Project and Change Charter

The AURORA Project and Change Charter contains details about the project, including the project overview, scope, guiding principles, and timelines. It formally authorizes sponsorship and management of the project and will continue to evolve as the project moves through each of its phases.

Version 2.1 - Implementation Phase
"Supporting the Vision"

1 Executive Summary

Project AURORA (an acronym for A Unified Renewal of Related Applications, herein referred to as AURORA) is an enterprise-wide change to Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) core support systems and business processes. 

Limitations with the University’s legacy systems and associated business processes supporting Finance, Human Resources and Payroll, the Student System, Information Technology, and a variety of related business processes and applications have reached the point whereby they have become a barrier to fulfilling the University’s vision and achieving its Academic Plan.  AURORA will address this, and position these support functions to help facilitate the achievement of VIU’s vision and plan.

Although the project involves a significant amount of technology, AURORA is not just a technology project. Rather, it is a project that will change and enhance VIU’s ability to deliver in many significant areas and ultimately enhance the student experience. Technology will be a part of how this is accomplished.

AURORA will be conducted in conjunction with the broader Administrative Service Delivery Transformation Enterprise Resource Planning (ADST ERP) sector strategy, which is an initiative supported by the Ministry of Advanced Education and other post-secondary institutions in BC. This sector strategy is aimed at leveraging value from common systems and business processes at various higher education institutions.

AURORA will be conducted via a structured project and change management process, aligned with the VIU project management office (PMO) guidelines. This Project and Change Management Charter describes the key elements of this project and will serve as the foundation for the implementation of the change. 

Requirements and software selection has been completed. This version of the Charter has been updated in preparation for the implementation phase.

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2 Scope and Authority of the Charter

This Project Charter formally authorizes Project AURORA to proceed with the following project phase:

Implementation Phase work includes:

  • Detailed planning and scheduling with both Unit4 and Selkirk College
  • Configuration of the software solution
  • Business process re-engineering as required
  • Data conversion
  • Testing and quality assurance
  • Training
  • Deployment
  • Benefits realization
  • Vendor management
  • All associated project and change management activities to support the above

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3 Project Overview

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3.1 Project Purpose

What is unsatisfactory about the existing situation?

Vancouver Island University (VIU) is a dynamic and diverse educational organization, dedicated to excellence in teaching and learning, service and scholarly activity, including applied research. The University’s visionary Purpose is:

to be a leader in providing high-quality learning, as well as supporting the well-being of the people of Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia by promoting a high quality of life for their communities through a commitment to student success, community engagement, and associated scholarship.  

While the realization of this vision can be seen in the faculty and instructional staff delivering programs to students, the foundation of this effort is rooted in the support infrastructure of the University.  The broad functional areas of this support include, among others, Student Records and Registration, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Finance and Payroll. 

At present, the delivery of these support services is facilitated by a platform of technology systems and associated work processes which:

  • Are not sustainable. In particular, the technology platform, which was originally developed in the 1980’s and 1990’s and consists mostly of custom code, is mostly undocumented, and consumes steadily increasing resources simply to maintain, let alone enhance or evolve to support changing requirements;
  • Increasingly struggles to support compliance with a variety of required regulatory reporting functions;
  • Represents a significant business risk with respect to disruption of services and information required to manage the support functions;
  • Are at risk from a resource perspective; staff with the most knowledge of the existing systems are nearing retirement, and finding resources interested in supporting a system with older IT technology is challenging;
  • Does not fully meet functional requirements of the University; and,
  • Therefore limits the University’s ability to achieve the Academic Plan.

This platform also hampers the University’s ability to remain comparative in the marketplace, and to continue to evolve and grow as an institution.

How will the situation be improved as a result of the project?

Once the project is complete, the University’s support function work processes and core technology platform will be directly aligned with the Institution’s mission of fostering student success, and it will facilitate the University’s continued growth, and ultimately the achievement of the Academic Plan. 

There is no expectation of any staff reductions associated with this project. However, as part of this process, it will allow existing resources to be more efficient, creating additional capacity for the team to be deployed to activities directly aligned with the University’s vision. The support teams will be working differently, using different tools, and achieving stronger outcomes.

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3.2 Project Description

Project AURORA will encompass all of the activities required to replace the existing core systems and align associated business processes underlying the functions of both Domestic and International Student Services, Office of the Registrar, Human Resources, Finance, and other related areas.  This will include defining requirements for these functions, re-engineering work processes, identifying and procuring appropriate software, as well as implementing the software and new work processes.

