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Managers' Mosaic Update

November 2013

With just more than a month until the University switches from its legacy financial systems to PeopleSoft Financial Tools, the Mosaic team is working flat out and needs the help of the McMaster community to carry the day.

As we near the launch date, the University needs you to participate in three ways:

Orientation, Learning and Training

The team is committed to providing everyone with the training they need to perform their current job using the new system. As a practical matter, we have a limited classroom capacity so we are prioritizing training to provide the earliest support to high frequency users. In August and September we took a list of current finance system users and asked faculty and department managers to verify the list's accuracy, to indicate what tasks users would perform in the new system, and how frequently those individuals used the system. That information is guiding training delivery and prioritization.

System users will receive a direct email inviting them to log into the project's training website where they can take online courses and sign-up for classroom courses. They will be offered courses that correspond to the tasks that they were identified as performing. Users will be contacted in order of their frequency of use (i.e. high-frequency users will be contacted first). Registration for classroom training opened on Monday, October 21 for high frequency users. Other user groups will be invited this week. Mosaic aims to train high-frequency users as near as possible to the launch date. Classroom training for less frequent users may be later in December after the launch. In addition, online training materials for all courses will be posted in mid-November, providing another method for all users to prepare.

Managers will want to ensure that their staff receive the appropriate training. We strongly recommend that you coordinate training times with your staff, incorporating training time within regular work schedules.

Please encourage your staff to get training before they use the new system. Attempting to use PeopleSoft without training could frustrate users and overburden the support team.

Additional training information can be found on the Mosaic website. Questions regarding training should be directed to

Setting Expectations

Choose the euphemism of your choice: teething problems, growing pains or hiccups. However you describe it, change on the scale McMaster is about to experience is hard work. It would be unrealistic to believe we can be perfect on day one. There will be difficulties. Please prepare your team for the reality that:

  • There is a learning curve; expertise is never instant. Training is an important start, but it can take people months to achieve proficiency.
  • As people are on the learning curve, their work throughput may slow. Please emphasize that we all need to be patient with each other during this time.
  • Teams need to help each other. Simple steps, such as sharing tips and tricks, can help to build internal team resilience and performance.

Ultimately, McMaster will have a more effective system, but it will take time to recognize the benefits. To help the transition, the project team is establishing an enhanced support team for the first two months after the system launches.

Preparing your Operations for the Switch

Last week, the project team distributed a cutover memo outlining several processes in the current accounting systems that must be brought to a close before McMaster can switch to the new system. The memo details the systems which are affected and the last day that transactions may be recorded in the legacy system. After a system is closed, all further transactions will be entered into the new PeopleSoft system. The memo also contains a full list of area specific contacts, should you have additional questions.

Also, employee reimbursement (travel and expense claims) is one area with substantial process improvements. A recent McMaster Daily News article explained these changes.

Communicating with Faculty Members

The Mosaic team has produced a briefing paper about Mosaic for faculty members. This resource explains how the project will impact faculty members.


For additional information contact: