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Letter: IT's response to letter published on Nov. 19 regarding Banner


This letter is written in response to a letter to the editor published on Nov. 19, titled "UNM should be careful with upcoming Banner overhaul."

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the UNM News story regarding the updates to the Banner system. The resources you reviewed on the published site were intended to provide a high-level view of the steps we have in place to prepare Banner 9 for go-live, and, as you note, they do not show the level of detail to address your concern about our approach to testing, nor do they represent the full project hours for each implementation. To clarify the "Reach out and Touch Banner 9" timing, we did not include the detailed project deliverables which includes testing in this depiction. Testing and Customer Engagement are critical to the success of any application implementation and are mandatory in UNM IT applications' procedures. Any assessment of hours for an implementation will include but is not limited to:

  • The key end-user office staff's time and capacity
  • Business cycles
  • Complexity
  • Modifications
  • Business processes
  • Design and architecture

To see our general approach to testing, we have a section of our Banner 9 website which shows our templates, including an Example Gantt Chart and example of Testing Steps. We would be happy to discuss and share any details with you. 

It may be helpful to note that the Banner 9 project has been underway since 2015, well beyond the module by module implementation schedule reflected in the road map. The first portion of the project focused on ensuring we had the technical aspects of the system upgrade well in-hand before we began our efforts on the module by module implementation that is depicted in the road map. Substantial testing and validation occured by UNM IT and UNM's central offices in this earlier phase. Once the technology component was well-vetted, we began to focus our attention on the specific needs of individual modules, with careful consideration of business cycles, availability of key office staff, complexity of the changes, extent of the modifications and business processes and needs unique to  UNM.

We have updated the road map (Banner 9 Website) to better show the sequence in which we are rolling out the different modules. The road map continues through December 2018 and full implementation of Banner 9 will not be complete for another year. Unique to this Banner upgrade is the fact that the upgraded Banner modules can function side-by-side with the currently used (and familiar) versions of the banner module. This does not replace testing but serves as a reasonable plan for business continuity should our extensive testing miss a scenario. If this should occur, a user can revert to the tried and true version while we troubleshoot the problem in the upgraded module.

The interest and feedback you have offered are greatly appreciated. We will have someone from our Applications team reach out to you directly to ensure that we can get details on your concern and have a discussion on any outstanding questions that you may have. 

Alesia torres

IT Director, UNM IT Applications

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