A Year in the Life of PeopleSoft
In mid-February, seventy staff members from all UH Enrollment Services units, plus UH-Victoria and UH-Clear Lake gathered each day for a week in computer labs at UH University Business Park (Schlumberger) and UHCL to put our new version of PeopleSoft Student Administration through its final major test prior to go-live in early March.
Teams from Admissions, Student Records, Student Financials (Bursar), and Financial Aid have worked for months to configure and test their own business processes within PeopleSoft. “Integration Testing” brings all the business processes together to interact with each other as they would do during the course of one full year, including working across the three universities.
The Project Team members wrote 150 scenarios for this second integration testing (compared to 271 for the first round) in which more than 100 students of various types apply to our universities, get admitted, request and receive financial aid, register for courses, and pay fees—and, of course, all the other transactions that happen in a student’s life, such as changing majors, removing stops, getting grades, and graduating.
In a week-long choreographed set of steps that begins with admitting students, this exercise compresses an entire calendar year in the lives of these test students to encompass the widest possible variety of activities that staff would need to do to help them through their academic careers.
The purpose of the testing is to find remaining glitches at this stage and to fix them—sending any problems discovered to the Project Leads to reconfigure, and on to the programmers to rewrite.
The team went through all this for a week in December, and now again three weeks before go-live! The revised processes will continue to be tested to be sure that all known glitches have been addressed before go-live.
Some staff participating in the test were getting their first significant hands-on experience with PeopleSoft Student Administration. Cheryl Gillis, Coordinator of Archival Records in UH Registration and Academic Records, finds PS much easier to read and use. “For example, if you have a student come in without a plan, it’s much easier to show them options.”
Consuella Mosley, Supervisor of Customer Service in Student Financial Services, is excited about PeopleSoft. “I think the students will really like the self-service features—there are more ways to navigate, and it’s easier to manage your accounts.”
Trudy Wortham, Registrar at UH-Victoria, says, “Testing has been helpful to get a feel for the processes we’ll be running and to identify ways we might want to improve our business processes. We’re used to doing things the old way—we won’t be experts at go-live, and there will be bugs, but we’ll get there.”
Craig Ness, Project Director, says that he is pleased with the way the project is proceeding. “Many dedicated people put in a lot of hours to make Integration Testing work. Their efforts will help smooth our transition to PeopleSoft in March.”
“Intro to Student Admin” (mandatory training prerequisite prior to role-based training) for PeopleSoft Student Administration is now available. Call 713-743-0356 (the PS Student Admin Customer Service Center) for registration information.
For more information and a training schedule, see http://www.uh.edu/peoplesoft.
Photos by Tom Shea