In our previous post, we looked back on what we did to push digital transformation in a local university as they endeavor to put legacy applications to rest while embracing new and advanced technologies to support the university’s finance and supply chain operations.
With the vision of empowering educational institutions to provide the highest levels of service, Sinag Solutions continued to support organizations in the space of Higher Education in 2021. In this entry, we will recap how we supported a local university on their digital transformation, as well as the Commission on Higher Education in one of their programs.
DLSU Student Lifecycle Target Process Design
In the middle of their digital transformation journey, a university client became in need of a business process analyst to augment their team and redesign the university’s processes in the domain of Student Lifecycle. With the acquisition of a new Student Information System, there is a need to ensure that the current operations would still be able to smoothly continue despite the migration.
Sinag Solutions was engaged by the university client to provide support in the design of the target processes. A process analyst was deployed to the project to augment the internal project team. One challenge that the team identified in this task was that the functionalities of the existing legacy system, along with the various university policies and business rules, had to be thoroughly considered in the design of the target processes.
To deliver the process design work, the process analyst reviewed existing documentation pertaining to the university’s processes, policies, and technologies. The procured Student Information System was also explored to better understand how the processes will be carried out by the application. The process analyst led discussions with the process owners of the university to align on their business requirements and discuss possibilities on the target process that they envision. These target processes were documented in BPMN 2.0 format and were relayed to the software implementation team to configure the system to be able to support the agreed process. Integration discussions were also held to discuss how to eliminate data handoffs and improve process efficiency. Recommendations were also provided to the software implementation team on potential workarounds on how the process can be achieved based on the current functionalities of the system.
At the end of the engagement, 136 target state processes were redesigned, modeled, and approved by the Student Lifecycle Domain Technical Working Group. These process maps were turned over to the internal process analyst team to continue the documentation of the target processes, and oversee the implementation of these target processes in the new application.
CHED Philippine Smart Campus Project
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly disrupted the education sector as face-to-face classes are no longer viable due to the risk of spreading the virus. Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act allocated three billion pesos (Php 3,000,000,000.00) “to assist State Universities and Colleges (SUC) in the development of smart campuses through investments in ICT infrastructure, acquisition of learning management systems, and other appropriate equipment to fully implement flexible learning modalities.” The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act also intended that the allocated budget is to be appropriated by December 19, 2020.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) engaged Sinag Solutions to assist CHED in this endeavor of identifying a fair and equitable financial model to allocate the budget to the SUCs and identify projects to be prioritized to help the SUCs move forward their journey towards being a smart campus. Sinag Solutions led the creation of the Philippine Smart SUC Survey, which aims to capture the maturity level and transformation readiness of SUCs’ capabilities across their entire organization. The target sample of the survey was administrators and IT leaders of the 112 SUCs and their satellite campuses.
Upon completion of the survey, the responses were analyzed to get an understanding of the SUC’s capability maturity and transformation readiness. CHED also established a technical working group for the Smart Campus Project, which Francis Uy, Sinag Solutions’ Chief Architect, was appointed as a member of, along with presidents of higher education institutions. The TWG highlighted and recommended two foundational projects in creating a smart campus: (1) a developed campus network, and (2) a learning management system that should be prioritized for procurement. Furthermore, the TWG proposed buckets of projects that SUCs can engage in depending on their maturity classification. The focus of these buckets is to improve the facilitation of flexible learning., SUCs can consider the adoption of more advanced technologies as their classification gets higher.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), with advice from the Smart SUC Technical Working Group (TWG), prioritized (1) the obligation of the fund for the procurement of learning management systems (LMS) and (2) the development of their campus network, as these two components are vital in facilitating flexible learning.