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A message from ASG Ernesto Baca: revised schedule for Clusters 1 and 2

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Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that a decision has been taken to postpone the next two phases of Umoja (Foundation) deployment by 30 days.

The Umoja Steering Committee met for an extra-ordinary session on 28 August 2013 and decided unanimously to revise the schedule for Clusters 1 and 2 deployment.

Cluster 1, consisting all Peacekeeping Missions, will now deploy Umoja Foundation on 1 November 2013 and Cluster 2, consisting all Special Political Missions, will deploy the new solution on 1 February 2014.

All successive roll-out milestones remain unchanged; Cluster 3 on 1 July 2014, Cluster 4 on 1 July 2015, and Cluster 5 on 1 January 2016.

The main reason to adjust the deployment schedule was a need to reconcile Umoja readiness dependencies against an obligation to support the core mandates of the missions in these challenging times.

As it became evident during the pilot implementation in UNIFIL and UNSCOL, the readiness to migrate to the new, common solution was impacted by the disparity among missions in the processes and configuration of systems currently in use and the large volume of data to be gathered and cleansed.

I am confident that the measures taken as a result of the lessons learned in the pilot implementation, and continued commitment of the senior management and all staff involved to the timely completion of Umoja deployment work, will enable us to remain on the revised schedule to implement this ambitious and transformational initiative.

Sincerely yours,

Ernesto Baca
Project Director
Enterprise Resource Planning
United Nations HQ

Umoja "Train the Trainers" Programmes in Brindisi and Entebbe

Umoja "Train the Trainer" programmes are in progress at Brindisi and Entebbe. 114 UN Peacekeeping staff are learning to use Umoja, as well, as become trainers for staff at their Missions. The next 5 weeks will be intense preparation for Umoja go-live on 1 Oct 2013!


Umoja Newsletter -- August 2013

Umoja will deploy to 14 Peacekeeping Missions on 1 October 2014. Umoja will streamline all administrative processes throughout the UN Secretariat, facilitated by the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

August 2013
Header
Umoja means “unity” in Swahili. Umoja will streamline all administrative processes throughout the UN Secretariat, facilitated by the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Learn more at
umoja.un.org

TTT


Umoja "Train the Trainers" Programmes in Brindisi and Entebbe
Umoja "Train the Trainer" programmes are in progress at Brindisi and Entebbe. Under the instruction of the Umoja core trainers, 114 UN Peacekeeping staff are learning to use Umoja, as well as to become trainers for fellow staff members at their Missions. The next 5 weeks will be intense preparation for Umoja go-live on 1 Oct 2013.... Read More


Visit the "Umoja Talk" Communities of Practice (COP)

"Umoja Talk" is the official online COP for the Umoja global team to discuss Umoja, ask questions, advise and consult with other users and experts, and access a variety of reference material and information at https://cop.dfs.un.org/umoja.... Read More

"Umoja is Happening": a follow-up interview with Mr. Girish Sinha
Umoja sat down with Mr. Sinha, DMS of UNIFIL, for a follow-up interview. This time we focused on his experiences shepherding a large UN Mission through the first implementation of Umoja, and talked about the expansion of the Umoja solution to 14 additional Peacekeeping Missions on 1 October 2013... Read More

Umoja "Daily Dose" Dashboard and Countdown Clock launched
A newly redesigned version of the Umoja countdown clock has been launched on monitors at UN Headquarters as the Umoja "Daily Dose": a dynamic dashboard which will feature all the latest news regarding Umoja and interesting data as the solution deploys across the UN Secretariat... Read More

  Umoja has moved to live implementation in the field! The project tagline has been officially changed from “Umoja: Making it Happen” to “Umoja: It’s Happening”



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Umoja Training material is now available on the Umoja Website

"Umoja Talk" Communities of Practice (COP) - online forum for Umoja community

Labels: wire, announcement
























"Umoja Talk", a Communities of Practice (COP) SharePoint site is the official online forum for the Umoja global team.
We invite all Umoja end-users, site coordinators, trainers and training coordinators, Local Process Experts, Umoja staff members and consultants, Business Readiness Managers, Process Owners, etc. to login to Umoja Talk to discuss Umoja, ask questions, advise and consult with other users and experts, and access a variety of reference material and information at https://cop.dfs.un.org/umoja
  • You will need to log in to Umoja Talk using your UN Webmail credentials
  • Please note you will be asked to register using your UN email address if you have not previously used Communities of Practice. 
  • For colleagues without an email ending in "@un.org", please see additional instructions HERE on how to register for the COP site. 

"Umoja is Happening", follow-up interview with Mr. Girish Sinha, DMS of UNIFIL

“Umoja is happening. We have successfully implemented it at UNIFIL through hard work, teamwork and collaboration. The United Nations organization and its Peacekeeping operations are well on their way to adopting a new way of managing crucial resources with enhanced efficiency, transparency and accountability,” says Mr. Girish Sinha, Director of Mission Support for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Just over one month ago, Umoja Pilot went live at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).

As the Pilot site, UNIFIL served as the first testing ground for the new Umoja solution which centralizes access to important data and harmonizes administrative procedures for the entire UN Secretariat. The new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution replaced multiple legacy financial and procurement systems, including Sun, Mercury, ProcurePlus, interfacing with Galileo and others.

Umoja sat down with Mr. Sinha for a follow-up to his interview from April 2013. This time we focused on his experiences shepherding a large UN Mission through the first implementation of Umoja, and talked about the expansion of the Umoja solution to 14 additional Peacekeeping Missions on 1 October 2013.

