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INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the project plan for developing and implementing the new Finance System reporting tool. This document will cover

  • need for the project;
  • project objectives;
  • project leadership and the project oversight committee;
  • project phases;
  • mechanisms for project input and feedback;
  • project timelines and milestones;
  • project resource needs; and
  • training philosophy for the project.

PROJECT NEED

The University of Colorado made a significant investment, in both time and money, to deploy the Finance System upgrade earlier this year. To complement and enhance this investment, to respond to the current trend in enhanced fiscal management best-practices, and to facilitate the responsibilities in the newly adopted Fiscal Accountability Suite of Administrative Policy Statements, the university has committed to improving the financial reporting regularly available to individuals who serve in the university's various fiscal roles: officer, fiscal principal, fiscal manager, and fiscal staff.


PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The goal of the new reporting tool is to efficiently generate accurate and complete financial statements, support fiscal accountability, and provide reasonable fiscal certifications by achieving the following objectives:

  • ensure that the right people have access to the right information so they can successfully fulfill their respective fiscal role and complete, as appropriate to their fiscal role, their fiscal certification;
  • provide one centralized reporting system for all reports using Finance System data that is easy to access and use so that:
    • employees in all fiscal roles can get the complete, comprehensive, and consistent fiscal information they need for every SpeedType within their respective Functional Area of Responsibility, Organizational Unit, or Responsibility Unit; and
    • the opportunity to manipulate data and to present inaccurate, incomplete, or incorrect reports is reduced; and
  • provide a reporting tool that is robust enough to meet the wide variety of needs found in a diverse and decentralized end-user population.

PROJECT LEADERSHIP

Project Sponsors
  • Associate Vice President and University Controller - Mary Catherine Gaisbauer
  • Assistant Vice President of Administrative Information Services - Jeff Ruffe
Project Management
  • Administrative Information Systems Manager - Ann Wold
  • Director of Financial Systems - Brian Siebert
  • Information Resource Management Manager - Carl Sorenson
Campus Project Management
Project Working Group
  • Staff in UMS Administrative Information Services and Office of University Controller
Project Oversight Committee
  • Vice Chancellors of Finance Group
Project Management Strategy

The project management strategy utilizes the project leadership groups mentioned above to provide communication, guidance, and implementation for the project. Each group has a unique role to play in the project, and each group is responsible for working and sharing information with the other leadership groups.

Project Sponsors

  • On a daily basis, work with Project Management to administer decisions, taking into consideration information presented by the Working Group and Campus Project Management.
  • Meet at least weekly with Project Management to review strategic planning and project status
  • Each month, provide project status and confirm project direction with Campus Project Management and Project Oversight Committee
  • Each month, gather input on design decisions from Campus Project Management.
  • Make resource decisions and changes in project scope.
Project Management Team

  • On a daily basis, administer decisions made in consideration of information presented by the Working Group and in conjunction with the Project Sponsors.
  • Meet at least weekly with Project Sponsors to review strategic planning and project status
  • Convene weekly with Working Group to address the technical, tactical, and procedural aspects of project implementation.
  • Make recommendations on resource decisions and changes in project scope to the Project Sponsors.
Campus Project Management

  • Represent the project's constituent groups by gathering and providing feedback to Project Sponsors about the project scope.
  • Meet monthly with Project Sponsors to receive confirmation about project direction and to review design specifics.
Campus Project Management

  • Convene weekly with Project Management Team to address the technical, tactical, and procedural aspects of project implementation.
  • Share decisions and concerns with Project Sponsors.
Project Phases

This project has multiple phases of implementation to allow for immediate, future and strategic solutions to the university's reporting needs.

