IRIS Project Update – Moving from Blueprint to Realization
January 3 marked the beginning of Realization, the third phase of the Integrated Resource Information Systems (IRIS) implementation. The IRIS Team is working from the Business Blueprint created last fall to move the new system closer to reality. Realization focuses on two major efforts: Building and Testing.
The IRIS Project now resembles a construction project. Guided by the blueprint design, team members and consultants are working side by side to build an IRIS test system. That construction involves adding UK-specific information to the standard SAP software. The Human Resources Team is focusing on the required organizational structure while the Campus Management Team concentrates on building the academic structure in its module. The Financial group is fine-tuning the new system’s Chart of Accounts. The goal is to create a test system and refine it thoroughly over the next several months.
Other project construction is also underway. Some team members are charged with creating required interfaces and conversion programs, as well as exploring the standard reports delivered by SAP. Those interfaces must help other campus systems and IRIS work well together. Conversion programs are necessary for getting all sorts of data from present systems to IRIS.
Building in Realization also focuses on the needs of UK’s future end-users. The Training Team is at work assembling its plans for end-user training and documentation. The members are learning about all of the transactions that must be carried out by end-users and developing the “how-tos” for each. And later in the spring the project team will construct user roles for the system, that is, determine what jobs end-users will perform in IRIS, and what access they will need.
Realization requires testing and plenty of it. Initial testing will involve the use of business scenarios developed for the test system to ensure that transactions can be created as designed. Can an employee be hired? Can a purchase order be created? Can an applicant be admitted? Next comes integration testing, to see how well the system handles processes that cross functional areas. The team’s development efforts must also undergo testing. Do the conversion and interface programs function properly? Can testers who are assigned particular roles in the test system do their jobs and complete transactions? Employees from various areas of the campus and hospital are likely to be involved in these critical testing efforts.
Realization - Building and Testing - moves the University closer to the reality of IRIS Go Live dates and successful implementation.