Mr. Sinha, how did the Umoja Pilot go?

It was a great experience, truly. Despite the challenges and difficulties we faced, I saw true team work, determination and collaboration from all the staff and managers involved, whether at myMissioninLebanon, the New York Umoja team, from all the technical people, all the colleagues at DFS and DPKO, OICT, ICC and others. I learned again what is possible to achieve in our Organization, when we are willing to get together and work hard to accomplish something of importance. I saw a real team working together, a global team, to face great challenges and create something new and necessary. It was tremendously satisfying to see the results.

What was the hardest part of the Pilot for UNIFIL staff?

We know change is never easy. Umoja changes the way we do many things in our operations. Most of the legacy systems at myMissionwent away, basically overnight. We had to relearn how to do basic things we have been doing a certain way for a long time, and learn how to do them in Umoja from scratch. Every transaction takes a lot of concentration, where before staff could do them automatically, “in their sleep”. But we know change is a necessary thing. There is no gain without some pain.

How long will it take the staff to become comfortable using Umoja?

It will take a little bit of time before we reach a real comfort level using the new solution. That’s normal. Staff used IMIS and other systems for so long, they did not need to think at all when raising requisitions or approving transactions. It was automatic and without any real thought. Now, they need to concentrate hard, every transaction they conduct in Umoja takes conscious thought and following their training practically step-by-step. It will take some getting used to, but it is important to remember that we will get there. Before we know it, staff will be so accustomed to using Umoja that they will not need to think at all about it. It will be automatic again. That is when we will begin to see the real results, when Umoja becomes second nature and we will see how much faster and streamlined it is. We should keep this in mind for the next deployment phases. We have to encourage Staff to be patient and give themselves time to learn the system an become 100% comfortable using it before we will see the benefits of deploying Umoja.

All of DFS Missions in the field will have Umoja Foundation by January 2014 and next year, Umoja Extension 1 (which includes Human Resources integration, Travel and Entitlements) will begin rolling out, beginning with a Pilot at MINUSTAH in February, followed by all UN Secretariat entities in a matter of one year. What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead?

We know that SAP - the software Umoja is based on - is an entirely new platform for the UN Organization. We have never used SAP before. So the Pilot was one thing, as we were only dealing with 300-400 users. The number of Umoja users will grow to 3000 users by the end of 2013, and by the end of 2014, with the roll-out of Umoja Extension 1, we will be talking about tens of thousands of staff members using SAP and Umoja, especially when we include the Employee Self-Service module, which is a basic part of Extension. ESS will affect up to 50,000 UN Staff, Retirees, Vendors, Consultants, Volunteers, etc. The integration of SAP within the way we work will necessitate a fundamental change in all of our technical and administrative resource management. Helpdesk procedures, which went very well for Pilot, will need to be perfected on a much larger scale. All IT departments and professionals throughout the Organization will need to learn to use Umoja and SAP quickly, and be completely comfortable supporting the user community from A to Z using SAP. This is a work in progress. Senior management is very aware of this new challenge. The Umoja team is thinking very hard about how to “mainstream” SAP quickly and efficiently so as to make all UN departments and staff familiar with the software so as to have a smooth transition. We are finding innovative ways to enable IT departments throughout the Secretariat to learn SAP immediately, and develop the infrastructure to support it from a technical perspective. It is actually a very exciting and promising time to be involved with administration, management and IT departments in the Secretariat as these will be evolving, growing and improving at a great pace over the next few years.

How do you think UN Staff will adapt to the concept of Employee-Self-Service?

I am really looking forward to the roll-out of Employee-Self-Service (ESS) next year, which will allow UN Staff to maintain and update their own personnel records, personal information, bank account details, life and work events, and apply for staff entitlements and travel using Umoja. This will be a much more streamlined and paper smart way to work. Of course, it will present a major change from the manual methods we use now. Actually, I am not concerned about this at all because I think that UN Staff will adapt quickly and easily to this change. Even UN Staff who is close to retiring like myself, are already accustomed to carrying out transactions online, whether using the UNFCU banking website to manage our financial accounts or pay our bills, apply for posts and conduct staff recruitment using inspira, etc, or using the internet to make purchases, fill out personal information, and conduct transactions etc. We have become very accustomed to doing many activities online and using the internet in this way. Umoja ESS will simply be a continuation of this trend and will make many things much simpler for Staff.

Some UN Staff are still a bit unsure about ERP implementation and what it will mean for them. Any words of advice for UN Staff at large?

As I said in my last interview and it bears repeating: the UN has reached a point of no return in terms of staying relevant in today’s world. The Organization has to move forward to remain functional, given the huge and complex scope of our operations around the world. Really, there are so many people in every region of the globe that are dependent on the UN, on the Organization remaining viable and functional and providing its services in peace and security and development for those who need it most, that we must always strive to function at the best level possible. The only way to accomplish this is by implementing ERP, and to start to convert the investment we have put into Umoja into real benefits. I hope all UN staff, from the general service level and field support, to the professionals, directors and senior management, will take this idea to heart. They can all help by supporting Umoja and adapting to this new model as best as possible, so we can continue to improve as an Organization.  If we all pitch in and do our best, working together as a global team, I believe we will have a very successful transition to Umoja.

Umoja would like to thank Mr. Sinha and all the colleagues working towards Umoja deployment throughout the Secretariat for their hard work, feedback and invaluable help. We look forward to the next deployment phase, in which Umoja (Foundation) will deploy to 14 Peacekeeping Missions on 1 October 2013.