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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Small token of appreciation and celebration for ESUP team

At the end of the day on August 20, ESUP hosted an internal staff social event at the West Bank Office Building. This “Ice Cream Social” was to celebrate the completion of program milestones and connect with ESUP staff throughout the program.

Clockwise from upper left: Associate Vice President Mike Volna enjoying a sundae; a poster for ESUP staff to write down Program "wins"; sprinkles for the sundaes; Executive Program Director Dennis Wenzel and Communications Project Director Tricia Conway serving ice cream; IT Intern Mohamoud Egal's sundae work of art
ESUP staff including Dennis Wenzel, Tricia Conway, Mark Powell, Carolyn Chase, Todd Toupal, and Amy Winkel took turns dishing bowls of ice cream while participants enjoyed building their own sundaes with cherries, strawberries, caramel, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and yes… sprinkles! 

A poster was available for guests to record Program “wins” for the summer of 2014 including included President Kaler’s support, the program being on time, and MyU usability going very well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stop, drop, & enroll

It’s registration time and students are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to select classes for the next term. They wait for their enrollment appointment time (currently called “queue time”) to arrive and keep tabs on the classes they want. They hope those classes remain open (have seats available), but sometimes all the seats are taken and the class is closed when it is their time to register. Then what?

Currently, students usually find an alternate class, add themselves on the desired class waitlist if one exists, and wait for a spot to open up. If a seat becomes available, they would be invited to enroll in the class from the department offering the class. The invitation includes a permission number that allows them to register. With that in hand, they then have the opportunity to adjust their enrollment to avoid time conflicts before registering for the desired class.

The new waitlist process, as a result of the PeopleSoft upgrade, eliminates the invitation step and automatically enrolls students when seats open. However, this auto enroll process will not complete if the student was added to the waitlist and is enrolled in another class that has a time overlap. Instead, they will receive a notification alerting them that there was a conflict. The student can then resolve the conflict by dropping the other class before the auto enroll process runs again.

But there is a better way.

Along with the auto enroll waitlist process, the University will begin using delivered functionality that allows students to have the system automatically drop them from a conflicting course if a seat becomes available for them. Rather than placing themselves to the waitlist from the “Add” function, they will use the “Swap” functionality in the enroll tab. This will place them on the waitlist (that can be prioritized by faculty or departments), but in a way that tells the system to drop them from the conflicting class if a seat becomes available for them in the desired class.

If students use this “Swap” functionality, they have a streamlined waitlist experience and  be able to maintain a full-time schedule as they wait for their desired classes. Best of all, students will be able to determine when to use this swap functionality because they will have a new weekly view of their schedule. This will show them when there are time conflicts with their enrolled and waitlist classes!

If you have questions about this new functionality email esup@umn.edu.

Nearly 400 attend ESUP update at All-HR meeting on Twin Cities campus

Photo of University of Minnesota All HR Meeting
University of Minnesota All HR Get-Together
Nearly 400 people, including 188 online, participated in the All HR Get-Together: An Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program Update for HR Professionals on Aug. 7 on the Twin Cities campus. The three-hour meeting gave human resources, finance and other professionals from the University’s five campuses a comprehensive update about ESUP, which is scheduled to go live in April 2015*. Participants also had the opportunity to ask detailed questions of several panelists.

The Get-Together included a welcome by Human Resources Vice President Kathy Brown, as well as an overview of ESUP by Executive Program Director Dennis Wenzel. The gathering also featured presentations by representatives of the three major workstreams -- Lori Lamb (Human Resources Management System), Susan Van Voorhis (Student) and Mike Volna (Finance). It also included presentations highlighting the major PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade changes that will affect the Human Resources Management System (HRMS), including the areas of position management, recruiting solutions, appointment structure, benefits, payroll accounting, electronic time and absence reporting, and the reporting center.

Those attending also heard an update about the new MyU portal that plans to launch in April as part of the upgraded systems. Amanda Wolford of Leadership and Talent Development provided an overview of the training plan and how-to resources that will be available to all employees before, during and after Go Live.

Photo of University of Minnesota Vice President Kathy Brown.
Vice President Kathy Brown addressing
the audience.

Vice President Brown thanked the entire ESUP team and noted that it’s due to their dedication, hard work and collaboration that the upgrade remains on budget and on time for its planned April launch. She also highlighted the important contributions that several groups have made to the HRMS Upgrade, including Subject Matter Experts, Functional Steering Committee members, HR Stars and HR Leads.

“This major technology upgrade will touch virtually all areas of our University and its five campuses,” Brown said. “It’s a critically important effort that will improve how we conduct business, how we serve students, and how we contribute to Minnesota and beyond. We have a great team, and I know the HRMS and ESUP initiatives will continue to more forward successfully. Keep up the great work!”

To see a video recording of the meeting, or the presentation slides, click here to go to the HRMS news and updates web page.

