What’s Been Happening with HR/Payroll?
The eUMB (PeopleSoft) “HR” system went live at UMB in October, 2002, and the “Payroll” (/Time &Labor, and Commitment Accounting) modules were added in March, 2003. The following progress has been made recently in adding post-implementation features to HR and Payroll:
• “Direct Retros” processing has been developed and unit testing is ongoing. The plan is to roll-out in June. This functionality will eliminate the inconsistencies between PeopleSoft and FAS.
• Needed patches to the software have been installed and tested as of May 1, and all seems to be working well.
• An automated COLA process, recently developed in CITS, is scheduled for release in time for the end-of-Fiscal Year processing. This will run parallel to the budgeting process and result in some duplication of effort due to the timing. A training session for Payroll Reps is planned for early June.
• Initial testing of PeopleSoft (P/S) encumbrance software looks very good. We will implement the encumbrance bundles as opposed to developing a customization. This will slide the encumbrance functionality out to July. However, using P/S delivered capabilities will reduce the need for future technical modifications.
What Happens Next?
We are maintaining a schedule which should complete all major post-implementation work by the end of the summer. Beginning in the fall of 2004, continued maintenance and functional enhancements for HR/Payroll will fall under the responsibility of a seven-person CITS team staffed by functional and technical experts in the application. This team will apply patches and updates on a regular schedule. They will also add features and functions to the HR/Payroll system on a continuing basis.
What’s New with Financials and Grants?
The next phase of the eUMB system, already begun, is Financials and Grants. The first big step was the construction of a draft (“Straw Man”) Chart of Accounts; this was accomplished by a team of campus financial experts, led by Kevin Curley. The PeopleSoft chart of accounts offers the campus many new benefits, such as reporting flexibility and the ability to expand the ways we manage our business operations.
The Project Team has also been exploring the needed interfaces to Legacy and the State systems. Issues have been identified and solutions are being explored with the appropriate State officials. Once these issues are clarified, we will begin to design, code, and test interfaces.
Configuration and Prototyping sessions to test system capabilities have begun. The sessions will include campus users as their expertise is needed to design and test distributed functions. By mid-summer functional specifications for new business processes will be coming out of these sessions and technical design work can begin.
Two important customizations have been identified. Department level security and “FASWeb-like” reporting functionality have been identified as necessary enhancements to the delivered PeopleSoft Financials product. The Project Team is exploring ways to meet these requirements.
No large project ends with the same team that started it; that is a fact of life. The eUMB Team lost a valued member when Caroline Day Curtis announced that she was leaving the University to take a position as a consultant with Accenture, a world-wide software consulting firm. We will miss her warm personality and great technical expertise.
But even as Caroline leaves, a number of new faces have appeared belonging to talented individuals who have been hired to meet specific needs of the PeopleSoft project. Michael Yim and Nancy Priest have joined the HR/Payroll Team. Mike is a Software Engineer with good experience with PeopleSoft products. Nancy is a functional specialist with experience in testing software enhancements and fixes. They are both welcome additions as we complete work on major enhancements to the HR/Payroll system.
Mahmood Qasim has joined the technical group working on the Financials/Grants project and brings with him years of consulting experience on PeopleSoft products in Canada.
Implementation of PeopleSoft modules requires new application servers, web servers, and database servers. These are replicated to ensure reliability. To add to this stability a state-of-the-art data backup system is being installed. To handle all this, CITS had to add to our Infrastructure services group. Chris Ward was hired as a systems programmer and has already solved some knotty problems. The database group filled two vacancies with Ljubomir (“Lub”) Zivkovic and Adesayo (Tim) Adeyemo. They are both experienced Oracle administrators and are welcome additions to the team.