This project represents a major change for the University, and impacts almost all areas of the Institution.  As such, the project will include significant effort and activities on the people side of this change.  This will ensure that the support teams function differently when the work is complete, such that the University is in position to achieve the potential benefits of making this change.

Although the project involves a significant amount of technology, AURORA is not simply a technology project.  Instead AURORA will play a role in transforming the University, significantly enhancing its ability to deliver in many significant areas, and ultimately elevating the student experience.  It will be led by the Executive and the business areas, with the support of IT.

The project will be conducted in such a way as to leverage the maximum benefit for other institutions in the Post-Secondary Education Sector in British Columbia. This will included everything from involving Selkirk College (and other institutions, as appropriate) in the requirements definition and software selection, to establishing vendor contracts that provide access to other post-secondary institutions, to providing lessons learned from the implementation process to institutions undertaking similar projects in the future.

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3.3 Key Assumptions

The Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED) will provide substantial funding assistance for AURORA.

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3.4 Constraints

The following constraints have been identified for AURORA:

  • The target number of changes to be made to the software code of the new system is zero (0).  Modifying an existing business process to match with configuration options within the new system will always be the preferred option.  Changes to the vendor’s code will be minimized and considered only in special circumstances where a critical business need cannot be met by configuration and business process modification. A specific approval process will be developed to assess any proposed vendor software code changes, and will require Executive Sponsor Group approval.
  • Development of new, custom applications (‘bolt-on’ applications that would interface with the new system) to meet specific VIU business requirements not covered by the vendor system, will be minimized. Instead, business process change will always be the preferred option. A specific approval process will be developed to assess proposed ‘bolt-on’ applications.
  • The project must be conducted in coordination and alignment with the related projects listed below.
  • The project must be conducted in full collaboration with all parties impacted by the change. This includes students, faculty, staff and university partners.
  • There will be no human resource rationalization as a result of this project. Increases in capacity and availability of resources are expected, but these resources will be deployed to other, higher value activities.
  • There are specific ‘black out’ periods associated with the different functional areas, during which the system cannot ‘go live’; these will be factored into the implementation schedule.
  • The work will be conducted in collaboration with Selkirk College.
  • The target go-live for Finance systems is October 2018
  • The target go-live for Human Resources and Payroll systems is January 2019
  • The target go-live for Student systems is October 2019
  • The Annual subscription fee cannot be capitalized and is not included in the project budget. This cost will be part of the University’s operating budget.

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3.5 Related Projects

There are a number of projects that will impact AURORA. These include:

  • The replacement and upgrading of existing IT infrastructure around the University (owned by the Director of IT Operations);
  • The University Data Warehouse project, required to support the institutional reporting, and Ministry Data Warehouse project, required to support the reporting needs of AVED (owned by the Director of Enterprise Systems and the Office of University Planning and Analysis);
  • The Post-Secondary Administrative Service Delivery Transformation Enterprise Resource Planning (ASDT ERP) Sector Strategy (owned by CFO and VP Finance and Administration and the Registrar); and
  • The VIU Data Standards project (owned by the Director of Enterprise Systems, University Planning and Analysis).
  • Course Scheduling Policy and Procedure development (owned by Provost and VP Academic).

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4 Guiding Principles

Project AURORA represents a major change and transition for the entire University, and must be conducted in such a way as to minimize the potential difficulties with the change, and to maximize the benefits from the project. Given the magnitude of the change, this project is also inherently risky. As is noted below, applying a structured project and change management process to this work is the primary risk mitigation strategy, and is the primary tool to facilitate a smoother transition to new, appropriate systems.  However, there are also some fundamental principles that will guide the work on AURORA.  Although these are captured in whole or in part in other sections of the project charter, their importance is such that they are summarized here to ensure adherence throughout the process.

