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2018 ‘Most’ Lunches celebrate ConnectCarolina users

In January 2018, ITS Enterprise Applications re-launched its series of “Most” Lunches to recognize hands-on users of ConnectCarolina and to learn from attendees what works and what can be improved in the ConnectCarolina system. The monthly lunches also enable peer-to-peer sharing of tips and tricks.



Frances Dykstra, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Applications, brought back the “Most” Lunches series from a series in 2015.

“Most” Lunches recognize the ConnectCarolina users who entered the “most” of a type of transaction such as HR actions or vouchers. In January Dykstra kicked off the series by recognizing campus employees who entered the highest number of campus journals into ConnectCarolina during fiscal year 2016-2017. A campus journal, by the way, is a transaction that lets campus staff move costs from one funding source to another. At the February lunch, the ConnectCarolina team honored human resources representatives who entered the “most” HR actions into ConnectCarolina.

The team alternates topics and groups of ConnectCarolina users — from Student Administration, Human Resources/Payroll, Reporting, Finance and University Services.

Megan Keefe, ITS Business Systems Manager; Frances Dykstra, ITS Enterprise Applications AVC; and Jaime Adams, Human Resources Specialist, Family Medicine, at the February “Most” Lunch
Megan Keefe, ITS Business Systems Manager; Frances Dykstra, ITS Enterprise Applications AVC; and Jaime Adams, Human Resources Specialist, Family Medicine, at the February 2018 “Most” Lunch

The first seven “Most” lunches in 2018 recognized 70 attendees, who, during 2017-2018 fiscal year, completed:

  • 10,984 Executed ePARs (electronic Personnel Action Requests)
  • 9,480 Campus journals
  • 17,521 Customer Billing Management transactions
  • 5,785 Campus Solutions queries
  • 5,644 Student originator transactions
  • 20,826 GradStar Award entries

Gatherings provide valuable insights

Over sandwiches catered by a nearby eatery, Dykstra and a few ConnectCarolina team members gather with the recognized invitees in a University meeting room. They talk about what the applications do well and what improvements could be made: Do the users have the options they need; is the language clear; are the steps logical? What could the ConnectCarolina team improve upon to make it easier for people to do their work? What’s on their wish list for future enhancements?

At the February “Most” Lunch, Caitlin Webster, HR Specialist in the Dean’s Office within the College of Arts & Sciences, took the opportunity to provide her feedback. Dykstra had asked, “When ConnectCarolina changes are made, do you feel that you get the information you need?”

“Yes,” Webster replied. “If it’s not through a User Group Meeting, then through other ways. Everyone in ITS is awesome and really helpful and really patient and they (the ConnectCarolina team) always communicate the ‘Why’ a change is occurring.”

Participants share tips and tricks

Participants also share with one another tips and tricks for using the application efficiently.

Wendy Pender, Caitlin Webster and Amy Brann, at the February 2018 “Most” Lunch

The gathering also serves as a mini awards ceremony. Dykstra calls up each invitee individually by name and number of transactions to receive a certificate of accomplishment, Dykstra’s thanks and a warm handshake. With each name and tally announced, anticipation builds as users wait to hear who will earn top bragging rights.

In addition to certificates and full tummies, attendees leave with a bit of ConnectCarolina swag, such as pens and notebooks.

For the ConnectCarolina team, the “Most” Lunches provide direct access to the people who enter these “most” transactions into the system. Gaining these insights enables the team to improve ConnectCarolina and thus better serve the University.

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