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Kuali People Management for the Enterprise (KPME)

Executive Summary

The Kuali Foundation has created a model for community source development and delivery of enterprise systems designed BY and FOR higher education.  Already delivered are a fully functional Financial System; the proposal, budget development, and award modules of a Research Administration system; and a set of middleware, workflow, and application development tools called "Kuali Rice."  Also underway is a Kuali Student system, with an initial module delivered to Founding Partners in fall 2010, and the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) project which was launched this past spring.  Other systems are in incubation.

Numerous schools have expressed a desire to swap out all three of the major administrative systems, creating a need for an enterprise-wide HR/Payroll system. Many vended systems don’t provide functionality specific to higher education, and many home-grown systems are increasingly unsustainable.  Expectations are growing for updated and effective systems that are more usable for end users, that are more flexible for administrative, regulatory, and policy changes, and that provide the necessary functionality required by higher education.

Since Fall 2008, some institutions have explored human resources and payroll needs, and the idea of a Kuali People Management project was developed.  This document summarizes the intent and direction of a more detailed plan that is being refined and updated. It identifies functional business requirements for a complete enterprise wide Kuali People Management system.   It also includes resources and an estimated timeline for Phase 1. 

Functional Business Requirements and Project Status:

The project has been developed in two phases.  This approach enables schools to implement the time and attendance or leave accrual pieces of a human resource and payroll system prior to the completion of the project. 

Phase 1 includes: 

  • Electronic Core HR Transactions including:
    • Personnel transactions
    • Position management transactions
    • Employee activities and demographics data
  • Time and Attendance  
  • Leave Management

Phase 2 includes:   

  • Payroll & Financial processing
  • Benefits Administration

Future phases include:

  • Self Service Functionality
  • Cobra Administration
  • Other Needs as Identified

Phase 1 work has begun on Time and Attendance.   It is being built on Rice 1.0.1 and is integrated with other Kuali Systems.  Development on Time and Attendance is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2010, with QA to be completed in Spring 2011.   After completing the Time and Attendance module, work on Leave Management and / or electronic core HR transactions will begin once detailed business requirements are defined.   Current partners working on phase one are Indiana University, Iowa State University and VivanTech.

Project Resource Requirements

Like other Kuali projects, this project will involve partners pooling their resources to deliver the system.  Those partners will guide and oversee the priorities, outcomes, and deliverables.  As in other projects, development of the modules will be more efficient with additional resources from partner schools.  Additionally, since they will have been part of designing and building each module, that knowledge will expedite application.

The KPME project requires several resources specific to the project, such as Project Manager, Configuration Administrator, and a User Documentation Writer.  It combines those resources with expertise specific to each module.   

Furthermore, each module requires resources specifically allocated to that module.  The resources required for the module depend on the number of partners who participate in the project.  Typically each partner contributes at least one of the following: Lead Subject Matter Expert, Business Analyst, Development Managers, and Developers.


The increased need for robust and mature HR and Payroll systems in higher education make it the right time to participate in the Kuali People Management for the Enterprise project.  The benefits of participating in Kuali People Management for the Enterprise are outlined below:

  • The ability to leverage the Kuali Foundation organization and community
  • The ability to reuse Kuali technology infrastructure (Kuali Rice)
  • A set of best practices and a proven track record that reflect the community source model of functional design
  • A sustainable model for having continuous but non-disruptive upgrades and enhancements contributed by the community or commercial affiliates
  • Control of destiny in design/development/delivery by the community
  • Shared resources which spread out the cost of the development, instead of universities duplicating efforts with home-grown or vended systems

For more information about the Kuali community and the various projects, including KPME, please visit the Kuali website  You may also contact:

Jennifer Foutty                                                  Carla R. Espinoza
Executive Director                                             KPME Functional Council Chair
Kuali Foundation, Inc.                                        Associate Vice President, Human Resources
601 E. Kirkwood, Franklin 116                            Iowa State University    
Bloomington, IN  47405                                     3750 Beardshear
812-345-3948                                                     Ames, IA 50011                                     

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