  • The Project will be conducted in a collaborative fashion, with appropriate involvement of all key users/stakeholders. This will include involvement in the process from other post-secondary institutions in British Columbia via the Post Secondary Administrative Service Delivery Transformation (ASDT) Committee.
  • Business process change is always the first choice over making changes to the vendor software code.
  • AURORA will create a platform which will allow system and process functionality to continue to evolve to facilitate the achievement of the Academic Plan.
  • The Project is not a workforce rationalization strategy; instead any resource capacity that is freed up as a result of this change will be deployed on new, high value work and growth.
  • The Project will be managed via a structured process, and in alignment with the VIU Project Management Office guidelines as well as the Project Management Institute and PROSCI.  This process includes change management principles and processes, which are directly integrated with the approach.  Application of this structured process represents the primary risk mitigation strategy for the project.
  • Project Team members will be appropriately supported with ‘backfill’ resources to allow them to offload regular job duties, such that they can devote sufficient time to project activities.
  • No individual will be left behind – opportunity for skills development and opportunity for training will be provided to keep skills current with new systems and processes.
  • Milestones and project progress will be celebrated regularly in order to help maintain momentum for the change.
  • The Project will be conducted in such a way as to support the enhancement of the working environment at VIU for all Students, Faculty, and Staff.
  • The software vendor is a partner with which we will work collaboratively throughout the process.

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5 Project Scope

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5.1 Scope Inclusions

The scope of AURORA is broad. As per the normal process, scope will be refined and updated as the project progresses. Any proposed changes will be reviewed and approved via the Change Control Process as documented in section 13 of this document prior to the change being made.

The following scope items were completed during the Initiation Phase of the project:

  • Business requirements definition for the following functional areas:
    • Core Student System Support Services (student acquisition, curriculum management, registration, student finance, instruction, reporting, counselling and advising, miscellaneous and other education delivery) – in summary, all aspects of the student lifecycle (relative to VIU);
    • Core Finance System (core accounting, fixed assets, treasury, accounts payable, purchasing, accounts receivable, grants and fund management, project accounting, reporting, financial planning, contract management);
    • Core Human Resources System (payroll, position control, planning, talent acquisition, employee lifecycle, employee development, labour relations, health and safety, benefits management, time and attendance, reporting);
    • University Data Warehouse, to facilitate ease of institutional reporting of data from finance, HR, and student systems, as well as data existing in other transactional systems like Bookstore System, CRM, etc.;
    • Ministry Data Warehouse re-write to allow to meet the needs of reporting to AVED of data coming from a new Student System;
    • Information Technology, as it relates to the support of all related applications (core data management, privacy and security, document and records management, workflow, reporting, web services layer); and
    • Integration and interface requirements for all of the above with any existing related applications (for example library, housing, food services, IT, printing services, Learning Management System (D2L), continuing studies, CRM for International Education and enrolment management, internal education, institutional research, facilities, document management, Electronic Data Interchanges (transcripts), advancement, parking, recreation system active net, high schools, early alert, photo ID (student and alumni cards), bookstore, email, calendar, document repository, enterprise directory).
  • The involvement of Selkirk College in the business requirements and software selection process, and coordination and liaison with Selkirk during their implementation project, to leverage knowledge and experience.
  • Determination of which existing related application requirements will be included as part of Project AURORA, which applications will be retained and integrated with the new system, and which applications will no longer be required.
  • Software selection, including:
    • Establishing a procurement process;
    • Development of a request for proposal, based on the requirements defined above;
    • All activities required for vendor evaluation (including demonstrations, site visits, focus groups, etc.); and
    • Negotiation and purchase of appropriate software and hardware, as well as implementation services;
    • Determination of resourcing required for implementation, including identification and procurement of external resources as/if needed;
    • Advise and support the Executive Sponsorship Group on the process of developing an economic model for the project to manage funding.

The remaining scope items for Project AURORA include:

