Recently in upgrade Category

Oracle had exciting news at their PeopleSoft Higher Education User conference in March. They announced that they will deliver an update to PeopleSoft so that the preferred name of students appears on class and grade rosters!

The University of Minnesota played a big part in this effort. The Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) Student Records team built a national coalition around this issue thanks to the help of Product Advisory Group members Max Herman (ASR-IT) and Carla Boyd (Duluth). This included writing the "white paper" that Oracle is using for their development!

What's in a name?
The University of Minnesota's enterprise system (PeopleSoft) uses the legal name of students, faculty, and staff throughout the system. Sometimes this is a requirement for law or regulation, but in many cases it is not. The University has long-been a part of the national conversation around the desire to use a preferred name (as identified by the individual) for instances not covered by law or regulation, as doing so promotes an inclusive and welcoming environment for a diverse population.

Making it happen
ESUP was an opportunity for the University to take the lead in this national conversation. As a result, a coalition of higher-ed institutions formed to urge Oracle to address this issue and develop a solution that could be provided to all institutions.

Oracle's announcement at their conference is exciting news, but since the delivery timeframe of this fix is unknown, the ESUP team is moving forward with developing modifications to the system to ensure that when we go live next spring, students will be able to choose what name appears on class and grade rosters. This is a huge win for our entire institution!

ESUP preview session for schedulers


A preview session for departmental and collegiate schedulers will be held on Wednesday, April 30, 2-3:15 p.m. This session will provide a sneak peak at the improvements and changes that will be coming to class scheduling with the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.0. An update on the scheduling cycle for fall 2014 and spring 2015 will also be included.

The session will be offered concurrently in Rapson Hall 56 (East Bank), CSOM 2-215 (West Bank), and Peters Hall 155 (Saint Paul). No pre-registration required.

Members of the Student work stream Functional Steering Committees (FSC) faced a daunting task during the nine months they spent in Interactive Design and Prototyping: the first comprehensive examination and restructuring of PeopleSoft-related business processes since 1998. This included reviewing 93 business processes and nearly 900 modifications to the existing system. The goal of this effort was to increase efficiency and retire as many modifications as possible to allow for using delivered functionality. The challenge was accomplishing this while maintaining a high level of service. Questions such as, "Is there a better way?" and "What modifications can we do away with?" were routinely asked and the FSC members were charged with finding the answers and making decisions.

Read more about how they did it on the ESUP blog.

Official go-live for ESUP established

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The Executive Oversight Committee, with the support of President Kaler, officially established the go-live period for the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP): February 2015. For more information, visit the ESUP blog.

Sneak peek: new self-service centers in PeopleSoft 9.0

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Two "sneak peek" videos on the new Faculty Center and Advisor Center are now available. The videos provide an overview on how these centers will benefit users. The ESUP Student Training Team will be developing more in-depth tutorials and documentation of this new functionality before ESUP goes live.

Academic Advisement update

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There was a presentation at the December meeting of the College Advisory Group (CAG) regarding the implementation of the Academic Advisement (AA) degree audit for graduate education as part of the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). During that presentation it was noted that AA would be configured first for a pilot college before rolling the audit out to the broader graduate education community. For the Twin Cities campus, the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) will be the first college to participate in the AA implementation. You can find future updates on this effort in the PBED Digest and at the Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC) and CAG meetings.

A change in Portal project leadership

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Portal Project Director Susan Geller is leaving for an opportunity to join Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners in the role of associate director. Susan has made great progress on the Portal Project and the University is grateful for her leadership. William Dana will be the new Portal project director. This will be a dual role for William, who will retain his current role as Student Project director. He brings sound leadership skills (as exhibited in the Student Project), strong relationships with the Finance and HRMS projects, and extensive experience with myU to this new role. Plans are underway to ensure a smooth transition for both the Student and the Portal teams.

Student Work Stream Finishes IDPs

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Upgrading to a new version of software is like moving into a new house. Some things in the new house will be different and not everything you used before will be useful. You need to decide what to bring with you so that you can do what you need to do (cook a meal, wash your clothes, pay your bills, etc.) without bringing what is unnecessary. For example, if your new place has central air, you can probably leave those heavy, energy-hogging, inefficient window units behind. The gorgeous mailbox with your family name on it may not be of much use if the postal service uses the built-in mail slot.

University business analysts, subject matter experts, and members of functional steering committees have spent the past nine months in IDP evaluating what PeopleSoft has delivered and what our business requirements are so that we pack our moving boxes as light as possible for the move to 9.0.

"There is a shift in how analysts are resolving issues," said William Dana, project director of the Student Systems project. "We don't just look at what we're doing, but how we are doing it."

