Tuesday Nov 05, 2013

ERP Implementation: Key Functional Issues and Challenges

The ERP functional team will encounter significant challenges which one must anticipate early in one's project:

Process engineering: Chanes in current business processes are often needed and recommended as a result of an ERP project.
  • Back-filling of staff: Don't assume it's possible for someone to do everything they did before the ERP started and also serve as an important agent on the ERP project. Be realistic about needs, both on the ERP project and back in the functional unit.
  • Training: Seriously consider the type and timing of training. The traditional form of training, where a person goes for days at a time and doesn't interact with the system for months, doesn't work.
  • Recruiting and retaining staff: Once you train people on an ERP system, they become more marketable. You'll need to take into account the difficulty of recruiting key personnel and get started early.
  • Conference Room Pilot (CRP): Give serious attention to the CRP, which proives a demonstration of the ERP system that users can test drive before the system configuration is locked down.
  • Reporting: Will routine reports be printed to the web? Will users give up their paper easily? The ERP system often enables easier development of ad-hoc reports. You'll need to set priorities, since it will be difficult to meet the broad demand for reports on the first day of production.
  • Addressing Gaps: Gaps will occur between what you perceive is needed and what differnet ERP solutions can provide. You'll need to make some compromises or get your wallent out to support modifications to the system.
  • Setting expectation: Don't make the mistake of raising expectations too high in order to obtain the funds needed. Be more modest in the expectations you set, then exceed them.
  • Obtaining user buy in: It's nice to obtain user buy in, but don't think you'll get a consensus at the university.
  • Chart of accounts: One feature of an ERP system is the flexibility of supporting a new chart of accounts to accomodate the wider range of fields and account codes needed to replace shadow systems and meet a university's broad range of needs. This is a major undertaking and not as simple as adopting a model available from another, similar university. If you adopt a standard model, you could save yourself much time, money and hassle.
  • Validation of data and systems: You'll need to plan a mid-course risk assessment and a pre-production audit before you go live to verify your testing of the system and final product setups.
  • Communications: If we had to select one thing we should have done better, its recognizing the importance of communications to among people on the project and between project staff and users, university management and project staff, and university management and users. Get the word out often and in different forms.
  • Returning to functional units: The ERP project has been a "home away from home" for many functional personnel. After the ERP system implementation these people will return to their functional units. Their transition back and the transfer of their ERP knowledge to other functional staff are critical for success and should be planned carefully.

Monday Feb 27, 2012

Enrollment Drop Problems

There have been a few common issues in the application pertaining to functional aspects. These issues keep coming to me for resolution / guidance. So, for common goal, I am putting some perspectives and word of caution while performing certain operations. Hope this helps you.

Multiple Enrollment Drop Problems Caused by Class Association Numbering

The Scenario / Symptom

  1. A course has only one component and can be enrolled multiple times within the same term. Class sections are created for the course using the default class association number of '1' for each section. Customer enrolls a student for two or more sections in the same term. Customer then processes a drop request for one of the sections. The enrollment engine drops ALL sections.
  2. Class sections are created for a course using the default class association number of '1' for each section. The institute allows students to drop and add new sections or swap to new sections during the drop/retain period. In a case where a drop/add action or a swap was done to a different section during the drop retain period and the new section was later dropped, the enrollment engine will update all the dropped sections with the same drop date.
  3. Dynamic dated classes are created using the same class association number for each section. When students attempt to add or drop some sections, the add, drop or swap action is not processing according to the dynamic dates calculated for the particular section.


Unrelated sections of the class were scheduled using the same using the same Associated Class number on the Schedule of Classes

Recommended Solution

Whenever you have a class with only one component, each section of the class should have a unique class association number. The class association number ties together the components that make up one course (i.e., lecture and lab). If you have multiple sections of a class all using the same class association number, the enrollment engine treats those all as one class--when you drop one, you drop out of all of the classes with the same class association number. That is how students get dropped out of the lab when they drop the lecture--both components are defined in separate sections, but bound together by the class association number.

Using unique class association numbers is especially important when a student is allowed to enroll in more than one section of the class for a term, is allowed to swap between sections of the course during the drop/retain period, or if the customer is using Dynamic Date processing.

Using unique class association numbers is especially important when a student is allowed to enroll in more than one section of the class for a term, is allowed to swap between sections of the course during the drop/retain period, or if the customer is using Dynamic Date processing.

To implement the solution:

  • Navigate to Curriculum Management > Schedule of Classes > Maintain Schedule of Classes.
  • In the Associated Class field, select a unique association number for each newly created stand alone section.
  • Continue scheduling the class sections and save.

Note: If students are already enrolled in the section and you wish to change the class association number, students must first be dropped from the class, the association number changed, and the students added back into the class.


Hope this helps some of us implementing the solution... :-)

All the best 




Mohit Satraj Phogat
Author: Mohit Phogat

This site focuses on Oracle's offerings to higher education in the Indian region. It intends to cover news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos, and podcasts on the trends which should be helpful to customers, prospects and developer community alike.

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