Executive Summary: NDUS Partners with Gideon Taylor to Build and Publish 120+ Gt eForms™
- Modernized eForms system: The new eForms system is integrated with Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, enabling real-time data updates and user-centric workflows.
- Increased efficiency and accuracy: The new eForms process has reduced the need for second-party verification, freeing up staff time and resources.
- Improved user experience: NDUS prioritized user feedback and transparency throughout the implementation, resulting in a streamlined and user-friendly system.
- Empowered power users: NDUS empowered power users to view and modify workflows, enhancing the efficiency and flexibility of the system.
- Strengthened NDUS community communication and collaboration: Gideon Taylor’s partnership was instrumental in achieving these positive outcomes.
The North Dakota University System (NDUS) embarked on a transformative journey to enhance user experiences by transitioning from an outdated PDF-based solution to a fully integrated Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions-based eForms platform. Their goal was to improve the user experience, and this case study details how NDUS accomplished this mission through their partnership with Gideon Taylor, a leader in custom PeopleSoft solutions.
- Outdated and inefficient PDF-based eForm tool.
- Dependency on manual database management.
- Need for real-time data support and system integration.
- Desire for user-centric workflows and streamlined processes.
- Implement an integrated eForm platform within Oracle Campus Solutions.
- Prioritize functionality and user-centric workflows.
- Enable real-time data updates.
- Maintain the ability to modify forms internally.
- Ensure compliance with institutional standards and role permissions
Transformation and Efficiency:
The partnership with Gideon Taylor empowered NDUS to modernize their eForms system. Real-time updates and user-friendly workflows have significantly increased efficiency and accuracy. The eForms process has reduced the need for second-party verification, benefiting students who can now update information independently.
NDUS prioritized user feedback and transparency throughout the eForms implementation. “Lunch and Learn” sessions, user feedback channels, and “power users” were instrumental in ensuring a streamlined experience for all users, from students to staff.
Results and Collaboration:
The eForms project has brought significant benefits to both students and the NDUS community. The in-house team of developers and business analysts has grown into a cohesive unit, combining efficiency and customer-centric focus. Collaboration and improved communication have resulted in streamlined processes and exciting new projects.
Empowered Power Users:
NDUS empowered power users to view and modify workflows, enhancing the efficiency and flexibility of the system. These power users have played a vital role in providing detailed feedback and ensuring that workflows align with campus needs.
Gideon Taylor – A Trusted Partner:
Gideon Taylor’s responsive support, culture of ownership, and willingness to act on feedback have made them a valued partner for NDUS. Their commitment to understanding and meeting NDUS’s needs has strengthened the partnership.
NDUS’s eForms transformation, driven by a commitment to enhancing user experiences, has led to increased efficiency, transparency, and collaboration across the NDUS community. Gideon Taylor’s partnership has been pivotal in achieving these positive outcomes. If your organization seeks to enhance user experiences and streamline processes through eForms implementation, consider Gideon Taylor as a trusted partner to help you reach your goals.
North Dakota University System – GT eForms™ Case Study
How a small team built over 120 GT eForms in less than a year
Before you go any further, here’s the most important thing to know about North Dakota University System’s highly successful GT eForms™ project, as captured in a single sentence from Crystal, one of NDUS’s former Business Analysts: “We’re measuring our success as an organization by the experience our users have with our solutions.” There you have it. Everything you’ll read about NDUS from this point forward in some way relates to this simple but powerful mission, which guides how they effectively support eleven different campuses and over 43,000 students.
When NDUS began working on a system-wide transition from an outdated PDF-based solution to a fully integrated Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions-based eForms platform, the primary objective wasn’t increasing efficiency or accuracy (although those were certainly some of the positive outcomes they had.) The stated goal was to improve the user experience, regardless of their identity or role. This is the story of how NDUS accomplished that goal through their partnership with Gideon Taylor, the leader in developing and implementing custom PeopleSoft solutions, and what impact this digital transformation has had and is having on their entire eleven-campus system.
NDUS’s story begins with a realization by administrators that the system they were using was inadequate and outdated. It was essentially an editable PDF eForm tool that would pull data from Campus Connection, but that information was often obsolete or of limited value. Or as Ericka, one of the Applications Analysts at NDUS put it, “The tool we were using was basically a bridge. It provided us with a way to move data from paper into an electronic format for submission and processing, but that’s it.” This solution also required a lot of database management and didn’t offer updates. NDUS saw the writing on the wall and set out to find a replacement that would fill several important priorities:
- Needed to be fully integrated with Oracle Campus Solutions.
- Solution would prioritize functionality and user-centric workflow.
- Real-time data support with the ability to update PS via component interfaces.
