Information Management

Electronic Faculty Effort and Cost Sharing (eFECS)

Overview

eFECS is an IT project focused on automating and improving the faculty effort and cost share reporting process at the University of Washington.

Building upon the work of past USER projects, eFECS gathered requirements through feedback sessions involving a wide-range of campus users. Federal compliance requirements, along with this campus input, helped refine the current project goals:

  • Provide accurate and timely electronic faculty effort certification reports.
  • Provide an institutional system of record for effort & cost sharing.
  • Provide enhanced reporting capabilities to track compliance.
  • Provide users with a way to easily make updates and modifications in response to regulatory or institutional change.

Project Lifecycle

The eFECS project will use a phased implementation approach with deliverables falling into four phases:


Buy/Build Analysis - COMPLETE

Goal:  Make a recommendation for an improved, simplified, electronic effort reporting and cost share system.

Details: During Phase I, the Process Improvement Team reviewed the external requirements that impact effort reporting, examined campus needs, reviewed software products, and conducted a cost benefit analysis. The goal of the initial phase was to make a recommendation for an improved, simplified, electronic effort reporting and cost share system.

Outcome: At the end of Phase I, the team recommended a University-built solution.


Phase I – Build eFECS Cost Share Module - COMPLETE

Goal: Replace the cost share database housed in the BGT mainframe.

Details: Requirements were finalized by campus, central office, and Department of Medicine user and technical groups. End users provided feedback and participated in beta testing the replacement system.

Status:The Electronic Faculty Effort and Cost Sharing System replaced the BGT mainframe as the University of Washington’s cost sharing database in February, 2009. Departmental users have access to an easy to read online inquiry screen that enables them to view and track cost sharing commitments. Central office users are able to enter, update and track cost share commitments.


Phase II – Build eFECS Online FEC System - COMPLETE

Goal: Replace the manual paper FEC reporting system.

Details: Phase II provides administrators and FEC coordinators an online view of faculty effort reports which may be printed or emailed to the faculty for signature.  The new system reflects posted salary transfers and provides a detailed view of all salary transactions. Salary cap information is also incorporated (no more paper addendums!)

Status: Phase II launched to academic reporters in April, 2010 (with the 12/16/2009-3/15/2010 FEC reporting period) and to South Campus units in July, 2010 ( with the 1/1/10-6/30/10 reporting period.)


Phase III – Online Certification - IN PROGRESS

Goal: Provide status tracking, and online certification.

Details:Several UTG focus groups were established to provide feedback on User Experience, iterative feature testing, business process changes and training deliverables. A process improvement team continues to be engaged with the project providing departmental perspective to prioritization of features and activities as well as perspective on business process guidance. Beta testing was conducted in August 2011 included representatives from various campus departments including both FEC Coordinators and Faculty. Pilot testing is planned for November 2011. Communication regarding the updated process and system will begin in December and January depending upon outcomes from the Pilot testing phase.

Timeline: Estimated 2012 delivery date.