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Q&A with Frances Dykstra, Enterprise ApplicationsFrances Dykstra, Assistant Vice Chancellor for ITS Enterprise Applications, is leading her team and campus collaborators as they prepare to launch a significant new component of ConnectCarolina on Oct. 1. We asked for a sneak peak into the project.

How are things going for the October launch of ConnectCarolina for finance, human resources and payroll?

The project team and everyone involved in the project – from finance, workforce strategy, information technology, schools, divisions and departments across campus – are working hard to ensure that finance and human resources can joint Student Administrative applications in ConnectCarolina on October 1. The team is eager to go live.

How smoothly can the cutover actually go for this massive project?

The cutover is comprised of hundreds of individual tasks performed by many individuals. The plan is thousands of lines long and broken into five-minute intervals. We’ve rehearsed it several times, so we are pretty confident it will go smoothly.

What gives you the confidence that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC General Administration will be able to use the system effectively?

We’ve had support of the institutions’ leaders and participation from individuals across the University. We have tested extensively. The new system won’t be perfect, but we are working hard to ensure it produces accurate payrolls, pays our bills, and accounts accurately for all of the University’s financial transactions.

Over the course of the next years, we will make additional improvements. Training for use of the new applications is going full steam and a team is being set up to provide support to ConnectCarolina users. The project team will not evaporate on October 1, but will remain to help the campus learn how to use the new systems to conduct their financial and human resources activities proficiently.

Based on my experience at other institutions, within a year UNC-Chapel Hill will be as comfortable with the new system as they were with the old and the quality and availability of information to support decision-making will be far greater than what was available in the past.

How would you describe the collaboration during this project?

I have been incredibly fortunate in finding at Carolina—both at Chapel Hill and at General Administration—effective and generous collaborators. Projects like this only succeed through the extraordinary efforts of a large number of contributors. Launching a system like this is definitely a team sport.

What will you do to celebrate go live?

A glass of champagne, high fives with my colleagues and a visit to my daughter in Chicago for Thanksgiving.

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