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Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekly Update and Key Messages for the Week of 12/24/12

ESUP Forums at UMR, CLA
ESUP Program Director Andy Hill and UMN Director of Academic Support Resources Sue Van Voorhis traveled to the University of Minnesota Rochester campus on Tuesday, Dec. 18,  for a UMR campus kickoff event. According to Hill, UMR Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle spent more than four hours with the two of them and key UMR leaders; additionally, an open forum on the program was attended by approximately 40 members of the the UMR community, who expressed strong support and enthusiasm for the program and its goals.

Hill also gave an ESUP overview presentation to staff and stakeholders from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Liberal Arts (CLA) on Wednesday, Dec. 19. According to CLA Finance Director Brent Gustafson, the audience numbered approximately 50 people, including most of the college’s Finance and HRMS user community and a number of key stakeholders from the academic side.

Other colleges interested in planning an ESUP forum should contact communications director Jim Thorp at (612) 624-8942 or jthorp@umn.edu.

Changes in ESUP Leadership
College of Biological Sciences Dean Robert Elde will be taking over as chair of the ESUP Executive Oversight Committee following Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy’s retirement at the end of this month. (Read the full announcement here.)  Also, please welcome Sherwood Daniels to the ESUP Leadership Team, as project director for the Portal work stream and Susan Geller’s CCI counterpart.

HCM Rocks!
Last week’s demos of the latest versions of the HRMS system (PeopleSoft HCM version 9.1 and 9.2) earned rave reviews from HRMS project directors Kris Hause (UMN) and others in attendance. Among the system highlights, stakeholders were wowed by the Manager’s Dashboard, loved Forms and Approvals functionality, and saw great opportunities in the Life Events functionality for the Benefits module. Enthusiasm for the new system is high going into the final weeks of Phase 1 for HRMS.

Staggered Scheduling for ESUP Work Streams
Coordinating the several work stream-specific projects that comprise ESUP is no small task. Each is starting from a very different point, with its own unique scope and objectives, but with the need for a shared roll-out and successful cross-functional integration.

The Student and HRMS work streams, for example, are undertaking significant system and business-process changes, and as a result, are the first two work streams out of the gate. (In fact, Student is approximately four to six weeks ahead of HRMS, as planned, and is effectively piloting ESUP governance processes and methodologies for the rest of the program.)

Since EFS was implemented relatively recently, changes in the Finance work stream are less substantial, and Phase 1 for Finance has not yet begun in earnest. This is the reason that Finance system stakeholders have heard relatively little about the project in recent weeks. Rest assured, you will hear more about the Finance project in the new year, as the EFS upgrade gets underway and integration points with the Student and HRMS systems are discussed in detail.

The Portal and Enterprise Data Management and Reporting (EDMR) work streams are also still ramping up. The scope of these cross-functional projects touches each of the other work streams and requires both a high level of coordination and extensive stakeholder engagement to be successful. We will be reporting more frequently on the progress of these projects in the coming year, as well.

Upgrade Lab On Track for Early January
The CCI Upgrade Lab is on track to deliver the development and test environments for PeopleSoft CS version 9.0 (the new Student system) in early January, as planned.

ESUP Meetings and Communications Schedule for the Holidays
There are no ESUP sessions and few standing meetings scheduled after this week due to the winter holidays and break. If you have meetings scheduled, please take a moment to confirm them with your colleagues. Sessions will resume on Monday, Jan. 7.

This is the weekly update for Monday, Dec. 24, and there will be no ESUP messages on Monday, Dec. 31. Beginning on Monday, Jan. 7, the ESUP weekly update and key messages will resume the regular release time of Monday afternoons.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What is Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP)
and Why Do We Need to Do It?

When upgrading to a new version of software, there’s always a change in how specific tasks are accomplished. You likely have experienced this with programs you use daily; new buttons are available, some options move to another area, some tasks are accomplished in another way. Since the software was designed for a wide base of users, you likely find some things to be the same, some things to be easier, and some things to be more difficult. Some tasks may not even be possible in the new version.

When the software being upgraded is your word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word) or web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome), these differences may be frustrating at first, but over time, you develop new habits. When the software is an enterprise resource planning system, a more methodical approach to addressing the differences is needed. For the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP), this approach is called Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP).

