[Denise Terry and Jeanne Johnson, both of HopkinsOne,
contributed to this article.]
HopkinsOne training began in earnest last week with the
first several dozen students receiving hands-on instruction
in Mount Washington, East Baltimore and other locations. By
the time the new integrated business system goes live on
Jan. 1, some 2,500 employees of the university and health
system will have attended in-person training and another
8,000 completed courses online.
Sue Nayden, a functional team lead for HopkinsOne, may
have said it best to her students in Mount Washington on
day one: "The good news is, you're seeing it first. The bad
news is, you're seeing it first. If there are any snafus,
please work with us."
There were snafus, mostly of the technical type (such
as trouble logging in), but they were quickly rectified.
Nayden "coached" the first session of Time Entry, a
course designed to teach employees how to enter hourly time
in the new SAP system being implemented by HopkinsOne. The
new $200 million system will for the first time integrate
the business functions of human resources, payroll,
benefits, finance, accounting, budget, purchasing and
sponsored research into one system for both the university
and health system.
Working alongside an instructor who would teach the
material, Nayden was one of the Hopkins coaches who have
been assigned to classes to help out with institutional
knowledge. At the same time, the coaches will develop
expertise with SAP as the institution moves toward the
Kevin Kobylski, HopkinsOne project manager for
business transformation, under whom training falls, said,
"I know how much work has gone into developing these
courses and so it's exciting for me to see it all
By day's end, all the participants had made it through
and successfully passed the final course assessment.
But the HopkinsOne team was not satisfied. Huddling in
the evening to discuss how things had gone, the team
decided to make adjustments to improve the learning
process. For example, rather than spend as much time as
they had with a PowerPoint-like presentation of the
material, instructors will now dive into the actual SAP
system sooner, getting people's hands and feet wet. Also,
rather than instructors' demonstrating a system transaction
and having the students repeat it, they'll all do it
"The key thing was getting a chance to do it," said
Joan Freedman, director of
Media Center and a student in the Time Management
course. "It's important that people dive right into the
system and forget the big picture."
Across town in the 2024 Building on the East Baltimore
campus, Craig Dunn, a health system fixed asset accountant,
was learning how to use the Project Management features. "I
was just hired two weeks ago, and I wasn't sure what I
would see," he said. "I'm relieved. People have been very
helpful, and it seems like this system is more
user-friendly than the current system."
Some students were clearly frustrated by the demands
being placed on their time, and some expressed fear that
what they had learned would be forgotten by the time the
Kobylski said that he understands the concern and that
provisions have been made to help the early trainees. "We
have so many users to train that it's unavoidable that some
are getting training this early. The key for them will be
to make the effort to refresh themselves, which they can
easily do within the system. All students in classroom
training have access to the training material after they
finish the class," he said.
Anyone having difficulty with courses, or who has any
other question about training, can call the training
hotline, 410-735-7411, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday
Maggie Kennedy, communications manager for the
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
and a student in Time Entry, said, "It's at least nice to
get a hands-on experience with the system. You need to jump
in and start using the system," she said, adding that most
employees don't need to know all the background and history
of HopkinsOne and SAP.
Said Freedman, "It's not going to be easy, but
eventually everybody will get used to it. A year from now,
we will all be comfortable using it."