Testing, Collaboration, and Training (March 1, 2011)
The snows of January forced some changes to the OneCarolina schedule, but February has given the Project time to catch up and keep all initiatives running on green lights. The good news is that none of the Project milestones have been affected, but it required a lot of rescheduling of training and meetings to bring things back to speed.
The big news is that the Admissions team completed its first test of the new Banner Admissions system. Testers from several of the University campuses put the new software through its paces, logging results and figuring out issues that need further work. These issues will be addressed before the second system test that's now scheduled for April. But over all, the tests went well with no surprises.
The Admissions group is part of the larger Student Services team, who were also busy with related Project tasks. Team members have been working on finalizing configurations for registration and records, and have a lot of training scheduled for March. In particular, they will be focusing on the Banner Document Management System (BDMS) that will allow numerous administrative departments to scan paper documents into a digital repository. This digital library will allow faster and more efficient storage of records, easier search and retrieval processes, and really speed up administrative procedures in several areas.The Student teams will also be training on Cognos, which will help them with creating reports from the OneCarolina database.
The Financial Aid team has been very busy with meetings and work on their databases. They have been joined by a new SunGardHE consultant who will be dedicated to Banner technical issues. The team has been traveling to each of the campuses to coordinate activities, and has also had several meetings with the AR team to build strategies for approching mutual issues with Banner. The Financial Aid team also has training scheduled for this month in letter generation and population selection.
The Technical team has been busy on multiple fronts. After designing and ordering the production hardware necessary to support the OneCarolina infrastructure, they are awaiting the equipment arrival and ready to start building. Once received, the system will be assembled, configured, and tested. Its full test will come when it is used in support of the second Admissions test in April. In the meantime, other groups are looking at customized elements of the system in development for Identity Management, Banner integration with the 3rd party software packages, customization of forms, and data standards. The Technical team was also heavily involved with the Admissions testing last month, supervising the test infrastructure and processes for reporting.
The AR team has been working with their new SunGardHE consultant on laying the groundwork for a number of work process changes. Of key interest to the group has been developing methods of capturing legal residency and assessment data. They have also begun training on the Banner AR module and Fee Assessment.
The OneCarolina Project Management team has been tackling some of the major tasks that must be completed before the Admissions go-live in August. The two major items are end-user training and post go-live support. In planning for training, members of the Admissions team met with SunGardHE training consultants over the past week to build a matrix of tasks to roles. Once completed, the matrix will be used to develop training for Admissions office personnel. On the OneCarolina has been working with both SunGardHE and University Technology Services to develop a support strategy.
The oneCarolina Project passed a major anniversary in February. As of the 23rd of that month we were officially one year into the formal Project timeline. A lot has been accomplished over the last year, as OneCarolina has moved through project phases from Initiation, to Planning, and now into Implementation. In that time, over 100 members of the OneCarolina team have worked to plan, configure, and construct an infrastructure that will support a unified digital system spanning the eight campuses of the University of South Carolina, and transform the way we do business. February also marked the start of the six month countdown to Admissions go-live in August. In the process, team members have dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to keep the Project on track and under budget. We expect that trend to continue.