FAST - Glossary








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The account ChartField classifies the type of revenue or expense, such as professional salary expense, sales of goods, or of balance sheet items, such as assets, liabilities or equity. Intelligence exists in the first digit of the five digit numeric code and categorizes the account value as one of five account types. The remaining four digits are used to designate more specific account classifications within the broad groupings. See UHS Account Codes.

Ad Hoc Report

Formatted output created as needed by an end user of a system. See Query, Crystal Reports, Report, Standard Report.

Advancement (Alumni Development)

PeopleSoft application not purchased by University of Houston System. The BSR Advance CS product is being utilized by the University of Houston.


See PeopleSoft Application.

Appropriation Year

The Appropriation Year denotes an official time period for which state cost center financial activity is managed and reported. State Appropriation Year coincides with UH Fiscal Year.


Batch Processes

Background programs in the client/server environment of PeopleSoft modules. Batch processes perform operations, such as pay confirmation, on groups of records and are usually scheduled to run on a regular basis. These processes are run from a Process Scheduler and are executed through process-specific programs.

Best Practice

A particular way of doing business that has a positive impact on one or more of the following: customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, or financial results. Best practices involve top-level commitment, a linkage to strategic planning, process adaptations that reinforce desirable behaviors and outcomes for the organization, and measurements to tie the initiatives to critical business practices.

Budget Period

Budget Period is the period of time for which expenditures are planned and authorized. Both the Budget Period and Fiscal Year begin on September 1st and end on August 31st. The Budget Period chartfield is a combination of the letters BP and year (BP2003).

Business Unit

Each of the University of Houston System components is identified by the state as a separate agency and is an individual Business Unit in PeopleSoft. The Business Unit is a five-digit numeric code that incorporates the state agency code. See UHS Business Units.


Campus Community

PeopleSoft-specific term that refers to shared data and shared data processes, as University of Houston System defines them. See Shared Data, Shared Data Process.

Change Control

Method of identifying and tracking any activity that alters the scope, deliverables, cost or schedule of a project.

Change Management

Methods and processes that assist individuals in adjusting constructively to new systems, procedures, processes, workflow, organizational relationships and other differences as they occur.


Document that outlines the principles, functions and organization of a body, such as the ASSC, FAST, or Project Office.


Chartfields are the individual fields or components that make up your chart of accounts in PeopleSoft. Each Chartfield contains information that defines a transaction in terms of responsible party, fund source and function of entity. The PeopleSoft General Ledger system uses ChartFields to identify all journal entries. See UHS Cost Center Composition.

Client Support

A help desk that assists end users in solving equipment or application-related technical and functional problems, either directly or by referral to the appropriate function.


Computer systems in which the workload is split between desktop personal computers (PCs) (the client) and one or more larger computers (the server) that are connected via a network. PeopleSoft is a client/server product. See Desktop.


Group affected or served by the FAST project; for example, students, alumni, employees, faculty and administrative staffs.


Third-party provider of specific skills, information and/or advice, such as a Communications consultant, Project Planning consultant, or PeopleSoft consultant.

Core Team

The individuals who perform required tasks to accomplish a specific work effort from beginning (planning) to end (deployment), such as release of a PeopleSoft module; the functions (individuals) on an Implementation Team that do not change. See Implementation Team.

Cost Center

Cost Centers represent classification of a financial entity by Business Unit (campus), Fund Code (type of fund), Department ID (the responsible department), Program Code (the function of the entity) and Project ID. See UHS Cost Center Composition.

Cost Savings

Measurable savings resulting from cutting down the time to perform administrative processes, for example, the paperwork saved as a result of better process or workflow, and/or use of individuals to perform more added-value or revenue-generating work.

Crystal Reports

Third-party reporting software that works with PeopleSoft (as well as other systems) and is used to format, group, summarize and arrange data into the desired report format and results; used in both standard and ad hoc reporting. See Ad Hoc Report, Standard Report.


Data Administration

Function responsible for ensuring definition, integrity, consistency, accuracy of institutional data and identifying data maintenance responsibility; develops and monitors rules and standards that apply to data model; ensures data security policies and procedures.

Data Conversion

Rules for mapping data from a software application for use by another and writing programs to execute the adaptation, for example, a program that systematically adapts data in the current HR system to populate PeopleSoft tables.


A set of data that is structured and organized for quick access to specific information.

Department ID

The Department ID is a Chartfield in PeopleSoft that classifies transactions in terms of the responsible party. Each Department ID value is five digits in length with the leading character designating the campus to which the department belongs, followed by four sequentially assigned numbers. See UHS Department ID Codes.

