facilitation of CAFR reporting through sub-ledger detail for bond principal and interest payments.

This is a great enhancement to the State's computing capabilities and to our ability to monitor, maintain and analyze the debt of the State of Alaska. - Deven Mitchell, State of Alaska Debt Manager

Implementation of the Debt Management System supports the overall IRIS Project goals of transparency and accountability, statewide standardized business processes, operational efficiencies, and long-term viability. In August 2012, the IRIS Debt Management system will generate its first bond payment.

Current end users for the Debt Management system include the Departments of Administration, Revenue, Transportation and Public Facilities, and Education and Early Development as well as the State Bond Committee and the Alaska Student Loan Corporation.

2012-03-19 -- IRIS and Department Subject Matter Experts (SME) Document Current SOA Financial and Procurement Processes

The IRIS Project Team and department SMEs recently began identification and high level documentation of current SOA financial and procurement business processes. In order to ensure that the IRIS system and future SOA business processes mutually support each other, it is important to identify and document all existing SOA business processes related to the IRIS effort.

Once these current business processes are identified and documented, future business processes can be determined. Current business processes are referred to as “AS-IS” business processes. Future or planned business processes are referred to as “TO-BE” business processes.

2011-12-06 -- Email from Commissioner Becky Hultberg

Becky Hultberg, Commissioner of the Department of Administration, sent an email to all Alaska State employees announcing the winners of the ERP Naming and Logo Contests. The full text of the email can be found here.

2011-12-06 -- Enterprise Resource Planning Project Naming Contest and Logo Winners Announced

The IRIS Steering Team has selected a winning name and approved a logo. The naming contest generated 212 entries which were judged on relevance, creativity and fit. The winning entry, Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS), was submitted by Dena Ross (DPS). Additionally, logo ideas were submitted by Mark Merchant (DOA), Staci Augustus (DOA), Lynn Wibbenmeyer (DNR), and Tara Horton (HSS). The selected logo was originally designed by Amy Carroll (DFG) and refined by Andy Mills (DOA).

Naming/Logo Design Contest Winners

2011-11-30 -- Statewide Employee Participation in IRIS

The Division of Finance is leading the IRIS project. However in order to have a successful outcome, it is vital to have active participation and input from individuals in all State of Alaska (SOA) administrative disciplines and agencies through the design, development, and deployment phases of the IRIS project. In the coming months, the IRIS Steering Team and IRIS Project Team will communicate opportunities for participation in the effort as well as solicit input. SOA employee contributions and engagement will help to ensure a final product that meets the SOA's needs and of which we can be proud.