As technology has changed rapidly over the past 20 years, so has the way large organizations manage operations and processes. In Illinois, agencies have historically evolved separately, developing individualized systems to manage everyday tasks. Each agency has learned to accomplish the same simple tasks such as paying bills and managing budgets in drastically different ways.
And while this often gets the job done, it has created a patchwork of systems that are so fractured, they inhibit any meaningful improvement to the way we do business.
As you may have heard, the State of Illinois is finally working to implement a standardized system to manage these everyday tasks. Well run organizations with multiple offices pay their bills, order goods, track spending and manage personnel in the same way regardless of their location or function.
We are now working towards operating in the same way.
To accomplish this, each and every agency is in line to adopt an industry standard software package to accomplish this standardization, a program known as SAP. Nearly 20 agencies have already implemented the financial, procurement and grant management components of this large-scale implementation, and roughly another 20 are being asked to complete this implementation by this Summer.
The Illinois Department of Central Management Services has already started preparing for this implementation, commonly referred to as the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project. As we work through this ERP implementation, many of you will be asked to assist us in making this critical project a success.
CMS is currently assembling a Change Management Team that will help guide this transition. This project will be led by Amy Delcomyn, our CMS Director of Project Management, serving as the CMS ERP Change Lead who will coordinate activities and the overall project timeline.
In addition, CMS has selected an individual to facilitate the necessary changes within each component of the project. These “Change Facilitators” include Joanna Ray (Fiscal), Brent Boesdorfer (Asset Management) and Brad Burnett (Procurement). Their primary task will be ensuring that the right people are included in the planning and implementation of ERP.
Next, the project will include “Functional Leads,” serving as operational experts within the process ensuring the new system and legacy processes are properly incorporated to meet our agency needs. These individuals are Jessica Olive (Audits/General Ledger), Karen Pape (Budget), Mark Lewis (Cost Accounting), Ron Wilson (Procurement), and Jay Neposchlan (Asset Management).
In addition to the above change facilitators, many of you have been (or will be) tapped to help us as “Change Champions” or “Super Users,” helping drive our team down the path of successful implementation!
One of the first tasks will be to engage our employees in analyzing and mapping CMS’ current workflows. This task is referred to as “Walk the Walls” – where we will literally map out every CMS process that will eventually be done in SAP.
This is a critical step that will be the basis for the training development and implementation of ERP. While we don’t have a specific expectation as far as time requirements, if you are asked to participate we know it will require at least a few hours per week from your staff, at least in the beginning.
Once this is complete and transition materials have been developed, training in the new system will begin later this spring with the intended “go live” date of July 1, 2018.
More information on specific training will be provided as it is scheduled. In the meantime, employees are encouraged to go to the ERP website. The link is below.
Please know that successful completion of this initiative is a priority. Please ensure that your staff are aware and engaged in the processes. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please reach out to a member of the Change Management Team.