  • Determination of what, if any, additional applications will be required, in order to support the business requirements of VIU;
  • For those existing applications identified for retention and integration with the new system, as well as any new applications identified: development, testing, and implementation of the required interfaces;
  • Mapping and re-engineering of existing business processes in the core areas identified above, as well as peripheral processes as required for integration and streamlining;
  • In conjunction with process redesign, determination of changes to the organization design;
  • Management of the software vendor (and other vendors, e.g. services) throughout the project, including transitioning the vendor management relationship to the Enterprise Systems Team at the conclusion of the project;
  • Activities required to transition the system management and maintenance from the AURORA Project Team to the Enterprise Systems team and functional departments;
  • Creation of a data dictionary and classification of data by data owners to support appropriate privacy and security controls;
  • Advising the Director of Enterprise Systems on implementation of a ‘freeze’ on further development or enhancement work on existing legacy systems;
  • Creation and maintenance of the required technology environments (including configuration, testing, training, and production) to appropriate standards;
  • Configuration of the selected software to support the business requirements;
  • Implementation of the new business processes and supporting software;
  • Integration with the VIU data warehouse project;
  • Integration with the VIU data standards project;
  • Integration with the Administrative Service Delivery Transformation Enterprise Resource Planning (ASDT ERP) Sector Strategy, which includes regular communication with Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED) to ensure alignment of strategy, technology, procurement process, and implementation;
  • Data conversion, including data clean up on legacy systems, data mapping, and data transformation;
  • All aspects of system testing and quality assurance;
  • Completion of core systems disaster recovery planning;
  • Working with the VIU Director of Enterprise Systems to establish the Enterprise Systems Team  implementation approach;
  • Retirement and decommissioning of the legacy systems;
  • Development and delivery of training to all impacted system users;
  • Development of system and business process documentation;
  • Development of the Benefits Realization framework, including the assessment of benefits post-implementation;
  • Project and Change management activities including:
    • Schedule and cost management;
    • Project change control management;
    • Project team leadership;
    • Defining the change management strategy (including conducting a change readiness assessment);
    • Support for the Coalition (of Support);
    • Establishing and implementing the sponsorship model;
    • Developing and implementing change management plans (including communication, user/stakeholder relationship management, training, sponsor roadmap, coaching, and creating buy in);
    • Establishing reinforcement for new behaviours; and
    • Project Review, including determining and assessing the measures of success, which will include completion of the project as per this Charter (on time, on budget, etc.) as well as measures of adoption, utilization, proficiency with the new system and processes.

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5.2 Scope Exclusions

The AURORA project will not include:

  • Responsibility for implementing a ‘freeze’ on further development on the legacy systems (this is ‘Business As Usual’);
  • Responsibility for maintaining ‘lights on’ with legacy systems during AURORA implementation (Director of Enterprise Systems is responsible);
  • Responsibility for the ASDT Sector Strategy (alignment is in scope) (CFO is responsible);
  • Responsibility for securing funding for the project (CFO is responsible);
  • Responsibility for establishing the Enterprise Systems Team participation in the project approach  (Director of Enterprise Systems is responsible);
  • Issues related to the existing informal support provided to Selkirk College (Director of Enterprise Systems is responsible);
  • VIU’s campus infrastructure, including outdated network switches, aging phone systems, wireless network infrastructure and internet access capacity (Director of IT Operations is responsible);
  • Existing classroom technology, including all learning spaces, labs, seminar rooms and virtual classrooms;
  • VIU’s Learning Management System (D2L);
  • Bookstore System (WinPrism);
  • Facilities Management System;
  • Point of Sale systems;
  • Library System and Services;
  • Resident Management System (SARREZ); and
  • Health Clinic system (Telus Med Access).
  • Business process re-engineering for processes not directly related to the scope of AURORA.
  • Change management activities required for the implementation of course scheduling policies and procedures.

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6 Project Plan

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6.1 Schedule

 Based on initial discussions with Unit4, the proposed schedule has been developed. The schedule will be updated upon the completion of detailed planning workshops for each module.

Project dates are provided in more detail below.  All dates are tentative.

As the project progresses, the approach will be refined, and an increasingly detailed and accurate schedule developed.

Key Milestones:



Project Initiation (Genesis) Complete (governance established, project and change management charter approved)

June 2016

Business Requirements Complete

June 2016

NRFP for Technology System Issued

July 2016

Software Vendor Responses Received

September 2016

Additional Support Resources Required and NRFP issued

May 2017

Software and Services Vendor(s) Selected

June 2017

Project Funding Determined

August 2017

Implementation Begins

September 2017

Finance Go Live

October 2018

HR/Payroll Go Live

January  2019

Student System Go Live

October 2019

University Data Warehouse Go Live

October 2019

Ministry Data Warehouse Go Live

October 2019

Project AURORA Substantial Completion

December 2019

Project Close

January – April 2020

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6.2 Budget

 The total capital project budget over the three-year implementation time period is currently being developed and once complete will be added to this Project and Change Charter. The annual software subscription fees cannot be capitalized and will be part of the University’s operating budget. All internal and external costs associated with the implementation of this project will be capitalized over a 15 year period based on the anticipated useful life of the software solution.

