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Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekly Update for the week of May 20, 2013

Please read through to the bottom for important information on the upcoming changes to ESUP’s Weekly Update!

Program Quality Review results
The results from ESUP’s second Program Quality Review (PQR) were presented to the Executive Oversight Committee last week. The PQR is an independent quality assurance process intended to ensure proper processes and structures are in place for the Program. Overall, ESUP is green--meaning in good shape-- in the three areas that are reviewed: Overall Project Status, Schedule, and Quality/Performance. In addition, the reviewers identified areas of programmatic strengths and potential areas for improvement. A plan for utilizing strengths and addressing improvement areas is underway.

The Executive Oversight Committee and Program Directors Andy Hill and Rebecca Collings (CCI) were pleased to read positive reviews about the team. The reviewers pointed out, “ESUP continues to be staffed with individuals who possess the subject matter expertise required to effectively and efficiently address the business and technical needs for the program. They are committed and very passionate about the program.” Great job, all!

HRMS begins stakeholder engagement planning
Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez, ESUP assistant program director for change management, communications and training, and Jim Thorp, HRMS communications lead, met with the HRMS Functional Steering Committee last week to gather input on the HRMS strategic communications plan and to brainstorm methods of stakeholder engagement. The purpose of this preliminary conversation was to help ensure broad participation, two-way communication, and shared ownership of key decisions and the resulting system.

This input from the HRMS Functional Steering Committee is particularly important as HRMS is tackling a number of issues early in its IDP process that will have widespread impact and are foundational to the quality and availability of data in the system and the overall success of the project. HRMS is considering a number of recommendations to solicit feedback and input from key stakeholders and users. The HRMS work stream website, along with a variety of in-person and electronic engagement strategies, will be used to ensure users and stakeholders understand recommended changes to the system and can weigh in on key decisions and resulting impacts.

Working toward Go Live 
A common ESUP question lately has been, “When is go live?” The Program has been hard at work with Student, Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology leadership to better understand the multiple impacts to launching a new system. Parties understand there is no convenient time to “flip the switch”, but they have come to the conversations with original ideas and fresh perspectives for how their offices can continue operations or demonstrate flexibility with dates previously considered locked. ESUP will continue to host discussions before identifying a date, but overall, the Program has been inspired by the University community’s willingness and commitment to reach a go live date with minimal impact to users.

Portal survey closes today
ESUP’s Portal team is gathering opportunities and needs for the new portal, and wants to hear from the University community about some of the ideas already collected. The team will use the survey responses to prioritize opportunities and begin design work. Please fill out the 10-15 minute survey.

Week one complete for Finance
The Finance work stream began Phase 1: Plan and Discover work last week, tackling the General Ledger. The Chart of Accounts (COA) workgroup, General Ledger (GL) business process owners, and representatives from the Student and HR work streams all attended the sessions, along with Finance’s new CCI consultant, Mike Robinson. The Controller’s Office EFS Module Support GLAMBUTR (General Ledger, Asset Management, Budgets, Treasury) team led the sessions. An estimated 20 people attended each session, and current, as-is process flows and narratives were reviewed. More information is available on the Finance work stream website, including information on what recommendations and issues were presented to the GL group, and next steps.

Quick hits and reminders from across the work streams

  • Portal is on Pinterest! Portal has put together a Pinterest board for viewing all the Design Thinking Workshop prototypes. Repin and leave us comments to tell us your favorite features.
  • The Student work stream has cancelled its May 24, 2013 Town Hall meeting due to the proximity to the Memorial Day weekend. The next Town Hall is scheduled for June 14, 2013.
  • The Reporting and Data Management team has begun the process of reviewing functional specifications for UM reports needed from the Student work stream. The Reporting team is reviewing the requirements and working with business owners to determine the best way to deliver data. Work is also continuing with the Integration team to discuss data changes that impact the Data Warehouse.

Weekly Update distribution change
Effective the week of May 20, 2013, ESUP’s Weekly Update will move to a bi-weekly distribution schedule. The newly-named ESUP Update will be sent via email every other Monday and will include links to items posted to the ESUP blog between Updates. (Hint: read below for instructions on subscribing via email to the ESUP blog!) As a result, there will be no Update next week, Monday, May 27, 2013.

The communications team is working to bring information to the ESUP and University community in smaller, more timely pieces. If you have any questions or suggestions on how ESUP can better communicate with you, please email Tricia Conway at conwa012@umn.edu.

Subscribe to the ESUP blog!
As ESUP progresses, you can expect more information to be shared more frequently on the ESUP blog. Get every post delivered to your inbox by entering your email address in the Subscribe by Email window at upgrade.umn.edu and following the instructions. Once your subscription is activated, you will receive an email alerting you to new ESUP posts late in the afternoon the day they are published. If there is no post, you receive no email -- simple as that!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekly Update for the week of May 13, 2013

Finance work stream kicks off
The Finance work stream held their project kick off last Wednesday, May 8, at Coffman Union. About 175 invited attendees participated both online and in person. They heard from a number of project representatives, including the project sponsor, Mike Volna; project director, Dan Hemauer; and chair of the EFS Functional Steering Committee, Rob Super. The presentation is available on the Finance website.