The first phase of ESUP is a fit/gap analysis. This involves a comparison of our current business processes with the upgraded version of PeopleSoft to see where there are “fits” and where there are differences, or “gaps,” between how we do things now and the functionality provided within the off-the-shelf (or “vanilla”) version of PeopleSoft.

The off-the-shelf versions of the HR and student PeopleSoft systems implemented in the 1990s were not yet sophisticated enough for our operations. Over the years, these systems have been heavily customized with groundbreaking applications to deliver functionality that PeopleSoft originally could not provide. Today, however, the off-the-shelf capabilities of PeopleSoft exceed those of many of our customizations, but they may work differently. Those differences are addressed in IDP.

The IDP process focuses on the business requirements of the institution and how the new functionality of the software will meet those requirements when the upgraded system goes live.  The approach ESUP is taking for IDP is process-centric. This means that technological gaps between current practice and how the new version of PeopleSoft works will be approached in the context of an entire business process (e.g., financial aid application processing, grade entry, hiring an employee, changing a job appointment). This process-centric approach helps identify opportunities to facilitate best practices, enhances the knowledge of both business and technological experts, and aids in knowledge transfer.

In order to be successful, it is critical that the right people participate in IDP. In addition to consultants from implementation partner, CedarCrestone, there will be University business analysts, subject matter experts, and members of functional steering committees (or their designees). These key decision makers will work together to make design decisions quickly and effectively by identifying business process requirements, reviewing the functionality available in the new version of PeopleSoft, and prototyping business processes to identify issues.
When the off-the-shelf version of PeopleSoft does not meet all of the business requirements, a gap in functionality is identified. The team will then work together to develop solutions for bridging the gaps and recommend their approval by the governance of ESUP. In addition to these solutions, the IDP process will also identify requirements for training, security, testing, and change management.

The IDP process is intensive and time-consuming--one business process may take several weeks of day-long work sessions. Sessions will run concurrently for approximately six months. At the end, solutions for how to move forward will be finalized and developers will have the information they need to complete the technological upgrade.

While ESUP is a multi-year project and most changes will not take effect until 2014 or later, how we operate in the future will be decided in IDP. These highly interactive and participative sessions are designed to gather the best collective ideas of system users and stakeholders. They should be intense, but very rewarding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Elde to Chair ESUP Executive Oversight Committee
Following Mulcahy Retirement

College of Biological Sciences Dean Robert Elde has agreed to chair the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) Executive Oversight Committee when the current chair, Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy, retires this month.

The Executive Oversight Committee includes the leaders of the functional areas directly impacted by ESUP: Vice President Kathy Brown (Human Resources), Vice Provost Bob McMaster (Student), Vice President Richard Pfutzenreuter (Finance) and Vice President Scott Studham (Information Technology). As chair, Mulcahy was charged with bringing a more independent and enterprise-wide perspective to the group, ensuring that ESUP succeeds as more than three independent projects and more than a technological upgrade.

“If we do this the way we’re trying to, the institution will change its operational culture,” Mulcahy said. “This is the next step for survival: we need to evolve a central nervous system. We have a lot of smart people -- nerves all over the place -- but we need better coordination. If I have a stake in this, it’s to change the culture to take an enterprise view and be more collaborative.”

Vice President Mulcahy has led the Executive Oversight Committee at the request of President Eric Kaler since the committee was charged in October of 2011. Elde will continue in this role, bringing an enterprise perspective with the University’s academic mission at the forefront. Mulcahy and Elde are working together through the end of the month to facilitate the transition.

“I’m delighted that Dean Elde has agreed to take over and bring his leadership skills to this challenging and necessary system-wide effort,” said University President Eric Kaler. “I’d like to thank Tim for all of his innovative and hard work in leading this important culture change.”

