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An Introduction to Business Process Improvement for HE administrators

Good Practice Series number 43

This is one of a series of Good Practice Guides published by the AUA. Front cover image by Flickr user Nogwater, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) licence. Š AUA 2016 www.aua.ac.uk AUA Office University of Manchester, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD Tel: 0161 275 2063 Email: aua@aua.ac.uk

Written by Rachel McAssey


Case Studies

Author Rachel is the Head of Process Improvement at The University of Sheffield. She has worked in the Higher Education sector for twenty years covering a broad range of roles in research administration, postgraduate administration management (taught and research), supporting a large and complex Subject Review, and Assistant Registrar for student registration. The Process Improvement Unit has a remit to help with the creation of a continuous improvement culture. The unit runs large improvement projects and smaller workshops and also delivers training on process improvement skills and tools internally and externally. The unit has also started teaching lean to students on the Engineering Leadership programme and the MA Librarianship studies course. Rachel has been a member of AUA since 2001. She is also Head of the Lean HE Hub Continental Division (Europe). Rachel has co-authored a paper on Customer Empathy Mapping which is available on the Lean HE Hub website and an article on Lean Start up for the Lean Management Journal.

John Hogg - The University of Strathclyde John is a senior change and continuous improvement manager in Higher Education. He is currently responsible for leading a programme of business improvement and change projects within the University of Strathclyde. John is the Convenor of the Scottish Higher Education Improvement Network and member of the Lean HE Steering Group. John was named by the Lean Management Journal as being one of the top 25 most inspirational individuals in Lean Management in 2015. Bruce Levitan - Manchester Metropolitan University Bruce has recently retired as Head of Business Improvement at Manchester Metropolitan University. The BI Team provides programme and project management support and a wide range of business analysis support, including process mapping, workshop facilitation, requirements gathering and root cause analysis.

Hannah Smith - University of York Hannah is a Business Analyst in the Information Directorate at The University of York. Hannah has worked as a BA in both the Financial Services sector and the Legal sector. She is passionate about continuing to develop her own BA skills, agile approach and Lean mentality.

Contributor Christine Stewart Managing Director Macresco Ltd Christine is an experienced lean practitioner; she has worked in the manufacturing, financial and higher education sectors to develop organisations, processes and people to become more effective and efficient. She has experience in working with organisations to develop their strategic plans for improvement, reviewing and developing processes to deliver customer value and harnessing the knowledge and experience of staff in order to implement sustainable change.

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Steve Yorkstone - Edinburgh Napier University Steve works full-time in Edinburgh Napier University as a senior consultant, enabling continuous improvement. He is chairperson of the Lean HE Hub, the international peer practitioner organisation for applying Lean and related approaches in Higher Education. He is on the editorial board for the Operational Excellence Magazine, The LMJ. He co-designed the globally recognised “St Andrews Model” for Lean in Universities, and has an upcoming chapter “Lean Universities” in the Routledge Guide to Lean Management. 3


Contents

Introduction

Introduction

3

Continuous Improvement

6

Process Mapping

6

Lean

10

Root Cause Analysis

11

Value and Waste Analysis

13

Voice of the Customer (VOC)

14

Runners, Repeaters and Strangers

18

Standardisation

18

Pareto Chart

19

Gemba

20

Affinity Mapping

21

Reverse Brainstorming

22

Prioritisation

22

Data Collection to inform Measures and Benefits of BPI

23

Managing your BPI project

24

Stakeholder Engagement

26

When not to use BPI

27

Sustaining your improvements

27

Top Tips for BPI

28

Conclusion

28

Case Studies

29

Glossary of Terms

40

Further Reading

41

What is Business Process Improvement (BPI)? BPI is an umbrella term for a number of methodologies that enable the reengineering of business processes. The most common terms used in Higher Education include: Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement, Business Process Review (BPR), Business Improvement and Process Improvement. These approaches help us to understand work as a process rather than a series of individual jobs and tasks. The methodologies help us understand how we can change the activities to make the work more effective and efficient or to reduce variation and create standardisation. Why is BPI useful in a University environment? UK Higher Education has grown exponentially in the past two decades: the challenge of increasing student numbers; increasingly diverse student groups; changes in funding; increasing requirements for regulation and reporting. Some university business processes have dealt with the changes reactively (often due to uncertainty, inchoate information, changing requirements) or have worked in silos based on organisational structure. In some cases this has led to duplication of effort, creation of processes that are caused by Expert View: problems from other ineffective procedures and In the successful initiatives I processes with high levels of variation (both in am aware of, regardless of end-to-end process time and ways of getting the the tools or approaches used, work done). The first Diamond Report (Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education: A report by the Universities UK Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group) made specific reference to BPI to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Concurrently, Research Councils and other research funders demand that universities demonstrate efficient processes to demonstrate they are delivering value for money. In an increasingly competitive environment, universities are looking for collaborative partners who can work responsively and proactively.

