W. David Wimberly
Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
BASISONE and BASISII discussion lists
BASIS October status
I am addressing this project report directly to Dr. Zimmerman
since I am no longer
a member of the BASIS Steering Committee, and it would therefore
seem inappropriate to report directly to that body.
I will continue to share my perspective on the project status
with the central administrative office liaisons and
other project participants, as represented by their
subscription to the BASISONE and BASISII discussion lists.
Frankly, I do not see how this reduction in representation on
the Steering Committee will aid in solving the communication
problems recently experienced.
Rather, I feel it would be more appropriate that Colleen,
Bill, William and myself be full members of the committee
since we represent the central offices and are fully involved in
A great deal of time during October was spent trying to
find ways to improve communication between the
central project teams, management, and departmental representatives
regarding the BASIS projects.
These projects will not succeed if
needs and requirements are not known
or if potential problems are not identified.
The central project teams are very open and anxious to receive
comments from others, the reason for the discussion lists and
the frequent postings of documentation and
meeting summaries there.
We need a free exchange of information, and it needs to occur
in both directions.
The analysis and design phases of a project are
the most critical,
and that is where we are now.
Omissions and errors will be much more difficult to
Your (anyone reading this)
input and feedback on the issues is necessary!
If you have something to contribute, have questions, or just don't
understand, the central project teams want to hear from you.
If you are not comfortable responding to
a discussion list, respond directly to a project member using either
e-mail or telephone.
Everyone will not be able to get everything he or she wants in the new
system, but it will certainly not be provided if we do not know
it is needed.
- A central project team has been formed to meet regularly and
discuss issues and plans related to this project.
This group consists of
Cathy Renner and
Eric Robinson from the Budget Office;
Bill Moody from Campus Audit;
Bill Overby, and
Becky Shoemaker from Human Resources;
Sharon Smith and Tina Whatley from Research Accounting;
and Katrina Bromley, Joy Steely and David Wimberly from
Other individuals will be consulted and invited to meetings
This central team will define requirements, evaluate alternatives,
and generally work out solutions to system design and implementation
They are expected to keep their management informed of the issues
and directions of the project on an informal basis.
Formal documents and specifications will be developed representing
the work completed by this group.
The intent is that there are
no surprises for management due to the
communication that previously transpired.
- The central project team elected to pursue the
vacation and sick leave module for initial development and
Although no approval of this decision has been granted by the
Steering Committee, two meetings have been held to further
investigate and define the scope of this module
and its initial implementation.
Leave accounting in total is very complex, as we quickly learned.
It determines the eligibility for over-time pay,
includes tracking "comp time",
and is adjusted to provide just enough compensation
to cover an employee's benefit expenses.
The exchange of information has been good so far and ideas for
addressing these problems are beginning to form.
- The design and definition of the files associated with titles
and positions have received a great deal of work.
We appreciate the input from outside areas, such as Institutional
Research, in defining some of these needs.
The development of maintenance facilities for these tables
may actually be some of the
first coding to take place for BASIS I.
(This is so that Katrina and Joy can gain some experience with the
new NSM architecture, code generator and program models.)
- We have been interviewing applicants for a position which will
be assigned to BASIS I,
and have found at least one where there is a mutual interest.
I removed the item from this list that mentioned potential
problems in identifying data custodians and data sources
for all data elements.
The specific instances where this alarm was raised have been addressed,
but we will continue to be on guard against defining
more data elements than we can or will maintain.
- We need to hire and train a new person to assist in this project.
- I need more time to work on this project (and BASIS II)
than I have available.
- The requirements, and methods to be used,
for defining, storing and applying the
Company/Cost Center distributions for use in charging out salary
expenses are still unknown.
- The means of performing available funds checking for
salary/budget activity and for
projecting future salary expenses
requires further analysis.
- Specifics need to be defined regarding
summer school budgeting and summer teaching appointments.
- Accommodation within the system needs to be planned for
extra compensation and overloads.
- Security by value requirements, if they exist,
must be defined.
(Security by value refers to security definitions that would restrict a
user from access to certain data for a given screen versus
restricting access to a screen altogether.
For example, a user could be restricted to only allow
access to employees in their same department.)
The following represent our immediate plans:
- Learn the requirements, define the scope, and develop specifications
for the leave accounting module.
