Elevate: Gaining efficiencies for CU

Simplified HR, Finance systems promise systemwide improvements


The Elevate program is all about increasing simplification, standardization and productivity for the University of Colorado, as it upgrades its HR and Finance systems. One way CU will accomplish this is by delivering Human Capital Management (HCM) and Finance (FIN) systems that are streamlined and easier to use.

For years, CU’s Human Resources and FIN systems have served the university’s business needs. Over time, the effort to keep these systems up-to-date became cumbersome and expensive. The reasons vary, but a primary challenge was the number of customizations. Used strategically, customizations bridge software functionality and business processes. But customizations can come with a great cost: They require a significant amount of manpower to develop, test and maintain.

With Elevate, CU has embarked on a better path. When the HCM and Finance systems launch this November, the updated systems will feature 50 percent fewer customized settings. What this means, Elevate project leaders recently announced: Users can enjoy faster processing times and more automation, take advantage of new delivered functionality, reduce the overall cost of ownership to CU and more.

When the Elevate program began in early 2014, the executive sponsors and corresponding committees indicated that a key program objective was to use HCM and Finance tools as delivered by PeopleSoft as often as possible. To meet this objective, intensive collaboration among the CU system office and the campuses was required, said Lisa Landis, associate vice president of Employee Services.

“We took a different approach. Prior to this upgrade, we’d never tried to change our business processes to fit the technology,” Landis said. “Taking this new approach, we had to show the delivered system to campuses and departments and ask, ‘Can CU use this product as delivered?’”

So what does CU gain when we simplify?

We gain automation.

Since the project began, HCM and Finance project managers have met regularly with campuses to thoroughly examine new system features, discuss business processes, see how an out-of-the-box product could work for CU and ensure everyone understood it. This intensive, time-consuming process will yield excellent results in the new system, including increased automation of tasks, Landis said.

We gain new features and functionality.

Reducing customizations means the systems easily accept ongoing enhancements, which keeps CU up-to-date with industry standards. This improves our business processes, reduces down-time, and boosts productivity for HCM and Finance users. It also helps us work more efficiently and reduces costs.

We gain staff time.

Reducing customizations means using delivered functionality wherever possible. We can then reduce the support resources needed from technical and functional teams, saving us staff resources and costs.
The HCM system’s new forms will give users an easier, more intuitive way to enter data via a Web form interface. This promises to increase data accuracy and saves time and costs.

We gain growth potential.

CU was rapidly outgrowing some of its systems. Its current talent management and job search tool, PeopleAdmin, was nearing capacity and soon wouldn’t be able to support new employees. Its replacement, CU Careers, will allow for continued growth in the future.

We gain continued compliance.

Reducing customizations reduces manual workarounds, which reduces human error and strengthens our alignment with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This better protects us from possible reporting penalties and reduces costs.
Reducing customizations allows CU to keep current with vendor updates, which reduces security and stability issues. It also makes it much easier to update tax tables, aligning us with IRS requirements more quickly and freeing up staff to focus on other work. This avoids possible IRS penalties, saves us time and reduces costs.

Overall, Elevate boosts time-saving, cost-effective efficiencies for CU.

What is Elevate?

The Elevate program is a collaboration between CU system administration and the campuses to enhance how the university does business. Beginning in November, Elevate will improve how you get paid, track leave, manage financial transactions and perform many other functions.

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This summer and fall, the Finance and HCM teams will host in-person training via lectures and labs and through webinars or video simulations to train users on the new systems. Find out more about the project at <a href="/%3Ca%20href%3D"">"></a>.</p>


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