Funding is expected to be provided from the Ministry as follows: $2M in fiscal 2017/18, $1.25M in fiscal 2018/19, and $1.25 in fiscal 2019/20, to be applied against capital costs only. The balance of capital and operating costs is expected to be funded by VIU.

Any proposed changes to the cost will follow the Change Control Process as outlined in section 13 of this document.

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7 Major Risks

A Project Risk Register, which documents risks and associated mitigation strategies, has been established for AURORA and will be maintained separately. As the decision to implement the various mitigation strategies is made, these activities will migrate to the scheduled work plan.

However, a few of the key risks include:

  • Failure to fund the project appropriately: Implementing the full scope of AURORA is dependent on multi-year funding assistance from the provincial government as well as identifying available funds from the VIU budget. Without adequate funding the project would need to be re-scoped and/or deferred.
  • Lack of support/"buy-in" from VIU team members:  Realizing the potential benefits of the project is dependent on the new system and processes being used on a day to day basis by the VIU team members.  Failure to adopt the new platform will mean failure for the project.
  • Project delays, leading to loss of momentum: There is a finite period of time during which a team can effectively cope with and adapt to a change. Unforeseen schedule delays, particular on a longer time horizon project like AURORA, can result in a loss of morale and overall momentum, leading to significant negative impact to the project.
  • Ability to implement and sustain interfaces:  As the new system is implemented, there will be substantial work required not only to develop and implement interfaces to the applications that will remain outside the new system, but to also update and re-implement these interfaces, as required, as the successive modules of the new solution go into production. As additional modules come on-line there will be impacts on previously completed work which could be substantial, but also essential for the proper function of the new system and processes.
  • Maintaining existing service levels:  Level of service for existing systems will be impacted during the timeframe that the legacy replacement is underway.
  • Resourcing:  VIU will not be able to provide the staff resources required to undertake the legacy replacement initiative.
  • Magnitude of the change: AURORA will, in some way, impact almost everyone associated with VIU, from faculty to students to staff, and almost every function the University carries out. Implementing this magnitude of change is inherently risky.
  • Timely decision making: AURORA will require many decisions to be made throughout the implementation process. Collaboration is always the guiding principle, but consulting with broad stakeholder groups is time-consuming. Delays in decision making could result in overall project delays. It will be critical to identify who the key decision makers are for each issue to ensure that decisions are made in a timely manner.

Please refer to the AURORA Risk Register for more detail, but note that the structured process and change management approach that will be implemented as part of AURORA is the primary mitigation strategy for the risks identified here and in the register.

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8 Procurement Strategy

AURORA’s procurement process will be consistent with government standards, and a detailed procurement strategy has been developed. 

After performing a detailed analysis of business requirements and processes, and the existing systems, VIU issued a Negotiated RFP in collaboration with Selkirk College on July 15, 2016. Proposals were received from vendors by August 26, 2016 and were evaluated over the next ten months. For vendors that met the Mandatory Requirements, the subsequent evaluation was managed over three stages as follows:

  1. Desirable Criteria Evaluation (70% of the total score)
  2. Pricing (20% of the total score)
  3. Presentations/Demonstrations (10% of the total score)

The Desirable Criteria included an assessment of Functional Requirements, Technical Requirements, Implementation Requirements, and Proponent Capacity. Pricing was evaluated considering a 10-year Total Cost of Ownership.

Vendors that were shortlisted based on Desirable Criteria and Pricing were invited to provide presentations and demonstrations, which were used to confirm information that was submitted in the proposals. Finally, reference site visits were also conducted to verify information about the vendors and products.Following this evaluation, VIU entered into negotiations with the top-ranked vendor.

Upon the completion of successful negotiations, VIU signed a contract with Unit4 on June 27, 2017. The purchase includes Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for both the Business World (Finance, HR, and Payroll) and Student Management modules. The seven-year contract includes costs associated with the implementation and the annual subscription fees.

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9 Transition to Operations

As noted above, Project AURORA will include activities required to support the six members of the Core Project Implementation Leadership Team (identified below),  in establishing the approach to accepting the new system and taking over the operation and maintenance going forward. Details of this transition, and the structure of the Enterprise Systems Team, will be developed as the project progresses. The members of the IT team who will have responsibility for operating and maintaining AURORA will be members of the implementation team as well.

