Vanquishing the ghosts

With KPMG's help, a large U.S. federal agency finally succeeded in migrating its enterprise-wide Oracle/PeopleSoft system for HR.

A U.S. federal agency
Oracle/PeopleSoft migration
  • Client Challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client Challenge

Organizational momentum is hard to measure, but very real. A large federal agency had attempted three times to upgrade its core human resources system. All three efforts had stalled mid-stream, leaving behind a wariness of big technology initiatives. Because the agency’s leadership remained determined to succeed, KPMG was invited to lead a new effort.

The explicit goals of the project scope were ambitious. Less visibly, the implicit challenge was casting out the ghosts of previous initiatives and restoring the agency’s own belief in innovation. As KPMG and its client successfully navigated intricate milestones and speedbumps, what began as a collection of impersonal tasks to be completed became something much rarer – a living, breathing relationship and a foundation for revitalized agency confidence.

Benefits to client

Taking advantage of the full range of KPMG’s prebuilt 3PM offering (Portfolio, Program and Project Management), the agency has established the foundation for successful migration to Oracle’s PeopleSoft 9.2 platform.

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) was secured for more than 83,000 agency employees, including high-sensitivity data such as compensation.
  • An Enterprise Project Management Office was established to coordinate ongoing work between a core team of 100 professionals that included specialists from KPMG, Oracle/PeopleSoft, and the designated project systems integrator.
  • Agency-wide project buy-in was secured, from the Cabinet Secretary and CIO, CFO, and Chief Human Capital teams, to target user groups in high-profile subsidiary departments.
  • A new enterprise-wide technology mindset that has gradually displaced thinking based upon disparate legacy systems.


KPMG used the pre-built, tested frameworks of 3PM to assess, design, set-up, and pace multiple workstreams for the agency’s PeopleSoft upgrade and cloud migration. 3PM presupposes complex projects will always require degrees of customization to a client’s specific needs and circumstances. KPMG:

  • established a centralized Enterprise Project Management Office to manage multi-year plans, processes, and procedures for reporting, risk, scheduling, scope, testing, and organization and culture change
  • helped the client vet and replace its systems integrator – a critical contributor to project success – mid-way through the project
  • leveraged KPMG experience with Oracle, PeopleSoft and cloud migration engagement platforms so the client could proceed confidently with proven infrastructure, network, and data solutions
  • supplemented core team skills, on an as needed basis, with KPMG specialists in Program Delivery, Cyber Security, Federal Functional HR, and ServiceNow
  • practiced clear, frequent, over-communication to stakeholders about project goals and milestones, in order to promote a spirit of shared ownership for  decisions, successes, and benefits.

KPMG insights

We know how to turn the cumulative power of smaller “wins” into very big achievements

In an organization impacted by past under-delivery, KPMG built a trusted client partnership upon successive interim victories: deadlines delivered, quality expectations exceeded, speedbumps surmounted, and personal relationships developed.


We excel at adapting leading commercial-sector practice for public entities

We understand how to deliver measurable results for mission-driven organizations in the government and not-for-profit sectors, with meaningful performance metrics tailored to their objectives.

This client's three previous migration efforts had stalled mid-stream. KPMG used strong portfolio, program and project management to achieve successive interim victories and build a trusted partnership.