MEMORANDUM


Table of Contents

MEMORANDUM
  • Progress
  • Major issues
  • Plans

  • MEMORANDUM

    To:

    BASIS Steering committee
    Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, David Holmes, David Martinson, Susan Unger, and Bob Zimmerman

    From:

    W. David Wimberly

    Copy:

    Colleen Briney and William Rains
    BASIS II project file and discussion list

    Subject:

    BASIS II June status

    Progress

    June was a busy month with lots of meetings. These resulted in the resolution of at least two of our "Major issues". The meetings are now shifting away from walk-throughs toward more detailed discussions of issues and requirements with the core project team. The June meetings included:

    6/01

    This was a walk-through of the Printing Services operation, both current procedures and a review of activities that are in progress for implementing new systems and procedures. It was obvious that this is a high volume, complex operation, one that they are taking steps to streamline so that it can be as efficient as possible. We hope that our new system will not create any conflicts with the progress currently being made here.

    6/02

    This was a continuation of discussions regarding the vendor data requirements. Comments on the documentation presented in April and other outstanding vendor issues were addressed.

    6/03

    This walk-through was conducted with the Student Health Center. It was obvious that this is a well run and well organized business. Although they are a very specialized operation, their needs are not that different from most other departments - more timely financial data summarized by budgetary categories appropriate to their operation.

    6/10, 17, 24 & 26

    These meetings were continuing discussions related to a list of Purchasing questions initially developed in early May. The meetings and responses provided were very beneficial in establishing an understanding of the front end processing requirements of the system. They were a pre-requisite to defining the data requirements for requisitions, purchase orders, contracts, IFBs and other "bid" related entities.

    6/12

    This was a Natural application demonstration that Computing Services provided for interested core project team members. It helped to show basic functional aspects of the operational environment that will be used for the new system. This is expected to aid in communication between the team members and increase their understanding of how specific features will be implemented.

    6/15

    This was a meeting of the Financial Affairs Advisory Group. The discussion addressed available funds checking, use of estimated revenue in auxiliaries, and the need for an available funds check tolerance per cost center.

    6/19

    This meeting was used to review topics relevant to Cooperative Extension in preparation for their visit the following week. Additionally, resolution was reached on several issues involving the assignment and review of expenditure codes.

    6/25

    This meeting was held with Cooperative Extension Service personnel and addressed the outstanding issues that had been raised during our visit to Little Rock in April.

    During June, resolution was reached on the following items which had previously been identified as "Major issues".

    1. The policy of charging non-budgeted and non-UAF entities for their usage of Computing Services' resources had been identified as a major concern. Some doubt had also been raised regarding the continuance of this policy for the BASIS systems. For this reason, this topic was brought to the BASIS Steering Committee for discussion where the following points were made:

      This issue is now considered settled by the project team. Those that voice disagreement will be invited to take their arguments to their management.

    2. The need for the Cooperative Extension Service central office and the Agricultural Experiment Station director's office to change the company cost center previously assigned to a requisition has been recognized and a special facility to perform this function will be provided within the system. This will necessitate that the routing for approval of the requisition be re-initiated using the approval chain associated with the new distribution.

    Several other issues that had been nagging the project team were also resolved during June.

    Internal work continued on several system documentation components. None of these were released for review during June. Initial work was started on the data requirements for Requisitions.

    On the technical side, the following progress was made in June.

    Major issues

    For this report, no new items were added to this list and two were removed.

    1. 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.

    2. Inter-departmental orders pose unique problems and will require changes to the way much business is transacted across campus.

    3. The problem with dating our expense transactions is still outstanding and possible solutions need to be presented and discussed with the accountants.

    4. A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the period of the obligation (versus the period of the expense) received discussion during the Cooperative Extension Service meeting. Two alternatives were mentioned, but each requires further analysis and evaluation.

    5. The need for word processing like capabilities for requisition and purchase order descriptions persist. Cornell University has not come through with the editor they had mentioned and, upon further consideration, we are not sure it (or UT Austin's) would adequately meet our needs. We have initiated some work to develop our own.

    6. The viability of departmental receiving is still in question.

    7. 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.

    Plans

    The following are our plans for July:

    1. Define and document the data requirements for requisitions, "bid" type entities, "contract" type entities, and purchase orders.

    2. Distribute for comment some of the internal documention that has been developed: updated vendor data requirements, vendor processing features, glossary of terms, and maybe an initial requisition file.

    3. Discuss and develop a firm approach for addressing the processing needs for internal orders and travel authorizations.

    4. Initiate development of programs to process vendor related data components.

    5. Complete the conversion of the NSM Maintenance System, update the NSM documentation for version 2, develop program generation facilities for the models that have been developed, develop a basic TARGET function module model program, and update the TARGET functional specifications.

    6. Meet with departmental representatives, preferably the "bookkeepers", regarding some of the basic concepts we plan to incorporate into our system and solicit their opinions and feedback.

    7. Continue to work on our system overview (high level requirements document), developing it to the point that it can be shared in a preliminary form.

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