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Umoja starts building Extension 2

On 4 May 2017, Mr. Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management and Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Umoja Project Director, briefed the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on Umoja’s progress. Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Controller, joined them in responding to delegates’ questions, especially relating to qualitative improvements and cost efficiencies.

Mr. Takasu presented an overview of achievements in the past five years during his tenure as the Project Owner. He described the project deployment phases from its pilot in 2013 and 2014, through implementation of Clusters 1 through 5, bringing the Umoja solution to its current usage by over 42,430 staff globally: "For the first time in its history, the Secretariat has a single administrative solution that is enabling efficient and transparent management of the Organization’s resources. However, Umoja is an extremely challenging project, affecting every staff member of the Secretariat.” 

Mr. Takasu acknowledged “I am aware that some staff are still experiencing familiarity problems with the new system and shifts in responsibilities. They will be resolved through more practice and training. But we should not compromise any attempt towards higher transparency and visibility that become now possible with the Umoja solution.”

Mr. Ramanathan highlighted the latest deployments, including the roll-out of Human Capital Management to field personnel, the automation of the multiple volumes of financial statements which enabled them to be produced ahead of the mandatory deadlines, and the interim solutions for the ICSC compensation package changes. Mr. Ramanathan presented the plans and progress for the various Umoja Extension 2 projects covering strategic planning and performance monitoring, supply chain management, fund raising, implementing partner management, conference and event management, etc.; and also showed examples of creative and visual reports produced by Umoja users leveraging business intelligence functionality.

Mr. Ramanathan also summarized the primary goals of Umoja to provide substantive benefits by integrating processes across functional silos, harmonizing business processes globally, automating labour-intensive processes, and increasing real-time visibility to global data. He added: “Umoja works. While there were challenges experienced in earlier clusters, at this time we hear of more success stories, particularly now that staff are becoming more familiar with the solution.”

Stay tuned for updates on Umoja Extension 2, and other enhancements like Umoja on mobile devices, on our blog: umoja.un.org.