Capio Group has been working with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the largest educator-only pension fund in the world, and the second largest pension fund in the U.S., to sustain the trust and secure the financial future of over 949,000 members and beneficiaries.
Our teams’ most recent project supports the Soft Launch of the pre-production environment which has enabled external stakeholders to initiate early testing activities and begin planning for the implementation of a new pension system. Capio Group provided a spectrum of project and organizational change management services, including communication planning and execution for internal and external stakeholders, in support of the implementation strategy. The initiative helped CalSTRS business partners (school districts) begin their preparations to adopt new employment and contribution (payroll) functions associated with the new pension system.
In accordance with CalSTRS-specific project methodologies, Capio Group’s team worked closely with the CalSTRS Employer Readiness Team, Employer Services Division, and the Pension Solution Project team to design an overarching readiness methodology for employers, a centralized, online communication center, and an automated readiness tracking tool to support the Soft Launch phase.
The readiness methodology for employers to follow includes a framework for CalSTRS to support and track the readiness progress of employers as implementation of the new pension system draws near. Key components of the methodology include: 1) mandatory, as well as optional, readiness and testing activities that employers must complete during Soft Launch to demonstrate their readiness to use the new system, 2) a suite of Success Criteria that is recommended for prior to implementation, and 3) the various training modules and communication forums needed to support employers as they transition to the new pension system.
Traci Veteto, previously the Soft Launch Implementation Project Manager and now the Implementation Coordination Lead on the project, states “Our goal is to make the transition as easy as possible. Our team monitored the feedback from employer testing activities during Soft Launch and coordinated defect resolution, design, and development updates, and submitted enhancement requests to improve the new system prior to launch so we could have a smooth transition experience for both employers and CalSTRS staff.”
Traci and her team also provided guidance for the overall planning, coordinated and supported the execution of scheduled activities, developed training requirements and testing success criteria, and documented results.
Capio Group continues to support the execution of the Soft Launch phase for employers and is now providing guidance to the Pension Solution Project team by highlighting the lessons learned and advocating for the best practices employed during Soft Launch.
If you’re considering the implementation of similar services into your technology stack, contact us. We’re happy to discuss options that will bring the most benefit to your unique circumstances and create a smooth transition for you and your teams.