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Remember when you moved out of your parents place to live on your own? In the beginning you didn't have a lot of stuff (or space) but it didn't matter, you knew what to find where. But as time went by, you accumulated more stuff and at some point you even had to buy a cupboard and then another one to tidy your stuff away.
Well, it is about the same for any newly developing organization or enterprise: there is a moment when you need to put adequate systems in place to structure further growth.
At ITER, this is happening as we speak. The DIAMS (Dynamic ITER Administration Management System) Project which was initiated in late August, aims to implement tools to structure and facilitate administrative processes related to budgeting, finance, procurement and Human Resources.
Didier Pendaries, detached from the CEA where has worked since 1983, primarily in Information Systems, is the Project Leader for DIAMS. He is helping the ITER Organization integrate these tools. He will also make sure that managers get adequate training to use the tools.
Basically, the ITER Organization has had to chose two software packages, one for budget management and one for procurement, finance and HR, that link together ITER income and expenditure and facilitate reporting at every level.
The budget management tool, COGNOS, will be implemented in end of February to ensure the management of the global 2008 budget. SAP, the administration management tool, will be implemented from June onwards and will facilitate procurement, finance and HR (e.g. salaries, vacation days, mission trips, recruitment etc.) For the salaries (HR functionalities), SAP will be available in October.
The next challenge in this project is going to be user training. In the coming weeks, every department is going to have to appoint a person responsible for budget management on the Cognos system and in October, all ITER staff is going to have to be trained to use the HR portal. "Organizing extensive user training for such systems is key, because the implementation will only be successful if everybody uses it right from the start," says Didier.
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