March 29, 2006
Present: Allen Berger, Tracy Bigney, Dick Campbell, Ralph Caruso, Tracy Elliott, Frank Gerry, Jon Henry, Tom Hopkins, Dana Humphrey, Sue Hunter, Dick Kimball, Jan Loomis, Cindy Mitchell, John Murphy, Sharon Nadeau, Tom Potter, Laurie Pruett, Rosa Redonnett, Bill Wells, Joanne Yestramski. Grace Noon-Kaye (process observer), Eddie Meisner (recorder)
Allen welcomed the group and introduced Grace, who is observing and will help the group to define its role moving forward.
2. Interim Director of Shared Processing Center
Joanne introduced Jonathan Henry, who has been named interim director of the Shared Processing Center for a two-year term officially commencing on July 1. The job description for the interim director position was distributed with the agenda for this meeting. A search for a permanent director will occur at the conclusion of the interim period. At that point we’ll be in a different phase of development, and the job description may be different as well.
Jon will continue as admissions SME during this time, and will also join the Steering Committee, so should be added to appropriate email lists.
3. Role of Steering Committee
Allen has discussed the role of this group with the project Sponsors, who agree that the Steering Committee should be able to “steer.” A discussion about hopes for the Steering Committee in the coming months included these questions and observations:
--How should Steering Committee fit into the staffing diagram? How much authority should the group have?
--Are we bypassed by Sponsors making decisions, and IDP people working directly with campuses? Are we reactive rather than proactive?
--Can we have preliminary conversations before decisions are made?
--Does/should this group actually have a monitoring, rather than a leading, role? Perhaps step in as necessary if things don’t seem to be going in the right direction?
--This group will have a critical role assessing whether or not we are ready to go live on July 31 with the central processing operation.
-- As we think about adding functions to the processing center, this committee will play a central role in deciding which MVPs and when.
--It’s important to serve as a conduit to the campuses, ensuring that the flow of information gets to the right people there.
--A key role for each member of this committee will be to help steer his/her campus through the process and to bring campus perspective to the discussion. This includes the cheerleader role and the feedback loop role.
-- The project is a campus + System project. This group can identify campus needs and expectations, and then determine what System-wide Services can deliver to meet those expectations. There is shared responsibility and shared rewards.
--As SMEs or project directors see broad issues, they will bring them to the Steering Committee, as happens now. (E.g. IDP teams have made recommendations on certain things that they expect the Steering Committee to consider and approve.)
--The Steering Committee can help to assure that decisions about policy issues are made by appropriate groups (CAOs, CFOs) in a timely manner.
Jan noted that we are not in an unusual place in comparison with other institutions involved in these efforts. Ralph emphasized that this group is very important to the success of everything we have done and are doing. Allen concluded the discussion noting that he senses a group commitment to the project and to making meetings a productive use of time and source of strength for the overall project. He welcomes open or confidential recommendations about how we can continue to work effectively.
4. PeopleSoft Updates and Decisions
a. Go-live for Records and Financials
The IDP groups for Student Records and Student Financials recommend changing the go-live dates to begin with the Fall 2008 academic year. A memo from Alison Cox and Cindy (provided with agenda) highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed change. The change will allow implementation of student records and student financials applications to follow the natural business processes of the academic year, and will also mean that PeopleSoft goes live in small increments (no “big bang”), while ISIS is also still in use.
With these caveats:
--be mindful of the time commitment for campus representatives
--look to mitigate costs
--ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place while the two systems are simultaneously in use,
the Steering Committee approved the recommendation.
b. Degree Audit
Cindy explained the benefits of implementing degree audit with student records (it is important to have the Student Records IDP team in the room during training and planning for degree audit so they will know the process). Local institutions will decide whether to use degree audit, and if so, the pace at which it is implemented at that campus.
Dick C. asked about the timing of IDP sessions. Cindy will confirm that no sessions will be scheduled in late August and early September.
Dana said he needs to better understand how exceptions will be handled before he can comfortably approve anything having to do with degree audit. It was suggested that the consultant for this project will meet with UMaine campus representatives to help provide a fuller understanding of the process. Dick K. suggested that degree audit should be constructed on a campus with the consultant.
