Freda Strzelec is the IT Director over the FAMIS team that maintains the “current” version of FAMIS. The team is busy learning about the new environments, challenges and benefits of the modernized FAMIS.
Freda has always been very proud of the FAMIS team and respects them for their knowledge, experience and dedication to The Texas A&M University System. Many of the team members have been with FAMIS for more than ten years and some more than thirty years! They have so much institutional and application knowledge and have such a great attitude with this change. The team is quickly answering questions from the outside vendors facilitating the conversion and making necessary changes to ensure that the conversion is complete and accurate. If she had to say, Freda thinks the biggest obstacle in the conversion is the amount of work that has to be done with a small staff. She and her team are always up for a challenge, but there is a ton of work to be done over the next year. Very little of the new technology is familiar to the team right now; therefore, the learning curve and change are enormous.
Freda has enjoyed working with the very talented vendors, primarily located in England, Belgium, Canada and South Africa; they respect the A&M System team’s knowledge and responsiveness. The respect is reciprocated. The project has not missed a beat, even with COVID restricting travel and face-to-face meetings. Everyone has adapted and has a can-do attitude. Freda feels the project is sometimes overwhelming, but everyone is doing their part and working as a team to accomplish the conversion. All teams are pushing for the November 2022 release, knowing that it is only the starting point to further enhancing FAMIS and Canopy.
As the project progresses, Freda looks forward to not having to attend multiple project meetings daily. With COVID and remote work, it is currently critical to meet multiple times daily to communicate, train, and share information on the more than thirty-three workstreams.
For Freda, the most significant benefit from completing this phase of the project is that the end users will again be able to suggest and prioritize changes and enhancements to FAMIS and Canopy. The modernized FAMIS should be easier to modify, and staffing for the project should be easier to maintain. The project teams will enter the next phase with all users engaged and making FAMIS and Canopy better than it currently is.