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they are all working towards a culture of improvement. By a culture I mean the way that individuals within the organisation behave together, and in successful cultures of improvement you typically see reducing silo thinking, building trust, and avoiding blame – basically applying respect for people. Without a culture of improvement, BPI efforts are more likely to have limited impact and fail to achieve sustained or transformational outcomes. Steve Yorkstone

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BPI methodologies are being used in universities across the world as a way of streamlining work, ensuring value for money and delivering service excellence. More recently, the sector has started using BPI and Lean specifically to drive cultural change, and to deliver on institutional leadership and staff development strategies.

Drop Down Flow Chart: One step on from a high-level process map, here additional key steps are included to give greater detail about the work required.

This guide is intended as a resource for Higher Education Administrators who want to start undertaking some process improvements and aims to give an overview of some of the common approaches used in BPI.

Continuous Improvement In order to gain the greatest benefits from BPI an understanding and culture of Continuous Improvement needs to be created and sustained.

Process Flow Chart: A basic diagram which shows process flow, breaking down the process into a series of steps and decisions (see page 9 Simple Process Mapping).

The Deming Cycle The Deming cycle is the embodiment of how continuous improvement can be practically driven. Plan: Understanding the current situation, getting some baseline data, being clear which problems will be addressed and why. Do: Identify improvements, implement improvements with agreed and appropriate timescales. Check: Gather data on; how the new process is functioning; new process problems that have occurred; process problems that have not been improved; other metrics. Assess whether the changes have been helpful and obtain customer feedback. Act/Adjust: Using the data, agree what will be improved next.

Rummler-Brache Diagrams (Swim Lane Diagrams): Perhaps the most common map, where each process step is included in a diagram with arrows to show how the work/information is being progressed. Individual roles/teams/departments are shown in separate lines or swim lanes to show ownership of work and handovers.

Process Mapping Types of Process Map: SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers): A high-level process map that includes information about suppliers, inputs, high level (4-7) process steps, outputs and customers.

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Things to consider prior to mapping a process If inadequate thought is given to the aim or goal of a mapping exercise, significant time and effort can be wasted. This can lead to too much or too little work being allocated, the incorrect process map being produced, or not mapping the end-to-end process. Process mapping is best done in small groups with people who have knowledge of the process. Best results are achieved in an environment which promotes sharing information about process problems, facilitated in a neutral manner that apportions neither blame nor judgement.

3.

4. 5. 6.

What are the key outputs of the process? There is often more than one identifiable output in a university environment (e.g. data for MI/regulatory reporting). Review your customers; sometimes identifying the outputs helps us identify other customers of the process. Identify the key inputs into the process Confirm suppliers who provide the inputs

Example: Producing an AUA guide

1. Reasons for mapping a process Diagnosing a problem: mapping a process to find out/get consensus about process problems and root cause Regulation: mapping a process to ensure that it is compliant, or as a tool for audit to demonstrate compliance Improvement: identifying the proposed changes that will improve a process, and providing very specific steps for staff to help them embed the improvements. Value: to undertake a value and waste analysis (see page 13), to get measure on how the process is currently working/will be working in the future. Education: a training tool for staff and/or customers to give an overview of how the process works. It can also be a tool for staff to use to help carry out key steps. Expert View: It is worth having a scoping meeting before you start to map. This is especially important if you are mapping a process where a lot of people are involved since you can invite them all to participate. The scoping workshop should be about agreeing why you are mapping, what you are going to map (the start and end points i.e. the scope), who you need to map with (the people who do the job but no more than 12) and then how the output of the mapping is to be validated and communicated to the wider group. Christine Stewart

2. Creation of a SIPOC SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers. A SIPOC is highly recommended as the first stage of process mapping (sometimes no further mapping is required). 1. 2.

