Mosaic training set to begin

By Sheldon Smart, September 30, 2013

The Mosaic team has released its training schedule and course list to help McMaster prepare for the introduction of the new PeopleSoft system for finance and research finance this December.

The schedule aims to deliver financial system training as close as possible to when staff will begin using the PeopleSoft system. With this principle in mind, the project team is planning a staged roll-out of training courses concentrated in November and December and continuing into 2014.

“Learning how to use our new system is best done close to the time of actual use. By clustering training around the December launch, we will ensure individuals get maximum value from the time they invest in training,” said Deidre (Dee) Henne, McMaster’s AVP (Administration) and CFO.

The first course, “PeopleSoft Navigation”, is an overview session that will be released as an online course in the second half of October. This foundational prerequisite course will prepare people for future online, self-directed-learning opportunities and classroom sessions, which will be rolled-out beginning November 4. A detailed classroom-training schedule is available.

The Mosaic team has taken a number of steps to address community concern about the volume of training required to prepare users for the new system.

“We heard a clear message from the community that they have a limited amount of time to dedicate to training in a given month,” said Henne, “so we have assembled a mix of online and classroom sessions to maximize learning opportunities while reducing individual time requirements.”

The Mosaic team has also worked with McMaster’s leadership to free-up time across the University community by eliminating the formal five-month budget review process for many areas of the University.

“Forgoing one budget review cycle in order to provide more time for a learning investment in our people is a reasonable trade-off,” said Henne.

In addition, the introduction of some new system functionality will be phased in with a small number of groups piloting the new accounts receivable functionality.

“One of the real value-adds offered by PeopleSoft is our ability to use an Accounts Receivable system to invoice, track and collect amounts owed,” said Henne. “We need to pilot this new functionality to ensure we have the right processes in place before we open this system up across the entire University.” A four to six month pilot is planned.

Who Gets Training

Online training courses are open to everyone. Classroom sessions before December’s go-live date will be prioritized with preference given to high-volume users. After the launch, class sessions will be open to all system users. Users will receive additional guidance about which courses they should consider taking when course registration system opens in mid-October.

Varying Time Commitments

The amount of training that users will need is going to vary widely, depending on the finance and/or research finance tasks individuals perform. Here are four examples:

Who Typical Tasks Estimated Time Commitment
Leaders (the President, vice-presidents, deans, assistant vice-presidents, chairs, directors, managers and supervisors) financial oversight and approvals 2-3 hours (online)
Financial System End Users (financial administrators, supervisors and managers) buy goods or services, process expense reimbursements, and do journal entries 15-20 hours (online and/or classroom)
Principal Investigators (who do their own financial administration) Submit expense claims, review research balances, approve expenses charged to their own research projects 2-3 hours (online)
Research Accountants (approximately 30 at McMaster) manage research finances 24 hours (mandatory classroom)

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 in one multi-year project provides a rare opportunity to modernize the University’s business processes. The new system will be launched in stages over the next two years.

For additional information about the project refer to the Mosaic website: www.mcmaster.ca/mosaic