Minutes - November 8, 2004
Present: Doug Gelinas, Ginny Gibson, and John Gregory (UMaine), Dick Campbell (UMA), Frank Roberts (UMF), Don Raymond (UMFK), Tom Potter (UMM), Lida Pinkham (UMPI), Rosa Redonnett and Bill Wells (USM), Laurie Pruett (University College), Gerry Dube (UNET), Elsa Nuñez, Joanne Yestramski, Tracy Bigney, Tracy Elliott, and Jim Breece (UMS), Cindy Mitchell, Bill Elsemore, Jean Meakin, Alison Cox, Eddie Meisner (Project Enterprise)
Project Enterprise Update to the Board of Trustees
Joanne Yestramski shared the presentation she gave at a recent Board of Trustees Finance/Facilities Committee meeting. She noted that questions from Board members focused on the timeline and on the use of consultants. (The Powerpoint presentation—along with previous updates to the Board—is available on the Project Enterprise website.)
Project Implementation Updates
A. Training and Communications
Joanne introduced Cindy Mitchell as Interim Project Director, following John Sponaugle’s resignation (effective last Friday).
Cindy explained that Eloise Kleban will be coordinating the training effort during this time, and Hope Eaton will assist with logistics. Linda Reid from UMaine’s Student Records Office will help the training team on a part-time basis. Eddie Meisner will continue to report directly to Cindy.
A Test Plan is being developed that will provide specifics about the “who, what, when” of the testing period prior to Financials implementation. A sandbox database is being created, in which users will be able to learn and practice, using their real PeopleSoft roles.
Several important training-related questions need to be addressed, including: (1) How do we handle people who refuse to be trained? Can we refuse to assign a PeopleSoft ID until training has been completed? (2) What is our plan for providing ongoing training after implementation? If training is centralized, how would that impact the campuses and the start dates of new employees? (3) How can we assure that ongoing training—if done at the campus—is of even quality?
It was decided that the Training and Communications Task Force and the Campus Coordinators should consider the question of mandatory training and draft a rule to be added to the Project’s Guiding Principles stating that if a user inputs data to the system, s/he must be trained before being issued an ID. If the user only looks at the data, s/he does not need training. Once such a rule is drafted, it will return to this group for review.
Cindy also elaborated a bit on the need for external consultants in the ongoing project, and said that we will continue to require functional experts until the “end” to guide our SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). On the technical side, we will be able to wean ourselves off the need for technical consultants as our employees increase their levels of expertise with PeopleSoft. Maintaining the system on an ongoing basis is very different from implementation.
Bill Elsemore reported that the Chart of Accounts is nearly complete and is up-to-date through the end of June 2004, with continuing updates as needed.
The Translate Tool is online and running. Bill noted that 939 employees now have access to the tool in the development database. This week it will be put on everyone’s portal along with a bit more functionality, including the reverse lookup feature.
Business process documentation is still being completed, with a few specific write-ups needed.
Data are being converted using the translate table. Using balances from FY2004, each FAST ten-digit account is being converted and a transaction generated and reconciled to be sure that monthly totals are the same. The goal is to have all of FY2004 done by mid-December, then begin on the current fiscal year data.
Testing of reporting features is being done; security is coming along.
GL Inquiry Pages will be demonstrated at the next meeting of this group. As Bill says, “GL Inquiry Pages does everything that WebFAST does—and more.”
C. Purchasing/Accounts Payable
Jean Meakin noted that although she always reports on the same things, progress is being made on:
- security setups
- dollar-amount approval levels on campuses
- individual setups on users (requested by campuses)
- conversions (partial invoices are a challenge)
- e-Marketplace (vendors are now on secure servers)
D. Position Management
Cindy reported that although Position Management has been smoothly implemented, it is not yet complete. Cleanup activities include reviewing position titles; shared positions; population of the “reports-to” field by campus staff; identification and creation of vacant positions by campuses; identification and population of department manager field by campuses; purchase of VISIO for people who will use it to generate organizational charts; identification of responsible users of same.
Tracy Bigney noted that HR is attempting to integrate into Position Management, as much as is possible, data collected in the PDQ salary survey.
Cindy emphasized that in order for Position Management data to be of value to campuses, the information must be regularly and continually updated. She acknowledged that this may mean work for HR departments, but encouraged the attitude that Position Management information is for the “greater good” of the institution. Joanne agreed; because the University System has never used Position Management as an HR and budgeting tool, we don’t know what we’ve been missing.
Alison Cox said that Admissions Fit/Gap has concluded, and provided a handout (attached) to update the Committee on Student Administration. She reported the need for a SME for Student Records, and asked the group to consider who might serve in this capacity, and how that might be arranged.
Alison encouraged campuses to consider sending appropriate admissions and student records employees to the excellent PeopleSoft Higher Education Users Group meeting in Las Vegas the third week of March. Joanne reiterated these comments, adding that anyone who attends should be expected to return with information to present to others.
F. PeopleSoft Users Group
There is a growing need for a multi-functional users group to negotiate shared data solutions . Ideally, this group would be able to resolve issues without always having to consult the Sponsors and Steering Committee. Alison suggested some possible members and some scenarios for how such a group might be configured. Joanne asked campus reps to send email to her regarding the suggested names, or other names, and she will approach the presidents for their nominations. Meanwhile, Alison and Cindy will create a specific charge to this users group for review by the Sponsors and Steering Committee.
Student Services Transformation Project Phase II
Joanne and Elsa Nuñez have presented a proposal to the presidents about backoffice consolidation for student administration services, and will soon send a copy to this group. Highlights are:
- establish team based upon SSTP team; “front-load” with admissions expertise, but include all functional areas
- select internal project leader for team
- hire consultant/facilitator to serve as organizational representative to team
- convene team before Christmas
- team meets two days/week in January to identify backroom processes (Processing Center), including document imaging, staffing, and location
- Project leader reports directly to Joanne and Elsa
Elsa advised the group that convergence of the Chancellor’s Strategic Plan and the Student Services Transformation Project make this design undertaking timely and appropriate. She also cautioned that the presidents must give final approval to this proposal before it can be implemented.
CIO Search Update
Jim Breece said that more than 300 applications have been submitted in response to our advertisements for the CIO position. The goal is to identify the selected candidate early in the spring semester. Jim distributed handouts that describe the functional model for IT organization and for IT organizational relationships. Members of the search committee include, in addition to Jim, Rich Pattenaude, Gerry Dube, Tracy Bigney, Ginny Gibson, Allen Berger, and Bob White, with assistance from the IT Planning & Policy Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
Eddie Meisner, Recorder
Attachments to hard copy of these minutes:
- Student Administration Update
- IT Organization – Functional Model
- IT Organizational Relationships