Managers' ERP Monthly Update

October 2012

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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 are about to accelerate.

To help you better understand how this project will impact both McMaster and your unit, the project steering committee is beginning a series of monthly emails specifically for TMG.

Project Update

Since selecting Oracle's PeopleSoft ERP system as the underlying software, the project steering committee has spent considerable time arranging for a System Integration (SI) consultant. The SI will help us install, configure and launch the PeopleSoft system in the coming years. Thank you to everyone who helped review the SI bids. The project steering committee is in the final stages of negotiating a contract with a SI consultant and is hoping to make an announcement soon.


The next stage of the process is the "Fit-Gap." During the Fit-Gap our SI will hold 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. There will be approximately 170 workshops on very specific topics, such as student records and journal processing. At the end of the Fit-Gap stage, we will have a detailed plan for implementing the software to meet McMaster's needs.

The Fit-Gap stage is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth transition to the new system. We will need to draw on subject matter experts from across campus. We have begun to invite workshop participants but recognize that there are others who could contribute. We have posted the list of workshops. Please review it and if you believe that you or one of your staff can contribute to one of the discussions, please contact the workshop's coordinator to arrange an invitation.

Workshop Syndrome

With more than 170 workshops in just four months, one challenge the University will face is “workshop syndrome.” People in workshops won't be at their desks doing their day-to-day assignments. The steering committee deeply appreciates managers freeing up time for key staff to attend.

You should also expect occasional reduced service levels in fields that are contributing significant numbers of staff to workshops, such as human resources, student registration, finance and accounting and research services. Again we thank you for your patience and support.

Staffing Implementation Teams

McMaster is assembling implementation teams to work alongside our SI as the software is installed, configured and rolled out. The steering committee is currently selecting team leads for each of the functional areas. In the next few weeks we will begin engaging ERP Business Systems Integration Specialists as secondment opportunities. These positions will have a profound impact on this project and on the future of McMaster. Some of these positions will be posted in October. Current experienced McMaster employees are encouraged to apply for these roles. These positions will provide tremendous professional development opportunities for the successful candidate. The individuals will have the chance to share their knowledge and advanced understanding of the project with units and departments across the University. We appreciate your assistance in helping to identify potential candidates.

Resources for explaining ERP to your staff

There is a background information note on the project's website which you might find useful when explaining the project to your staff. While it is still too early to predict specific changes to systems, you can assure your staff that there will be training to prepare them to use new systems.

Upcoming Events

  • The ERP Project will be a topic of discussion at the Provost's State of the Academy talk on October 9.
  • Add us to your staff meeting. If you'd like to have a project member talk about the ERP system to your team, send us an email.
  • Check the Daily News for articles and announcements about this project.


For additional information contact:

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