BASIS Steering committee
W. David Wimberly
Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
BASIS May status
Ava Findahl, our new Systems Analyst, has gone through a whirlwind orientation and introduction to our institution, development methods, tools, standards, and projects. What we have provided cannot be classified as real training, but the whole team has participated by preparing materials, reviewing topics, and sharing their knowledge and know-how. Ava has taken it all in stride and is now neck deep with us in the development of the Leave Accounting module. I am very pleased with her progress and look forward to her long term association with the University and the BASIS projects.
A significant portion of the development activities during May were spent enhancing and refining components already developed, much of which was based upon user feedback. In addition to input on the specific applications, testing by the core project teams revealed:
The Leave Accounting system taught us that we can be too loose with prototyping. Having the initial screens up and running, we were eager to get these in the hands of the users for testing. However, this is a very complex system with numerous inter-related components. We released it with no controls in place, knowing there were features missing, and without adequate testing of some components. The result was near chaos with more problems than we could record. We have spent the last couple of weeks remedying these problems. Some functions have been redesigned and significantly restructured; functions have been enhanced to include all known requirements; the system design and operation has been more clearly defined; and users have been restricted from updating system control tables. With this updated and more complete system in place, we are now preparing for a controlled test cycle. All data will be scratched and reinitialized, each core team member will test separate budgetary units, and a test plan outlining specific conditions to be tested will be developed. This test will reveal how close we really are to completing the basic leave reporting aspects of the system.
Needless to say we are behind schedule. The extra time and catastrophic leave functions are only partially complete and the TARGET routines and most of the batch processes have not been started. Further, the documentation requirements for the system have not been defined so there is no documentation. Computing Services will continue to work diligently to complete the development of the system and anxiously await the results of the core team's testing.
This list remains as reported last month with only the first item dealing with the Leave Accounting system. All others relate to subsequent modules of BASIS I which are not currently being addressed.
See the schedule provided at the end of this report.
Seven core team meetings were held during May addressing the operation and enhancement of the University Procurement System (UPS) and screen design, requirements definitions, operation, enhancement, and TARGET transaction criteria for functions of the General Journal Interface Module (GJIM). "Completing" the General Ledger Account Change (GLAC) and Inter-departmental Invoice (IDIV) functions of GJIM and implementing the changes resulting from the core team meetings consumed most of the month of May. Sandra and Paul were also near completion of initial versions of the Transfer of Expenditures (TREX) and General Journal (JRNL) functions at month end. (The development time for these was only a few days as compared to the several weeks required for the GLAC and IDIV functions, demonstrating the learning curve associated with these line oriented accounting transactions and the reuse of code.)
The reallocation of funds (revenue transfer) function has been separated from expense transfers and the requirements expanded so that this portion of the system will better interface with the current BUDGET system. The complete processing requirements for this function as well as TREX and JRNL have yet to be defined. Other topics still on the core teams' agenda include a method of validating dates relative to GL open accounting periods, the data requirements for a new GL test system, and a definition of the requirements for online documentation.
All items listed are unchanged from last month's report.
See the schedule provided at the end of this report.
The program generator and associated program models were significantly enhanced during May to accommodate needs demonstrated by the use of these models in UPS, GJIM, LEAVE, and TARGET. Major changes have been made to the model that performs maintenance functions on effective dated records, providing security features to differentiate actions performed on future dated versus past dated information. The concept is that historical data must be tightly controlled while future information is merely proposed and is often subject to change. The models used for GJIM transactions to manage multiple lines was also enhanced to accommodate demonstrated needs and all models were enhanced to incorporate new features. Kathryn has updated all associated documentation and is in the process of testing the new functions within the NSM Maintenance System. The next step will then be to regenerate all programs developed to date, a process we hope will only take a few days and one that will likely never be under-taken again.
General pieces of code to perform common processing continued to be developed and existing ones enhanced. These address validation of data such as Company Cost Centers, GL Account Numbers, User IDs, Departments, and Budgetary Units, as well as the editing and translation of input data in alternate formats such as dates, Company Cost Centers, SSNs, and even numeric values (amounts are displayed with commas separating 000's but may be entered with or without these formatting characters). Once developed, these routines will be heavily reused.
Only two program "walkthroughs" were held during the month, very limited progress was made on TARGET, and the conversion to desk based security was not initiated. These are all items we hope to address in June.
See the attached schedule for detail information.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this report.