Stage 1

The first phase of the project has been designed to facilitate the Financial Report Review Process required by the Administrative Policy Fiscal Roles and Responsibilities. Therefore, it includes the key financial statements needed by fiscal staff as follows:

  • Balance Sheet (SNA) Detail
  • Balance Sheet (SNA) Summary
  • Detail of Income Statement with Budget (analogous to the current "Detail of Financial Transactions" report)
  • Income Statement Summary with Budget (analogous to the current "Summary of Budget, Revenues, Expenditures, and Transfers" report)
  • Income Statement Summary with Prior YearThis is the only new report. It is similar to the current "Summary of Budget, Revenues, Expenditures, and Transfers" report except rather than comparing "budget to actual" within the current fiscal year, compares "actual to actual" across fiscal years.
  • Outstanding Encumbrances
  • Journal Entry

The phase will be completed by January 1, 2006.

Stage 2

The second phase of the project has been designed to facilitate (1) compensating controls and (2) personnel effort reporting, and (3) I.R.S. Section 127 reporting. In the near future, the key reports needed by these processes will be identified. The phase will be completed by March 30, 2006.

Stage 3

In the third stage, we will review all existing reports in our current reporting tools, including the Finance System, PS Lite, the UMS (formerly the CU-Denver) website, and FishNet. The best of these existing tools will be converted. (The goal is to eliminate the duplicative items). The timing of this phase needs to be determined.

Stage 4

In the fourth stage, we will identify the need for reports that do not currently exist in our reporting tools but are necessary for significant portions or functions of the university for adequate financial management. In addition, this phase will include the roll-out of ad-hoc querying. The timing of this phase needs to be determined. During this phase, we will transition from project management to routine management of the reporting tool. Therefore, this phase will include designing methodology to ensure gathering feedback on reporting needs.

Project Feedback: Information Gathering, Communication and Feedback

Information Gathering

As part of the planning process to define the scope and phases of the reporting tool, all end users were asked to complete an online Financial Reporting Survey. Responses to the survey questions were anonymous, unless the user chose to provide a name. The survey was conducted during July and August 2005. The results of the survey will be compiled and reviewed with the Campus Project Management Team during Phase 1. Additional surveys may be used throughout the project to get input form the broader university community.

Communication Plan

The communication plan includes:
  • 1. Periodic email notification to end users about project status or design. This will be facilitated through the Campus Controllers from the University Controller.
  • 2. Periodic status reports posted on the Reporting Project website. The University Controller will facilitate this.
  • 3. Key end-user forums. These will be held as needed to address functionality design, implementation strategies, training opportunities, etc.

Feedback

An email address has been set up so that end users can send comments/concerns about the reporting tool to Project Management. This email address, which is facilitated by the University Controller, is reportingproject@cusys.edu

Project Milestone Dates

The following dates are preliminary and will be confirmed and expanded throughout the project.
  • July 15, 2005
    • **Distribute reporting survey
  • August 31, 2005
    • **Survey completion deadline
  • September and October 2005
    • **September and October 2005
      **Build and test Phase 1 reports
  • November 2005
    • **Begin designing Phase 1 training materials
      **Demo and test Phase 1 training materials with Campus Project Management
  • December 2005
    • **Do campus demos of reporting tool
      **Finalize Phase 1 reports and training based upon campus feedback
      **Roll out Phase 1 training
  • January 1, 2006
    • **Go-Live with Phase 1 reports
  • January 2006
    • **Begin Phase 2
  • March 2006
    • Go-Live with Phase 2 reports

Project Resource Needs

Staffing Requirements
  • 6 Technical Staff 80%-100%
  • 10 Functional Staff 50%-75%-(Includes campus-based functional staff and testing and training) *
  • 1 DBA resource 50%-80%
  • 1 Security Staff 50%-80%
  • Consulting Staff-Project Management, Technical Staff and Report Writers
  • Training Philosophy

    Project leadership intends to primarily implement web-based training modules, supplemented with campus forums as appropriate. The development of the training program will be coordinated with an existing university-wide financial training team group led by the University Controller.

    We welcome your comments and concerns, and invite you to share them with us by sending an email to reportingproject@cusys.edu.

        
               
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