Guiding their decisions, the team followed three principles:

  1. Utilize delivered 'Self-Service' functionality for students, faculty, and staff.

  2. Wherever possible, use delivered PeopleSoft functionality without customization or implement the industry-standard, best-practice approach.

  3. Improve or retain UM business process best-practice solutions not delivered in PeopleSoft.

So what does nine months of IDP look like? The 694 IDP sessions equaling roughly

  • 16,621.5 hours resulted in:

  • 93 change requests

  • The replacement of more than 26 homegrown self-service applications

  • The replacement of 100 UM Reports

  • Discussion of all business processes

  • A 55% demodification rate

"It was a lot of work, going through IDP and examining our processes," said Kris Wright, director of the Office of Student Finance and chair of the Financial Aid and Student Financials Functional Steering Committees. "It allowed us to fix things we knew were not working well, but didn't have the time to address otherwise. We found we could use delivered functionality to get the same result as some of our modifications did. Going 'vanilla' will be far less costly for the institution, which means less cost to the students for the same level of service. Further, going 'vanilla' will more easily allow us to accept, test, and use the new software PeopleSoft will be sending us in the future."

"We're making a large institutional investment, and we will be able to take more advantage of that based on the work we have done up until this point. It will be a more efficient system," Dana said.

And thanks to a cohesive, highly effective team, in addition to the experienced guidance from implementation partner CedarCrestone, the University will benefit from a much more mature system. It's also been an opportunity for staff to not only contribute to the project, but to meet people outside of their unit and home campus.

Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar Sue Van Voorhis, who serves as the business process owner for the Student upgrade and the Portal said, "We've been able to break down barriers. This is a very united group. Everyone is so committed to making this a success and going with our principles."

Feedback continues to be of the utmost importance in ensuring success of the upgrade to build for the future. Dana and Van Voorhis emphasized that faculty, staff, and students should continue providing feedback as the project progresses.

"The involvement of stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive," Dana said. "Even in this early phase of the project, lots of people provided invaluable input." He added, "We've really fully untied the knot. That's a credit to the team and their dedication and passion they have brought to this effort."

Up next: ensuring that the system does what it needs to do and the users can accomplish their business. That means technical development of the approved changes, writing test scripts and completing testing, preparing and delivering training, and performing security analysis. Change management and communications efforts are also being planned to make sure that the move to the new "house" of PeopleSoft 9.0 will be as smooth as possible.

For more information and ways to get involved with the project, please visit

ESUP update

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Several project teams have spent the past eight months in Interactive Design & Prototyping (IDP) sessions looking at the 8.9 functionality versus the 9.0 and reviewing all modifications that have been made up to this point. Currently, 60% of modifications have been removed. The teams have also written over 500 functional designs and are currently working on business process documentation to facilitate training opportunities.

The change management and communication team will work to ensure stakeholders know what the changes are and how they are impacted by them. Next steps include preparing test scripts, performing security analysis, starting system training, and completing plans for training, change management, and communication.

Staff should continue attending Town Halls and RAC meetings and reading the weekly update emails. Additionally, tech staff should connect with IDEAA. IDEAA is a community of practice around Integrating Data, Enterprise Architecture, and Applications. It is how the University developer community can discuss ESUP and data integration. The main goal is to get information about changes to data integration to those that create applications and reports.

If you know of somebody in your unit who fits that description, please make sure they are aware of the opportunity to participate in this community of practice. More information is available at

ESUP: What's Changing?

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Since the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) kicked off in October 2012, people have wanted to know what is going to change when the new system goes live. Users of the University's enterprise student system expect the look and feel of the system to change, but they also know that this is the first time that there has been a comprehensive examination of the related business processes since 1999. The question on everyone's mind is: what will change as a result of that examination and how?

Until the Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP) activity for business processes was complete and the team recommendations made their way through ESUP governance, it was difficult to discuss the changes that might be happening. With the Student work stream nearing the end of the IDP phase, a picture of the new system and its associated processes is becoming more clear.

The Student work stream has done a tremendous job of following the three principles of their system's upgrade:

  1. Utilize delivered "Self-Service" functionality for students, faculty, and staff.

  2. Wherever possible, use delivered PeopleSoft functionality without customization or implement the industry-standard, best-practice approach.

  3. Improve or retain U of M business process best-practice solutions not delivered in PeopleSoft.

The work of IDP was centered on an entire business process and as the recommendations for those business processes are approved through ESUP governance, they are being made available on the ESUP What's Changing? website. On that page, you will see a list of approved changes that are now being communicated to the University community. A short description of the recommendation for the process is on the page, as well as a link to more detailed information.

This will not be the only venue for communicating these changes. More opportunities, including training, will be available as we near go-live in fall 2014. If you have questions or feedback on the information available on the page, please email

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