Army delays update to its largest HR system

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Louis Burge, Army National Guard (ARNG) Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A) Build and Sustainment Manager, went to the National Guard Bureau to hang a banner in recognition of IPPS-A reaching live status. ( Staff Sgt. Benjamin D Applebaum)

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The Army is delaying the launch of its largest digital human resources IT system after tests showed issues with its data transfer, among other things, the Army said in a release.

The Integrated Personnel Pay System-Army (IPPS-A) will have its third release moved from December 2021 to September 2022, according to the Army. The latest release would have expanded the userbase to all active and reserve components of the Army and added new capabilities to the system.

“The stress tests revealed some interface and data-integration challenges, and we determined additional time will be needed to correct data-transfer issues and resolve software defects. The testing phase is working as designed by identifying issues that need to be addressed before going forward. IPPS-A is a giant leap forward and we are going to get it right,” said Col. Rebecca Eggers, IPPS-A functional management division chief.

Army leaders have stressed the need for a modern talent management system, saying the Army struggles to retain soldiers because of its antiquated system. Other systems the Department of Defense has created to try and improve HR include an Army program for guaranteed career paths and an Uber-like app for reservists called up for assignments that matched specialized skills they might have.

The Army also released an app on the Apple App Store that aims to allow users to log into the system to view their records, but that will not be possible until the third release of the IPPS-A system is tested and finished.

The IPPS-A system is the Army’s “No. 1 human resources modernization effort” and is being built to replace the current paper-based system that the Army says contributes to errors in pay and personnel records management. The tech is expected to give soldiers access to their personnel records and even integrate self-service functions into the system.

“We must make sure that IPPS-A is a thoroughly tested and high-quality product when delivered to Soldiers, HR professionals and leaders,” Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy chief of staff, G-1, said in a release. “We are fully committed to delivering IPPS-A across all three components, meeting the needs of our Soldiers and the Army of the future with a 21st-century talent management system.”

IPPS-A is supported by ORACLE PeopleSoft Suite, according to the system’s website. It first launched for just the Army National Guard in January 2019.

“Our focus remains on training, testing the system, and preparing our Soldiers,” said Eggers. “Units need to use this time to refine the required steps for full go-live preparation and maximum support of our Soldiers.”

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Army, Department of Defense (DOD), human resources, IT Modernization
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