October 5, 2005
Present: Bradley Bean, Allen Berger, Tracy Bigney, Jim Breece, Dick Campbell, Ralph Caruso, Tracy Elliott, Frank Gerry, Sue Hunter, Richard Kimball, Eddie Meisner, Cindy Mitchell, John Murphy, Sharon Nadeau, Tom Potter, Laurie Pruett, Rosa Redonnett, Bill Wells, Joanne Yestramski, Jan Loomis
A. Allen Berger and Joanne Yestramski explained that THESIS + PeopleSoft = Project Enterprise, an overarching initiative with a single steering committee. Sponsors for THESIS and PeopleSoft met and merged also. A consultant (Jan Loomis, CedarCrestone) with extensive experience in higher education business process redesign and PeopleSoft implementation has been hired.
B. Cindy Mitchell reported that the financials environment is stabilizing post go-live; conversion errors are being corrected and training is ongoing. Discoverer training will begin soon. Executive management training for financials (“why did we do this?”) is also being developed.
Academic Structure has been redesigned from one institution overall to one institution for each campus. This resolves design conflicts and provides for improved self-service. The move from PeopleSoft 8.0 to 8.9 also provides better user interface and functionality.
The term “fit/gap” does not really apply to current Campus Community and Academic Structure work. Thus the term “interactive design and prototype” will be used. (Members of the Steering Committee must be oral communicators about this and other terminology). Rather than determining what fits and where the gaps are, the campus representatives to this work are actually designing and populating tables, setting up as they go. When finished with this process, these people will know how to use the system. For this reason, Cindy emphasized that it is essential that a representative from EACH UNIVERSITY be in the room during this phase; it’s the only way a campus will be properly represented during the design and structuring. The campus rep need not be the same person throughout.
Admissions go-live remains scheduled for the end of July 2006, and Cindy proposed a phased go-live rather than an abrupt cutover. This would allow users to continue to use ISIS to enter data pertaining to current students while beginning to use PeopleSoft’s web-based recruiting pages, admissions pages (E-apps), automated decision process, and 3Cs for the entering classes for spring and fall of 2007 (and beyond). This scenario would minimize conversion issues at the time of go-live, as all current student data would remain in ISIS. CRM (customer relationship management) will be a later implementation, and will require individual universities to develop branding and marketing plans.
A phased implementation will minimize risks to students and campuses and improves our opportunity to succeed with the go-live date we have.
C. THESIS update: Allen noted that the presidents saw last year’s work last spring and endorsed the “above the line” (stay localized on campus) and “below the line” (go to processing center) analysis of business processes. The presidents also endorsed process maps and two simultaneous projects for 2005-2006: design of processing center with items of “low hanging fruit”: loan collections, paper handling, and admissions and financial aid data entry; and building one-stop service centers on each campus where front desk bursars, registrars, and financial aid offices will be brought together to serve students.
Laurie Pruett reported that in June, representatives from the universities determined how to proceed with speeds and feeds data. These data will be plugged into spreadsheets for analysis later this month by Chris Bell, Steve Rand, Chris LeGore, and Laurie. The business case for the center needs to be fleshed out, and a master list of policy and procedures is being identified for consideration by appropriate groups.
A Policy subcommittee has been formed: Lorelei Locke, Peggy Crawford, Dennis Casey, Marty Berry, Steve Rand, Pam Ford-Taylor (and Laurie). This group will convene their own functional groups and get policy decisions where possible. When the group is unable to make decisions, an escalation process is used; recommendations are sent onward to appropriate decision makers (Chief Academic Officers or Chief Financial Officers, for example). It is recognized that some issues will not be resolved; this will be communicated and understood.
D. John Grover has assumed responsibility for document management. Two vendors are finalists; John getting prices and should have good idea about what is selected by the end of next week. A business/implementation plan will be developed; a pilot in financial aid is anticipated at USM before next July. This system will be used for applications that do not come in electronically, and should allow an immediate scan of the paper app wherever it comes in. Each university will have access to the program; scanners will be deployed wherever appropriate and needed. Things really need to be in place by July 2006.
Question: If document is imaged at one campus, does that apply to record retention regulations at another campus?
We will need agreement about what information we’ll be documenting across the system.
E. Project Guiding Principles regarding the student administrative system and assumptions that have guided THESIS project were distributed. They and the Project Enterprise Guiding Principles are also available on the websites. Feel free to copy and share.
