Overview of the F$M Project

TThe purpose of the Financial Systems Modernization (F$M) Project was to  deliver integrated, streamlined, and improved financial service and information solutions built on a robust, new system foundation.

The project addressed financial systems (people, processes, and technology), to more effectively provide data, analytical tools, and services for research management needs. This multi-year, Lab-wide operations initiative supported of one of the Lab's Strategic Initiatives: Service Technologies for Science. The project was managed by a multidisciplinary Project Team, sponsored and chartered by Lab Director Dr. Paul Alivisatos.

F$M implementation was split into two phases, Phase II-A and a potential Phase II-B, with implementation of Phase II-B scope is contingent upon available funding.

F$M Phase II-A included rebuilding the foundational Financial Data Architecture (FDA) to leverage delivered functionality in applications, and streamlining the following end-to-end processes: DOE and WFO (e.g. proposal to closeout), Buying and Paying (including Procurement), and an initial phase of reporting and decision support.

F$M Phase II-B scope included streamlining the following processes: Effort, Travel & Conferences, Property Management, new Procurement functionalities, and additional reporting and decision support.

Benefits: Why F$M?

The benefits of F$M to the Lab are captured in the below Value Proposition

Value Proposition

The prior Financial System was developed in PeopleSoft in 1997, to meet DOE requirements, and was based on a model from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As a result of not being designed for Berkeley Lab’s needs:

  1. Custom workarounds were built
  2. Delivered software functionality was locked out by the customizations
  3. Processes became contorted, complex, manual, duplicative

The goals of improving our overall financial system (people, processes, and technology) included:

  1. Addressing the Lab’s business needs
  2. Streamlining Processes
  3. Leveraging our information technology (IT) investments

See the graphical depiction of the Case for Change.

Scope of F$M

Berkeley Lab’s prior central financial system was built in Oracle PeopleSoft, an Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) application. The F$M project involved re-engineering the Lab’s financial services and related processes, in concert with upgrading to the latest version of PeopleSoft. The Lab uses the Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Financial Management System (FMS) modules of PeopleSoft.

The overall F$M Project covers all six OCFO Service Areas. These Service Areas were broken into two phases, Phase II-A, and a potential Phase II-B (see Schedule), contingent upon the success of Phase II-A and available funding.

Service Areas


F$M Phases:


Time Frame



Phase I

02/01/2011 – 11/30/2012


Define the problem & recommend solutions

  1. Define and analyze current system & needs
  2. Scope potential solutions
  3. Build a business case for implementation (Phase II)
  4. Identify a Systems Integration partner

Phase II-A

01/07/2013 – 11/30/2014


Design and implement core financial services 

  1. Streamline end-to-end processes
    1. DOE and WFO (e.g. proposal to closeout)
    2. Buying and Paying
  2. Restructure Financial Data Architecture
  3. Reporting
  4. Re-implement PeopleSoft Finance version 9.2

Phase II-B


Potential Future Phase*

Continue streamlining efforts

  1. Effort Accounting
  2. Travel & Conferences
  3. Property Management
  4. New Procurement functions (e.g., e-Vendor & Contract Management)

*Implementation of Phase II-B contingent upon the success of Phase II-A and available funding.

Phase II-A Schedule:

Tentative Schedule for Phase II-A


The F$M Project was guided by the Governing Principles below to aid in decision-making. The F$M Team continually worked to find a balance among these principles; for example, between the need for standardization and the need for customization. These principles continue to guide system decisions. In addition, the Team followed a sophisticated Project Governance Structure for decision-making, and a formal process for Stakeholder Engagement.

Governing Principles