Managers' ERP Monthly Update

November 2012

McMaster logo

To the members of TMG:

McMaster's efforts to modernize its business processes and replace its current business systems with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system have accelerated. This month's newsletter will inform you about what's happening.

Project Update

Early in October McMaster reached an agreement with Deloitte to serve as the system implementation (SI) consultant for the project. As the SI, Deloitte will help McMaster install and configure the PeopleSoft ERP software that was selected earlier this year.

With Deloitte confirmed, the project has moved into the Fit-Gap stage. During the Fit-Gap Deloitte is holding workshops with McMaster staff to determine how the PeopleSoft software can meet our requirements and where there are gaps between the software's standard capabilities and our needs. The first workshop started on October 15. Over the course of the next four months there will be more than 170 workshops. At the end of the Fit-Gap stage, we will have a detailed plan for implementing the software to meet McMaster's needs.

Thank you to all those who are participating in the workshops. The expertise you are contributing will help us ensure the new system fits McMaster's needs. We also thank those who are keeping the “home fires burning” while their colleagues are at workshops. Despite best efforts, there will be occasional reduced service levels in areas that are contributing significant numbers of staff to workshops, such as human resources, student administration, finance and accounting and research services. Again we thank you for your patience and support.

Business Process Mapping follow-up session

The final business process mapping session will be held on Friday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to noon in T13, room 124 and is again open to the whole University community. At this session attendees will be asked to highlight “pain points” on the maps where they feel McMaster's current business processes need improving.

These maps document every business process at the University that touches finance, student administration, human resources or research administration. This session follows September's business process map open house and incorporates the comments and observations attendees offered then. Those comments and observations were used to refine the maps, ensuring an accurate understanding of the current state of McMaster's business process. The amended maps and the areas identified for improvement will inform workshop discussions during the Fit-Gap phase.

Moving Forward with Confidence
Financial Forum for Leaders and Administrators

This year the annual financial forum for leaders and administrators will focus on change and the ERP project. This day-long event on December 3 will help prepare staff and managers for the changes that are coming. As in past years, the day will include both the big picture, with presentations from the President and Provost, and a more detailed look at finance topics. As part of the forum, a change management workshop will explore ways to ease the transition to the new systems and processes. An event outline and registration information will be issued in the next couple weeks. Please encourage leaders and administrators in your area to attend.

What's Coming

With the start of the project we will be making several announcements over the next few weeks.

  • The project is in the final stages of assembling implementation teams. Look for a Daily News Article announcing the teams this month.
  • You wouldn't name your dog "Dog" or your cat "Cat." Like Fido and Fluffy, the ERP project will get its own name this November.

Preparing your Team

People across campus are talking about this project. It represents a tremendous opportunity for the University but it also represents a tremendous change. Users of the 20 plus systems that are being replaced, even if they dislike the current systems, may feel apprehensive about what's coming. Here are a few things managers can do to help their teams through the transition:

  1. Communicate. Let your team members know what is happening. Let them know that you are aware of the project. Ask them what questions they have. Make sure they understand how it will or won't impact your unit. If you can't answer an ERP question, contact us and we will find the answer for you.
  2. Highlight involvement opportunities. This project is seeking input from across the University at forums such as the Business Process Mapping session and the Financial Leaders and Administrators Forum. Encourage someone from your unit to participate and report back to your group.
  3. Reassure them. The project team is unequivocally committed to providing training and learning opportunities to everyone who needs to use the new systems. They will get the support they need to succeed with the new systems.

House Calls

In last month's update we offered to visit staff meetings to explain the project. Since then we have met with groups such as the FHS Operations, Faculty of Engineering Administrators and the Design and Construction team in Facility Services. We appreciate those teams' hospitality. The invitation remains open. If you'd like to have a project member talk about the ERP system with your team, send us an email.


For additional information contact:

Sheldon Smart
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140 x28643