Online human resources project moves into testing phase

By Kathleen Phillips Satz, Human Resources

13 March 2001 | Software installed and project team assembled, Human Resources is now configuring and testing a new online human resources system that promises to make paper personnel action forms a thing of the past and Web-based job applications part of our future.

The testing phase builds on several months of work by the project team, as it gathered input on what campus departments need from an online human resources management system (HRMS). Among its concerns: strategies for security, reporting, training and communications, and forming advisory and campus user groups to support the development team.

The team also held orientation meetings for central office staff who will help configure HRMS and manage it in the future, and for managers who oversee staff and faculty personnel actions in departments and control units.

“I know many staff on campus are anticipating the elimination of the paper PAF,” said Elaine Meckenstock, BFS/BAIRS project coordinator. “I think once the system is implemented and everyone is used to it, it will be an improvement for departments to enter their personnel action form-related info into a Web page, rather than rolling the forms into the typewriter, waiting for them to turn around, and comparing the turnaround to the original.”

The system will allow central offices and campus departments to enter employee data and manage transactions through their Web browsers, eliminating duplicate entry and replacing the many paper processes that currently exist. Timekeeping and leave accrual will remain in the payroll/personnel system used by all UC campuses.

Job applicants will be able to apply through the Web, and employees will be able to update their own information, such as home addresses. Managers will maintain information about positions in their departments through the system; faculty events will be entered and tracked on line. Later, training and development will be managed through the system.

What’s next?
The functional and technical team members, working with staff from campus departments, are developing test scripts and prototypes to create the best fit between the software and Berkeley’s processes.

“The prototyping phase is critical to making this system work for us,” said David Scronce, director of HR systems, who is managing the HRMS project. “In some cases, we’ll change the way we process human resources transactions to fit the ‘best practices’ built into the software. In a few cases, we’ll modify the software to do what we need it to do.”

“For example, since we will continue to maintain payroll and leave accruals in PPS, we have to make sure that HRMS and PPS talk to each other easily. Along with the technical and functional staff doing the hands-on development, we have campus administrators and a user group helping us make sure that we end up with a system that really works for Berkeley.”

The team expects central offices like human resources and payroll, along with pilot departments, to begin using HRMS late next fall, with remaining campus departments going on-line shortly after that. Training will begin with campus briefings in late summer, followed by classroom training and follow-up sessions.

Check the BAI Web site at progress updates as the system is tested and configured. E-mail with questions.


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