Phase 1: Plan and Discover work begins today for Finance’s General Ledger module. Congratulations to the entire Finance team and good luck!

Emerging themes from system campuses
This spring, members of the ESUP leadership team travelled to the Morris and Crookston campuses to meet with Program participants and campus leadership. The discussions and listening sessions yielded helpful insights and some immediately actionable items to improve Program operations. Some of the commonly heard themes include:

  • Employees: be sure to take care of our people; be careful with burnout.
  • Training: don’t make formal training a barrier.
  • Communications: focused, smaller topics that can be repurposed or easier to find.
  • Repository: send out copies or file paths to meeting documents in advance.
  • Kudos: the many people involved with ESUP have been doing a great job.

Portal launches new survey, Faculty Advisory Team
ESUP’s Portal team is gathering opportunities and needs for the new portal, and wants to hear from the University community about some of the ideas already collected. The team will use the survey responses to prioritize opportunities and begin design work. Please fill out the 10-15 minute survey by May 20th. A sneak peek of survey topics includes: mobile functionality, checklists, grants management, events calendars, drag and drop graphics.

The Portal Faculty Advisory Team met for the first time last week, with 7 faculty members on three campuses. Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez attended to help frame Portal in the context of ESUP, which faculty appreciated. The team created a strategy for engaging faculty around Portal in the fall.  They were also very pleased with the engagement approach of gathering extensive input into Portal opportunities, even if not all suggestions can be initially realized.

Quick hits and reminders from across the work streams

  • The Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) approved two Student work stream change requests at today’s meeting, Scholarships and Application Processing. These requests are approved to begin work within the next phase of the project; Phase 3: Configure and Develop.
  • Dean Robert Elde, chair of the Executive Oversight Committee, met with University Chancellors last week to discuss ESUP’s progress. The Chancellors were supportive of the Program and pleased with the campus-wide engagement efforts.
  • Last week, the University’s Board of Regents approved ESUP’s equipment request to purchase new Exadata and Exalogic servers, which will be used to house a number of platforms, including: the new portal, the new identity management system, and upgraded PeopleSoft applications. The servers are expected to be delivered this month.  
  • The Student FA module will be moving their summer operations from Fraser Hall over to 16 Johnston Hall, effective May 20th. 
  • Members of the Integration project have been holding preliminary meetings with collegiate IT leads to discuss how changes to the PeopleSoft applications and data structures will impact their home grown applications and reports. 
  • The HRMS work stream is beginning to plan their communication and stakeholder engagement efforts around the planned data conversion strategy and streamlined appointment structure. More information will be coming soon.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Update for the week of May 6, 2013

EOC approves 2 change requests
The Executive Oversight Committee approved two change requests from the Student work stream earlier today. These approvals (Course Catalog and Course Approval) represent the first changes that require new development and signal the official transition to Phase 3, Configure and Develop. Project Director William Dana said these approvals are “a significant milestone... let the development begin!” Congratulations, Student work stream!

HRMS, Finance work streams tackle joint Payroll Accounting IDPs
Beginning in late April, the HRMS and Finance teams began joint Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP) sessions on Payroll Accounting. Each session includes more than 50 invitees, representing a variety of stakeholders from across the finance and human resources user community and central offices. ESUP Reporting team members are also in attendance to understand and identify reporting implications and requirements. Dennis Bortolus (CCI) is leading the sessions, bringing tremendous experience implementing PeopleSoft payroll accounting functions at other large research institutions.

This cross-functional team is working together to identify solutions that best meet the needs of the University community while also addressing ESUP objectives of simplifying business processes and reducing system modifications -- paying particularly close attention to the specific requirements around research and grants. During the week of April 22, the group discussed combo codes and account mapping; last week, the focus was on salary distribution entry. Upcoming topics include encumbering, fringe processing, and historical salary adjustments. This is important work requiring strong collaboration across work streams. The Program is excited about the process and progress to date!

Quick hits and reminders from across the work streams

  • The Portal team presented to the Student work stream at their bi-monthly all-Student team meeting on May 2. The two project teams will work together more closely to ensure they understand how to think about Portal when looking at alternatives to filling gaps.  
  • The HRMS work stream will begin their Time & Labor and Absence Management IDP sessions in mid-July. The Recruiting Solutions (the University’s name for recruiting business processes within PeopleSoft’s Talent Acquisition Manager) will begin their IDP sessions in September.
  • The Portal team is looking for input on some of the opportunities that have been identified through plan and discover activities. A survey will be available from May 13-20 to gather this input. The link will be in next week’s posting.  
  • Gophers, Gators, and Horses, oh my! Florida Gator die-hard fan Walter Terrell (CCI) came face to face with Goldy Gopher last week. The pair seemed to get along well enough for a photo... 
  • During last week’s trip to the Crookston campus, the ESUP group was treated to a tour. In addition to great feedback from Crookston ESUP participants, a highlight was the Equestrian Center where JP Hagerty and Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez stopped to horse around for a few minutes. (Get it, horse around?)