January 9, 2008

Greetings from the PORT (Project Office Replacement Team)!

We are rapidly approaching our destination™with the implementation of our new BearQuest system less than two months away! While our goal is still off on the horizon the PORT team would like to help prepare you for an easy "landing" by providing you with some useful information that will help all of us arrive safely.

Operational Request Transitioning to BearQuest

Below are some key dates to keep in front of you over the next several weeks:
Action Date(s) Information
BearQuest Training February 19 and forward Watch for specific dates and times through the POD emails / website
Validation of PO Projects to Convert to BearQuest January 11 25, 2008 Deans/VPs will be asked to review a list of "in process" Projects from Project Office to determine which are still valid and need to be converted to BearQuest Validated list due back January 25.
No NEW Project Office Users February 1, 2008 Anyone who does not have access to Project Office by this date will not be given access after February 1, 2008
No Changes to existing Projects or creation of New Projects February 15, 2008 In order to have a "static" list of projects to convert, we are asking that no changes to existing projects be made or any New Projects be created in Project Office after this date.
NOTE: Manual Procedures wll be used during this down time for critical actions (Faculty HIRES, Employee Separations)
Project Office Shut Down February 22, 2008 5:00PM Project Office System will be shut down in order to prepare for the start of conversion Service Areas and Approvers must have all critical projects completed by this time
Projects Converted to BearQuest February 18 29, 2008 The ITS team will manually convert PO Projects based on the validated lists from the Deans/VPs
BearQuest "LIVE" March 3, 2008 This is the target "GO LIVE" date.

The ITS team will convert all projects validated by the Dean/VP that have not been system- approved as of February 22, 2008. It will greatly assist the conversion team if we can begin reducing the number of new or recently created projects in Project Office after January 1, 2008 by postponing entry of new projects where possible until after BearQuest is live. Requests for "Summer Review", "Budget Review", and new, replacement, or reclassification of positions that can wait till after March 3rd to be entered will reduce the number of projects that need to be converted. Your help is much appreciated!

Major Strategic Proposal Transitioning to BearQuest

Major Strategic Proposals released for review by the December 2007 deadline will continue to be reviewed in Project Office (except for the period February 23 March 2 when the Project Office system will be unavailable due to conversion of non-MSP projects to BearQuest ) and therefore will not be converted to BearQuest. We will begin using BearQuest for MSPs in Fall 2008.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few more answers to questions you may be wondering about. These and more may be found at our new web page (http://www.baylor.edu/its/bearquest) located at the ITS Website.

Q: Should I stop using Project Office and wait for BearQuest?
A: No. Continue using Project Office at this time for Spring Review and other personnel/funding requests. However, we encourage all departments to limit the new requests entered into Project Office in 2008 to only those most critical. No new users will be added to Project Office after February 1st, existing projects cannot be modified after February 15th, and new projects cannot be added after February 15th.

Q: What should I do if I have an urgent personnel action after February 15th but before BearQuest is available?
A: Manual paperwork procedures will be used for critical personnel actions such as faculty hires that must be handled during this down time.

Q: What will happen to my existing Project Office requests that have been released but not approved?
A: Current PO requests that have been confirmed for migration by the assigned Dean/VP will be manually migrated into BearQuest for you.

Q: What is the plan for training on the new BearQuest system?
A: Numerous training sessions will be offered during the initial BearQuest roll-out period a few weeks before and after the March 3rd go-live date, and continuing periodically thereafter. First priority for training will be given to those who are working on faculty hires for the spring. Everyone else will be free to sign up for training on a first come, first served basis. After the initial roll-out, training will be offered on an on-going basis probably once or twice a semester. Every user will need to attend training. As the go-live date approaches we will send out additional communication regarding specific dates and times for training sessions.

Q: Will EMS (Employment Management System) still be a part of the request process?
A: Yes. EMS will continue to be involved with personnel related requests. The transition from BearQuest to EMS and back to BearQuest will be less complicated.

Q: Will BearQuest work on a Mac?
A: The system should work on a Mac, however, testing of browser specific issues has been limited. Using Internet Explorer should reduce these issues.

Progress Update

The technical team is making good progress developing the multiple process flows you'll see in BearQuest. We are approaching a critical time as the initial development is completed and intense testing increases in the month of January. We plan to invite some of you to join us in testing, especially Service Area folks and Division Key Budget Contacts. If called, please serve!

Next Communication

Our next communication will be out in a couple of weeks with more specific training dates and other details as we approach our March 3rd implementation date. Remember to email your questions and comments about anything and everything BearQuest to PORT@Baylor.edu.