Graphic sketch of University of Minnesota All HR Meeting
All HR Get-Together sketch notes created by Jen Mein.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Staff, faculty, and students evaluate ESUP’s web presence

Reaching new audiences

If you’re reading the ESUP blog, then you probably have some idea about the impact the upgrade will have on your work. But there are thousands in the University community who have a lot of catching up to do. As we approach April 2015* (when the upgraded systems plan to “Go Live”), ESUP’s Communication Team reached out to “unaware audiences” to figure out the best way to get them up-to-speed.

Usability Services

The Team leveraged the expertise of user experience analyst Nick Rosencrans to evaluate ESUP's online presence. As a member of IT Training and Usability Services, Nick discussed the basics of content strategy and facilitated an evaluation of the website and blog in the University's usability lab. By conducting usability tests with faculty, staff, and students who were mostly unaware of ESUP activities, we gained insight into how these members of the University community find information, how existing content resonates with them, and how they view the potential impact of the systems upgrade.

Photo of Santiago F.G. and Nick R. observe participants
Santiago Fernández-Giménez(bottom) and Nick Rosencrans(top)
observe participants from behind double-sided glass


Overall, evaluators were able to find information explaining how and why the University is updating its systems. Most users seemed to agree the content explains why the upgrade is a positive and necessary step, but the Team also heard feedback on areas needing attention:

  • Most users wanted to know what is changing, when, and how it will affect them. An abundance of information and insider jargon seemed to obscure the most important points that answered their queries.  
  • Evaluators did not anticipate much, if any, interruption to their daily work, despite language indicating systems will be down for several days during Go Live.  
  • Our audiences self identified with their role(s) as faculty, staff, or student (example: a staff member who is also taking classes) and sought information according to these roles, rather than how ESUP is organized as work streams or differentiated by the systems (Student, HRMS, Finance, etc.).  
  • Participants wanted to know the people behind ESUP. They wanted to understand where to direct their inquiries and have confidence that their concerns would be routed to the correct person.
Photo of Tricia C and Carrie M in the Usability Lab
Tricia Conway(left) and Carrie Meyer(right)
record observations in the Usability Lab

Looking forward

Time with Usability Services provided valuable direction for how to provide detailed information to the community. In the coming months, the Communications Team will adjust strategies and messages to address areas of confusion. To learn more about the upgrade, please contact esup@umn.edu.

*This article was updated on 02/04/2015 to reflect the most recent timing information.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MyU Preview: MyU Homepage

MyU Preview is a series giving a peek into pages within the new MyU. Keep in mind MyU is in development and some things will change between now and go-live.

When you first log into the new MyU, you’ll see a version of the landing page below. Here are just a few of its features. Click the image to enlarge.

1. Clicking anywhere on the maroon bar opens the main menu, showing more information under Key Links, Favorites, Recommended, and My Interests. 2. Key Links gives you access to sites and resources based on your role, deeper MyU pages and tools like PeopleSoft and the Reporting Center. 3. Favorites allows you to bookmark favorite tools and sites. 4. Recommended shows you information based on your role at the U. 5. My Interests shows you information based on interests you select. 6. Tabs allow you to access more information and business functions. You’ll only see the tabs related to your role. 7. Notifications shows you tasks you need to complete and circulation information from campus libraries.

Questions? Contact esup@umn.edu.
Revised on November 5, 2014.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Change from paper time sheets to electronic reporting focus of July HR Stars meeting

Nearly 100 members of the University’s HR Stars participated in-person or online in the group’s most recent meeting on July 31 on the Minneapolis campus. Representatives from all five system campuses participated.

One of the primary focuses of the meeting was on the new Electronic Time and Absence Reporting capability, which plans to go live in April 2015* as part of the Human Resources Management System Upgrade. Once the upgrade launches, University employees who previously filled out paper time sheets or absence forms will now complete their reporting online. And supervisors or unit administrators who previously reviewed and signed paper forms, will now complete their review and approval online.

Heather Kidd of the Office of Human Resources presented a real-time demonstration of Electronic Time and Absence Reporting. Members of the Stars group asked many excellent questions, as well as offered valuable advice about how to prepare employees and supervisors for the change to electronic reporting.

Gary McVey, communications lead for the HRMS Upgrade, shared several draft key messages about the change to electronic reporting with the Stars and asked for their feedback. The key messages, he said, are intended to communicate to employees that the change to electronic reporting is scheduled for April, what it means to them, and that training and other how-to resources will be provided, before the go-live date and after.

The meeting ended with discussion about how to best inform and engage faculty and staff supervisors about the upcoming change from paper to electronic reporting. To see the presentation slides from the meeting click here. Draft key messages and other meeting handouts are available here.

