UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Since SIMBA launched in July 2020, the SIMBA project team has been focused on “hypercare” — supporting users and stabilizing the system during the critical post-launch phase — while keeping an eye toward the long-term success of the system. The formation of a sustainment organization is now underway, with a leadership team being assembled and charged with establishing normal operations, developing processes to manage enhancement requests and updates, and preparing for a future of continued, rapid change.
While SIMBA will move officially from a project team to a sustainment organization in July of this year, key leadership is already being put in place. Matthew Scott, previously the technical lead for the SIMBA project, was appointed director of the new organization on Jan. 1, and has begun to fill key positions in the organization. When the sustainment organization is fully operational, Vicki Doksa will serve as functional group manager, Julie Bressler will be the business intelligence group manager, and Jon Gonsman will be the technical group manager. All three have been a part of the SIMBA project team.
Scott praised the "diligent and often difficult work" of the project team, consultants, partners and Penn State home offices in the two-plus year effort to implement the system University-wide. In moving the large-scale project forward, he noted, much credit also goes to the end users, whose patience and perserverence in learning the new system has been commendable.
While in the project phase, Michael Büsges, senior director of enterprise projects, noticed firsthand Scott’s leadership and ability to navigate problems and coordinate a system launch during unprecedent circumstances. Noting of Scott, who has over 20 years of experience working for the University, including several prominent managerial roles on the LionPATH project and with ITS (Information Technology Services), Büsges called him a "talented leader," who has had a key role in bringing SIMBA to life.
"I look forward to seeing his vision come to fruition as SIMBA continues to evolve and provide vital support to our University,” Büsges said.
The vision for SIMBA will serve as the roadmap for a team of more than 40 Penn Staters who will be tasked with managing the day-to-day, long-term maintenance, and ongoing development of the SIMBA system, with ongoing input from the Penn State community. The full team is expected to be in place by the start of the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.