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New & Improved: SIS Project Vision & Guiding Principles

The Student Information System (SIS) project launched in 2019 with one specific intention–to replace ISIS. While the overarching goal of the SIS project has remained the same over the past four years, the project structure and team have evolved significantly. 

First, the project structure has expanded from just one project (replacing ISIS with a new SIS) to a portfolio of projects aimed at improving the experiences of students, faculty and staff across the university. Second, due to the growth in the number of projects, we have onboarded additional project team and committee members, making our projects more robust and inclusive of diverse perspectives and expertise. Last, through stakeholder conversations and other project launches, we have gained a clearer understanding of what is most important to us as an institution and what values we want to keep at the forefront of our work. 

In recognition of these changes, we have carefully recrafted the project’s vision and guiding principles to appropriately reflect our current goals and values. One important change in the new vision and guiding principles is placing equal emphasis on both the technical and people aspects of the projects. Improving our systems and replacing ISIS (the technical stuff) is absolutely critical, and it must be done while prioritizing the needs and experience of our university (the people). 

Our updated vision and guiding principles showcase a people-oriented approach to our project work and bring diverse and underrepresented groups into the conversation. Additionally, the project team has also crafted “Shared Expectations” to provide a transparent foundation to inform our work and understand project success. 

Below, please find the updated vision and guiding principles as well as the new shared expectations.     

Strategic Vision

One University, One Student IT Ecosystem. We will create a modular, scalable, secure, integrated set of tools that help the university meet evolving student needs and institutional priorities and contribute to improvements in the overall student, faculty and staff experience.

Guiding Principles

The work we do and the systems, processes and reports we design, develop and configure throughout the project will be:

  • People-centered. We will prioritize the needs of our student, faculty and staff users and seek to improve and optimize the user experience within the context of what’s best for the institution as whole. 
  • Impactful. We will question the current state to develop an improved, student-centered future state; we will further the university’s mission to serve learners from all backgrounds and meet the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations; and, we will recognize and support what is uniquely UC San Diego.
  • Equity-minded. We will ensure that equity and inclusivity are fundamental aspects of our decision-making; we will create safe spaces for dialogue and honest, transparent communication about the work we are doing and its impact; and, we will uplift the experience and knowledge of under-represented perspectives.
  • Flexible. Our systems and processes will be able to adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of the university and will allow us to accommodate a myriad of learner types and learning experiences.
  • Efficient. Our systems and processes will prioritize an efficient and intuitive user experience and optimally support and serve the students, faculty and staff who rely on them.
  • Connected. Our systems and processes will allow all parts of the university to coexist in unified systems, including General Campus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Health Sciences and Extended Studies.
  • Expert-led. Our projects will be led and executed by our internal staff, who best know our processes, policies and needs, with an external implementation partner to provide support and guidance where appropriate.
  • Sustainable. We will maximize configurations and minimize customizations so that our systems and processes remain sustainable over the long term, even as they change and evolve.

Shared Expectations

As we work together to execute on the projects under our purview, we will set shared expectations for project work to ensure the success of each  project, as well as the overall SIS Project. These include:

  • Defining clear priorities when selecting and resourcing projects
  • Working with business and technical owners to define a shared understanding of what success looks like for a project
  • Engaging university community members from multiple levels and across many roles to gather feedback, share updates and encourage active collaboration and participation
  • Prioritizing honest, transparent communication, including disagreement, and encouraging the sharing of questions, concerns, challenges or issues 
  • Minimizing risk by implementing best practices, contingency plans and risk management plans and by leveraging the experiences and lessons learned from previous projects, our higher education colleagues and communities of practice
  • Developing comprehensive change management plans focused on communications, training and ensuring that the people side of change is integrated into the overall project plan
  • Documenting our current state processes and using Lean Six Sigma tools to improve them for the future state
  • Assessing readiness to proceed at key project milestones, including project kickoff, go-live and closure
  • Planning to transition the projects to service operations with clear business and service ownership, governance and best practices to ensure ongoing change management, testing, training, quality assurance and support are in place

The updated vision and guiding principles as well as the new shared expectations are also listed on the ESR SIS website.      

Category: News, Student & Faculty