The U.S. Army has decided to delay the massive overhaul of its enterprise IT personnel system in favor of conducting additional testing, which will push the launch date of the new system from December of this year to September 2022.

According to senior personnel officials, release three of the Integrated Personnel Pay System-Army (IPPS-A) failed a key system acceptance test due to data issues. Those test results led the Army to push back the release date to ensure the program didn’t go into the field before it was ready.

Each test phase has specific entrance and exit criteria, adding increased complexity with more data transfers from outdated legacy systems and the incorporation of real-world users to assess readiness to go live. The system completed two of three government tests, but is not ready yet to enter the final test phase. The stress tests revealed some interface and data-integration challenges, and the Army determined that additional time will be needed to correct data-transfer issues and resolve software defects.

“We must make sure that IPPS-A is a thoroughly tested and high-quality product when delivered to soldiers, HR professionals, and leaders,” said Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy chief of staff for the Army G-1, in a press release. “We are fully committed to delivering IPPS-A across all three components, meeting the needs of our soldiers and the Army of the future with a 21st-century talent management system.”

The system is intended to be a one-stop-shop for soldiers and the new standard for the Army’s backend information technology systems that manage personnel records such as pay and awards. Release three would put all three components of the Army onto the unified HR platform.

“Over the past year, IPPS-A release three underwent an extensive across-the-board testing process designed to identify issues and ensure proper fielding with minimal disruption to Soldiers,” said Col. Rebecca L. Eggers, IPPS-A Functional Management Division Chief in a release the Army sent out on October 7. “The testing phase is working as designed by identifying issues that need to be addressed before going forward. IPPS-A is a giant leap forward, and we are going to get it right.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.