- Changes to existing forms/updating fields could be completed by NDUS, not external developers.
- System would offer full support of institutional standards and role permissions.
The ultimate goal for NDUS was to have their new eForm platform located in their official system of record. Having all three of their enterprise pillars—Finance, HCM, and Campus Connection—integrated within a single system would be a significant upgrade and would reduce many of their networking and communication issues. This became a key driver in their decision to partner with Gideon Taylor.
More Efficient, Less Complicated
According to Ericka, “The true gateway for us was to get all the efficiencies that a single solution would provide. We wanted to help students become more self-sufficient and remove their dependency on waiting for others to verify data. Our new GT eForms process has enabled this. Info can now be updated in real time, and we no longer need second-party verification. This is having a huge impact. Before moving to our new solution, form processers were required to review multiple sources in multiple tables. Now everything can be seen in a single section. Our efficiency and accuracy have both skyrocketed.”
Before NDUS began building new eForms, they first created a document that identified 30 different criteria for their form creation process. Most of their criteria were focused on functionality. For example,
- If you had to modify a form, what steps were required?
- What are the security features?
- What was the process for creating a form?
- How much skill/training would a programmer need to complete a form?
- How functional were the forms?
- Would they be built in Fluid or Classic?
One of their most important questions was whether a field could be added to a form after it had been published. Being able to add or remove fields without involving a vendor was mandatory. NDUS was happy to learn that this was a priority for Gideon Taylor as well.
“The look and feel of a form are the first thing that a user experiences,” Crystal shared. “Does the form feel welcoming? Is it intuitive and easy to use?” These simple but important questions surfaced repeatedly during NDUS’s eForm implementation process. They did regular “Lunch and Learn” sessions to provide updates and gathered lots of user feedback. They made sure to document everything to provide greater transparency. After going live, they even designated “power users” who could provide more detailed feedback. “We also had approvers involved in the journey of form development,” Crystal added. “But the most important thing we did was to really try and listen to our users. This was going to be such a meaningful change for our campus communities—we were very committed to providing everyone a better, more streamlined experience.”
If a single word could define NDUS’s eForm implementation, it would be “more.” More visibility. More robust management tools. More transparency. More involvement. More efficiency.
New Team, New Capabilities
In addition to all the benefits that NDUS’s eForm project is now delivering to students and the entire NDUS community, there have also been significant returns for the in-house team of developers and business analysts. According to Ericka, “We had to blend two different teams with separate functionalities and departments. This required us to learn a lot about each other’s communication and work styles as well as discovering what everyone’s different skill sets were. It took a lot of effort and patience, but we’re now working as one team.”
Ericka mentioned that one of the obstacles they had to overcome with their previous platform was waiting for information to move from the point of input to the person or department it was intended for, which slowed everything down. “We also had to deal with the inconsistencies created between multiple institutions completing tasks on time. If another department isn’t done, then we’re not done. There was so much coordination required.”
“Bringing in new people helped but it also created some delays as they were taught how to use our new system,” Ericka continued. “But this also created some exciting new collaborations for us. The challenges evened out and we learned some important things during our transition to a single team. One of the best was discovering that our new team members had a more customer-centric focus, which blended well with my team’s goal of better efficiency. Finding a balance between these two important priorities took us much further than we would’ve gone otherwise.” Ericka added that this new team is now working on new projects and processes together that will result in new benefits to the entire NDUS community. “Our team feels empowered and excited to improve the lives of our users more than ever before.”
The creation of power users was also a valuable one for NDUS. They created a new workflow that downloads into a user-friendly format so that every form for a campus can be seen and quickly processed. Giving power users the ability to view and modify workflows has created a more streamlined experience for both power users and the broader NDUS community. These power users have also been invaluable in providing more detailed feedback on their experience. According to Sara, an NDUS Application Analyst, “When one of our campuses submits a ticket, they can describe what they want in terms of workflows. Whether that workflow is one step or over a hundred steps, those submitting now have confidence that they’ll get exactly what they need, including rules, security, functionality, access, notifications, etc. This is a significant change.”
Gideon Taylor – A True Partner
“One of the things that we really appreciated about Gideon Taylor’s team was how they thought like an end user,” Ericka shared. “Everyone from Sales to Project Services to GT Support have all been so responsive to our needs. Turnaround on our tickets is always fast. They have a strong culture of ownership that really clicked with us. And we’ve also appreciated how willing they’ve been to take feedback and then act on it to improve their products and services. We’re still in baby steps in terms of learning everything that GT’s tools are capable of, but we know Gideon Taylor is there to help us no matter what.”
If your organization would benefit from an eForms implementation, we’d welcome the opportunity to explore your needs. Please reach out. We’d love to help you reach your goals!