Road Map to iSIS

The Tufts community will move to the new Integrated Student Information System (iSIS) in the 2013/14 academic year.  The project launched in July 2011, and is expected to last approximately 3 years.

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Discovery Phase  (2010 – 2011)

Tufts UIT and Central Administration performed due diligence when evaluating the pros and cons of staying with legacy SIS versus moving to a new system.  This information-gathering phase provided important information for the planning, requirements-gathering, funding, selection and implementation of a new student system.  Information was obtained through internal discussions at Tufts and from various sources, including other higher education institutions, research studies, professional subject-matter experts, software vendors, and service providers.  During this phase, Tufts also embarked on a rigorous evaluation of systems and implementation partners.

Key Outcomes:

  • Selected PeopleSoft Campus Solutions for the new student system
  • Contracted with CedarCrestone (CCI) to guide us in the deployment, management and optimization of Tufts’ PeopleSoft implementation
  • Identified members of the SIS Project Team
  • Back-filled multiple positions throughout Tufts’ nine participating schools
  • Established the SIS Project Building

Phase 1: Analysis, Design, Prototyping and Planning (July 2011 – February 2012)

In order to give student services staff the chance to review how their departments operate (and rethink them from the ground up), we convened stakeholders from around campus to participate in “business process review” sessions.  In this phase, Tufts’ registrars, bursars, financial aid, admissions, central and UIT staff became acquainted with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, learned its capabilities and deduced where and how it could work for Tufts.  Through these efforts, we identified a number of gaps between Tufts’ best practices and the PeopleSoft system.  Reconciling these “gaps” was a major effort of this phase that saw participation from all members of the project team.

From July 2011 through January 2012, we…

  • assembled a team of over 40 student services and IT leaders to direct the conversation
  • conducted over 100 business process review workshops
  • welcomed over 100 subject matter experts to SISville
  • designed and prototyped several elements of the new student system
  • developed programs/scripts to convert and migrate data to the new student information system

Phase 2: Development, Testing, Training and Rolling Go-Lives (February 2012 – September 2013)

During this intense period of development, testing, and implementation, we will roll out the new student information system piecemeal.

Having identified over 140 unique business processes — from how to enter a person’s name to enrolling students in a course — in this phase, we will separately evaluate, document and test each process as it is built.  Our developers will work closely with Tufts’ registrars, bursars, and other student services representatives to ensure proper implementation – examining individual processes, larger functional areas, and eventually the whole system.   Meanwhile, our training and documentation team will prepare materials, customized to schools and audiences, to teach Tufts how to use the new student information system.

Beginning in March 2012, and continuing through the duration of the project, we will begin to reach out to targeted groups of people to help us test the system. These efforts will be managed by the SIS Project and coordinated through your local student services teams. In addition, user acceptance and usability tests were performed in winter 2012/2013 with Tufts’ students and faculty. Read a summary of SIS Project usability tests with students and faculty in our January-February 2013 News Update

Phase 3: Stabilization (begins October 2013)

As each major component is put in place, it will enter into a stabilization phase, which occurs over a number of months. The SIS Project Team will use this time to make adjustments where needed, and continue to support members of the Tufts community as they transition to the new student information system.