Mosaic Fit-Gap complete

By Sheldon Smart, February 27, 2013
    McMaster experts from across the University attended this Fit-Gap workshop on student records data conversion.

Mosaic, McMaster’s project to modernize its administrative systems, has completed its Fit-Gap stage and is entering the project’s Design and Build stage.

More than 170 workshops were held with McMaster teams on topics ranging from time and labor to general ledger conversion, and from student financial aid to research reporting. McMaster’s current administrative and business systems were examined in relation to the new software to determine how it can meet the University’s requirements and where there are gaps between the software's standard capabilities and McMaster’s needs.

Overall, the teams accomplished their objective of identifying fits and gaps between McMaster’s needs and the PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning software that has been selected to replace many of the University’s administrative and business systems.

“The process worked as it should. We had tremendous support from across campus. I would like to thank everyone for their time and knowledge,” said Linda Elliott, Mosaic project manager.

As expected, the process revealed gaps both narrow and wide. In some areas, such as finance, the PeopleSoft software is fairly aligned to McMaster’s requirements.  In other, more complex areas, such as student administration, there are more gaps and that team will need correspondingly more time to examine solutions.

“These differences are great examples of how the Fit-Gap process is helping us identify where the challenges are as we establish an implementation schedule and enter the Design and Build stage,” said Elliott.

Fit-Gap Results

Project teams are currently using the Fit-Gap findings to develop a detailed implementation plan and timeline.  The implementation teams will be communicating the results of their workshops in different ways. The HR implementation team held an open house on February 21, 2013. The student administration team is planning an open house for April 4, 2013.

The conclusion of the Fit-Gap stage is being welcomed by many participants.

“I’m really looking forward to the next stage where we can focus on what the new system will do rather than the current state,” commented participant Amber Metham, a research contracts advisor in the McMaster Industry Liaison Office.

Reflecting differences in complexity, timing and effort that emerged through the Fit-Gap process, the next stage will look different for each of the four teams: finance, research administration, human resources, and student administration. For example, the student administration team needs to review additional design options over the next two months. In contrast, the financial team has already begun design work.

As it begins the Design and Build stage, the implementation teams want to reassure the McMaster community that there will be additional opportunities for involvement and input. The teams don’t anticipate needing as much time from individuals as was required for workshops during the Fit-Gap stage.

About Mosaic

Mosaic is McMaster’s project to modernize its business and administrative processes and replace its current business systems with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Mosaic will replace the current systems used for student administration, finance, research administration, human resources, and business intelligence. Replacing all of these systems at once provides a rare opportunity to modernize the University’s business processes. The new system will be launched in stages over the next few years.

For additional information about the project refer to the Mosaic website.