Simple Process Mapping Standard practice for process mapping activities tends to be using a roll of brown paper and sticky notes to map a current or future process. In their simplest form, process maps consist of rectangles (process steps) and diamonds (process decisions). The maps are frequently split into swim lanes (key roles/teams/ departments) (see page 7). The most common software for process mapping is Microsoft Visio or Lucidchart. Groups often value interactive practical mapping over computer-based mapping. Frequently used Process Mapping Symbols

First agree the high level process, breaking the process down into four to seven steps. Next identify whom the process has been designed for i.e. who is the main customer or primary beneficiary, then who are the other customers of the process? 8

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Lean Fundamentals Two fundamental factors need to be present to implement lean effectively. Respect for People being the first principle, which enables the second principle of Continuous Improvement.

Line jump

Connector

People who participate in process mapping activities often report that they discover things about the process that they were unaware of. It can also be useful for encouraging collaborative working and creating a culture of continuous improvement. Terminology and grammar needs to be considered when writing up the final process map to ensure that they can be read and understood by other people. It is good practice to ensure that the process map is used and make sure the team who contributed to the mapping exercise know how it will be utilised.

Lean Lean is becoming an increasingly popular approach within Higher Education as a methodology for improving process effectiveness and efficiency.

Respect for People Giving people the authority to make changes. Including the entire workforce in improvement activities. Recognising and respecting people’s areas of expertise. Challenging people appropriately. Promoting teamwork. Allowing people to experiment and not be afraid to fail.

Continuous Improvement Going to where the work happens to identify how processes currently work. Building in time to make changes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Challenging the current conditions to identify improvements. Promoting problem-identification and problem-solving skills. A culture that evidences and rewards improvement activities. Recognising that there will always be improvement opportunities. 10

Characteristics: Lean Principles (identified by Womack and Jones, see further reading page 40) 1. Specify what creates value from the customer’s perspective (see page 13 for more information on value). 2. Identify and map the value stream (the entire set of activities across all parts of the organisation involved in jointly delivering the process or service). Expert View: Lean provides you with a framework to help you apply the right tool in the right place at the right time. The principles do follow an order but sometimes you will move through some steps quicker and some slower. By stepping through each of them in turn you make sure you cover all bases! Christine Stewart

3. 4. 5.

Expert View: ‘Pull’ in higher education is about understanding the demand the customer is putting on the process. The process to accommodate 10,000 students wanting library cards in the first week of term will be very different to one that estimates having just 10 students a day turn up to fill in a form. ‘Pursue perfection’ is particularly relevant with the changing demands of our students as well as the changing political environment around higher education. Therefore, it is important that we constantly review our working processes and practices as what works well today may not be suitable in the future. Christine Stewart

Create process flow and eliminate waste (refer to page 13). Respond to customer ‘pull’ i.e. produce items to meet the customer needs and by the customer deadlines. ‘Pursue perfection’, by continuing to keep reviewing processes the process will degrade and new wastes will present themselves.

Root Cause Analysis Root Cause Analysis is essential when identifying the problem that needs to be addressed for your BPI project. Root Cause Analysis should be carried out at the beginning of a project (and through-out the project); it helps us concentrate our efforts appropriately. 11


Why eliminate the root cause? If you attack only the symptoms the problem might get worse. The problems will still be there but cannot be easily monitored. Elimination of first level causes might temporarily alleviate the problem, but the root cause will eventually find another way to manifest itself. 5 Whys 5 Whys is a technique that can be used to drill-down and explore the underlying causes of a problem. It is a simple way of unpicking a problem to focus on the root cause. When undertaking this as an exercise it is important to remind the group that "people do not fail, processes do". The exercise can be done in small groups either as a collaborative activity “shout-out” or with individual team members writing on post-its in silence. In essence you ask why something is happening five times (or more) until the fundamental cause is identified. E.g. The helpdesk emails are not answered in one working day Why no 1.

There are too many emails

Why no 2.

Students can’t find the answers to their questions elsewhere

Why no 3.

The website is confusing and difficult to search

Why no 4.

We haven’t had time to improve our web pages

Why no 5.

We don’t have the specialist resource to improve our web pages

Value and Waste Analysis This approach is a key part of lean methodology.

Fishbone diagrams/Cause and Effect Diagrams/Ishikawa Diagram These are very simple diagrams usually with five standard headings (people, equipment, materials, method and environment). Constructing a fishbone is a tool that guides you to follow a methodical approach to identifying causes of a process problem and agreement about root causes to be addressed. When they are produced in collaboration with key stakeholders it provides a structure for considering problems and agreeing which problems need to be addressed for improvement.     

