Examining the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality, value-added ERP services in Higher Education.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Review (Professional)

Another year ends; another lament on my inability to commit to blogging. Ha ha! (Final tally: 17 blog posts, half my output from 2013, and only 25% of my goal for the year...)

Despite my social media failings, 2014 was an intense year at the office. We poured the foundation for our massive student information system project, with our quiet foundational release in November. Although we pushed some more visible scope from November to March (more on this in a future blog) we made a ton of progress on a ton of organizational, technological, and process topics... 

Our experiments with Agile continue (and I'll be presenting on this topic in Nashville at HEUG) with mixed success. I'm thrilled with it for our user experience track, having watched my user stories come to life in the form of a brand-new, modern user interface atop PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (I'm also presenting on this in March!) But in other areas, we have been less successful. Still we persevere, adapt, learn, adapt again, and keep marching. 

I immersed myself deep in the world of user experience (UX) and we have been getting a lot of good internal press (with faculty and students) from initial previews. I'll have a lot more to say about this in a few weeks, as we launch formal usability testing. As it turns out, delivering an "excellent user experience" (as the project charter promises) is going to be one of the easier aspects of the program -- we have a much steeper climb in areas where status quo business processes, even some rather agonizing paper-based processes, are being upended.

The big launch looms -- and grows nearer not only because the days keep falling away, but because we keep uncovering business events earlier in the summer that cause us to inch the go-live date a few days sooner. Whereas we once spoke about August, we're starting to talk about July or even June. Soon, it won't be practical to speak in terms of how many months remain until go-live, but we'll be thinking in weeks, then days, then hours... It should make for another thrilling year!


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