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Organizational Structure

A small, dedicated staff will lead the UR Better initiative, providing expertise and leadership in four areas: process improvement, project management, change management, and process documentation and training. Two existing positions have been reallocated to UR Better to provide focused attention to process improvement initiatives and help ensure that offices have the resources that are necessary to effectively re-design processes, efficiently implement improvements, and fully document the new processes.

A UR Better Steering Committee, with broad representation from across campus, will provide guidance on process improvement goals and project prioritization. These colleagues will also recommend process improvement projects to undertake and suggest and/or endorse improved processes to implement.

The UR Better Executive Sponsors will provide strategic direction for the initiative. In addition, the Sponsors are committed to supporting the process improvement plans developed through this initiative, including providing additional financial and/or temporary human resources when needed to implement an improved process.


Process

UR Better Process

Project Identification

Campus community members are encouraged to submit suggestions for consideration through the “Make a Suggestion” form or by contacting one of the members of the UR Better team.

UR Better values the input and suggestions provided by campus community members and is committed to addressing all suggestions in some way. Suggestions fall into several categories and will be handled differently depending on the category in which they fall. The chart below details the different categories and identifies the actions taken for each.

Category Action Taken Examples
Suggestions related to specific business processes—within the purview of UR Better and not the focus of another campus body or initiative Suggestions will be prioritized according to the project prioritization methodology detailed below Travel and expense reports require too much time and paper to complete
Suggestions related to specific processes—outside the purview of UR Better or the focus of another campus body or initiative Suggestions will be shared with the appropriate campus body, as well as shared with the UR Better Steering Committee and Executive Sponsors Honor council process for handling plagiarism claims (outside the purview of UR Better)

Performance management process (focus of the Performance Management Steering Committee)
Suggestions too broad to prioritize Suggestions will be shared with the UR Better Steering Committee and Executive Sponsors and considered when specific, related suggestions are being evaluated or solutions developed Students face too many different systems when interfacing with the university
Suggestions of general principles/goals Suggestions will be shared with the UR Better Steering Committee and Executive Sponsors and will be valued as improvement solutions are developed Forms should be available electronically

Approval processes involve too many people

Project suggestions relating to specific business processes will be evaluated by the UR Better team using five criteria:

  • Institutional time savings - the amount of time, in total, that might be saved by individuals performing the process; or improving the alignment of process tasks with the individuals hired to perform those tasks
  • Institutional cost savings - the amount of net cost savings that might be realized by improving the process
  • Quality improvement - reduced error rates or improved data quality or availability
  • Reduction of compliance risk / improvement of risk management
  • Breadth of positive impact / improvement in user satisfaction - the amount of improvement in the experience of process users anticipated from improving the process

Projects will be scored as having no impact, low impact, moderate impact or high impact on each criteria (scored as 0, 3, 6, or 9, respectively). A composite score is then calculated for each project. Projects scoring highly overall will be prioritized by the Steering Committee for further evaluation.

Project Work: Analysis 

The projects prioritized for work by the Steering Committee will be analyzed by a project team comprised of process owners, key stakeholders, and the UR Better team. The project team will document the current process and required outcomes, identify opportunities for improvement, and identify potential solutions that provide the greatest overall impact for the university. Once the project team has identified and designed an improved process, that process improvement suggestion will be shared with the Steering Committee so that they may provide feedback on and endorse or suggest alternatives to the project team’s recommendations. Once there is an endorsed improvement plan, the project team will move forward with implementing the plan. 

Project Work: Implementation

The UR Better team will serve as the project manager and partner with process owners to implement the new and endorsed improvement plan. Implementation will include supporting change management efforts by providing clear and consistent communication to stakeholders, coordinating testing and training efforts, and ensuring a smooth transition for offices impacted by the new process. Additionally, the UR Better team will develop robust documentation and training materials for the new process.

Project Evaluation

Metrics will be gathered before and after new process implementations to assess the level of success of the effort. The UR Better team will share the outcomes with the campus community to help promote knowledge of and enthusiasm for the continuous process improvement effort and to inspire new project suggestions.