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IRIS Project News Release IRIS project update – Human Resources Business Blueprint taking shape
  Brent McGilberry, SAP consultant, works with Michelle Bliffen and Debbie Zoll from the HR Team on a CI template for the Business Blueprint.

In early August the Human Resources (HR) Team of the IRIS Project began Business Blueprint efforts and has yet to slow its work tempo. With more than 35 workshops completed, the HR Team is on schedule for creating the actual Business Blueprint document for the Human Resources and Payroll module of the SAP software selected for IRIS.

Michelle Bliffen serves as the functional lead of the HR Team. In a recent discussion about the blueprinting process for HR, Bliffen offered these answers and observations about the software and her team’s efforts in the process.

Q. What typically occurs in a Business Blueprint workshop for HR?

A. Each workshop begins with a general overview of the topic, given by one of the consultants assigned to the HR Team. Everyone who participates learns SAP vocabulary items and how they relate to UK terms. The workshops help us understand how a particular part of the SAP software works. And, as we are learn about HR, we also begin to grasp how it integrates with the other modules.

Q. Who participates in HR workshops?

A.HR Team members and consultants take part in each workshop, along with invited campus experts. The team develops an invitation list of the most appropriate individuals and groups for each workshop. Some workshops require participation from specialized groups while others call for broader participation. For example, one workshop on benefits included staff members responsible for administering the university’s programs in this area. Other workshops focused on broader topics, with attendees coming from various colleges and departments around campus.

Q. What topics or areas within human resources have you covered in blueprinting activities?
A. The workshops have been organized around the six major areas of HR: Enterprise Structure, Organizational Management, Personnel Administration, Payroll, Benefits, and Time Management.

Q. What exactly is Enterprise Structure?
A.In HR, Enterprise Structure is simply a way to look at the university and how it and its employees should be organized within the software. In defining the HR Enterprise Structure for our new system, we have to consider Organization Structure (areas, departments), Employee Structure (all groups of employees), and Pay Structure (payrolls and cycles).

This sounds easy until you stop to consider the complexities of our institution. A large part of our early blueprinting efforts centered on defining Enterprise Structure for UK. We’ve tried to consider every type of employee in the institution and learned a lot from campus experts in the process. For example, Susan Sponcil, budget analyst for the College of Agriculture,.from the College of Agriculture provided much-needed assistance in defining the college’s group of federal employees while Trish Polly, budget director for the College of Medicine, provided faculty specifics for the College of Medicine.

Q. What have you found most challenging in the HR blueprinting process thus far?

A.Two major challenges come to mind. First, being forced to look at UK in a different way is no simple task. You must step back and think logically about how the total institution and its people are organized.

Secondly, exploration and fact-finding tasks have challenged everyone. We’ve tried to “look under every rock,” if you will, to identify each type of employee group and discover unique situations now rather than later.

Q. What work remains for the HR Business Blueprint?

A.While our workshops are finished, our information gathering continues. The Accelerated SAP (ASAP) implementation methodology requires that detailed questionnaires be completed. We must also document our current processes and workflow in order to complete customer input (CI) templates. All of the information we compile flows into the Question and Answer database. In a few weeks all of this input will result in the actual Blueprint for Human Resources and Payroll – a major milestone for the IRIS Project.

Infotype - A set of data grouped together according to subject matter. For example, there is an Addresses Infotype in HR.

CI Template – Customer Input Template – SAP’s tool used for organizing information gathered during the blueprint phase. The CI Templates become the actual blueprint document.

– The processes currently used to complete the tasks necessary to fulfill the work requirements of the university.