Be specific about the effect you are trying to analyse Add the bones (standard headings) of the diagram Brainstorm the causes and write them on the appropriate part of the diagram Identify repetition Re-order the diagram to establish priorities and key causes

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Value A process step is considered to of be value if it satisfies all three criteria: Would the customer pay for it (if they knew about the step)? Does the step transform the product or service? Was it right first time? This concept can be challenging when reviewing administrative processes because by definition they are often comprised of a significant amount of waste. Some waste will be necessary because of regulatory activities or current circumstances however many wastes are unnecessary and can be targeted for removal from a process. 13


Waste Batching: One of the most common barriers to process efficiency is batching work; this leads to high levels of variation in the process lead time. As a consequence people further along the process often receive more work than they can cope with, and for beneficiaries (customers) of the process, it can be difficult to confirm how long a process may take. Improving processes so that single-piece flow can be achieved throughout can produce substantial improvements.  Continuous Improvement removes waste  Respect for people adds value  Together the two principles are non-zero-sum Waste Transport Inventory Motion Waiting

Explanation Movement of ‘things’ e.g. paperwork, electronic information, material drawings, equipment and supplies. Excess paperwork, supplies, materials, equipment. Having the right (sufficient) resource. Movement of people. People waiting for people. Information, product, work or equipment waiting for people or processing. People waiting for information, product, or equipment. Computer system delays. Approval.

Overproduction

Producing too much, too fast or too soon. Upstream supplier pushes work to downstream customer regardless of whether he or she has the capacity to work on it.

Overprocessing Defects

Doing more than the customer is willing to pay for. Re-entering data, making extra copies of forms. Internal or external suppliers providing incomplete or incorrect information or material.

Skills misuse

Not using the full capacity of the individual i.e. knowledge, skills, aptitude and creativity.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) Understanding the Voice of the Customer (i.e. what a customer wants from a process) is a critical part of BPI. Surveys, focus groups and one-to-one interviews are excellent ways of interpreting customer requirements. The use of the word ‘customer’ can be contentious in universities; essentially it is important to identify who the beneficiary of the end-to-end process is. It is not intended to over simplify relationships between staff and students; in BPI it is a functional term to identify the person or group that the process is intended to serve. 14

RATER The RATER Model is a useful model to review current state (what is happening now) and then apply it to the future state – the improved process. This should give you a set of actions to help implement the new process. It is also a way of assessing whether the new process offers improvements for the primary beneficiary. Reliability  How dependable is the service you offer to your customers?  Are your systems and processes robust?  Is the process consistent and meeting the customers timescales? Assurance  Do your staff have the skills and knowledge needed to deliver good customer service?  Do your customers have confidence in your staff?  Is your service safe and secure? Tangibles  Is the appearance of your service (marketing materials, website, forms, guidance notes, offices etc.) appropriate for your customers?  Are your website FAQs useful, comprehensive, and up to date? Can people talk to a person if their questions haven't been answered? Empathy  Do your staff have a good relationship with your customers?  Is all communication with customers clear and timely?  Do staff understand why empathy is essential for providing a great service?  Do your staff see things from the customers perspective? Do they know what the customer’s perspective is?

Expert View: When undertaking VOC collection it is important to consider what people tell us they desire, their ‘wants’, versus what their behaviour indicates they require, their ‘needs’. The theory behind this is that of expressed versus revealed preference. Put simply, sometimes people aren’t able to express their needs, but, data about their behaviour can evidence this. Interestingly in Universities the learning journey can also present a challenge to understanding wants vs. needs. For example, when I was studying philosophy in second year I resented my compulsory formal logic classes (I would have gladly had them cancelled), however, when I needed to use that formal logic in subsequent teaching I realised how important those classes had been (and I was secretly pleased I’d turned up)! Steve Yorkstone

Responsiveness  Do you provide a prompt service?  Is the complaints procedure fit for purpose for the process?  When things go wrong, do staff respond appropriately for the customer’s needs?

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Kano Model The Kano Model can be an effective way of reviewing a process or service to ensure it is delivering the requirements of the customer. It is split into three main criteria: Basic: What a customer expects will be present in the process/service (and often will not think to mention) e.g. a telephone that receive calls. Performance: Things that increase a customer’s satisfaction with the process, e.g. confirmation that an email is being dealt with, speedy replies, professional staff, clear wording on guidance notes, discount for early payment of tuition fees. Delighters: Things that the customer did not know that they wanted/did not expect but increase their satisfaction, e.g. ability to view lectures prior to module choice to inform the decision making process. To use the Kano Model follow these steps: 1. Before creating a future state or improved process, brainstorm all of the possible features your process could include which would please your customers. 2. Classify these as ‘Basic’, ‘Performance’, ‘Delighters’ and ‘Irrelevant’. 3. Make sure you include all Basic attributes into your process. 4. Try to remove all attributes or steps that are irrelevant. 5. Look at the Delighters and identify what you could include into your process. 6. Select appropriate Performance Attributes so that you can deliver the process or service with the budget/staffing resource that you have available. Beware: Delighters soon become Performance attributes, so make sure you apply these realistically.

