It’s only natural that when we think of the ConnectCarolina project as the October 1 go-live nears that we focus on the software, the technology and the capabilities.
After all, it is an integrated management system built on Oracle’s PeopleSoft administrative software platform. It’s also an information technology project led by the University’s ITS department.
Matthew Brody, the University’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, though, doesn’t want anyone to lose sight of the fact that this ConnectCarolina project is really about people.
“The technology is terrific, but it is the contributions of individuals getting us to go‑live,” he said.
The project team and hundreds of other people across the campus—from finance, workforce strategy, information technology, schools, divisions and departments—have and are contributing to the birthing of this complex system. Employees, contractors, testers, trainers, tech and non-techy people, and individuals at all levels within the University are working hard to ensure that finance and human resources/payroll can joint Student Administrative applications in ConnectCarolina next month.
Members of the project team have worked long days and weekends to get the system ready.
“I think the team has and is working exceedingly hard,” Brody said. “Everyone’s giving their maximum effort.”
Unsung heroes can be found throughout the project. Vicki Bradley and Rich Arnold from human resources, for example, “could not have given more of themselves. I’m very proud of that, and the University is very appreciatively of that.” Brody said. “The hours that they’ve put in, it’s incalculable almost.”
Still other employees within HR deserving recognition include Adam Beck, Megan Keefe, Mike Mathews, Corrie Mimms, Tonya Pope, Shauna Stackhouse, Betsi Snipes and Dave Turner.
From Finance, Becky Arnold, Director of Business Analysis, and Brian Smith, Director of Treasury and Risk Management Services, “are prime examples of the devotedness of the entire project team,” said Kevin Seitz, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance.
“Our business analysts, training staff, business owners, campus stakeholders and campus working group members are too numerous to mention; only through their efforts are we at this point.”
Seitz characterized the massive task this way, “Hundreds of people within Finance, Payroll, Sponsored Research, the University’s General Administration and campus spent an enormous amount of effort over a significant period of time to implement the new system. My colleagues distinguished themselves with their hard work, dedication and professionalism. This will truly be an enterprise achievement.”
Campuswide, the list includes some of the train-the-trainers who were first out of the gate: Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Christy Dodson and Shannon Taylor, and School of Public Health’s Gladys Yam and Rob Kathner. Other important contributors were the campus reps who tested the system and provided valuable feedback, such as Lachonya Williams, Assistant Dean for Human Resources in the College of Arts and Sciences.
ConnectCarolina has built relationships and established cooperation. It’s a strong sense of collaboration that the University wants to foster going forward.
“One of the real benefits of the project, although it’s taken longer than we would’ve liked, is that it has propelled different components of the University to work together in a very collaborative and detailed way as they looked at business processes and have changed business processes,” Brody said.