- Update file and data element definitions as needed for
functional changes and standardization.
- Develop programs to maintain the tables related to
and possibly billets.
- Define, in terms of the data base structure, how OIR's
FTE values will be calculated.
Determine if there are needs for other FTE values which require
calculation using a different algorithm.
- Define procedures and identify programs needed to ensure that
employees are properly terminated.
- Meet with Research Accounting to investigate requirements
associated with charging out fringe benefits.
- Investigate further the impact of budgeting soft dollars, Agri
projects, federal funds, etc.
(the most impact may be to the budget book).
- The Steering Committee endorsed the concept of phased implementation
and the selection of the budget & cost transfer, internal invoice,
and journal entry module as the first phase.
- There were eight meetings of the central project team held
during the month of October.
The purpose of these meetings included:
- Discussion of tax issues with James Ezell.
- Identification of problems in communication and development
- Identification of project decisions and directions that
represent change from current policy or practice.
These were prepared for
discussion with Vice Chancellor Bomotti and placed in a memo
dated November 4th.
- Review of the bid solicitation and contract files.
- Discussion of requirements associated with the budget & cost
transfer, internal invoice and journal entry module (the term
most used to date for this sub-system is the transfer
- Review of the August proposal regarding Internal Order processing.
- The Computing Services team meet with David Hyatt to review,
and obtain acceptance of,
the technical design proposed for maintaining commitment and
To assist in this process,
Paul Bixby documented the affect of several transactions on the
data elements involved.
The following documentation was released for review and comment
during the month:
- A modified version of the
files and data element definitions for requisitions, based upon past
reviews and input received.
This was accompanied by an itemized list of the changes.
There is no change in this list from the previous two month's reports,
although I have reordered them to represent a priority sequence.
- Acceptable solutions for
inter-departmental order processing continues to elude us.
The main point of contention seems to be the provision for departments
to approve charges.
The central project team is currently discussing this issue and
will be preparing a recommendation for management.
- A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the
period of the obligation needs to be identified.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The following represent our immediate plans:
- Reach a firm decision regarding the processing of internal orders.
- Meet with Mullins Library representatives to discuss interface
issues related to their Innovative system (one meeting
for this purpose occured on November 5).
- Develop an overview for requisition processing.
- Document and distribute the data requirements for purchase orders.
- Initiate development of programs to process vendor related data
- Define the input and validation requirements for journal
- Define the data requirements for the transfer module.
- Define an Available Funds File, tolerances to be
employed during funds checking, and the company/cost center attributes
that will govern how funds are checked.
We hope to do this in a manner that will be somewhat flexible regarding
the methods employed for funds checking.
- Design the system components for maintaining encumbrance balances
and performing funds checking.
- Meet with more departmental "bookkeepers" regarding some of
the basic concepts we plan to incorporate into our system and solicit
their opinions and feedback.
Kathryn Cantrell has continued to progress with the development
of core components that will be used by our BASIS applications.
October accomplishments include:
- One of the "list" program models and macros
has been enhanced
to include an ending search value as well as a beginning value.
In this manner, a specific range of data can be identified to be
The advantage this provides is the ability to see immediately
how many records
meet the criteria and are available for display.
- The functional specifications for the updated NSM Maintenance
System have been prepared and are in final review.
- Two new program models have been developed to address the unique
needs of "effective dated data".
One is for the maintenance of this data and the other is for listing
only data which is effective on a specified date.
Development of both types of programs involved special problems
that had to be overcome,
as will the use of this type of data by the user.
- Potential data validation and security authorization
problems that existed in previous maintenance models were
identified and corrected.
Bottomline Technologies provided another demonstration of their
check management software, designed to work with the Xerox desktop
Paul Bixby also released a
document summarizing features
and benefits of this hardware/software solution.
The following items can be generally considered as "to dos" for
Kathryn and myself.
- Complete the review of the NSM Maintenance System functional
- Implement the modifications to the
NSM Maintenance System in production.
- Develop a TARGET administration system to be used to maintain
the routing tables and other definitions required for the operation
- Develop a basic TARGET function module model program and update the
TARGET functional specifications.
- Develop a function module model program to perform maintenance
on data that occurs multiple times within an ADABAS data record
(either within MUs or PEs).
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this