Word of the Week: Foundation Decisions; plus project update

Today we have a Word-of-the-Week and a project update combo! Why? Because they go so well together. Like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, or Spam and eggs (that last one…if you’re on vacation in Hawaii, that is).

The Word is more of a term: Foundation Decisions. And, it’s what is going on right now with the ctcLink Project.

Foundation Decisions are decisions about key aspects of the ctcLink system configuration that are really the ‘foundation’ or first building blocks of the system. These first decisions set the format for such critical components as the Chart of Accounts, the Global Organizational Structure, the Academic Structure and the Person Model. If you think of building a house, these building blocks are what the rest of the system will rely on. If you think of the Chart of Accounts as the foundation building block, the structure is the “rebar” that runs through the modules and is necessary for a module, such as Student Financials, to function. See the Foundation Decisions Pyramid diagram in the photo gallery below.

So as we ‘build out’ the new ctcLink system, the decisions made in the upcoming Foundation Decisions sessions will guide the rest of the decisions in the Business Process Alignment sessions.

Now for that project update…

In preparation for the Foundation Decisions sessions that begin tomorrow, the joint Ciber and ctcLink Functional Project teams worked together last week to conceptualize how all colleges will fit into a Global Organizational Structure in PeopleSoft. The teams diagramed example-scenarios of how different single-campus and multi-campus districts might fit into the proposed models in order to identify areas where the proposed model might require adjustment. In addition the teams reviewed the ‘best practice’ recommendations for adding and merging Person Records (remember last week’s word?).  That process is called “Search/Match” in PeopleSoft and is a powerful tool to avoid duplication of records throughout a student or employee’s affiliation with the entire community and technical college system.

The team also discussed the various elements in the biographic/demographic data associated with a Person Record (remember last week’s word?). Since many of the elements in a Person Record in the system are Global (meaning defined at a system level for all colleges) it was important for the Ciber team to understand where there are unique requirements in a community and technical college system for those data elements.

Time spent last week has prepared the Ciber and ctcLink Project team for some meaninful discussions in the Foundation Decison sessions that begin tomorrow with several groups of system-wide subject matter experts.

Check out the photo collages of the teams hard at work last week, plus a visual as a different way to explain Foundation Decisions. (Double click to start the slide show). Special thanks to Tara Keen for the photos and the diagram!

About ctclinknews

ctcLink is a single, centralized system of online tools for student services and administrative functions for all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington. In the next several years, ctcLink will be implemented on every campus, providing online tools for everything from admissions to graduation. The first three ("FirstLink") colleges came online in August 2015. A wave of 8 more colleges (cleverly named "Wave 1") will switch over to the new ctcLink system in August 2016, followed by Wave 2 in 2017 and Wave 3 in 2018.
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