McMaster community getting to know Mosaic

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Two weeks since its launch, McMaster’s new finance and research-post award system is beginning to hit its stride.


It’s the biggest and most complex administrative project in McMaster’s history, and, two weeks since its launch, McMaster’s new finance and research-post award system is beginning to hit its stride.

Launching a system such as this for a University as large and diverse as McMaster is a complex job.

The Mosaic project, which saw many of the University’s core financial systems replaced, affects an estimated 800 frequent users and 2,000 occasional users. The replacement of the University’s Chart of Accounts required a 110,000 line mapping table to transfer the legacy account numbers to the new chartfield strings. At the same time, McMaster’s business processes were substantially modified.

As expected, this level of change has generated challenges, both small and large, in the post-launch period. The majority of the issues being experienced are quite normal for this type of complex project, particularly within the first few weeks.

“On behalf of the Mosaic team I would like to thank the McMaster community for its support, patience and understanding during this transition period,” said David Wilkinson, provost and vice-president (Academic). “Your diligence in learning the new processes and system will help McMaster realize the benefits of this work in the years to come.”

Successes and Challenges

The biggest success so far is the obvious: the system is operating and people are performing work in it. Purchase orders are being generated and travel claims are being reimbursed. For example, 60 purchase orders have been issued and 1,500 bills processed.

The biggest challenge has been providing support to system users who have questions. While some questions can be resolved through an initial email or conversation, other requests for support are taking several days to process, depending on the complexity of the matter. The support team does request users ask their questions once, preferably through the web form. Repeatedly calling about the same issue slows responses for everyone. Please be patient, the team will respond as fast as possible.

Common questions raised to the support team are being added to the project’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Orientation and training activities are having mixed results. More than 85 per cent of high-frequency users have engaged in some training activity, but only a third of the total expected user base has logged into the training website. Overall, fewer people are engaging in the orientation and training activities than anticipated. It is strongly recommended that staff complete the relevant training.

The project team is holding a series of open houses where system users can bring work they need help completing in PeopleSoft and receive guidance from a “super user.”

Fast Facts (Through the first 10 days)

  • More than 2,000 legacy sub-codes were simplified to approximately 1,200 PeopleSoft account numbers
  • Approximately 700 users access Mosaic per day
  • More than 1,800 unique users have logged in at least once since launch
  • More than 200 travel and expense claims are in processes with 40 already paid

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