Center for Information Technology Services
The eUMB Project
This project will configure and implement PeopleSoft enterprise applications to meet administrative processing needs of the UMB campus. It is divided into the following stages:
Phase 1 - Human Resources
Phase 2 - Payroll
Phase 3 - Financials/Grants
Phases 1 and 2 are "live" and in production. Employee records are now captured in a web-based, central human resource system. Data is instantly available to authorized staff on a nearly 24 by 7 basis. The new Payroll system has been in place for 22 bi-weekly pay periods across two fiscal years and more than 116,000 paychecks have been produced! We continue to work with our users to determine how to improve the tracking and reconciliation processes associated with paying 5-7,000 persons every two weeks, many of whom are paid from multiple and changing revenue sources.
Phase 3 (Financials/Grants):
Many members of the campus have recently completed a twelve-week planning engagement for Financials/Grants. The structured process allowed Business and Finance professionals, Office of Research and Development leaders, campus research and business administrators, and CITS application experts to evaluate the purchased PeopleSoft software and make decisions about what will be useful to UMB. The usefulness of various modules, features, and functions was determined by comparing them to our major objectives for the Financials/Grants phase of the project:
- Improve financial and grants reporting
- Distribute access to financial and grants information
- Maintain the accuracy and improve the timeliness of information
- Simplify business processes via technology while maintaining strong internal controls
- Automate manual processes
- Incorporate functions into a web environment
- Eliminate or reduce the number of legacy and shadow systems required by users
Based on these criteria, the group consensus was to implement the following modules and develop necessary processes for:
- General Ledger
- Purchasing (this will probably include work flow to improve ease of processing)
- Accounts Payable
- Grants Management (includes Billing, Accounts Receivable, and Contracts)
- Pre-Award Processes (These must be built by the Project Team after standard campus practices are determined. Some workflow is envisioned.)
- Budget preparation.
Members of CITS' infrastructure staff (Database and Systems Administration) will install a state-of-the-art development environment that will include web, application, and database servers as well as the latest version of PeopleSoft's Financials/Grants software. This will support multiple environments for testing, developing, and training. Storage Area Network technology will be used to create save points as well as for "hot" and "cold" backups. Desktops will be upgraded where necessary to support development work.
The eUMB Executive Committee (Vice Presidents for Research, Administration and Finance, and Information Technology), in consultation with the President's Council, will develop a scope document which will outline the work to be completed in the next phase, the desired outcomes, the approaches to accomplishing the work, and a general time line for accomplishing the work. This document will also lay out the decision making processes, the roles and responsibilities of various groups and individuals participating in the project, and the critical success factors for the project.
The Project Team will be engaged in several preparatory tasks, including drafting a preliminary project plan. Contractual employees, needed to fill skill gaps, will be recruited and hired. Standards for documenting decisions, resolving issues, managing versions of software, and communicating with stake holders will be developed. State interface requirements for financial reporting and accounts payables processing will be investigated and documented. A number of project team members will receive training in appropriate skills and processes. Functional leads will design the processes by which their constituent groups will participate in detailed configuration and prototyping [in the next stage].
Following the preparatory activities listed above, a very exciting and intensive stage begins. Campus-wide groups will be formed to design and develop a new chart of accounts, to confirm the rules and develop campus business practices for purchasing, accounts payable, general ledger, and grants management. These rules and proposed processes will be tested in the context of a prototype environment. Necessary changes to practices or the software will be determined so that functional and technical specifications can be developed, implemented, and tested prior to implementing the system. Reporting requirements will be determined and queries/reports will be designed, written, and tested. Data conversion decisions will be made and programs to convert data will be written and tested. Interfaces will be designed and tested. Once these tasks are completed, training, support planning, conversion, rollout and post-implementation activities will determine the ultimate success of the project.