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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Avoid pay and vacation interruptions

Goodbye paper timesheets!

Faculty, staff or students who currently submit paper timesheets or absence forms will do so electronically after The Upgrade, which is scheduled to launch in April. Paper timesheets and absence forms are being eliminated to bring the University up-to-date with other large organizations and peers.

Employees who currently submit paper timesheets or absence forms need to learn the new process to make sure they will be paid on time and can take time off. Prepare by reviewing “how-to” resources and training at The Upgrade’s Training and Education page:
(If you have trouble due to a pop-up blocker, this job aid can help you turn it off.)

Keep these points in mind as you prepare:
  • If you do not submit time or absences on paper now, you do not need to change after The Upgrade.
  • Electronic time and absence reporting is for University pay only, and has nothing to do with effort certification related to a grant or contract. The latter is a separate function and will not change.
  • The change to electronic reporting will affect employees in most colleges and units, except those in University Services, Auxiliary Services, the Veterinary Medical Center, University of Minnesota Duluth Facilities and Police, and University of Minnesota Morris Facilities and Police, who will continue using KRONOS, Compass or software other than PeopleSoft to report time and absence.
If you have questions after you view the time and absence courses, please see your local Human Resources director.

Why do we upgrade?

University of Minnesota's website in 1998
In 1998, the University installed its first PeopleSoft systems as one of the software company's early partners. In fact, we helped create some of the technologies and processes that later became industry standards.

As is often the case for early innovators, we now need to catch up. While our technology has been modified to the nth degree -- we actually have one of the most modified systems on the planet -- but some of our systems have not been properly upgraded in 17 years. PeopleSoft is ending support for these older systems. And we will soon fall out of regulatory compliance. In short, our systems are out of date. The Upgrade will move us from an overly customized system to a tried-and-true package solution, giving us a faster, more streamlined, more powerful infrastructure.

Link to Computing History videoWatch this short video from U Libraries for a picture of just how “retro” this upgrade thing is!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Changes to class registration dates

To accommodate the planned Upgrade cutover and Go Live periods in April, class registration timing is changing. Most registration periods will be held earlier than previously published (as noted below) to ensure students can successfully register for May, summer, and fall terms.

  • 3/23-4/2 queued registration
  • 4/24 open enrollment
  • 3/2
  • 3/18
  • 3/9
Twin Cities
  • 3/9 for degree-seeking students
  • 5/1 open enrollment
  • 3/23-4/2 queued registration
  • 4/24 open enrollment
  • 3/16 Medicine & Pharmacy students
  • 3/23-4/3 queued registration
  • 4/23 open enrollment
  • 3/30-4/2 queued registration
  • 4/23 open enrollment
  • 3/23-4/4 queued registration
    (including evenings & weekends)
  • 5/1 open enrollment
Twin Cities
  • 3/23-4/4 queued registration
    (including evenings & weekends)
  • 5/1 open enrollment

There will also be a change to how the registration queue will be created:
  • Stages will be defined based only on cumulative credit total (completed and in-progress credits) only. 
  • Stage definition will differ by campus. Details will be published on respective campus websites soon. 
  • Students will then be randomized within those stages.
This is how the queue will be created once the Upgrade is complete, but due to the positive feedback received regarding this change, we were able to implement it now. For Twin Cities and Rochester students only, registration appointment times will extend into the evenings and weekends to accommodate a shortened timeframe.

Due to the random assignment of registration appointments to students within each defined stage, previously available tables of appointment times by student name will not be published. Students will be able to look up their registration appointment time using the “Your registration time” application for their campus.

Undergraduate students should expect an email with their registration appointment time approximately two weeks prior to the start of queued registration on their campus. There will also be additional communications to students alerting them to these changes starting as early as February 9.

The Upgrade Plans to Launch in April

The Upgrade of our PeopleSoft systems is planned for April. The systems interruption, or cutover period, when PeopleSoft and related systems are unavailable or view-only, is expected to begin on April 10th and last approximately 10 days.

Many activities need to happen between now and then, including additional testing, business process changes, and cutover preparation. Here are ways to get ready:  

Information will soon be provided about: The Upgrade Fair [Update 4/8/2015: here is a link for information on the Upgrade Fair], where users can get hands-on experience, and The Upgrade Readiness Survey. Please note changes to class registration dates.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Readiness Survey Help Units Prepare for The Upgrade

A new readiness survey will help University communities prepare for The Upgrade. Piloted by the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the survey is an easy-to-use checklist for preparation, and delivers helpful data on unit readiness.

The survey can be used as-is with data recorded into Qualtrics for analysis, or units can customize the survey and conduct their own assessments. The survey will be distributed to units in mid-February.

Readiness Surveys Show Progress and Gaps

The pilot surveys achieved very strong participation, with a 90% response rate in CLA, and a 55% response rate in OHR, despite the latter pilot being conducted over the two weeks that included the holiday break. Responses showed that University employees are making steady progress in preparing for The Upgrade, but more preparation is needed.

Here are a few of the findings from the OHR pilot, which was sent to HR Leads, HR Stars, and OHR Employee Relation Consultants:

Pilot Survey Findings: Strengths

  • Respondents are aware of training and how to prepare
  • Respondents are comfortable with time and absence management changes
  • Respondents are aware of changes to payroll accounting

Pilot Survey Findings: Opportunities

  • Supervising faculty need training on how to approve and delegate time and absences in the upgraded system
  • Faculty need to be ready to handle student registration questions

If you have questions about the survey, contact Norm Schultz at schu3371@umn.edu.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How are Advance Team members preparing for The Upgrade?

An HR Operations Leader for the Academic Health Center (AHC), Shannon Luloff is also on one of The Upgrade’s Advance Teams, the HR Stars, where she is supporting her colleagues in preparing for The Upgrade. This interview reveals how an exemplary performer does her thing! 

How are Advance Team members preparing for The Upgrade?

I am absorbing all of the information I can: completing trainings, reading The Upgrade Newsletter, checking The Upgrade website for changes, participating in meetings, and reading the minutes and slides.

I treat my role on the advance team as a project, tracking all to-dos, and working with self-assigned goals and deadlines. I view it as my responsibility to be available for and promote idea sharing among the AHC HR leadership group and the HR STARs. This role and project viewpoint has helped me focus on getting our area ready for the systems upgrade, which will also affect many of our business processes.

Also, I found a smaller group of SMEs that were actively involved from the beginning and can quickly answer questions. They are really helpful, especially given how swamped the project teams are right now.

How will you help people during the Upgrade process?

I’m developing an internal structure for AHC for pre and post Go Live support. My team is serving as centralized support for AHC because many of them were SMEs who worked on user acceptance testing. In addition, we work with HR STARs in other areas and in AHC colleges (Medical School, School of Dentistry, School of Public Health, College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, and College of Veterinary Medicine).

We are supplementing The Upgrade communications and change management aspects by leveraging resources, such as the posters, trainings and monthly HR STARs homework, and adding our own personal touch and face-to-face support.

How are your supervisors supporting you?

I really appreciate that my supervisor, Dorothy Cottrell, allotted time for me to focus on the Upgrade (this has meant an increased workload for her as well as our whole team - thank you!). Having this dedicated time to directly support the AHC Shared Units and to provide indirect support to other AHC colleges has helped immensely. I also have a great deal of support from fellow AHC representatives on the HRMS Functional Steering Committee, especially in raising concerns and identifying priorities.

Any final tips for people preparing for The Upgrade?

I think people need pay attention to the information shared by their Advance Teams, and on The Upgrade website, and get training. And it’s important to be supportive and flexible because technology can sometimes be unpredictable.