Customer Personae Customer personae are characters created to help us understand how a process is delivering value to different groups of people. They are also a useful way of using data from questionnaires and other pieces of market research to group the information and apply it to different users (often age, gender and budget). Ultimately, it’s about putting a human face on abstract data so that we can design processes with our customers in mind. Start by brainstorming different customer types, these might be:  Regular customers, infrequent customers, one-off customers  Big budget, small budget, flexible budget  Different age groups  Customers from different regions Once you have identified your customer types (between three to six types is manageable) start noting key data or attributes (supported by other VOC activities). This may be gender, age, profession, financial situation, purpose/goal, preferred contact method, role in the process/what do they want, anything else e.g. familiarity with computers. Use the standard information to create the personae. Give each persona a name. The key is to make them as realistic as possible. Once you have created your customer personae you can use these when designing new processes to ensure they meet the needs of the different customer types. An example persona; Experienced Admissions Tutor – course that recruits well Name: Emma Age: 40 Number of Years in Role: 4 Purpose: To recruit the highest quality of candidates and the maximum number of home undergraduate students to the course. Preferred Contact Method: Telephone (hates receiving too many emails), likes to talk to people Role/requirement: Understandable and effective admissions process, access to key data to make decisions, user-friendly system to make updates Anything else: Has previously missed out on updates about changes to processes which led to a complaint to Head of Admissions. She has very limited time, many conflicting demands, and is unhappy with the current student management system.

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Runners, Repeaters and Strangers This concept helps identify common, high volume and regular activities, the premise being that the regular work needs to be identified and it must flow through a process. We need to identify the work that deserves unique attention (and deal with it appropriately).   

Runners: Activities and processes that occur on a regular basis, are high volume and highly repeatable. Repeaters: Activities that occur regularly with a demand that might be difficult to predict and are partially repeatable or the activity happens less frequently. Strangers: Activities that occur infrequently and the nature and demand is hard to predict. It is much more advisable to deal with these on an ad-hoc basis rather than having an agreed process.

An example: Student Enrolments  Runners: Enrolments to standard courses  Repeaters: Non-standard courses that run throughout the year  Strangers: Complex courses that have different and multifaceted regulations to that of a standard course, often running as a pilot or for the first time. This helpful concept can be used alongside creating standard work. Sometimes when creating business processes people try to make the process work for every single occurrence. The result is a standard process that is overly complex and when unplanned difficult work is passed through the process which stymies the regular dayto-day work.

   

Easier to implement improvements Improved quality Useful for staff training Creates space to undertake other value added work

Criticism of standard work:  It is limiting and stifles experimentation  Restrictive/removes the opportunity for staff to personalise their service  Bureaucratic Guidance for implementing standard work: 1. Adjust for human ease and effectiveness, not computer efficiency 2. Standardise repetitive work 3. Keep equipment and systems working properly 4. Make the standard work and process visible and accessible 5. Revise the standard regularly in the light of changes and new information 6. Don’t standardise things that are genuinely non-standard e.g. creativity or application of judgement A process map can be a good way of showing existing process differences and it can be a useful tool to agree on the new standard process.

Pareto Chart

Expert View: BPI tends to get accused of trying to make one size fit all. This is most definitely not the case. It is a case of trying to standardise but only where it is appropriate. If there are legitimate reasons for something being treated differently then it should. I tend to think of it as having 80% of the process built for all with 20% flexibility for those whose needs are different. Christine Stewart

Standardisation One of the predominant reasons people start BPI activities is to standardise processes. Quite simply standard work enables everybody to do the same thing the same way, every time. Benefits of standard work:  Easier for staff to cover  More consistent experience for the customer  Easier to identify process problems

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The chart is named after Vilfredo Pareto the Italian economist responsible for identifying the Pareto Principle (most commonly known as the 80:20 Rule). The purpose of the chart is to demonstrate which of the problems add up to approximately 80% which is what the improvement activity should focus on. A Pareto Chart is a bar chart with the bars organised in order of frequency, with a second Y-axis which shows a line chart representing cumulative percentage. It requires some data collection, but this is good practice to get baseline figures and ensure that improvement decisions are data driven.

