“This is a big deal,” said HRMS project manager Kris Hause when the new appointment structure was unveiled last fall. “This new approach to appointment data lays the foundation for a number of other important changes to our system and business processes, which will simplify and streamline the way we work and improve data quality and consistency.”
The changes to core HR data and processes mean that the structure and accuracy of HRMS data at implementation is critically important. Since last winter, the HRMS Upgrade Project team has been working with the OHR Operations and HR professionals in the academic and administrative units to “clean up” data prior to conversion to the new structure.
In this context, data cleanup means one of two things:
- In some cases, our current data is outdated, inaccurate, or missing -- e.g., when the Reports To field for an employee lists a past employee or an administrative assistant instead of the actual, current supervisor -- and needs to be updated or removed so we do not duplicate errors in the new system.
- In other cases, the data is essentially accurate but will not be supported in 9.2 and needs to be updated to transition to the new appointment structure. For example, today the Location associated with a Position does not necessarily have to match the Location assigned to the associated Job record, but going forward Job data is tied to Position, so the two locations will need to be brought into alignment.
OHR Operations staff and the HRMS team have partnered to automate the cleanup wherever possible, however, in many cases the units have the best perspective on the accuracy of the data or the ways in which it needs to be updated to fit within the new structure. The list and schedule for data cleanup tasks continues to evolve, and is being tracked on weekly basis to check on the work in progress and to monitor data that has already been updated to ensure that it stays “clean.”
The work can be time-consuming, but timely completion of specific cleanup tasks is essential in order for the HRMS project to keep pace with program-wide milestones and test conversion moves. (A test move is essentially a practice run for moving and converting data from PeopleSoft 8.9 to 9.2; updated data is essential for the conversion to perform correctly.)
The benefits of data cleanup extend well beyond the HRMS Upgrade itself, and data integrity will be an ongoing priority. For example, units are currently focused on updating Reports To data in the system, which is essential to new online time and leave approvals and is useful in workflows more broadly across the University if the data is accurate and complete. In addition, in the future, more accurate Reports To data should enable the University to report more accurately on its organization structure and to target communications directly to supervisors and managers.
“This work is important to the success of the HRMS Upgrade and ESUP overall,” said Hause. “For example, users across the University are stressing to us the importance of robust reporting to their work -- but our reports are only as good as our data. We need the help and support of every academic and administrative unit to ensure our data is as accurate as possible when the new system is implemented in 2015 and to help ensure it stays that way.”