QUASR reaches midpoint milestone
The three-year Queen’s University Administrative Systems Replacement (QUASR) project has passed the halfway mark.
The first phase of the new finance system was launched in November 2009, and the first phase of new student and human resource administrative systems are set to launch this fall. By 2012 finance, student, human resources and research administrative systems will have moved from 30 year old forms-processing legacy applications to PeopleSoft – a true, web-based interactive administrative system.
As well as consolidating university administrative processes for each unit into a single system with a common platform to increase efficiencies across the university, PeopleSoft will provide opportunities for cross-training, and sharing knowledge, expertise and resources.
“The university has a responsibility, particularly during these challenging times, to find operational efficiencies wherever we can,” says provost and vice-principal (academic) Bob Silverman. “PeopleSoft is a sophisticated system that will require those who use it to be properly trained and supported. But I am confident that once we get through the initial growing pains we will have an administrative system that streamlines work processes, reduces risk and enhances the delivery of administrative services across the university.”
Based on feedback from the first finance system launch, Human Resources and the Office of the University Registrar are working to ensure system users have the training and skills they need to perform their roles when the new human resource and student systems launch. Particular emphasis is on developing an active communications and training plan.
“It is important that we continue our outreach to the community, listening to feedback and providing the information that is needed to help increase understanding of how the new system will impact them," says human resource project manager Debbie Radley. "Targeting specific communications to different user groups and conducting town halls with encore sessions to accommodate different work schedules are necessary steps leading-up to hands on training over the coming months. Our town hall presentation materials are also posted on the QUASR web site."
A benefit of PeopleSoft is that information will only be entered into the system once, in the department, faculty or unit where it originates, but it can be accessed by users in different faculties and departments for associated processes. This helps with integrating systems across the university as well as within individual units.
"Sharing information helps simplify and streamline work processes,” says QUASR program director Jim Carse. “The system accommodates information entry at the source and it will be very important for all users to have increased familiarity and training to work effectively with the new suite of PeopleSoft applications.”
Supporting users immediately following new system launches and in the future is another priority.
“The previous model of local and decentralized applications support will not
serve us well in the future as the level of complexity, technology and integration increases significantly. New support roles are being defined to ensure user needs are being adequately addressed,” adds Mr. Carse.
The move to PeopleSoft helps bring the university in line with leading practices in higher education. The systems are designed to meet specific higher education processing requirements and are widely used throughout Canada, US, and internationally.
“The experiences other universities have with Peoplesoft will help us with the initial implementation design and with supporting the applications over time,” says Mr. Carse.
Administrative systems changes will affect all employees at some level. To make sure you have the information that is important to you please frequent the QUASR website.