Department Tree

In PeopleSoft, a hierarchical structure that defines an organization and its reporting relationships; the tree has multiple levels represented by nodes, each of which must exist in the Department table where its attributes are defined. An individual may be assigned to a Department at any level of the tree.


Sixth step in a release life cycle in which a module is delivered to end users for use in performing their jobs. It includes providing connectivity and desktops, help desk support and end-user training and documentation. Deployment tasks must start in advance of actual production in order for the first scheduled user(s) to go live. For a release to be completed, deployment must be completed for all scheduled user(s) so deployment may be phased.


Personal computer (PC) that sits on a user's desk. End users' PCs must conform to a certain configuration if they are to perform specific PeopleSoft functions, such as data entry, viewing data and reporting. The Project Office is responsible for specifying this configuration. Also a metaphor for the on-screen computing environment that includes the screen background and the windows, icons, documents and tools that appear on it. See Workstation.


Fourth step in a release life cycle that includes performing the steps necessary to fill the gaps identified in the fit analysis and do additional design and programming for requirements not met by the software. Includes process adaptation, user and client support activities, test plan and unit testing, module modifications, interface and conversion programs, desktop setup, etc.

Document Repository

Location on a shared network drive and duplicated on an ID/Password-accessed web site that contains documents of interest and use to specific PeopleSoft Implementation Project team members.


Act of moving from the general to the specific; enables the examination of the data underlying any summarized form of information in PeopleSoft or from PeopleSoft to other systems from which information was received, for example, nVision is a PeopleSoft [drilldown] tool used with financial data.


Effective Dating

Effective Dating is the method used to date information in PeopleSoft. A key feature of the system, it maintains a complete chronological history of data that is categorized as historical, current or future. See Effective Dating Example.

End User

Individual who uses a computer system(s) in the course of performing job duties.

Executive Sponsors

Group comprised of the VC/VP for Administration and Finance and the VC/VP for Information Technology who function as project champions. This group provides general oversight, guidance and direction as needed approve scope of the project and own the overall project budget, resolve major points of dispute that cannot be resolved at a lower level of the project organization.



PeopleSoft application purchased by University of Houston System; includes the following modules: General Ledger, Receivables, Payables, Billing, Purchasing, Asset Management, Inventory and Projects.

Fiscal Year

The Fiscal Year denotes an official time period for which financial activity is managed and reported. The University of Houston System Fiscal Year begins September 1st and runs through August 31st.

Fit Analysis

Second step in a release life cycle that includes identifying how well current business processes are satisfied ("fit") by the processes delivered by PeopleSoft. Outcomes include identification of fit and gap items, interface, reporting and conversion requirements and open issues; also includes confirmation of the scope of the release and the development work to be done in the next step. See Issue.


Area of business, such as student admissions or employee benefits.

Functional Need

Requirement of a business function that is identified prior to software selection and further defined during the Fit Analysis.

Fund Code

The Fund Code is a Chartfield in PeopleSoft that classifies transactions in terms of fund type. Each Fund Code is four-digits in length with the leading character designating the fund group to which it belongs, followed by three characters that are unique to a specific source of funds. See UHS Fund Codes.

Future Administrative Systems Team (FAST)

Name of a University of Houston System-wide initiative whose vision focuses on improvement of student-related functions, outstanding customer service delivery, and effective use of modern technology. PeopleSoft is the primary technology tool being implemented to support and enable this vision.

FAST SubCommittee

Team that meets regularly with the Project Office to review and provide guidance and support in resolving critical and operational project topics.


Gap Analysis

Identification of required business functions that must be implemented, are not delivered by PeopleSoft and will require modification to the software or other solutions. Gap identification is one of the outcomes of a Fit Analysis.

Grants Management

PeopleSoft application not purchased by University of Houston System.


Human Resources

PeopleSoft application purchased by University of Houston System; includes the following modules: Human Resources, Benefits Administration, Payroll and Time and Labor. This application This application shares the same database with the Student Administration.



Completion of a release, which means that a module is in production and if applicable, is deployed to all end users identified for the release. See Release.

Implementation Team

A group of people who represent both functional and technical expertise and who work together to release a PeopleSoft module(s). The composition of the team may change over the release life cycle. See Project Team, Release Life Cycle.


Underlying foundation of the system, including workstations, other supporting equipment, facilities, network communications and the help desk.

Institutional Data

Data that is acquired or maintained by University of Houston System employees in performance of official job duties. Typically this is data that is: relevant to planning, managing, operating or auditing a major function at the University; or referenced or required for use by more than one functional area (Shared Data); or included in an official University administrative report.

Integrated System

System that relies on a single database to store required data that is then accessed by various end users to meet their functional needs. Ideally data is defined once, entered once at its source and stored once in the database.

