MEMORANDUM


Table of Contents

MEMORANDUM
  • BASIS I
  • BASIS II
  • Common

  • MEMORANDUM

    To:

    BASIS Steering committee
    Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, Allen Lacey, David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman

    From:

    W. David Wimberly

    Copy:

    Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
    BASISONE and BASISII discussion lists

    Subject:

    BASIS February status

    General items of note for February include the departure of Leslie Coston, a continued drive by management to impose completion dates on the two phases of BASIS, and the systems analyst pursuit of experience in Natural coding, program generation, and NSM.

    1. Leslie Coston's employment lasted exactly 5 weeks. That was the culmination of the following sequence of events: she applied for an SA I in August, we filled that position through an internal promotion and opened the AP II that was vacated, we interviewed Leslie in October, we decided she was qualified for an SA II and opened an SA II, we interviewed other qualified applicants through November and December, we made two offers in December with Leslie being the only acceptance, she started in January, and she quit in February. Now we can start the process again in March. The really sad thing is that Leslie had already started being productive, which is amazing considering the new systems, languages, and standards she had to learn.

    2. There is now a requirement to establish a completion date for the BASIS I and II systems. Although a date will no doubt be provided, and even though I may be a party to the manufacture of that date, I do not believe it will have any basis in reality due to our limited experience from which to extrapolate the completion of a project of this magnitude. I would rather propose that an aggressive schedule be established for the phase 1 Leave Accounting module and General Journal Interface Module. I believe that it is through the implementation of these modules that we will begin to gain the experience necessary to project completion of the remaining sub-systems. Allowing nine months to do Leave Accounting and then to think that 6 additional BASIS I modules all larger than Leave Accounting can be completed in 6 months or even a year, which has been discussed, is absurd. If we need to be challenged, to be pushed to be more productive, to show progress and tangible results, let's be challenged to solve that part of the problem we understand, the phase 1 modules. If, on the other hand, the problem is that BASIS I is supposed to be the priority, let's start treating it as such and admit that we do not have the resources to pursue both projects simultaneously and demonstrate progress consistent with management's expectations.

    3. The development team is continuing to gain experience with the tool-set: Natural, Adabas, NSM, UAF's standard help facilities, and UAF's program generator. In spite of the lack of any experience in these areas on the part of Joy, Sandra, and Paul, they have developed many screens and programs (145 compiled Natural objects have been developed for titles, vendors, and leave). I believe that once we get over the learning curve, we will really be able to take off and the development times will be significantly reduced. Delays are also imposed because of the newness of what we are doing, necessitating discussion of issues and development of standards. These demands will also taper off as we get further into our projects, leaving more time to "get the job done".

    BASIS I

    Progress

    1. The Leave Accounting module is now in development and coding has begun. We have reached some resolution of all outstanding issues, even though in areas they have caused us to rethink and redesign portions of the system. Most of the issues have revolved around the reporting of overtime: allowing multiple rates and multiple cost center distributions during an overtime period, allowing manual distribution of straight time and time and half hours between comp time and either of the two overtime rates, and making the approval of overtime a TARGET transaction. Other issues reported last month, and their resolution, include: Other tasks to be addressed (outside of system development) include: identifying to management the areas of change mandated by the new system, reviewing the data definitions of the system with the core team, and specification of report output desired from the system.

    2. The portion of the Personal Services Budget system dealing with legislative titles, occupation codes, and job grades has been completed and the core team has been trained in its use. This portion of the system includes three maintenance facilities for these three tables and numerous "list" programs for browsing the data. It is as complete as possible and includes active field help, field validations, de-codes, and maintenance of titles in mixed case while allowing searches in upper case. All data involved is effective dated so that there will be a record of what existed at any point in time. Developing help facilities for this data proved to be as challenging as the basic maintenance and list programs. We hope the core team will experiment with this system, gain valuable experience with our NSM architecture, and provide us with feedback on the application.

    Major issues

    The previous issues related to the leave accounting module have been addressed as noted above. All remaining items relate to subsequent modules of BASIS I, not currently being addressed.

    1. Determine the requirements and methods to be used for defining, storing, and applying the Company/Cost Center distributions for use in charging out salary expenses.

    2. The means of performing available funds checking for salary/budget activity and for projecting future salary expenses requires further analysis.

    3. Specifics need to be defined regarding summer school budgeting and summer teaching appointments.

    4. Accommodation within the system needs to be planned for extra compensation and overloads.

    5. Security by value requirements, if they exist, must be defined.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    BASIS II

    Progress

    1. A meeting was held with Vice Chancellor Bomotti and agreement was reached on available funds checking concepts, outstanding Management Issues from the November 4th memo, and plans to not retain Library's books and periodicals purchase orders within BASIS. In summary, available funds checking will include the following provisions:

    2. The system overviews for Requisition processing and the General Journal Interface Module were discussed and modifications have been made based upon the input received. Similarly, the data requirements for requisitions, contracts, bid solicitations, and the general journal were reviewed and updated.

    3. Development is proceeding with system components to manage vendor related data. There are seven files involved and when complete this portion of the system will include at least 11 maintenance functions, 10 list functions, and 8 special help routines. Work is approximately one third complete, see the schedule at the end of this report for details.

    Major issues

    All items listed here remain unchanged from last month's report.

    1. All pursuit of a consensus regarding inter-departmental order processing has been placed on hold due to other activity. The latest document summarizing these ideas is dated December 3 and the next step is to review these ideas with the major service departments.

    2. A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the period of the obligation needs to be identified. The need to do this was supported by Vice Chancellor Bomotti.

    3. We plan to develop a general purpose facility to provide word processing-like capabilities for requisition and purchase order descriptions, but need some time to do the work.

    4. The requirements of the system remain chock full of exceptions and special handling requirements. We hope we can document all of them and develop a system that takes them into consideration.

    5. There is a need to replace or interface with various inventory systems. The areas that have a possible interest in such a facility include: Scientific Supplies, Dining Services, Physical Plant and Cooperative Extension Service.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    Common

    Progress

    1. The edit macro to generate programs to maintain files which have a group of recurring elements (e.g., multiple lines of a general journal entry) has been completed and documented. A macro was also developed to generate the error processing program required by each application. Numerous miscellaneous updates and corrections have been made to the other macros. To assist programmers in knowing when they need to regenerate programs due to these updates, Kathryn summarized all changes and is considering the development of a facility to allow online retrieval of this information.

    2. Limited progress has made on the development of TARGET: the physical and logical files have been defined, a utility has been developed to assist in determining which fields are being changed within a TARGET transaction, and some work has been performed on the development of a model TARGET processing module. This model program needs to be completed and tested (initially without some of the special features planned), special support routines need to be written, the TARGET administration system must be developed, and an edit macro written to generate TARGET function modules.

    3. A proposal for shifting from user based security within NSM applications to desks based security was floated out to Natural developers and BASIS core team members. There seems to be a great deal of support for the concept, but not for the maintenance of data that might be required to support its use. Alterations of selected aspects of the proposal are being planned and another attempt will be made to gain complete support. If this is accepted, it will require some changes within NSM. TARGET is already being designed as if it will be accepted. If we were to do otherwise, TARGET would have to be redone if we decided to go to the desks concept later.

    4. The new and upgraded (now NSM version 2) NSM Maintenance System has finally been moved to production. Limited initial feedback indicates some slight confusion involving some functions. However, once the basics are understood this knowledge of the architecture will apply to all of BASIS, making it easy for someone familiar with one NSM application to move over and use another one.

    Plans

    See the attached schedule for detail information.

    Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this report.