An update on degree audit will be provided at the next meeting.
c. Admissions Go-live
Cindy brought to the Steering Committee the recommendation that Spring 2007 applications for admission be entered into ISIS; Summer and Fall 2007 applications be entered into PeopleSoft. This from a risk management perspective: we can determine how sound the ISIS/PeopleSoft interface is, and how efficiently the new Shared Processing Center will work with a smaller number of applications. The Admissions Directors support this recommendation.
The Steering Committee endorsed the recommendation.
d. HR Update
Time did not permit a full discussion of the HR upgrade. However, October is not comfortable for the go-live. More information will be available next meeting.
5, Shared Processing Center
a. Discussion of Draft Critical Path Check-List
Ralph referred to this Checklist that was distributed with the agenda, and noted that the “announce appointment of interim director” is complete. Some items will be re-ordered, but the intent is to fill in a date for every action item. At the next meeting of the Steering Committee (April 20), about 20 high-level tasks should have dates and people assigned; Ralph will report progress then and monthly thereafter. A new draft should be distributed by April 10.
Tracy B. noted that the proposed process for filling classified positions at the Center has some bargaining issues. Some positions—specifically the loan processing positions where employees are already doing work for several campuses—may be filled without a search but by direct transfer. Other positions would be filled by first posting on every campus at admissions, bursar, registrar, financial aid, and loan offices. Selection from applicants would be based on qualifications, including familiarity with the specific processes that will be included at the Center. Length of service could be a tie breaker. Next these positions would be posted internally within the System but across all campuses and departments. Finally, if necessary, external advertisement.
For employee relocations of more than 50 miles, up to $1500 may be available for moving assistance. This needs to be made clear and part of the process.
A consultant from CedarCrestone has been asked to review where we are in plans for go-live, our risk and plans to cover risk, and whether we are in position to execute this plan in late July. The consultant will report to Presidents Council on June 10 and of course to the Steering Committee as well.
b. Accountability Measures for Center
Allen said that work on accountability measures for the Center and assessment of Center services will begin at the next Steering Committee meeting. He asked the committee members to gather input so a thoughtful discussion of such measures can take place in April. Jon added that an evaluative process is needed for each of the functional areas, plus students.
Elsa reminded the group to look at evaluation of the Center in the context of Strategic Direction #6. Variables and benchmarks should be discussed by everyone who is served.
a. Focus/pilot groups
Eddie said that the Training and Communications team from Project Enterprise will be visiting each campus during April to meet with pilot groups of employees. The groups are being asked to view and provide input about a draft overview presentation that will subsequently be presented System-wide, and to talk as well about the training plan and materials being developed. In the future the Steering Committee will be asked for suggestions for participants in any focus/pilot groups.
b. Upcoming Project Enterprise newsletter
The next issue of Employee Update is set to go to press by the end of the week. It includes an announcement about the appointment of the interim director of the Center. The lead story focuses on document imaging/management at USM.
c. Our roles
Allen emphasized that committee members need to communicate on campuses about decisions made today. Communicate conceptually about the six-month Critical Path Checklist, and build confidence about this and how decisions will be made with regard to going live. Information about the Center and information related to advertising for positions in the Center should also be shared.
a. “Where are my people?” Cindy said that IDP team members are coming back to Bangor at their request to do some validation of the design and robust testing of critical processes like the 3Cs, which involve business processes for the campuses and the Center and for document management. This is risk management, acting on lessons learned in the past.
On-site conversion testing will be scheduled in Bangor as well. Cindy noted that we must be sure the data and the interface are perfect and are tested thoroughly. This is an opportunity for campuses to send some people who may NOT have been intensely involved in the IDP. A mix of experienced and inexperienced people would be ideal for this testing. The training team can be available as this occurs.
The CRM web application has been purchased. Jon noted that although we are on the bleeding edge, we have the top consultants in country working with us. The delivered template has some gaps in it (does not include some items we need to gather, such as residency and academic sub-plan), so we are identifying the work needed on the technical side. On April 25 a prototype will be unveiled. There will be one application with several branches, which will allow campus-specific branding at the beginning and end of the app. Jon emphasized that we are going to end up with something great.
Next meetings: Thursday, April 20.
The meeting tentatively scheduled for May 23 will be rescheduled for another date. It will be an in-person meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
Eddie Meisner, Recorder