“Tim Mulcahy has provided excellent leadership and I look forward to continuing on the same trajectory,” Elde said. “This is a valuable opportunity to improve the University’s operational excellence by coordinating and simplifying administrative processes in key areas.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Update and Key Messages for the Week of 12/17/12

Progress Across All ESUP Work Streams 
The Student and HRMS work streams announced last week that they have scheduled the remainder of their Plan and Discover sessions and are beginning to look toward the Analyze and Design phase of the program. While the focus of Plan and Discover has been the careful review and verification of Student and HRMS fit-gaps (confirming what the systems and business processes need to be able to do, but not how they do it), the focus of Analyze and Design will be Interactive Design and Prototype (IDP) sessions -- hands-on sessions in which participants will help to design how the systems and processes should work together. These highly interactive and participative sessions are designed to gather the best collective ideas of system users and stakeholders. They should be intense, but very rewarding. This Thursday morning, Dec. 20, CCI will lead UMN program and project directors and lead business analysts from across all of the work streams through a half-day of IDP training in preparation for the second phase of the program. This “train the trainer” session will enable each work stream to prepare its respective team and stakeholders to conduct productive IDPs.

The Finance, Reporting, Portal and Technology work streams continue to meet with stakeholders, define their respective strategies, and form teams and working groups to address the challenges of their projects. It is important to note that these ESUP projects are proceeding as planned and on schedule. Because the starting point, scope and scale of these projects differ significantly from Student and HRMS, they are ramping up at their own pace and will have more to report as they progress. Users and stakeholders in these areas should expect more communication and engagement in the coming weeks, and the rollout of new systems and processes will still happen in a coordinated and timely manner as ESUP moves toward completion in 2014.

First ESUP Quality Review Wraps Up This Week
CCI quality manager Vickie Cleary is completing a series of interviews with selected ESUP team members this week and will issue a draft report for review by the end of the month. Once finalized, this independent report will be shared more broadly with program leadership to address recommended changes and ensure continuous improvement. If you have not been contacted or surveyed as part of this first quality review, do not be concerned -- not everyone will be targeted for every review.

Early Results of Stakeholder Assessment Look Positive
The response to the initial ESUP Stakeholder Assessment Survey was strong, with 30 percent of those invited to take the survey responding. While the survey showed significant areas of opportunity to increase understanding about the scope and rationale for the upgrade program, overall support for and confidence in the program are high across all stakeholder groups surveyed. Respondents were vocal with regard to their expectations and concerns regarding ESUP -- the Change Partners team, a cross-functional group of ESUP representatives, communicators and change professionals, is now reviewing the quantitative results and pages of comments from each work stream, looking for emerging themes. A comprehensive report on the survey results will be released in January.

ESUP Downshifts for the Holidays
There are no ESUP sessions and few standing meetings scheduled after this week due to the winter holidays and break. If you have meetings scheduled next week or the first week of January, please take a moment to confirm them with your colleagues. Sessions will resume on Monday, Jan. 7.

 Happy holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Update and Key Messages for the Week of 12/10/12

Please Welcome the Tech Team! 
As of this morning, the ESUP technology teams are officially moved into 150 Williamson. Please stop by and say hello -- they will be working in Williamson until the WBOB renovation is completed. 

Momentum Growing Across All Work Streams
Plan and Discover sessions for the Student and HRMS work streams continue at a brisk pace. Student has completed its Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and Admissions sessions last week and is beginning to plan the Analyze and Design phase, which will launch in early 2013. HRMS is resuming its Benefits sessions following the close of open enrollment and will host two days of PeopleSoft demos on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. (See the ESUP Consolidated Calendar for details.)

The Finance work stream is preparing to launch three new work groups -- Accounts Payable, Billing, and Commitment Accounting -- and our e-Procurement vendor, SciQuest, is hosting its first user focus group this Thursday. Our two cross-functional work streams, Portal and Enterprise Data Management and Reporting (EDMR), continue to assemble their project teams and strategies in preparation for sessions beginning after the first of the year.

On the technology side of the program, the Identity Management and Security (IdM) work stream met with the University of Minnesota Foundation, Office of Information Technology IdM, and the ESUP Student and HRMS teams to discuss IdM requirements and integration points. These meetings will continue next week and include the Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester campuses, as well as University Libraries and Google.

Finally, the ESUP leadership team also continues to develop. Please welcome Portal project director Sherwood Daniels, who will serve as Susan Geller’s counterpart from CedarCrestone (CCI), and Jacqueline (Jac) Campbell, project manager for metrics, who will be working to develop executive, internal and external metrics for ESUP.

