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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Finance Advance Team Spotlight: Madonna Monette

This spotlight is on Finance Advance Team member Madonna Monette, Chief Financial Manager for U of M Extension. Advance Team members are unit-specific people who have volunteered to receive advance materials and information to help their colleagues during The Upgrade transition.

Is The Extension ready for The Upgrade?

With regard to Finance, I would say we are “near-ready.” MN Extension has more than 500 employees, many of whom wear a lot of different hats, so getting our organization prepared for The Upgrade is a daunting task. There’s a lot of information to absorb, and people just want what is specific for them. This is why The Upgrade website has been so helpful – it’s organized so you can find useful information relevant to you. I believe many folks are informed on what The Upgrade is and entails but they still need time to take their training.

How are you helping the Extension prepare?

I feel privileged to be part of the Advance Team, a role I take very seriously. There’s a real benefit to being on the front line of discovery and preparation. I can give voice to ideas and concerns on behalf of my community.

We have focused on keeping things as easy as possible. We aim for clear, streamlined organizational processes with local implementation and individual accountability.

It’s important for us to be knowledgeable about how The Upgrade will impact the people we serve. I’ve been a human sponge (in addition to my regular job), soaking up information, figuring out how it applies to our area, and then making sure we know how to help people when the time comes.

How has the process been going?

The partnerships with the Extension Human Resources and The Upgrade have been great. We couldn’t be successful without people like Carrie Meyer in EFS. We process about 800 travel reimbursements every month and manage PCard activities. We’ve worked specifically with Purchasing and HR to deliver a great webinar with targeted, applicable information, on PCard, My Wallet and MyU. Extension Finance, HR and Communications are teaming together to continue to provide targeted communication to our community.

Any advice?

We think we know how it will all work but going live can bring new challenges. People are going to have different needs. We need to be prepared to be flexible and patient as we will likely experience difficulties. For myself, I try to have a calm demeanor, convey a sense of urgency without panic, and share a lot in translating what is applicable to our Extension community.

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