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ESR Year Three: Progress Made & What Comes After Launch

esr-logotype-stacked.pngIt’s hard to believe that the July 1 release of the Financial Information System (FIS) marked the third year of our ESR journey. The launch of 17 new systems, to date, started with a vision and a PowerPoint deck. 

I’d like to personally thank the hundreds of staff members who have contributed to the ESR projects as well as those of you who have been adjusting to the new systems and processes.

From the beginning, we’ve understood our success relies on people – on you, your colleagues and peers – to participate and adopt the systems. Which is why we decided early on to apply the knowledge and ingenuity of UC San Diego employees to ESR projects rather than rely on outside consultants. This “expert sourcing” approach has successfully staffed projects and brought in subject matter expertise at all points across a project. With this approach, we have also ensured that UC San Diego retains vital knowledge and staff talent to guide the new systems.

I would also like to acknowledge that relying on staff and introducing many changes has resulted in long hours, added stress and frustration. 

We knew that the first half of 2020 would be especially busy with multiple major go-lives planned. What no one could have accounted for was the onset of COVID-19 and the sudden shift to remote instruction and work. So it is even more remarkable to reflect on what we’ve achieved as dedicated staff adapted to working from home, figured out childcare on the fly and cared for loved ones near and far who were coping with the pandemic.

With all of this change, I’d like to remind you to please be kind, compassionate and caring with your colleagues. In addition to going through multiple changes, many are learning new skills across multiple new systems. Productivity may dip as we all adjust.

When a Project Ends: Go-Live is a Starting Line

ESR project go-lives represent starting lines rather than a finish.

Our strategy is to put systems in place with baseline functionality and grow from there, making these new systems ongoing efforts. Continuous improvement is at the heart of ESR, and it truly comes to light once a major system is released.

Project teams monitor performance, fix known issues and use customer feedback to understand where to focus their efforts. They continue to make changes as needed, continuously improving the system to better support business processes and end users. As each system transitions from project to operations, it has a carefully planned roadmap in place that outlines major future upgrades and functionality enhancements.

What Comes Next

ESR exists to reshape the way UC San Diego does business. That takes time and collective input from business users. Making full use of our new systems requires all of us to adopt the new technology and processes and provide information to help determine ongoing improvement. It may take months, if not years, to understand and harness the new system capabilities.

I encourage you to stay active and engaged in these new systems. If you haven’t yet fully mastered UCPath, Ecotime or the FIS Oracle Financials Cloud, that’s OK! Learn more. Ask questions. Engage members of your change network.

We’re all in this together.

Category: News, ESR Behind the Scenes