Integration Test

Controlled evaluation performed by system developers to ensure that a collection of programmed units work together to produce expected results as defined in the functional requirements.


Electronic transfer of data, either from or to, the PeopleSoft database. For example, an interface program will transmit PeopleSoft human resource and pay calculation data in a form that is useable by the current Payroll system in order to produce paychecks.


Unplanned situation, action, problem or question that arises during the performance of a project that affects the project's scope or schedule in some way but that may not be efficiently resolved by an individual or the implementation team.



A Journal consists of multiple journal lines and one journal header, identified by the Journal ID and Journal Date. The Journal can be entered directly to the General Ledger or input from a feeder system such as Accounts Payable, Purchasing and Human Resources.



System that currently supports any University of Houston System business functions, such as admitting students, for example, the Registration and Records, Admissions, Payroll and Alumni Records systems. PeopleSoft modules will replace many of the legacy systems.



Change or addition to a PeopleSoft module as it is delivered; identifying the need for modifications is one of the outcomes of Fit Analysis. See Fit Analysis, Gap Analysis.


See PeopleSoft Module.



PeopleSoft functionality that enables its customers to preprogram a business process so that a user can automatically move through the sequential steps of the process when using PeopleSoft. See Workflow.


A group of computers linked together to share resources. Common types are Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN) and intranets.


Operating System (OS)

The master software that controls a computer's fundamental operations. The server operating system for PeopleSoft is Unix.



A screen that displays related PeopleSoft information, for example, personal data, job data, course data.

Parallel Testing

Process in which both the old and new modules run at the same time so that performance and outcomes can be compared and corrected prior to deployment; commonly done with modules like Payroll.


Company that produces the administrative software applications that University of Houston System is implementing. The software itself is also referred to as PeopleSoft.

PeopleSoft Application

PeopleSoft-licensed software; applications include Student Administration, Human Resource, and Financials, applications are comprised of specific functional modules.

PeopleSoft Module

Computer software that supports specific business functions and enables users to perform specific tasks. Name given to the components of a PeopleSoft application, for example, the Student Administration application consists of these modules: Admissions, Student Records, Student Financials, Financial Aid and Academic Advisement.


A tool set that enables system and functional users to tailor (develop, deploy, maintain) PeopleSoft to meet unique business requirements.


Release strategy in which a module is put into production in a limited and very controlled environment; usually involves people, hardware, and software working together with the express intent of using the pilot period to learn what works and what does not work. A pilot is usually run for a specific period of time; the results are documented and used as input to finalize the module before a larger deployment.


A plan or course of action that is intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters.


A set of established forms, methods and/or steps for conducting a business or specific business process.


Set of linked activities that create a result, for example, hiring an employee or admitting a student.

Process Adaptation

The activity of revising workflow, forms and other methods of performing procedures and completing work in order to facilitate, or make possible, the implementation of a system module.

Process Analysis

First step of a release life cycle that includes reviewing and developing baselines for the current environment and identifying the high-level business processes and requirements to be addressed. It also includes assessing organization and network readiness, identifying current business processes, assessing the module as delivered by PeopleSoft, and confirming the scope of the release. See Fit Analysis.

Project Office

A subset of the PeopleSoft Core Team, headed by the Project Manager, that is responsible for scope and strategy development; project planning, tracking and status reporting; project communications, training and development; system-specific report development; resource acquisition; and project budget administration.

Project Plan

Integrated view of all functional and technical work required to complete a project as defined by its scope. The plan details the tasks, schedule, cost, resources, milestones and deliverables needed to complete the project. Progress is tracked against the plan and measured by work complete, by reaching milestones and completing deliverables. Reports can be produced at different levels of detail about any component of the plan, for any level of management use.

Project Schedule

Sequence of tasks that must occur to complete a project by a specific date; one of the components of a project plan.

Project Team

Group of individuals responsible for implementing PeopleSoft functionality at University of Houston System. The Project Team consists of the Project Office, additional Implementation Team members, consultants and other project support personnel. See Project Office.

PS Query

PeopleSoft ad hoc reporting tool that provides a method for selecting and arranging data on multiple records; query specifications can be saved as private queries (accessible only to the creator) or public queries (available to all users with appropriate security access). Access is defined by the user's security profile; query results can be viewed online, sent to Excel, or sent to Crystal Reports. See Ad Hoc Report, Crystal Reports.


Relational Database

An integrated repository of data in the form of tables that have rows and columns to show the relationship between items, and in which information can be cross-referenced between two or more tables to generate a third table.


A set of functionality delivered to a particular audience or audiences by a specific target date.

