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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 30, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 9
HopkinsOne: First Group of Users Gets Hands-On Training

By Glenn Small, HopkinsOne

[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 "go-live" date.

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 working."

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 together.

"The key thing was getting a chance to do it," said Joan Freedman, director of Homewood's Digital 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 system launches.

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 through Friday.

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."


HopkinsOne Help

For the latest training information:

For classroom training sites:

To see FAQ:

To access a completed course:
See the tab "Student Records" within the system.


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