Word of caution: District’s ERP recovers after false start

Everything might work smoothly now, but Los Angeles USD’s first try at automated payroll in 2007 failed, with some employees getting overpaid while others didn’t get a check or were underpaid.

“We tried to do this too early, before the software was fully developed,” says Shahryar Khazei, the district’s CIO.

Aimed at automating its payroll, the $95 million system went haywire and took a year and a half to fix and customize to the needs of the district.

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A cautionary tale, ERP software wasn’t ready for a district the size of LAUSD with 30,000 teachers.

“It all works well now, but required a complete reboot,” Khazei says.

Today, the system runs in the background and can respond quickly to changes, such as new pay levels set forth in an updated teacher contract, Khazei says.

“The implementation of the ERP system allowed the district to eliminate many manual processes that required a large number of people to support.”

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer in Pelham, New York.

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