Release Life Cycle

Work that must be performed to implement a software module; includes seven steps: 1. Process Analysis 2.Fit Analysis, 3. Design and Set Up, 4. Development, 5. User Acceptance 6. Deployment. Some or all of each cycle step is repeated for each module release.


The presentation of a formatted collection of information; can be presented on paper, on the web, on diskette, or online.


The act of specifying and producing formatted information; in PeopleSoft, reporting can be done with preprogrammed reports (called Standard Reports) or done as needed by the user (called ad hoc reporting). See Standard Reports, Ad Hoc Report.

Resource Plan

Part of the project plan in which resources, typically people, are identified and assigned to perform project tasks. When matched with time estimates for completion of tasks, a Project Manager can plan and manage resource requirements within the project budget.

Risk Management

An event, factor or action that may cause harm or loss; a hazard; a project planning step in which these possibilities are identified and prioritized in terms of probability and impact. The risk identification step is followed by a "what if" analysis and recommended contingency plans.


See Release.


Satellite System

See Shadow System.


The amount of work to be accomplished within a given time period and with a given set of resources. Scope, time and resources are in constant relationship to each other. If scope expands, then either time (schedule) must increase or additional resources must be allocated. If time is shortened, then either scope must decrease or resources must increased. If resources are decreased, then either time is increased or scope must be decreased, etc.


Definitions of system access for end users. Security can be physical (equipment-related), module-related or data-related.

Shadow System

A system that is not centrally administered but which supports required business functions. There is no comprehensive list of these systems that may include Microsoft Access databases, spreadsheets, other third party software like Paradox, File Maker Pro, etc., and other homegrown systems.

Shared Data

Data that is updated by more than one functional area and/or is critical to more than one unit's business processes; for example, Employee ID, Department, Location and Address. See Shared Data Process.

Shared Data Process

The processing rules that ensure control and accountability over data maintained by more than one functional area. See Shared Data.

Standard Report

Preprogrammed specifications designed for repetitive execution that produce a formatted output. In PeopleSoft, this output may be automatically scheduled as a result of a batch process, or may be produced on demand from a drop-down Reports menu available within a module. A user may need to provide specific parameters, such as an effective or "as of" date or a range of values. See Ad Hoc Report, Batch Process.


One of the six groups of tasks that make up a release life cycle. In the project plan, a Step may be further defined as Sub-Steps, Activity Groups, Activities, Sub-Activities, and Tasks. See Release Life Cycle.

Student Administration

PeopleSoft application purchased by University of Houston System; includes the following modules: Admissions, Student Records, Student Financials, Financial Aid and Academic Advisement. This application shares a database with Human Resources application.



Collection of data in an organized structure; comprised of columns that represent fields and rows that represent data; PeopleSoft stores all data in various types of tables. See Relational Database.

Translate Table

Table delivered with a PeopleSoft application that contains coded values that meet specific criteria, including values with no additional attributes besides a code and a long and short description; there is a limited number of each type of code; values change infrequently, etc. Yes or No, Ethnicity codes, Regular/Temporary, and Part/Full-Time are examples of Translate Table contents. Also called the XLAT Table.


Indented hierarchical structure (branches, leaves) with multiple uses in PeopleSoft; for example, use to define an organization structure or chart of accounts, or use to display reporting relationships or dependencies


Unit Test

Controlled evaluation performed by a system programmer in the Development step to ensure that a piece of program code performs as defined in the specification.

User Acceptance

Fifth step in a release life cycle in which module functionality is tested, performs the required functions at a level acceptable to the function owner, and goes live to become the system of record for the function. This step and the "go live" milestone are synonymous.

User Acceptance Test (UAT)

Controlled evaluation performed by end users of a module against specified criteria to ensure that the module meets acceptable performance standards and produces outputs as defined by the end user's business requirements.

User Support

Activities or deliverables designed to enable end users to learn and use new processes, procedures, systems and other tools efficiently and effectively in the performance of their work; includes training, documentation and communications.


Valid Values

Predefined entries stored in PeopleSoft tables that define and present the choices of possible entries in specific PeopleSoft fields. See Table.


Imagination of what could be accomplished or is possible at some future time.



Order in which specific work is performed; in PeopleSoft, a background process that creates a list of administrative actions based on the user's criteria and specifies the procedure associated with each action.


In PeopleSoft, an automated "to do" list that Workflow creates. From the Worklist a user can directly access the panels needed to perform the next action, and then return to the Worklist for the another item.


Computer, usually a personal computer (PC), that sits on a user's desk. End users' workstations must conform to a certain configuration if they are to perform certain functions, such as data entry, viewing data and reporting, with PeopleSoft. The Project Office will specify this configuration. See Desktop.