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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 7, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 25
HopkinsOne Initiative to Streamline Systems Enters 'Realization' Phase

By Jeanne Johnson

The HopkinsOne initiative to streamline and standardize many of Johns Hopkins' administrative and financial systems is entering a new phase. During the "realization" phase, which kicked off in February, the HopkinsOne team will begin to build the new computer system that many members of the university and health system have helped to design.

"During realization we will build a tangible, working model we can demonstrate," said Wayne Sparks, HopkinsOne project manager for business process improvement. "Realization is when the rubber meets the road."

Johns Hopkins initiated HopkinsOne in 2003 to enhance compliance, productivity and service delivery. After determining that it would be beneficial to replace outdated, costly and dysfunctional information systems and business practices, Johns Hopkins chose SAP as its preferred business partner and vendor, purchasing the SAP Business Suite to manage its human resources, payroll, purchasing, accounts payable, materials management and pre- and post-award research administrative activities. SAP software is used worldwide, but HopkinsOne designers have been working to tailor the software to meet the administrative and financial needs of Johns Hopkins.

Beginning last October, HopkinsOne teams conducted more than 300 "blueprint" design sessions, often in close collaboration with Johns Hopkins faculty and staff, and produced more than 750 pages of related documentation.

Those design sessions helped the HopkinsOne team map out the software's flow and structure, determining the options available for each transaction and how users will interact with their computer screens.

The resulting "blueprint designs" were posted on the HopkinsOne Web site in January for faculty and staff to submit constructive feedback. All questions were assessed or investigated by a HopkinsOne team and, in some cases, feedback from the Johns Hopkins community resulted in a reassessment of some aspects of the design. HopkinsOne will continue to test the new system and make modifications as needed.

"Realization can be a very revealing time, testing the accuracy and viability of each team's designs," said Sparks. "Clearly, each team wants to get it right, and it all starts in "realization."

The HopkinsOne project is scheduled to roll out in spring 2006 and conclude by 2008.


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