OneCarolina On Schedule (June 24, 2010)
Six months ago the OneCarolina Project kicked off in January. Over the past few months, business and technical teams have been working to move the Project through its initial phases. To date, OneCarolina has been consistently achieving its stated goals, remains on schedule, and is running below budget projections.
Project Progress Overview
The OneCarolina Project follows a long-term schedule based on standard project management methodology. The major phases of the project are Initiation, Planning, Implementation (configure, develop, test, and train), Go-Live, and Closing. These phases break the project into manageable sections that allow teams to work toward specific goals, called milestones. It also allows the project managers to more accurately measure progress. Currently, the OneCarolina Project is half way through the Planning phase.
A number of major Planning phase milestones have already been achieved. One of the factors driving our success is the implementation of what is termed "sprint plans." A sprint plan allows teams to focus on granular details of the project, and direct resources to accomplish them in shorter time frames, usually 30-day periods. OneCarolina has just completed the 6th sprint plan, and is well into sprint 7.
To date, a number of major steps are already completed or in progress:
Business Process Modeling (BPM), Completed - OneCarolina BPM teams completed development of business operations models for student registration, financial aid, admissions and recruiting, and student accounts. SunGard Higher Education compiled these models, and has made recommendations for the teams to review. Once this evaluation is completed and the models have been validated, SunGard consultants will begin the task of creating what is called a Foundation Build, and configure the Banner system for University-specific use.
Technical Infrastructure Installation, in Progress - The OneCarolina Technical team has focused on procurement and installation of the operational hardware and software platform for the Banner system. The team has worked with Dell to select application and database servers that will support the large-scale processing, databases, and user access system. The team has also finished installing Oracle's Real Application Cluster (RAC) to the new hardware system. RAC will provide a robust, scalable, fault tolerant database platform for the Banner administrative system.
Identity Management Implementation, in Progress - The Identity Management System (IDM) will control user and resource access to the Banner administrative system. The IDM team is implementing this complex and critical part of the Project in three phases. The first phase is the creation of a Global Unique Identifier (GUID) for all users in existing student and human resources systems. Second, the GUID will be integrated with the current identity systems. And third, the Identity Management System will be integrated with the Banner administrative system.
Integration Process Planning, in Progress - OneCarolina will share information across numerous systems in the University, such as Blackboard, CarolinaCard, Student Health Services, campus bookstores, and Banner. Each of these systems will require different types of information, and different data-sharing formats. The Integration Planning team is working on how these systems will talk to each other, and the system content. A strategy workshop in April of this year brought together University business and technical planners to determine what data needs to be shared (name, student records, financials, etc.), when it needs to be shared (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.), and what technologies (data languages, mediating software, etc.) need to be used.
Training Strategy in Progress - OneCarolina teams have also been working on training needs assessments for technical and end users. Some training has been ongoing, especially that necessary to bring technical teams up to speed on new software and hardware systems. Later this summer, end-user training needs for all campuses in the University system will be assessed, and a full training plan will be developed.
The OneCarolina Leadership team has been working diligently to manage Project costs. This has resulted in the Project running below projected costs, even while meeting the demands for building a new technical infrastructure. The graph below shows that the Project is consistently running below original fiscal projections. By maintaining strict resource monitoring and management, the Leadership team expects this trend to continue.
OneCarolina teams are currently on track to achieve the goals remaining in the second half of the Planning phase. Much of this work will finalize the infrastructure and strategies necessary for the Project to move to the Implementation phase.
The Integration Strategy team will begin compiling a catalog of database systems across the University. From this catalog, the team will assess data sharing requirements and begin creating rules for information sharing in the OneCarolina system. This will allow them to develop strategies for conversion of existing database information, and creating an enterprise-level report generation system.
Both Business and Technical teams will continue working on the Banner Foundation Builds, so that these can be incorporated into the testing processes throughout 2010. Thorough evaluation and validation of these models will be essential to successful testing.
Detailed planning and development is also on schedule for database conversion, reporting strategies, and end-user training assessments.
Proper completion of the Planning phase of the Project is critical to building a foundation for the Implementation phase ahead. OneCarolina team members continue to put forward a concerted effort, bringing their knowledge and expertise to resolve the difficult issues of this complex project. Their work has been the engine behind the achievements of the Initiation and Planning phases, and the Leadership team is confident that these successes will continue as OneCarolina moves forward.