The Pace Quickens Current Processes Mapped
The new year brings increased intensity to the work of the ISP teams.
Mapping of current administrative practices and processes in the areas
of general ledger, departmental accounting, grants management, accounts
receivable, cash management, and reports is near completion. In addition
to mapping the as-is processes, the teams are identifying
all system interfaces to FAS (the general ledger) and other legacy financial
systems so that the project team will be able to determine which interfaces
will need to be temporarily retained and what new interfaces may need
to be built. The teams will also be looking at how and what data will
have to be converted.
Fitting Current into Future
The process flowcharts resulting from the as-is analysis will
enable a comparison to the Oracle applications functionality. This
stage will offer the first concrete glimpse of opportunities for streamlining
to maximize use of Oracle-prescribed best business practices,
as described in the Integrated Systems Task Forces Strategic Direction
Statements (see ISP website). This step should be completed by the end
Plotting the Infrastructure
As the functional teams gather information and determine the best conversion
to future processes, the technical team is designing the ISP technical
infrastructure, which includes an analysis of hardware (server) and 3rd
party software needs. The technical team is also beginning to document
the project standards for interfaces and data conversion activities.
What We Learned About Oracle
ISP staff, five members of the ISP Advisory Committee, and representatives
from ITC and Financial Administration attended a 5-day overview training
session on the Oracle applications to be implemented in Phase 1a (a shorter
training session will be offered to the rest of the Advisory Committee
in January). Everyone came away with considerable respect for the power
and capabilities of the software and recognition of the challenge not
to attempt to implement all of the functionality contained within the
Lessons learned from two excellent Oracle Education instructors include:
all in the set up. What you get out of the system is entirely
dependent on how it is set up. Decisions on what information to gather
and who can do or see what must be well considered in the design stage
to avoid rework, ease transition, allow for change, and generate useful
reports. And each of those decisions must be well documented so they
can be traced and understood for future use.
good thing about Oracle is its flexibility. The bad thing about Oracle
is its flexibility. Oracle applications are designed for best
business practices, but most of the fields are defined by the
institution. This allows the University to adapt the software to its
culture and needs, but also offers the lure of doing much more than
is required to do work efficiently and effectively.
your deletes. The need for detailed user training was made clear
by an example of a counter-intuitive system requirement that you must
save your information after making deletions or they will
not be deleted!
Detailed Information Will Soon Be Available
The ISP website is being redesigned and will soon include more detailed
information on the activities of the separate ISP teams. It will also
incorporate links for future training and help information. When the website
is ready, the emailed ISP Bulletin will reference a url for each article
rather than include full text in the email message.
to ARCHIVED ISP NEWS DIRECTORY
stage will offer the first concrete glimpse of opportunities for
streamlining to maximize use of Oracle-prescribed "best businces