County IT and Kronos

Last week I received this email:

“Hi Tona,
Do you think the dawn of Kronos and the computerized purchasing of the county labor pool (mathematics, abstract, yet incorruptible and undefiled, always leaving an indelible audit trail) has had an impact on county government fiscal responsibility?   Do you think it ever will or ever could?

I would hope the county would begin to implement a similar system for tracking the execution of material procurement and contract services.”

Next Monday the Information Technology (IT) Committee will meet.  The packet sent to me earlier this week containing a memorandum on Kronos, the IT software system chosen to replace the current in house payroll system and to implement HR and benefits.  Previous memorandums were from the former IT Director John Herron.  This one is from Mark Poole.

My response to the questions:

Well the IT Director John Herron, working in the department with the longest average tenure of any county department (according to a draft version of the Evergreen Study see page 10), just left and went to work for the schools.  Multiple county employees shared with me that the Finance Director Randy Vineyard wanted Herron gone and it appears that Vineyard got his wish.  Herron was reluctantly put in charge of the Kronos project because a few commissioners found it odd that the Sheriff’s volunteer (an attorney) was going to head up the project.

The commission separated the Budget Committee (putting Sharron Hannum who can’t manage her own budget on it) from the Purchasing Commission.  The Purchasing Commission didn’t meet until the Mayor had six months to put an attorney (yeah another attorney) in charge of purchasing.  One of its members isn’t very prompt in paying his taxes either.

The Sherriff’s volunteer backed away (taking a “reduced role”) from the Kronos project and now Herron is no longer issuing the updates on the Kronos implementation schedule.

Does anything sound abnormal to you?

5 thoughts on “County IT and Kronos

  1. OK, so Poole is the lone ranger come to save the project. Notice in the LinkedIn he references • Developed preliminary plan in MS Project 2010 and SmartSheet for a multi-phase, multi-departmental deployment for 3,300 employees and retirees.

    The output products from these project management programs PERT and/or GANNT charts of event prerequisites, development resource loading, and critical paths. These were the items I was looking for when You and I began corresponding on the project. Did you ever see any output from MS Project or SmartSheet?

    This statement jumped out at me from the Mark Poole report / letter you included.

    The timeline has been adjusted to reflect these changes and some additional testing needed.

    So, adjusted as in “lengthened” or “shortened”, and by how much? How does this effect the roll-out and BC transfer to Kronos system dates?

    Will the “adjustments” and “additional testing” require additional funding or reduction in funding to implement? How much?

    • “Did you ever see any output from MS Project or SmartSheet?”
      No and I serve on the IT Committee. What we have been given is a monthly memorandum on the status of the project.

      At one of the IT Committee meetings I said that we should have discussion on the Kronos project at each meeting. Thus, it is put on the agenda but little is shared about it. During one IT meeting, the conversation on Kronos had to be cut short because another meeting was scheduled to start in the commission room right after the IT meeting.

      The rest of your questions are good questions that I don’t know the answers to but will try to find out.

  2. KRONOS Project:

    Another month gone by. No news is good news? I suppose this means roll-out is on original schedule and budget, no problems. IT committee meetings… no business as usual? Situation normal?

    • No all is not well. Kronos is 3 months behind schedule but Finance Director Randy Vineyard, the defacto leader of the courthouse, assured us that it won’t cost the taxpayers anymore money. Of course, that ignores the fact that we taxpayers just made an annual payment for the service that we won’t be using for the 3 months that the project is behind. According to Vineyard the HR software is being used now but the payroll is 3 months behind because of leadership changes within the county and at Kronos.

      The IT situation is worse that the late rollout of Kronos though. The Mayor’s Office commissioned an IT study, without telling the commission, to tell us that the county’s IT system is aged and could collapse at any moment. After listening to the IT consultants, I realized that essentially what Vineyard’s brilliant leadership has given us a cart before the horse situation where he went out and got the most expensive wheels (Kronos software system) and put it on a car where the engine (the County’s IT infrastructure) may not even start. Vineyard should be fired and the Mayor should get off his pancake eating duff and get to work.

  3. Interesting, that in the hardware survey by Kronos to determine if it met their specification, they did not comment the lack of capability to deploy their system.
    –CCW

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