Skip to the content

Kansas State University

iSIS Guiding Principles

Executive Summary

This document is an addendum to the original Scope, Objectives and Approach Document for the LASER Project implementation, and focuses on the implementation of Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to replace the Kansas State University student administration systems: Student Information System (SIS), Billing Receivable System (BRS) Financial Aid Management System (FAMS) and K-State Access Technology System (KATS). This revised project is expected to remove these systems from reliance upon the System/390 mainframe hardware by December 2008.

The project scope includes:

  • Implementation of Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules: Admissions, Financial Aid, Enrollment/Student Records, Student Financials and Self-Service based upon the University’s existing Academic Calendar.
  • Replacement of existing legacy system functionality, while taking advantage of added functionality only if it can be cost justified, and does not negatively impact the project’s schedule.
  • Conversion of legacy system data into the Campus Solutions system, at least to the extent needed to produce a transcript for all current and former students.
  • Continued use of existing third party software including: DARS degree audit software, Schedule 25/Resource 25, FsaAtlas, and CASHNet.
  • Creation of interfaces between Campus Solutions and multiple internal and external systems.

The project is estimated to take at least two years to complete, depending upon the number of modifications developed and the implementation sequence. Admissions will be the first module to go live in June 2007--for the admission of students for the Fall 2008 semester--followed by Financial Aid in January 2008, Enrollment in spring 2008, and Student Financials and Records in summer 2008.

Project Purpose

The goals of the LASER Project are to replace all current student administration systems and increase the information accessibility and technical capabilities for faculty, staff, and students.

Project Objectives and Scope


The project objectives are:

  • Replace existing student administration systems (SIS, BRS, FAMS and KATS) with Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.
  • Eliminate K-State’s dependence on the System/390 hardware and software platform by December 2008.
  • Provide a web-based, student system application able to meet K-State’s changing needs, support high- volume and online transactions, and take full advantage of current technologies.
  • Provide one common student system for K-State and reduce the number of departmental student shadow systems.
  • Reduce manual work through the use of electronic solutions.
  • Increase productivity by identifying processes that can be effectively streamlined, such as the elimination of redundant data entry.

Included in the scope of the project are the following major components:

  • Replacement of existing legacy system functionality, while taking advantage of added functionality only if it can be cost justified and does not negatively impact the project’s schedule.
  • Conversion of legacy system data into the Campus Solutions system.
  • Integration with K-State Portal as the front door into Campus Solutions.
  • Integration with DARS degree audit software package for advising.
  • Integration with Schedule 25/Resource 25 for room scheduling.
  • Integration with the Kansas State Enterprise Authentication System (KEAS) ldap server for authentication.
  • Implementation of Campus Solutions modules:

--- Admissions
--- Recruiting (to the extent needed to integrate with Talisma CRM)
--- Campus Community
--- Academic Advisement (as needed to integrate with DARS degree audit system)
--- Financial Aid
--- Student Financials (with integration to CASHNet for cashiering functions)
--- Student Records
--- Campus Self-Service ( Student Center and Faculty Center)

  • Interfaces to date include the following systems:
    • Talisma CRM
    • Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
    • Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
    • Lafene-Medical Manager
    • K-State ID Card Center
    • CNS eID, White Pages
    • Parking Services
    • Schedule 25/Resource 25
    • Centralized Tuition Assistance Management (CTAM)
    • K-State Online
    • Electronic Grade Submission
    • ACT/SAT & possible other test score data loads
    • K-State Alumni Association
    • K-State Foundation
    • Clearinghouse
    • Oracle FIS
    • CASHNet
    • K-State Enterprise Authentication System (KEAS)
    • Federal Reserve - EFT
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • US Department of Education
    • External student loan providers and servicers (Sallie Mae, UAS)
    • FsaAtlas (SEVIS)
    • Various university departments for student billing information

Some interfaces are part of the functionality delivered with the software solution.

  • Development of an Operations and Maintenance Plan for iSIS to include such things as: batch processing, printing, application enhancement/upgrade cycles, system back-up strategies, etc.

Not included in the scope of the project is the following:

  • Development of a separate operational data store/data warehouse.
  • Upgrade of the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to the same release and database as Campus Solutions; HRIS will remain on a separate database at least until after initial implementation of Campus Solutions.
  • Data archiving (will be considered post implementation)
  • Implementation of the following Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules:

    --- Contributor Relations
    --- GradeBook
    --- PeopleSoft Portal
    --- Customer Relations Management

Business Strategies

Communications Strategy

Communications activities will be managed centrally by the project team. This will allow the team to craft a clear, consistent message concerning the project and its impact on the diverse user community.

Issue Management Strategy

The functional and technical team leads are empowered to make decisions affecting the implementation of the system. Whenever possible, the basis for the decision will be focused on the student as the primary customer of the system. Recommendations for major functional decisions will be facilitated by the project director and functional leads, reviewed by relevant functional office administrators, and approved at the lowest level possible. When a decision must be made at a level beyond the functional administrative office, an approval party and a responsible party will be identified by the project team. Various approval parties include the LASER Steering Committee, LASER Executive Committee, Executive Computing Committee, Faculty Senate, Committee on Academic Policy and Procedures, Provost, Dean’s Council, Graduate Council and others as appropriate. The designated responsible party will be charged with facilitating a decision in a timely manner through the appropriate channels. Issues will be tracked and resolved at the earliest possible time in order to keep the project on schedule.

