Implementing Harvard Tubs

In April 2018, Harvard went "live" with a new Managed Services Program (MSP) and vendor management system (VMS) to find, engage and pay contingent labor -- temps from agencies and staffing companies and externally payrolled workers. Implementation across Harvard is planned in quarterly "phases" over the next couple of years, guided by this implementation roadmap.

The main goals of the "Contingent Workforce" project are to: 

  • reduce the administrative burdens associated with contracting, invoice payments, and tax reporting;
  • save 10% on Harvard's contingent workforce spend, which is tens of millions of dollars annually;
  • rationalize and then optimize the highly-fragmented supply base;
  • reduce operational, legal and compliance risks.


In the first phase of the project, four Harvard tubs and about 50 suppliers of hourly-billed contingent workers (clerical, IT, business, finance, service and scientific) were enrolled. Business processes and policies were defined, and the new Fieldglass system -- including integrations with Harvard financial and HR systems -- was configured and launched. 

In future phases, we expect to bring additional Harvard departments and suppliers into the Program, and to "convert" contingent workers who are currently on assignment at Harvard through enrolled suppliers. We will also be assessing the feasibiilty of bringing additional contingent workers into the MSP, such as:

  • Statement of Work (SOW) providers: These include consultants and contractors typically paid on a project basis for a specified scope of work, with payment made upon the completion of deliverables or milestones.
  • Independent Contractors: These are typically self-employed individuals (also called ICs or 1099s) who meet the Massachusetts and federal classification guidelines for independent contractors performing services for Harvard.

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