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OCS on track for 2013

posted May 14, 2013, 7:55 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 14, 2013, 6:56 PM ]
IRRI and other OCS partners are breaking new ground with One Corporate System (OCS), an integrated system that is being developed to help manage projects and administration. OCS is designed to boost efficiency and increase collaboration across the CGIAR centers and research programs, such as the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), by further aligning some processes, data, and information.

The new rollout plan for OCS at IRRI will see some back office functions in human resources and project management becoming available in August. The new full “go live” date is October 2013. Full “go live” means that services at least equivalent to the mix of unsupported software that IRRI currently uses will be available for users in Los Baños. Country offices will be added to the system afterwards, starting with Delhi and Dhaka.

The rollout, according to Bob Zeigler, IRRI director general, is not going to be easy at all times, but “will be worth your effort.” In his message that was played in 15 group briefings held late last year, the DG emphasized the importance of OCS for the Institute: “Many of us find change sometimes to be difficult, but when we look at the OCS and what it’s designed to do—it’s an investment worth making.”

IRRI being one of the lead Centers in implementing OCS is now testing and adjusting it to ensure a fluid transition from the old fragmented systems currently in use at IRRI (Middleware, Epicor, IRRI Dashboard, Great Plains, SOCE) to just one system (OCS). The other CGIAR centers who are part of the first wave of implementing OCS are the International Potato Center and WorldFish.

There has been a lot of activity behind the scenes in the last two months to ensure that OCS is successful. While the team has had to deal with a few issues associated with working across centers, it has been flexible and creative in building OCS to ensure that it delivers. Key business users—Finance, HRS, Procurement, and Project Management staff—have been writing test scenarios for user acceptance testing. Training plans are being revised and updated.

DDG for Management Services Norman Macdonald and CIO Marco van den Berg reported on the progress of OCS during the meeting of the IRRI Board of Trustees (BOT) in April, noting the excellent work of IRRI build team under great pressure to put together such a complicated system. The BOT was also advised of unanticipated complexities and challenges that have delayed the project’s delivery, many of which were outside of IRRI’s control. The BOT reiterated their support for the OCS rollout.

In the coming months, IRRI staff can expect more updates, specifically about the User Acceptance Testing and End User Training. The engagement of staff in testing and learning the new system is key to the success of the implementation of OCS, hence, all are urged to commit time and effort into these.

For inquiries regarding OCS, staff may send an email to ocs.info@irri.org.