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Managers' Mosaic Update

September 2013

Mosaic is quickly approaching its first launch date. In this month's newsletter:

Project Update

It's time to put on the game face. With less than three months to go until the launch of the finance and research finance portions of the project, the Mosaic team is pushing hard to finish the tasks that need to be completed before launch day.

The finance and research finance teams have entered an intense period of system integration testing during which they are looking for bugs in the new tools. Once they complete the system tests, they will move on to user-acceptance testing. Even while testing is proceeding, the training team is developing courses to help you learn the new system and the security team is assembling a list of users and security access requirements.

As a team, we're trying to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible to make the transition easier for the rest of the University; however, there are some tasks that only managers or end users can do.

In this issue, we'll give you a heads up on those tasks and provide some tips for prioritizing tasks through the next few months.

Getting Ready

With the launch of the new PeopleSoft Financial tools in December, it's time to start thinking about how you and your team will prepare for the big switch. If you were able to attend our Mosaic information sessions for financial managers and supervisors, you'll have a sense of the scope of change. If you couldn't attend, we've posted a video of one of the sessions. The video should provide you with enough information to have a meaningful conversation with your team about the coming changes. Additional background material, including a project glossary, is available on our website.

Communicating the Changes

We're asking every manager to initiate conversations with his or her staff about Mosaic. Even staff who won't use the new system on a daily basis need to know that a change is coming. Staff who will use the new system need to know that they'll have your support through the transition.

Key points to discuss:

  • Why McMaster is doing this (explain how our current system no longer meet the University's needs)
  • Explain the impact it will have on your team (they will need to learn new systems and new business processes)
  • How your team will prepare (reassure your team that there will be training and support)

Set the Tone

Your staff will judge this change in part by your words and actions. You need to send the message that your team can successfully navigate this transition. Don't sugar-coat it. Learning new systems is hard work and takes time. Acknowledge that effort. However, other universities have done this successfully and McMaster can too. Dee Henne's closing remarks to the Mosaic information sessions are a good example of tone setting.

Making Training Work for Your Team

The project team released a training overview last week. A schedule will come out soon. The amount of training that you and your team members will need is going to vary widely, depending on specific tasks and roles in your office. Many people will only need two or three courses. In contrast, users who do a wide variety of financial tasks, such as financial managers, will likely require approximately ten courses. A typical course will take one or two hours to complete, while complex topics could be longer.

We realize that it may seem like an inconvenience, but you need to make time for training in your office's schedule. The time you invest will pay itself back over the following months. As a manager, it is your responsibility to make sure your team completes the training it requires to be effective users of the new system. Most of the courses will be offered through a new-to-McMaster online training system that walks people through tasks in the system. This training tool will give users the flexibility to complete sections at their convenience. (There will also be classroom training for some courses.)

Additional Support

If you find you need additional change management support to help your team transition to the new PeopleSoft system, contact Paul Short, McMaster's Director of Organizational Change Management. He would be happy to help you solve specific challenges you may be facing in transitioning your team to the new system.

If you would like to enhance your change management skills in a broader way, CCE has an upcoming course "Leading Change for Success" on Thursday, October 2. In this course, participants learn how to enhance their change leadership. Change theory and methodologies will be introduced to better understand the varying perspectives of different stakeholders and to demonstrate how best to bring each stakeholder group onboard. (This course is FREE for McMaster employees.)

Upcoming Newsletter for Financial System Users

A few weeks ago, senior financial managers were asked to confirm who in their area will need access to and training on the new financial system. We now have a detailed list of future system users. Moving forward Mosaic will launch an electronic newsletter specifically for this group. This newsletter will communicate information system users will need to transition to the new system. The first issue will go out next week.


For additional information, please contact:

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