They say it takes a village to raise a child… we say the same applies to Project Aurora.
The last few months have seen much change at the College; new faces, new positions, a changing of the guard in some cases, as it were. New buzzwords are circulating around the college, as well as curiosity, confusion… and a surge in requests for front line support and backfill.
Project Aurora is no small undertaking. We are digging to the roots of all business processes relating to Finance, Students, Human Resources and Payroll. We’re analyzing our current state, identifying gaps and opportunities, and redefining all of it from the ground up.
While it may feel an army has been recruited to implement Aurora, in reality there is a handful of personnel dedicated to the undertaking. Support for this team comes from you - the College community. Already we have witnessed the power of collaboration, flexibility and dedication of our amazing colleagues. We’ve moved beyond infancy and are now firmly into our toddler stage. Finance is knee-deep in the Train/Build phase, the Student module has kicked-off, and we’re (finally) settled into our new space at ARIC. We also have a bi-weekly e-newsletter. None of this would have been possible without the support of so many - RDI, SGRC, IT Services, Maintenance, and Marketing, to name a few.
People working in departments having their business processes transformed are called Subject Matter Experts (SME); we need them to ensure the new software is built to meet and grow with their needs to do their job. Where SMEs have been identified, their backfill has been posted and hired.
The addition of these new permanent and alternating members means an additional nine staff workstations and six training stations were needed beyond those originally identified at the ARIC building in Castlegar. In this challenging time of extremely limited space, we reviewed our options both internally and externally, sought input from stakeholders, and ultimately landed on a reallocation of space within the ARIC building to accommodate our expansion.
This shift required significant support from both RDI and SGRC as several staff from each of these areas were impacted. We were also able to outfit two dedicated Train/Build rooms with technology to support virtual instruction by reallocating a large ARIC classroom. This space now houses fourteen of the project’s sixteen workstations and instruction has moved to a smaller classroom. Through early growing pains, the original occupants were extremely supportive and patient as we settled. Aurora staff are grateful to share this beautiful space with these creative and collaborative groups including GIS students.
These changes and moves were possible because of the amazing staff in ITS (Ian Hickingbotham, Harley Palmer, Len Grayson & Crystal Leblanc) and Maintenance (Ashley Popoff, Bob Kalmakoff, Rick Tatangelo & Mike Giesler); a special thank you to each of you.
Thank you also to Kirsten Hildebrand for creating and maintaining our e-newsletters, Ashley Engel for her assistance and expertise in survey preparation, and to MaryAnn Keeler – our Aurora Systems Analyst and “secret weapon” – for connecting internationally with Unit4 clients to navigate challenges before they present.
Last but not least, special thanks to the rest of our “Village” for your patience, confidence, partnership and support as we wind our way through the challenges, celebrations and everything in-between. We couldn’t do it without you.