Minutes - May 31, 2006
Present: Allen Berger, Tracy Bigney, Dick Campbell, Jolynn Campbell, Ralph Caruso, Tracy Elliott, Frank Gerry, Joan Getchell (for Tom Potter), Jon Henry, Dana Humphrey, Sue Hunter, Dick Kimball, Eddie Meisner, Cindy Mitchell, John Murphy, Sharon Nadeau, Elsa Nunez, Laurie Pruett, Rosa Redonnett, Robin Shaler, Janet Waldron, Bill Wells, Miriam White, Joanne Yestramski,. Special guest: John Busby
Agenda Item #4. Decide on name for enterprise software home.
Allen distributed a list of the top six names, and noted that the name should be catchy but send an appropriate message. The Committee selected MaineStreet, submitted by Sandy Lord at UMF. Jim Knight and Jane Russo will develop a logo.
Agenda Item #5. Receive report on Student, including recent changes in project management; discuss and validate recent decisions.
Cindy introduced Darren-Michael Yocum as project manager for the student administration implementation. He brings to the project much experience in such implementations, and has a great depth of knowledge about all of the various student modules.
She also reviewed the process behind the proposed fall 2008 go-live dates for Student Records and Student Financials (this actually means that the first part of the implementation takes place in the spring of 2008). This plan minimizes expensive conversions and databases, and is more affordable in personnel terms. A document on submitted to the Steering Committee in March the Project Enterprise website provides more information about this plan.
A proposal for a change to the timeline for implementation of Student Financial Aid will be presented to the Steering Committee at the next meeting.
Agenda Item #1. Receive report from John Busby on go-live readiness.
Dr. Busby from CedarCrestone presented his report, and distributed copies of the presentation. He indicated that appropriate risk assessment and management strategies are in place to meet go-live deadlines. Under Dr. Busby’s guidance, the project team has developed a comprehensive “countdown calendar” leading up to July 31 and including specific milestones that must be met. His observations about issues related to readiness for implementation are detailed in the presentation that is attached to the hard and electronic copy of these minutes.
Dr Busby noted that the project team (this includes campus IDP members) is one of the most qualified he has observed.
Dr. Kathy Brink, also of CedarCrestone, joined the Steering Committee by telephone and will present this report to the Presidents Council on June 6.
After hearing Dr. Busby’s report and further discussing the specific issues raised by the Shared Processing Center implementation, the Steering Committee formulated a draft recommendation to the presidents, which will be attached to these minutes.
Discussion about the report included these, among other, observations:
Shared Processing Center: Although it is scheduled to be “open for business” on July 31, in actuality it will ramp up its services over time. Is there a way to test for high volume times in advance? We need to clearly document and communicate exactly what the Center will do, what can be expected from the Center over time, etc. There is also concern about potential ripple effect if campus employees are lost to the Center.
Load/Stress Testing: The load on the Student system—hardware and infrastructure, app servers, web servers, etc.—will be much greater than with HR or Financials, with a larger number of concurrent users, especially during enrollment periods (and especially with Student Records in the future). The (bio-demo) name changes and applications that we anticipate with the current go-live will not pressure the system so much. How can we test to be sure that we’ll have acceptable response time now and as we move forward?
UAT (User Acceptance Testing): This will be done on production hardware and will be as similar as possible to what is “real.” End-users from campuses will follow precise scripts that lead them through all of the business processes that will be used when the new system goes live. This will ensure that everything works as planned and anticipated, and will help to identify any problems that need to be addressed before implementation. Because many components of the system are campus-specific, it is essential that representatives from each university participate in UAT.
Communications and Training: Current students need to be notified about the coming change to PeopleSoft for updating their address info, etc. A notice will be prepared for posting on the WebDSIS welcome screen. After go-live, students will need to know what to do if things do not work as expected. A plan to communicate with all end-users will be identified (as with HR and Financials, listserv mailing lists can be used to inform users if something is broken and being fixed). Campuses also have a responsibility to help end-users and to ensure that appropriate training and practice time is permitted.
Calendar: A single, unified calendar for each campus was requested, including all dates, and indicating how the various go-live events intersect, what campus representative is needed to do what and when. There is concern that some campus reps are involved in multiple projects, and need to know which take priority. The “human factor” was also noted: if people are upset, anxious, worried, afraid, then “nothing will work.”
Document Management: The first priority here is admissions. Any projects beyond that will need to be prioritized following the implementation schedule for remaining Student modules and a governance/decision structure that should be developed by the Sponsors and Steering Committee.
Campuses need to know whether their combined copier/scanners are appropriate for use with the Imagistics system and whether they are expected to invest in stand-alone scanners for each functional area.
Progress Reports: Darren-Michael will send progress reports to the Steering Committee as milestones are met on the way to implementation. The Steering Committee will meet again on June 29 (10:00 a.m. to noon) to assess progress.
Agenda Item #3. Consider recommended timeline for loan management.
Laurie noted that the draft Centralized Loan Management Timeline document includes feedback from the campuses. She and Jolynn Campbell have responsibility for implementation of loan management in the Shared Processing Center. The SPC will begin with UMaine, UMF and UMM Perkins Loan collections, and the remaining campuses will be phased in over the next 12 months, until all are centralized. However, it is expected that campuses will continue working with their students to make them understand the borrowing/repayment process.
Staff in the SPC will be cross-trained in loan collections and admissions, and will be able to perform linking activities related to document management.
Miriam White and Jolynn Campbell encouraged the campuses to participate in an early intervention program (mailings and phone calls) provided by Campus Partners, the company with which each campus already has a contract to assist with loan collections. A preliminary analysis indicates an 85% success rate in borrower response.
The proposed timeline for loan management was approved, recognizing that it may need to be adjusted in order to accommodate issues or emergencies that arise on particular campuses.
The meeting was adjourned.
Eddie Meisner, Recorder