OHR's Krattiger, Negrini begin new roles; Departing Lamb says project in "good hands"

photo of Kelly Krattiger
Kelly Krattiger
Vice President Kathy Brown recently announced some key leadership changes within the Office of Human Resources that will affect the Human Resources Management System Upgrade, as well as the larger Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). Beginning Aug. 11, Kelly Krattiger will provide OHR’s interim leadership for ESUP, and Laura Negrini will serve as the interim lead for OHR’s Operations group.

The leadership changes follow the recent announcement that Lori Lamb, OHR Director of Operations, is leaving the University to become Vice Chancellor for Human Resources at the California State University system. Her last day at the University will be August 8th.

photo of Laura Negrini
Laura Negrini
Brown praised Lamb’s leadership for OHR and ESUP, noting that the project remains on budget and on time for a scheduled April 2015* launch. She said the Office of Human Resources is fortunate to have talented and experienced team members who can immediately step up to continue the project’s momentum and success. She said she has promised her full support to OHR’s interim leaders, and that she plans to increase her involvement in ESUP.

“While we’ll miss Lori and her many contributions, we have a terrific team in place and some very capable leaders,” Brown said. “I know that Kelly and Laura will step right in and do a tremendous job, and I’m looking forward to working more closely with them, as well as other OHR and ESUP team members.”

Lamb said she’s confident that the HRMS and ESUP teams will continue making steady progress, and that the planned April launch of the PeopleSoft upgrade will be successful. She said she’ll miss her colleagues, but that the opportunity to be the chief human resources officer for the California State University system was too great an opportunity to pass up. And her move to Long Beach will put her closer to family in Arizona and Washington state.

“We have a terrific team in place that’s doing amazing work,” Lamb said. “With the development work more than 95 percent complete and the project moving into a different phase, this is a good time for a transition. And I know the ESUP project is in very good hands.”

*This article was updated on 02/04/2015 to reflect the most recent timing information.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ESUP's Integration team holding office hours to help University units

ESUP’s Integration Team is holding office hours to help units across the University with applications that pull data from PeopleSoft prepare for the changes ESUP will bring.

Changes to underlying data structures or to the data itself mean local units will likely need to modify their systems and applications. If these changes are not made prior to the systems’ planned launch in April 2015*, the current links to data will not be available.

The office hours are an opportunity for these units to meet with Integration staff to:
  • analyze, map, and mitigate any data issues or changes prior to launch
  • double check the University application list and contact list to make sure their application and staff are included
  • review data mapping documents and Structured Query Language (SQL) to understand connections between current and future data structures and to see if they need to make changes
  • test their access methods to the new environments and participate in ESUP test phases

The office hours are on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1 - 4 p.m. in Vincent Hall, room 313, through August 27. ESUP staff will send a communication if they decide to extend office hours past August.

Please contact Bill Collings, Phil Klein, or Janie Moore with questions or go to the Integration web site for more information.

*This article was updated on 02/04/2015 to reflect the most recent timing information.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Making the Grade with ESUP - New NR "grade" provides clarity, helps streamline process

After a term filled with assignments, tests, and class participation, the final step in assigning grades is entering the grade to post to students’ records. In order to submit these grades on the final grade roster, a grade must be assigned to every student.* Occasionally, a barrier arises in assigning a grade to a student. When that happens, the entire grade roster cannot be submitted and all students in the class don’t receive a grade and instead see a blank space. This can be confusing and frustrating for students who may experience negative consequences of not having a posted grade for their class work (e.g., delayed graduation, reduced financial aid, limits on athletic participation).

These blank grades will be eliminated and more students will have their assigned grade posted as a result of ESUP.

While the final grade roster must still be complete in order to be submitted by the instructor of record, those students with a grade assigned will have their grade posted to their record. The key for this to happen is a new administrative mark of “NR” (meaning Not Reported). 

Taking the place of a blank grade (and carrying all of the same consequences), the NR grading symbol clarifies that there was no report of the grade for the students who have it. The NR grading symbol will not be available for faculty and staff to enter into the grade roster. Rather, an administrative process will be initiated after the grading due date to assign this symbol to students on the roster without a grade assigned. This process will complete the roster that can then be posted. 

This new administrative process (that is in-line with the University’s peer institutions) will:

  • Enable students in classes where rosters were incomplete to view their grades more quickly (since they won’t have to wait for the entire class to be graded before grades are posted) 
  • Help advisers during academic progress reviews 
  • Help academic and student services when students ask why no grades are posted
  • Help clarify for financial aid and veterans affairs that there was no grade reported from the instructor

Read more about what is changing with final grading on the What’s Changing page. To learn more about the new Faculty Center (where all grade entry and approval takes place) see the Faculty Center sneak peek. If you have any questions or concerns, email esup@umn.edu

* Another system (called supplemental grading) does allow for submitting individual grades for students, but it is intended for grade changes, not the submission of the final grade roster. After the PeopleSoft upgrade is complete, all grade entry and submission (including mid-term grades, final grades, and grade changes) will happen in one place: the Faculty Center.