The members of the Core Project Implementation Leadership team are:

  • Andrew Speed, Director of Enterprise Systems
  • TBD , University Planning and Analysis
  • Fred Jacklin, Registrar
  • Dan VanderSluis, AVP Human Resources
  • Wendy Young, AVP Finance
  • Dr. Graham Pike, Dean, International Education

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10 Users/Stakeholders

A detailed process of identifying all groups impacted by Project AURORA has been completed, as outlined below.

The Coalition of Support includes members of both President’s Council and an AURORA Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee met for the first time in January 2017 and will continue to meet monthly during the project implementation. The role of this group is fully described in the associated Terms of Reference document.

A Sponsor Roadmap document has also been established, which outlines the leadership roles in each department and Faculty, the level of impact their respective area will experience as a result of this project, and an ADKAR assessment of their area in order to identify current potential barrier points.

A stakeholder register has been started and will evolve to include key stakeholders who are impacted by the project. This document will help to ensure that the appropriate people are consulted and/or informed about changes that impact their work.

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11 Change Management

As noted elsewhere in the Charter, change management will be integrated directly into the project approach. As such, specific change management activities have been included as part of the project scope, reporting process, and project organization structure, and will not be duplicated here. As elements of the change management plan are developed, they will be communicated, implemented, and integrated as the project progresses. Refer to the Project AURORA Change Management Plan for details.

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12 Project Governance

The governance structure of AURORA has some unique features, primarily due to the magnitude of the change being undertaken. The following section provides an overview of the structure and approach.

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12.1 Project Organization Chart

The following graphic shows the relationships among project team members. Note that this representation depicts the relationships from a project perspective only, and does not reflect operational reporting. 

Structure of the coalition of sponsors

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12.2 Roles and Responsibilities

The following sections provide a brief overview of the roles and responsibilities of the Project Team members.

Executive Sponsor Group

The role of the Executive Sponsor Group is to:

  • Champion the project goals, objectives, and decisions; represent the project to the organization and externally; endorse the Coalition of Support;
  • Secure resources necessary to execute the project plan and to successfully complete the project;
  • Be available to the Project Team and Advisory Committee to provide input, advice, and participate in reviews of project progress, deliverables, and status;
  • Make successive go/no-go decisions throughout the project, including decisions on key deliverables, budgets, and change requests;
  • Assist the project team in the resolution of issues; and
  • Be the final decision-maker about the project, on behalf of the University.

The Executive Sponsor Group is comprised of:

  • Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor – Executive Sponsor
  • Dr. Dave Witty, Provost and Vice-President Academic – Co-Sponsor
  • Shelley Legin, CFO and Vice-President Finance and Administration – Co-Sponsor

Project Advisory Committee

The responsibilities of the Project Advisory Committee will include:

  • Champion the project internally within VIU as part of the coalition of sponsors;
  • Advising the project team on issues and assist with decisions around the project;
  • Ensuring all stakeholders/users are appropriately represented to the project;
  • Making recommendations to the Executive Sponsor Group as required;
  • Reviewing major milestones and critical decisions; and
  • Reviewing the project status.

The Project Advisory Committee Members are:


Role at VIU

Shelley Legin

Chief Financial Officer and VP Administration

David Witty

Provost and Vice-President Academic

Mackenzie Kyle

Chief Transformation Advisor

Elfie Smith

Chief Transformation and Project Director

Aubrey Robertson

Project Coordinator

Andrew Speed

Director, Enterprise Systems

David Rees

Director, University Planning and Analysis

Fred Jacklin


Brenda McKay

Director, Human Resources

Wendy Young

Director, Finance

Carrie Chassels

Executive Director, Student Affairs

William Litchfield

Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations

Graham Pike

Dean, International Education

Glynis Steen

Dean, Trades and Applied Technology

Don Noakes

Dean of Arts, Social Science, Science and Technology or Education

Warren Weir

Cowichan Campus Academic Administrator

Alanna Williams

Faculty Representative


Student Representative

Shannon McKenzie

Staff Representative

Marianne Roden

Instructional Representative


Chief Transformation and Project Director

The CTM will be responsible for:

  • Working closely with the Chief Transformation Advisor, Executive Sponsor Group, the Advisory Committee, and project team to oversee the successful completion of the project as specified in the most recent Charter;
  • Accountable for the performance of the project team with support of the Chief Transformation Advisor;
  • Providing regular communication to the Executive Sponsor Group on project status and issues;
  • Acting as the point person and liaison with Selkirk College;
  • Working with the CTA to develop the detailed project implementation plan, resource assignments, and costing;
  • Providing regular reporting on implementation progress, costing, and resourcing;
  • Identifying all AURORA stakeholders (those impacted by the project) to create a stakeholder map (which identifies the group, project impacts, outcomes of the impacts, etc.);
  • Developing and implementing engagement and communication strategies for each Stakeholder group – the Change Management Plan;
  • General written communication for project updates, sponsor status reports, various stakeholder communications:
    • Developing presentations and scripts for the Executive Sponsors, the Project Advisory Committee members, other members of the coalition of sponsorship, and other project team members in the course of implementing the communication plan;
    • Coordinating the activities of the Project Coordinator, Functional Leads, and other project team members.

Escalation of project issues goes to the Executive Sponsorship Group for resolution.

This role will be filled by Elfie Smith.

Chief Transformation Advisor (CTA)

The CTA will be responsible for:

  • Working with the Chief Transformation and Project Director, the Executive Sponsor Group, the Advisory Committee and the project team to oversee the successful completion of the project as specified in the most recent Charter;
  • Advising on and overseeing all aspects of the change management program;
  • In conjunction with the Chief Transformation and Project Director, providing regular communication to the Executive Sponsor Group on project status and issues;
  • Supporting the Chief Transformation and Project Director in overseeing the activities of the project team.

The Chief Transformation Advisor is Mackenzie Kyle.

Technical Leader

The role of the Technical leader is to:

  • Provide overall technology oversight and to ensure that all technical decisions made around AURORA are properly integrated in the VIU IT strategy and framework;
  • Assist the project team in translating the business requirements and constraints into the software and configuration requirements;
  • Provide specific guidance and advice to the project team, the CTA, and the Executive Sponsor Group about various aspects of the project;
  • Oversee the development of interfaces to integrate related systems associated with Project AURORA.

The Technical Leader is Andrew Speed. 

Functional Leaders

The Functional Leader role is tasked with making major systems configuration decisions and approving configuration choices of the Functional Team Members.  This will include decisions on business process changes and requirements.

The Functional Leads include:

  • Fred Jacklin                       Student Systems
  • Brenda McKay                   Human Resources and Payroll (shared)
  • Wendy Young                    Finance and Payroll (shared)

The functional leaders will not be full-time, day-to-day members of the project team – that is the role of Day-to-Day Functional Lead.

The responsibilities of the Day-to-Day Lead role includes:

  • Identifying the business requirements in each of the core areas;
  • Translating the requirements into software and associated configuration requirements and associated business processes;
  • Working as part of the team, leading the configuration of the software and business processes; and
  • Liaising with the Functional Lead in each area to ensure approval of major system configuration and process issues.

The Day-to-Day Leaders are:

  • Joanne Brocklebank – Finance and Payroll
  • Diane Rembold - Human Resources
  • Jana Orton - Student Systems
  • Kathryn Snow - University Planning and Analysis
  • Kate Jennings - International Education

There will be a Day-to-Day Technical Lead associated with each area, and these will be:

  • Andrew Speed - Student Systems
  • Lorrie Baildham - Finance System
  • Lorrie Baildham – HR and Payroll System
  • Michael Carpenter – Web Services Layer

Project Coordinator

The Project Coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Managing version control for the Project and Change Management Charter, including tracking changes and revisions to the Charter and, working with the CTM, ensures Executive Sponsor Group (ESG) approval of the latest version of the charter;
  • Maintaining a detailed inventory of scope items, and works with the CTM and project team to document any proposed scope changes, assesses impact, and provides CTM with information required to involve the ESG in decision making as required;
  • Maintaining and updating the implementation plan in the appropriate software;
  • Maintaining the issues log;
  • Maintaining the risk and mitigation strategy registry;
  • Maintaining and updates general project documentation;
  • Assisting the team in maintaining the technical and requirements documentation for the project;
  • Working with the CTM, assists with documenting and then maintaining the Change Management Plan, including the communication, user/stakeholder relationship management, training, and sponsor roadmap;
  • Project cost and expense tracking and reconciliation

The Project Coordinator is Aubrey Robertson.

Project Team/Super Users

Super users will be responsible for:

  • System configuration
  • Assistance with data conversion
  • Solution testing and quality assurance
  • Development of training materials
  • Delivery of end user training
  • Production of system user and configuration documentation

These individuals will be seconded to work on the Project for various lengths of time depending on the module(s) which they support.

