A message from the project director

Just in case you missed it in the ctcLink Spring 2015 newsletter, here is a message from ctcLink Project Director Barbara Martin:

 

Barbara MartinBy now you’ve probably heard the ctcLink launch date for FirstLink colleges (Spokane and Tacoma) has been rescheduled to August 24, 2015. That’s one year later than the original target date the ctcLink and Ciber leadership set back in spring 2013, which included input from our previous project-readiness consultant, Gartner. Collectively, we thought it was a solid, doable schedule. And, together, we’ve since learned so much we didn’t know back then—about the many varied ways colleges are using the legacy system, about PeopleSoft, and the many differences between the two that has required painstaking work to translate required data and required business processes from the old world to the new. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. We’ve gotten a lot of things right along the way, but we got some things wrong too. When we discovered issues that needed to be or could be fixed, reconfigured, etc., we fixed them. That took time. And, as with any project of this size and scope, we’ve dealt with resource issues along the way (turnover, vacancies, rehiring, learning curves). There’s no doubt everyone involved is tired, frustrated and concerned. But they are also dedicated, tenacious and committed to ctcLink’s success. The Ciber, ctcLink and FirstLink teams are to be commended for working together through the good times and the bad.

The bottom line is ctcLink will be implemented successfully across the system. Some people within the college system have voiced or relayed concerns that ctcLink will fail—that it will be similar to a project that failed many years ago. That’s not going to happen. Yes, we’ve encountered roadblocks and the project has taken longer than expected, but, along with Ciber and our FirstLink colleges, we’ve addressed the issues head on and course-corrected where needed.

Recently, the SBCTC commissioned an external review of the FirstLink phase of the project and many of the recommendations in the report reinforced activities we are undertaking to ensure we meet the August 24 launch date. One of those activities is for me to get out of the daily operations of the project and focus more on our college and SBCTC stakeholders. I’ll be meeting with individuals, workgroups and commission/council representatives to listen and work through any outstanding concerns with the new ctcLink system or the project overall.

As always, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone for sticking with us through these challenging, yet trailblazing times. Together we will make ctcLink happen!

(You can check last week’s post for the full newsletter).

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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