Information Management

OIM Forum: May 21, 2008

Strategic Roadmap
Question and Answer Panel

Panel Members:  Jackie Bardsley, Todd Mildon, Bill Shirey, Jeanne Marie Isola

The following are answers to questions about the Strategic Roadmap given by the panel at the OIM Forum. Questions were submitted by OIM staff members. The questions are organized into broad themes: peers, vendors, staffing, Kuali, funding, and next steps.

Peers (answered by Jackie Bardsley)

Q: Is there information from our peers on outcomes, implementation timeframes, and good or bad experiences?

A: We hear consistently that the implementation period for a core administrative system replacement project is very challenging.  We need to be prepared for that difficult time, but also know that it will turn around as people get used to new tools. We need to focus on improving business process and implementing change management practices, including training.  

The work we have done in reporting, data warehousing, and the up-front planning of data definitions in Enterprise Information Services will put the UW ahead of the curve compared to our peers.

Vendors (answered by Jackie Bardsley)

Q: Is there any implication that a decision in one area would influence later decisions in another area? For example, if SAP Financials is chosen, will that tip the scale toward SAP HR/Payroll?

A: One of the guiding principles for UW Information Management and Administrative Systems adopted by the Information Management Advisory Committee (I-MAC) is: “We will invest in appropriate solutions rather than commit to a single technology, vendor, or approach.” We will follow this guideline, but in each major area we will attempt to stay with one vendor or one type of solution.  No one decision will stack the deck, but interoperability and the ability to integrate with other systems is important, and many other factors will be taken into account as well.

Staffing (answered by Bill Shirey)

Q: What are the implications of the Roadmap for current OIM developers and support staff?

A: Regardless of technologies used, our staff know the business processes, what works and doesn't work, and understand the key interconnections between systems. The organization will need new skills to implement and support new systems, and the major projects will use a mix of current and new staff.  Workforce development plans will be part of each major initiative, and current staff will receive needed training.

Talk with your manager about your interests, career goals, and readiness for training. Stay engaged in cross-organizational focus groups, and keep up with industry trends.  We still have critical systems to support and extend, and we need staff with the technical skills and business knowledge to keep them running.

Kuali (answered by Todd Mildon)

Q: What do you see as our next steps with Kuali?

A: The following next steps are not sequential, but will happen in parallel:

  1. Getting the project reviewed by various boards including the Washington State Information Services Board (which reviews projects over a certain dollar threshold), State Office of Financial Management, and other groups in Olympia.
  2. Working with the Kuali community on issues such as how to join the consortium (partner contribution specifics and calculations, backfill best practices) and finding our leadership role and our place for greatest contribution.
  3. Working with the UW community, where issues include:
    • Finding subject matter experts from across the institution
    • Building a research, planning, and development team using IS/IM/IT and business talent
    • Hiring backfill staff

Funding (answered by Jeanne Marie Isola)

Q: Where do funds for the FY '09 budget request come from, and when will we know what the final allocation will be?

A: A budget request for funding shorter term priorities of the Strategic Roadmap was submitted as part of the FY 2008-09 budget cycle. Currently the draft budget includes roughly $3 million. This budget still needs to be approved by the Board of Regents.

Discussions with UW leadership on how to fund "Replace the Base" and other longer term Roadmap priorities are underway and will continue.

Next Steps (answered by Jeanne Marie Isola and Sara Gomez)

Q: What is the Roadmap recommended approach?

A: The recommended Roadmap approach is:

  • Move forward with financial system replacement
    • Explore partnership with state
    • Continue to look at Kuali Financial
  • Fund Kuali Student partnership
  • Invest in high-value, incremental enhancements for FY 08-09

Q: What are our next steps?

A: The next steps are:

  • Complete formal Roadmap report and Web site
  • Communicate with UW community
  • Identify long-term funding strategy to implement the Strategic Roadmap
  • Begin detailed planning for governance and project intake