2. Discussion with Jan Loomis/ 3. Organizing the Work Ahead of Us
Jan introduced CedarCrestone, noted that there are no models quite like us, and briefly described the plan of approach, Project Charter, methodology, and communications plan. He emphasized that the one-stop centers and processing center envisioned by THESIS will not be a “birthing,” but rather a growing/evolving process.
Employee concerns. Frank Gerry noted employee concerns that the point of THESIS was to reduce the number of employees in the University of Maine System (and mentioned the reference to “positions eliminated” in the Strategic Plan) and asked how we can put this approach on better footing. Jan agreed that yes, there is implied efficiency and cost savings in this, and an opportunity for reallocation of people. However, there is also a very strong need to focus on student recruitment and retention efforts on campuses. By removing the routine tasks from some people, time can be made available for them to focus more on these efforts. It is also important that we emphasize that a goal is to generate employees who are “knowledge workers” and not “paper processors.”
Campus One-Stop planning. Jan and Laurie will visit all campuses during the week of October 24 (Laurie will provide schedule asap) to meet the people involved in planning for campus one-stops, talk about “low hanging fruit” and physical facilities, and get feedback. Vice presidents should participate in this conversation, and ought to know what is involved for their campus team.
A list of questions will be distributed to participants the week prior to the meeting. Any other background information that would be helpful to planners would be welcome (best practices, background material on THESIS, documents from other institutions—University of Delaware?).
All campus one-stop planning leaders and as many planning team members as possible should be identified before these visits. Steering Committee members need to be talking to campus leadership about how the teams will be put together. Send to Allen the names of members of each campus one-stop team, identified by offices they work in, by their positions, and by reporting relationship. Include also a brief description of where functional areas report. Allen will create a single directory for the entire one-stop planning project.
Team leaders will serve as liaisons System-wide; team members will serve on-campus only. Teams will vary in size, but will likely be four to six people. The core functional areas affected should be represented (registrar, bursar, financial aid). A liaison from admissions and advising and from student housing might be good, to the extent that one-stop services might coordinate with these areas. The team should include both professional and classified staff (the latter should not be excluded; they want/need involvement). Classified employees may need support, especially if supervisors are not fully on board. If distance learning is significant on a campus, perhaps a rep from the university college side should be added.
Rosa Redonnett noted that student input on the planning team would be valuable since students will be using the self-service functions. Perhaps student focus groups could be used for validation. Jan mentioned that often work-study students in financial aid or admissions know what paperwork is being handled most often, and what is most frequently misplaced.
The business case presented to presidents should mention that creation of the one-stops (and processing center) development initiative whereby classified employees could gain new credentials, allowing them to move into professional positions.
A list of tentative participants on the planning teams for the one-stop centers and the processing center was distributed.
A kickoff to introduce and provide information about the one-stops is planned for January. The actual opening for business of the various one-stops (and the processing center) will not necessarily coincide. Each campus has unique characteristics and the timing of its center opening will depend on those campus characteristics. Some processing center services may be available before others.
Organizational change. Jan emphasized that organizational change is less a technical challenge than a people challenge. We need to follow through with communications in a variety of channels to get the information out.
Senior management folks need to be the campus cheerleaders/champions for this project. Presidents must fully understand what is happening. There is also a need for informal leaders. How do we bring these people into it?
PeopleSoft has created more work at the outset. How can we help those people who only have to do more work find enthusiasm and acceptance? It is essential that we continue to remind employees why we are doing this and also identify benefits that PS brings to people and to campuses (it will probably take two to three years to see real benefits). We must also recognize that it takes TIME to learn the functionality of the new system. Suggested newsletter/website topic: testimonials from “silent supporters” who have successes and “aha” moments.
Processing Center planning. A listing of tentative participants for Processing Center was provided. Jan suggested that the core team might create smaller groups to develop options in the various strands to take back to large group.
Fit/gap (IDP) participants: Charts of all participants in fit/gap (or interactive design and prototype) listed by date and by name were distributed. These are drafts. Send corrections to Eddie Meisner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Training Coordinators: Cindy noted the need for a training coordinator for each campus for the Student implementation. This person will lead and coordinate the training activity on campus and work with the Project Enterprise trainers and communications coordinator to develop logistics and a campus training schedule. Because Student Administration Services is much more complex than Financial Management, it will be difficult for one person to “get hands around” all the student modules.
Future meetings: Jan and Laurie will soon have suggestions for how best the Project Enterprise Steering Committee can participate and help with this project.
Next meetings are scheduled for November 7 and December 6.
The meeting was adjourned.
Eddie Meisner, Recorder