ESUP Quality Review Process Begins This Week
As mentioned last week, CCI will conduct our first Program Quality Review to ensure that the appropriate leadership, structures, processes and documentation are in place for quality assurance. Vickie Cleary, a quality manager in CCI’s higher education practice, will be interviewing selected team members and surveying a larger group this week. Please understand that the purpose of this review is strictly quality assurance, so your honest feedback is requested and encouraged. If you are not contacted or surveyed, do not be concerned -- not everyone will be targeted in this or future quality reviews.

REMINDER: Stakeholder Assessment Survey Closes Tuesday
If you received an email invitation to take the ESUP Stakeholder Assessment Survey, please complete the survey by tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 11. We have had a strong response so far, but would like to hear from everyone targeted with this assessment! If you did not receive the survey, please keep in mind that this is only the first of many opportunities for users and stakeholders to engage with ESUP and make their opinions heard. If you would like to be included in future assessments, please email esup@umn.edu.

ESUP Expanding Across the U System
Following a successful kickoff event at the University of Minnesota Duluth and conversations and visits to the other University campuses, we are strengthening connections and scheduling forums at the University of Minnesota Rochester next week, and in Crookston and Morris in early 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekly Update and Key Messages for the Week of 12/3/12

ESUP Continues to Move Forward, Reach Milestones
Last week the Student work stream reached Upgrade Workbook Checkpoint #1, another milestone in the Student upgrade project. Essentially, this means that the extensive fit-gap documentation we have at this time has been compiled for preliminary review, first by the business analysts, then by the functional steering committees. Once reviewed and approved, this iterative Plan and Discover “workbook” will serve as the foundation for the next round of sessions in the Analyze and Design phase. Since the fit-gap validation sessions are not quite completed yet, the current workbook may be subject to revision if new information surfaces in the remaining sessions.

Also last week, the Enterprise Data Management and Reporting (EDMR) work stream invited a group of college and central-unit data warehouse users to demonstrate their systems for the ESUP Integration team in order to provide CCI with a better understanding of how the data warehouse is currently being used. Users representing Institutional Research, Graduate Education, Academic Support Resources, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Education, the Academic Health Center, the Office of the Vice President for Research, Carlson School of Management, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs all participated in the demonstration.

Finally, the Upgrade Lab is currently ahead of schedule with upgrading the Student and HRMS systems to version 9.0. This initial upgrade is the first step in the process of splitting the Student and HRMS shared database into two separate databases, enabling the two systems to be upgraded and maintained independently going forward.

Williamson Hall Is Bustling!
A number of HRMS and EDMR team members moved into the Williamson space last week, and despite a network outage on Tuesday, began to settle into their new surroundings. Additionally, ESUP team members from WBOB will be moving to the Williamson space while work on the WBOB space continues. Adjusting to more communal/shared office space, new technologies, and new ways of working together is certainly easier with the support of your colleagues, so please take the time to introduce yourself to new team members and pitch in when needed!

Stakeholder Assessment Survey Launches This Week
The ESUP Change Partners Team is sending a stakeholder assessment survey to roughly 5,000 people across the University’s five campuses this week. The purpose of this survey is to gather baseline information on ESUP awareness, knowledge, concerns, expectations, and engagement. Most of the respondents will be University staff -- we started with a baseline list of ESUP team members and stakeholders, then asked each work stream to add their own list of key stakeholders, users, and influencers, as well as people who have self-identified as wanting to stay informed or engaged in ESUP.

If you received the email invitation to take this survey, please complete the survey by Tuesday, Dec. 11. If you did not receive the survey, please keep in mind that this is only the first of many opportunities for users and stakeholders to engage with ESUP and make their opinions heard. If you would like to be included in future assessments, please email esup@umn.edu.

First ESUP Quality Review on the Horizon
In the coming weeks, an independent consultant from CCI will be conducting our first Program Quality Review to ensure that the appropriate leadership, structures, processes and documentation are in place for quality assurance. This independent reviewer may reach out to certain ESUP members to ask about certain aspects of how the program is being administered. Please understand that the purpose of this review is strictly quality assurance, so your honest feedback is requested and encouraged.