The team members are:

  • Leslie Bajkov, Finance
  • Mike Jordan, Finance
  • Kathleen Hayden, Finance
  • Nikki Klaassen, Finance
  • Tracy Zandee, Payroll
  • Cherie McLennan, Human Resources
  • Dana Swarts, Human Resources
  • Carole Gray, Human Resources
  • Karen Blackman, Student Management
  • Carrie Johns, Student Management
  • Tracey Terepocki, Student Management
  • Lizz Fransen, Student Management

Subject Matter and Process Experts Group

These resources are responsible for providing specific input, advice, knowledge and expertise in the functional and business area, and in relation to the various activities undertaken by the project team.  They will begin this work with the definition of business requirements, and will continue until implementation is complete. There will be a variety of people filling these roles and they will be identified throughout the implementation. These individuals will not be seconded to the Project.

This group may include external advisors.

Coalition of Support

Although the Executive Sponsor Group has formal responsibility for the Sponsor role, the project must be supported by a broader group of the organization’s leaders – this broader group is designated the Coalition of Support.  These individuals are responsible for supporting the Executive Sponsor Group and the project team in the change management process.  This includes:

  • Championing the project internally within VIU;
  • Remaining updated and current on the project progress and issues;
  • Advising the project team on issues and assisting with decisions around the project, as required; and
  • Assisting the project team in ensuring all stakeholders/users are appropriately represented to the project.

In addition to the Executive Sponsors and the Project Advisory Committee, members of the Coalition of Support include the President’s Council, and the Teaching, Learning and Administrative Council (TLASSC).

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12.3 Status Reporting and Communication

Project status reports will be produced monthly using the VIU PMO status reporting format, modified as required to meet the needs of AURORA. Status reporting needs will be continually assessed in conjunction with the change management process, and frequency, format, content, and target audience will evolve as the project progresses.

The Project Advisory Committee will meet monthly (or more frequently as circumstances require).

The Project Team will meet regularly as required based on the stage of implementation.

The Executive Sponsor Group will meet in person monthly with the Chief Transformation and Project Director, and other members of the project team as required.

Due to the length and complexity of Project AURORA, the Communication Plan is being developed for periods of four-six months at a time.

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13 Change Control

Project AURORA has a specific objective to achieve, performance criteria to attain, a specific scope of work to complete in support of that objective, and constraints which must be met during the process.  These parameters form a combination that, if successfully achieved, represent success for the implementation.  Conversely, an unapproved change in any of these parameters may result in a project judged to be unsuccessful.

The purpose of the change control process is to attempt to ensure that none of the above parameters are changed without a conscious decision (which is also documented) by the sponsors, based on a full understanding of the implications of the change. 

The purpose of the change control process is NOT to ensure that the above parameters do not change.  On the contrary, the business environment is not static, and to expect that there would be no requirement to modify some aspect of a parameter is not realistic; worse it may result in a deliverable that no longer meets the requirements of the business. 

The change control process can be summarized as follows:

  • A situation occurs which appears to require a material change to one or more of user requirements, scope, or the constraints, in order to meet the project objectives (all as defined in the Project Charter).  This situation would usually involve the discovery of additional information.  Examples could include:
    • The discovery of a previously undefined user requirement;
    • A previously unidentified technical challenge in fulfilling a requirement;
    • A key resource is suddenly unavailable to the project team; or
    • A change in the operating environment of the business changes the project objectives.
  • The situation is brought to the attention of the project team.  The situation may be identified by any member of the project team, or a resource external to the team; however, it is most likely to be identified by one of the core team members.
  • The Chief Transformation and Project Director, working with the appropriate team resource, clarifies the situation, assesses and quantifies the impact of the situation on the project, develops an approach for dealing with the situation, and documents the situation, impacts, and proposed approach and implications. The team may also consult with the Project Advisory Committee.
  • The  Chief Transformation and Project Director presents the situation, supporting documentation, and a recommendation to the Executive Sponsor Group for a decision on how to proceed.
  • The Executive Sponsor Group (or delegate) signs-off on the recommended approach.
  • The Chief Transformation and Project Director updates the Project Charter, and the specific parameters impacted by the change (e.g. the timeframe, cost, detailed development and implementation plan, etc.).
  • The revised Charter and updated parameters become the new measures of success for the project.


The change control process is illustrated graphically as follows:

Vertical Change Control Process

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