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CMS Project Watch recently sat down with John Lynn, Denise Johnson and Katina Napper to get their views on the CMS-HR project status and how the implementation will benefit campus users. They are all members of the HR Project Management team, but have different perspectives on the benefits of CMS. John and Denise, as HR Project Leaders, give a brief overview of the project's progress. Katina, who has participated in module work teams and user groups, talks about how CMS will benefit the campus community and upcoming changes in the part-time faculty hiring processes. Please take a moment to learn more about how CMS will benefit the campus community.

John Lynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to the incredible input received from campus user groups and from the unbelievable effort of the CMS (HR) team, we are actually ahead of schedule.

 

 

Denise Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CMS-HR: Bringing You
Up-to-speed with John Lynn and Denise Johnson

John Lynn and Denise Johnson discuss the CMS HR status and how the implementation will benefit campus users.

Tick tock. Tick tock. That’s the countdown clock the Common Management System (CMS)-HR team hears as the Human Resources module of CMS plans to go live on August 18. That’s right, August 18. “Due to the incredible input received from campus user groups and from the unbelievable effort of the CMS (HR) team, we are actually ahead of schedule. Most of the fit gap sessions have been completed. The team is currently documenting specifications for various modules”, said John Lynn, Executive Director of Human Resources. “The next step for the team is to test the applications with key administrators (HR and Payroll) as well as pilot campus departments in preparation for training and go live.”

How is the campus able to move the go live date ahead by 3 months? According to John, “The biggest reason we are ahead of schedule is that employee groups have provided enough input to help the CMS (HR) team make implementation decisions. Every member of the team has worked many productive hours. We can implement CMS sooner due to our implementation strategy of using ‘pilot’ departments for distributed functionality such as temp faculty hire/re-appointment and student workers hire/re-appointment and time entry. Even though our administrative areas will be using most of the application for all employees, the campus departments will be introduced to CMS gradually. Thus, we will have time to work out any issues before going 100% live” (to the campus departments).

So, what type of HR information will departments have access to? In the past, departments haven’t been able to access their personnel information without having to contact Human Resources. That will become a thing of the past. One of the greatest benefits CMS provides is Self Service: real time online access to individual’s employment and benefit information. Employees will be able to change their address and phone number through a secured portal site. You will also be able to view the benefits you are currently enrolled in. To change your benefits you will still need to contact the Human Resources Department. According to Denise Johnson, Director of Human Resource Operations and HR Project Lead, “We are planning to roll out more functionality in the future.”

John noted that “What is now and what is coming in the near future will have a more (positive) impact on the campus than any other project that has ever come to our campus.” He continues, “Employees have provided significant input on business methods to make the campus function more effectively and efficiently.”

Denise adds that “the project is running smoothly…The goal of the CMS project is to provide efficient, effective, high quality service to faculty, staff and students.” The CMS goal lies within the University’s missions where learning is preeminent.

Summed up best by Denise; “This is only the beginning in our new CMS journey.”

   
Katina Napper

From a broader perspective, streamlined processes allow you to focus less energy on the processes which gives you more time to focus on the mission and goals of the University from your college's perspective.

A Voice from a FAR

Katina Napper has been with Cal State Fullerton for four years and is the Director of Faculty Affairs and Records and a member of the CMS-HR Project Management team. She currently holds an MBA and a Master's degree in Information Systems from the Claremont Colleges. Yes, she has two Master's degrees! Her latest project is Mother to her adorable 4 month old daughter, Kasey .

PW: Do you feel the campus (specifically FAR) has had an opportunity to be involved with the CMS-HR implementation? How so and how much involvement?

KN: I feel that our campus is really lucky in that this is a truly integrated implementation. When talking to my colleagues on other campuses, some have stated that they wish they were more involved in the implementation or that their CMS Project was mainly driven by one department. That is definitely not the case here at Fullerton. There are several ways that stakeholders can provide input and get involved from divisional user groups to talking to anyone on the project team directly, including Amir. The communication lines have been open from the beginning and that's the most important thing. No decisions were made without a lot of input and involvement from the campus. For my office in particular, it has been very beneficial that the Assistant Director of FAR, Robin Graboyes, is a subject matter expert (SME) on the CMS team concerning faculty processes. The project benefits from her expertise and it is very important for her to be involved on that level because of the work that we do.

PW: What do you see as the top three benefits of CMS HR implementation from the perspective of Faculty Affairs and Records?

KN: From the perspective of my department, I think streamlining of processes is huge! We always wanted to find the time to streamline our processes and CMS, like other ERP systems, forces you to do that because you have to look at your existing processes to see what needs happen when the system is implemented. The CMS fit gap sessions have allowed us to do just that. Through this project, we have also been able to really see how the work that we do impacts the entire University. I think we know that, but looking at our processes in conjunction with other departments on campus really brought that point home. Having a centralized database will be so wonderful for accuracy, data security, decreased redundancy, easier access to data and reports and the list goes on and on.

PW: We've heard discussion about CMS and part-time faculty. Does the CMS implementation offer an opportunity to improve the business practices and processes for hiring part-time faculty?

KN: Absolutely! Anybody who is involved with this process will tell you that it's complicated at times. This is in part due to the data tracking issues. CMS definitely can offer a lot to us. CMS will allow this process to be a primarily electronic flow with paper being used only when necessary instead of the paper intensive process it is now. In addition, CMS will provide great relief in the data tracking area. Many of the data elements that departments track manually now will be tracked by CMS which is a great plus.

PW: And it saves some trees?

KN: Absolutely!

PW: Does CMS improve business practices from the Faculty member perspective?

KN: I think the biggest benefit for faculty would be access to their information. With CMS and secure access, they would have access to selected information that they would normally have to pick up a phone and call someone for, or send an email request.

PW: How about the department perspective?

KN: Not having to track so many data elements manually will be great for departments, as well as access to information and reports. The ability to run a report on your own time and not have to request it from another office will be a huge plus for all departments and/or colleges who hire part-time faculty.

PW: It will be nice to cut out the middle man?

KN: Yes. Make things as simple as possible.

PW: How about from the college perspective?

KN: From a broader perspective, streamlined processes allow you to focus less energy on the processes which gives you more time to focus on the mission and goals of the University from your college's perspective. Access to information gives you the tools to forecast and plan. A clear picture of where you are is the first step to getting to where you want to be. These benefits can also be seen in a department or any unit in the University.

PW: Last, but not least, from FAR's perspective?

KN: All the things I mentioned above!

PW: Is CMS offering an opportunity to establish standard procedures for departments and colleges?

KN: Absolutely. The part-time faculty process is a prime example. One of the reasons it's challenging is that we all do it differently. We know that each college and department has different needs and the goal is to have a standardized process that is flexible enough to accommodate those different needs. So instead of having a complicated process where everyone does something different, we will have a process which everyone will use and have options at different points in the process to accommodate their departmental needs.

PW: Will there be new services and tools due to the CMS implementation?

KN: Yes! Access to reports will be a great tool. CMS will also track WTU accumulation for our Lecturers and departments will not have to track this manually. As employees, we will also have access to some of our personal information which I think is very helpful.

PW: Overall, do you believe the CMS project will be a success? And why?

KN: I think the project will be successful because we, as a campus, want it to be successful. This is a campus-wide project and we all need to take ownership. There are a lot of people working hard and doing great work on this project, there has been a lot of dialog with the stakeholders, and the campus has many avenues for input. We are doing all that we can to ensure the success of this project.

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