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Looking To the Future: Ideal State

With business process mapping of current state in full swing, the Student Information System (SIS) project team is already busy planning for the analysis of a system-agnostic ideal state. But what does all of this analysis have to do with implementing a new SIS?

A student information system is one of the engines of a university. It runs business processes for curriculum and class scheduling, enrollment and registration services, academic records, student financial transactions, and financial aid and scholarship!

UC San Diego is committed to selecting and implementing a new system in a way that will improve the student experience and increase efficiency for staff and faculty. This means that we need to understand what we do in the current system, and more importantly, why we do it.

With this in mind, teams of Business Process Analysts and Subject Matter Experts are getting into the weeds to help us understand and document what we do and what we are trying to accomplish. This will help make sure that a new SIS meets our complex business needs.

The analysis approach is being led by Katie Frehafer, Business Process Lead for the SIS project, and Prachi Raheja, Continuous Improvement Lead and Lean Bench Manager.  

“The foundation of understanding that we are building with the current state maps will help streamline the discussions around ideal state,” said Frehafer.

We have built significant understanding in just over a year of analysis, and documented the many ways that our processes are shaped by the limitations of our current student information system, ISIS.

Raheja understands the value of both analysis and reflection, saying, “Ideal state process mapping will put us in a stronger position of understanding what process changes are needed and/or desired to achieve improvements in student and staff experiences. It will create an opportunity to examine areas where ‘wait time’, ‘non-value adding steps’ and ‘errors/defects’ are resulting from process or system limitations.”

In dedicated sessions for process reengineering, Business Process Analysts and Subject Matter Experts will use their individual and collective expertise to identify and recommend strategy for how business should be conducted in an ideal state, independent of which SIS vendor product is selected. In conducting ideal state analysis for selected areas under the Level 2 Business Process Landscape, teams will strive to determine:

  1. Is the current state indicative of the high level requirements for that area?
  2. Does this process need reengineering due to limitations of the current system?
  3. Will reengineering significantly improve the student and staff experience?
Current state process maps and ideal state analysis will translate directly into business requirements that will determine the design and configuration of whatever vendor’s software is selected. As Frehafer notes, “Current state maps provide the raw material that we will put through the ideal state activities to arrive at critical conclusions about design and configuration in the finished product - the new SIS.”

A vendor will be chosen in February 2021. Implementing the chosen vendor's software is expected to take 18 months from the point the implementation begins.

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