Legacy Data Conversion Strategy

All academic history in the current SIS will be converted for both current and former students at least to the extent needed to produce a complete transcript in the new student system. Summary balances of outstanding charges will be converted from the BRS to the Student Financials module. Limited Financial Aid information will be converted. Any legacy data not converted to iSIS but still needed for future access will be addressed within the separate Mainframe Data Archiving Project.

The conversion process will include validation and correction of the existing data through manual data entry and automated processes where possible, and elimination of the Social Security Number as the key identifier for student data. No imaged or microfilm/microfiche data will be converted to iSIS.

Modifications Strategy
Business Process Analysis

The fit-gap analysis will:

  • Identify opportunities to implement “best practice” business processes made available by the system.
  • Validate all business processes in the new software.
  • Document fits, gaps, and issues found.
  • Draft recommendations to resolve gaps and issues identified.

Various approaches will be taken to address gaps in the software functionality and will be addressed in the following priority:

  1. Modify current business processes to meet software functionality
  2. Develop reports
  3. Develop reports with automated update processing
  4. Utilize third party products from Oracle/PeopleSoft partners
  5. Develop bolt-on functionality without modifications of core Campus Solutions code
  6. Modify core Campus Solutions code
Scope Management Strategy

During the course of the project there will be times when a change to the agreed scope and objectives of the project is needed. Changes in scope will require approval of the Project Director, Laser Steering Committee and/or the Laser Executive Committee as appropriate for the particular situation.

Staffing Strategy

The project will be staffed primarily by K-State employees and strategically augmented as needed with consultants.

Timeline and Implementation Strategy

The project is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete, based on the planned student lifecycle implementation.

Go-Live implementation will be performed on the “life of a student” business process schedule over several months. Two key processes must be implemented at specific times of the year: the admissions module must go live during early summer, and the financial aid module must be active the following January to begin the awarding process for the subsequent academic year.

Key Implementation Dates

Admissions June 2007
Financial Aid January 2008
Enrollment March 2008
Student Financials June 2008
Student Records August 2008

Training Strategy

Training activities will be managed centrally by the project team. This will allow the team to develop integrated, comprehensive training for system users. Both implementation and ongoing training will be developed. System training will be offered using various methodologies including collaboration sessions, traditional instructor-led sessions and targeted small groups. Online documentation and tutorials will be provided for further support. End user and self-service training will be developed by K-State staff and conducted within three to four months of go-live for each module.


The following assumptions have been made in defining the scope, objectives and approach. The project will have:

  • Strong and consistent executive sponsorship and management support of the project’s goal, objectives, and team.
  • A comprehensive and well-designed project plan.
  • Adequate project staffing for the expected goals and timeline to be met.
  • Clear roles and responsibilities defined for the project in order to assure accountability, ownership, and quality.
  • A committed and well-informed project director and project team having a thorough understanding of the project’s goal, objectives and milestones.
  • A well-defined and maintained project infrastructure for the duration of the project.
  • A thorough understanding of known project risks and assumptions by the project sponsor, steering committee, and project team.
  • Key functional users will be available for the duration of the project.
  • A project work environment, including necessary hardware, software, network connections, office supplies, meeting facilities and training facilities will be available to the core project team members for the duration of the project.

Other assumptions:

  • Any delay of tasking within the modules may impact the final production go-live date and will necessitate further discussion to agree upon a revised project schedule.
  • Any implementation decision made during the design and prototyping phase will be the basis for subsequent implementation tasks. Changes to those implementation decisions will be handled through the Scope Management Process.
  • Once analysis and design documents are finalized, any future request to change or alter the analysis or design will be through the project change control process.
  • Campus Solutions Release 8.9, patched with the latest updates and fixes, will be the basis for development of interfaces, conversion programs and the implementation efforts during the project.
  • K-State enrollment figures will be relatively stable during the life of the project to provide adequate funding for the project.
  • Significant development work will not occur in the legacy systems during the life of the project; changes should be limited to regulatory requirements whenever possible.
  • Implementation will be based upon University’s existing Academic Calendar.


The following risks have been identified:

  • Availability of consultants and key K-State personnel assigned to work on the project at the times identified in the project plan.
  • A large number of similar projects across the United States that could impact the availability of PeopleSoft experienced consultants.
  • K-State budget uncertainty due to university budget constraints.
  • Availability of adequate office space at the project site for the entire project team, including consultants.
  • Turnover of key staff members.
  • The extent of the validation and correction of legacy data that may require significant work by the business units.
  • The long duration of the project that will require additional management attention to staff burnout and morale issues.
  • During the course of the Campus Solutions implementation project, several other university technical initiatives will also be implemented. These projects draw upon the same staff--functional and technical experts--participating in this student system project. Current projects include:
    • Information Integration Initiative (III) – Transaction Hub
    • Personal Identifier Initiative
    • E-Mail Enhancement
    • Enterprise Project Management
    • K-State Portal
    • Single Sign-on
    • K-State Online Enhancements
    • Annual Financial Aid Federal Regulation Updates
    • Other BRS and FAMS Vendor-Supplied Fixes/Maintenance
    • Financial Information System Enhancements and Patches
    • Other Oracle DBA Projects
    • Student Tuition and Fees Revisions
    • Electronic Grade Submission
    • Centralized Tuition Assistance Management (CTAM) for Military Personnel
    • Talisma CRM Student Recruitment Project
    • Mainframe Data Archiving Project
    • Optio EcomPresent Project
    • Food Service System Replacement Project