State of Maine Child Support Project
The implementation for the new child support system for the State of Maine, CSEME, started in 2009 using a phased approach by planning and programming it in functional increments (i.e. Financials, Case Initiation, Case Review, etc.). In 2010, the State and Primary vendor, Protech Solutions (Courtland Consulting Partner), were in need of someone to take over project management of this effort and they knew from Courtland’s prior partnerships in Michigan and New Jersey that we would be a perfect fit. Courtland provided a project manager with experience in the child support field, strong implementation management, assertive project planning, and a strong ability to establish and maintain rapport between the vendor and Maine State departments. As such, Courtland Consulting was able to immediately establish a great rapport with the vendor and State staff in all departments.
The State of Maine is an Administrative child support state meaning that DSER (the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery) is responsible for facilitating most of the child support orders instead of the courts. This required immediate facilitation of a close working relationship with that team. That relationship was well established and is ongoing. The Courtland project manager facilitates a monthly CSEME steering committee to ensure all activities and projects are moving forward and issues are being resolved.
Courtland Consulting, in cooperation with the vendor and the State, successfully managed the following project implementations (note: the financials portion was implemented prior to Courtland’s arrival) by using our well-practiced go-live process and drawing from lessons learned:
- Case Initiation
- Case Review
- Administrative Hearings
- Caseload Redistribution
- Batch Processing
Courtland Consulting was a major contributor of Maine’s child support system release process. Courtland project management is able to query issues to help determine the necessary user testing and steps toward resolution. This query process created by Courtland Consulting also creates and distributes Release Notes for each issue resolution.
Courtland also managed the implementation of two portals that were recently deployed. The first was an internal Trends and Analysis portal, from which the DSER management users can capture specific metrics with which to manage their caseloads. The second portal is the Employer Portal which has been very favorably received by the employer community because it allows the direct uploading of employee information and printing of documents. With the implementation of these two portals by April 30, 2013, the existing contract was completed.
On May 1, 2013 the vendor, Protech Solutions, entered into a new contract with the State of Maine to maintain and enhance the CSEME system. Courtland was again retained to manage the delivery of the following project maintenance goals detailed in the contract:
Maintenance of CSEME production – includes bug fixes, maintaining technical upgrades, etc.
Mentoring – the State CSEME OIT department consists of only a 5-person crew which limits their ability to take on all the pending work, so mentoring will be a crucial goal and require close coordination between Courtland and the State of Maine CSEME OIT Lead.
Change Requests – The State of Maine (DSER) has less significant changes they would like to see in the system. These are controlled through change requests.
Enhancements/New Work – The State of Maine has a number of new processes they have listed as additions to their system to enhance their ability to collect child support and manage their work. These will require Courtland to work with the vendor to compute levels of effort for each. Courtland will then create project plans, risk assessments, issues and resolutions logs, and other project management tasks for each new enhancement. Our partnership in Maine has deepened our position in the child support community and our passion and commitment to implementing statewide child support systems has never been greater than it is today.