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Human Resources switches to SAP

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 2, Human Resources will stop using its information system and start using SAP for all HR transactions. The transition--led by the HR-Payroll Project team and Human Resources staff--also means that administrators in departments, labs and centers (DLCs) will be using new and revised online forms to communicate employee transactions to Human Resources.

In the past, there had been little consistency in the format of documents sent to HR. This slowed processing, caused errors and increased the risk of inaccuracy. Several Institute-wide redesign teams recommended standardization of forms, and community input was sought and incorporated into the new forms wherever possible.

DLC staff members who were unable to attend the two information sessions in August about the new forms can attend a make-up session on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Student Center's Twenty Chimneys.

Another change that will accompany the "go-live" of SAP next week is the opening of an HR-Payroll Service Center in Room E19-429. The center will be staffed by employees from both HR and Payroll who will be responsible for timely and accurate data entry and processing of HR transactions. Each representative is assigned to a specific customer area and has been trained to handle every type of transaction.

An extensive data verification and cleanup effort by administrators in the DLCs preceded the switch from the old to the new HR system. That effort began in late spring and was coordinated by Assistant Provost for Administration Doreen Morris.

"The go-live in HR is a very important milestone in our comprehensive SAP project, which includes Lincoln Laboratory. The lab introduced the HR module in May, and they currently are working toward implementing the entire SAP suite," Executive Vice President John R. Curry said. "Ultimately, our HR and payroll systems will be integrated with each other and with our SAP financial system, and transactions will be linked appropriately."

The overall HR-Payroll Project has been designed as much more than a software implementation, said Vice President for Human Resources Laura Avakian. "This effort has given the Institute an opportunity to review and improve not only processes but also policies. So far, the changes have included web-based employee self-service tools; improved vacation, bereavement and tuition assistance policies; a new employee orientation program; and improved recruitment processes," she said.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 27, 2003.

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