I bet that got your attention! The “press” that I’m referring to is the “rumor mill press” which, as you might expect at this stage of a huge system implementation, is in full force. So, to make sure you have the latest and greatest (and most accurate) info, I’ll address some of the rumors I have been hearing.
1. KFS is not going live in July 2011.
NOT TRUE – Barring some major catastrophe (like the whole campus is shut down for six months, in which case, we’ve got bigger things to worry about), we will go live in July 2011. There is some question about whether a couple of the KFS modules, Endowment and Travel, will be ready in time for July 2011 since they are both still in development. We have a back up plan for both of those possibilities.
2. KFS is not a desktop system; it’s a centralized system that someone needs to install on your computer.
NOT TRUE – The user interface is completely web-based. You will access it not only from your computer at work, but also from home, from the airport, even at the beach if it has wi-fi (but we hope you don’t have to work from there!).
3. KFS is going to be used only by people in the new Financial Transaction Centers (FTCs).
NOT TRUE – We don’t know quite yet who will be doing exactly what, but there are a couple of efforts under way that will help make that determination. One, of course, is the Reimagining Finance at Cornell effort, which is defining what services the FTCs will provide and the roles of FTC staff. Second, several groups of staff from colleges, units, and the KFS implementation project, currently spearheaded by Joanne DeStefano, are drafting best practice procedures for each KFS transaction. That includes the responsible person for the transaction (whether in the FTC or in the department) and what information he or she needs to know.
4. The system will not meet the reporting needs of campus.
PARTIALLY TRUE – On Day 1, we will undoubtedly not meet ALL campus reporting needs. The KFS Information Delivery and Reporting (ID&R) team has been asking their participants to identify business critical reporting needs, since those are the top priority for go-live day. However, ID&R’s work does not end on July 1, 2011. We will continue to work on meeting the identified common reporting requirements long past the day we flip the switch. We ask for your patience.
5. The project is not communicating with campus.
NOT TRUE – We have put into place many channels of communication (including this blog). There are 19 KFS campus liaisons, one for every major college and unit, dedicated to learning about the system and serving as information conduits for their groups. See the Links section at right for much more online content, and read the upcoming September newsletter for a reminder of various ways you can get KFS information. If you find there is an audience we are not reaching, please email us at mailto:email@example.com.
6. The project has not trained people on the system.
TRUE – We will not begin training in earnest until spring 2011. We don’t want to provide training too soon and run the risk that people will forget what they’ve learned by the time they begin using KFS. Rest assured, there will be lots of training, in many different forms.
7. The project is rushing the Reimagining Finance initiative.
PARTIALLY TRUE – We encouraged the Reimagining Finance leaders to implement their recommendations prior to us rolling out the full-scale training effort, mainly because we thought it was important for us (the big, institutional us) to understand what the new roles and responsibilities will be so the right people get the right training. Reimagining Finance and starting up a brand new system are both big changes to our world, and trying to do both at the same time seemed like it would be too confusing.
8. If transactions are processed in the new FTCs, people in the departments won’t be able to see any transaction details, other than what shows on the monthly accounting statement.
NOT TRUE – All KFS users will be able to see all accounting transaction details, with a few exceptions for sensitive data like salaries or certain commodity purchases.
[UPDATE: one more rumor] 9. The system is too flexible and we are not controlling the options, so we will have too much inconsistency.
PARTIALLY TRUE – The system is indeed flexible; however, several working groups have convened to identify best practices (see #3) for transaction processing, and where consistency in the setup of the chart of accounts can facilitate institutional, college, and unit reporting needs.
Those are the rumors I’ve heard so far. With a project as big and far-reaching as this one, I’m sure there will be more floating around, so I encourage anyone who hears something to share it with us, and we’ll get you the real scoop–make mine chocolate, please!
KFS Implementation Project Director