Gemba

Criticisms of Rapid Improvement Events:  Costly  Limited impact if team not empowered

Affinity Mapping This is a useful tool for helping create consensus about key themes either when looking at problems with the existing process or identifying improvements. It allows groups to make sense of large or complicated data sets. It is a tool that needs to be used in a group environment – for a BPI project it is often the project team, customers, or people who are familiar with the process. Theme 1

Gemba is a Japanese term roughly translated as “the real place” or “where the work happens”. It is good practice to ensure that you go and observe process activities to get a full understanding of how the work happens. It also helps you to gain a better picture of what work is being undertaken because when people describe their activities they often omit certain steps due to their (un)familiarity with the process (they take it for granted it’ll be included). If you are going to observe people it is really important that that you explain why you are doing it (i.e. to understand the process) and if you are doing any timings of activities you need to reassure people that you are not carrying Expert View: Whether you are doing something like a out a time and motion Kaizen event or a current state that needs to be followed study. by developing a future state it is important that the time

These can be hard to schedule and/or get permission to run. The main benefit is that the team have dedicated time to fully understand the problem and agree on an improved process in a fast but well-informed way. They often create momentum for improvements and ensure that there is engagement from the whole project team. 20

Problem 1.1

Problem 1.4

Problem 2.a

Problem 1.2

Problem 1.5

Problem 2.c

Problem 2.b

Problem 1.3

Expert View: This approach helps the group to get past specific problems and reach a state of group thinking that is difficult to create in traditional brainstorming activities. Steve Yorkstone

between these sessions is as small as possible. One

Kaizen Events (Rapid reason is to keep the momentum going; if the gap is too Improvement Events) long people lose their enthusiasm or are influenced by These are workshops people who were not part of the workshop. Another is to that typically last get it over and done with, after all this is about the Plan between 3 to 5 days. part of Plan, Do, Check, Act and you need to move to the They are intensive ‘doing part’ in order to actually improve the process. events that enable the Christine Stewart team to unpick the current process and create an improved process. Typically ending with a presentation back to the sponsor and key stakeholders about what actions have/ will be taken to implement the changes.

Theme 2

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. 7.

Get people to silently brainstorm problems (or solutions) on index cards or sticky notes. Instruct people to write one problem per sticky note, encouraging people to write in sentences. (You may need to assist people with this) You may wish to remove duplicates – although having a sense of regularly occurring ideas or problems can be valuable. Allow at least ten minutes for the brainstorming activity and ensure it is done in silence. Tell the group to silently sort the problems into similar themes; be watchful for people creating one large category – if you see this happening get them to break it down. Once the themes have been identified, get some one else to go through the cards/ post-its and ensure that the themes make sense The groups can be used as input into further BPI activities. 21


Reverse Brainstorming This is a useful tool to help improve a process and can be a way of dealing with negative thought patterns. Look at the problem and identify ways of making it worse. Then flip the ideas to identify possible improvements. It is important to phrase the problem in a way that suggests there might be many solutions. E.g. How might we reduce student recruitment? Idea

Flip

Action

Make the course information really hard to find on the website.

Improve the course information on the website

Don’t respond to enquiries

Respond to enquires quickly

Don’t give out information about tuition fees

Give out information about fees

What information needs to be improved? Find out how enquirers search for information Find out whether enquirers want the information on the web What is the current response time? What response time does the enquirer expect? What information do we currently provide? How do we provide it? When do we provide it? When and how do enquirers want this information? How can we make the information easier to understand? Have we got any bursaries we want to promote to certain enquirers? How can we make the current process more effective? What are enquirers or applicants currently unsure about?

Make the admissions process oblique

Effective, clear admission process

Prioritisation When identifying improvements the use of prioritisation tools can assist the team with agreeing which changes should be made. There is a wealth of prioritisation methods to choose from, a couple of them are detailed below. Prioritisation Matrix (Impact/Complexity Grid, Ease/Benefit Analysis, Impact/Effort Chart) A prioritisation matrix is a tool that helps the team to consider each of the ideas against ease of doing, versus impact on the problem (or two factors e.g. ease/benefit). Having each of the ideas on post-it notes so that they can be placed on the matrix is one way of doing this. The output should guide the team on the order to implement improvements.

Fools gold

Quick win

Waste of time and money

Consider carefully

Ease of doing

Impact on the problem

MOSCOW This is a prioritisation technique that allows the group to focus on a critical few improvements or changes. It is an acronym that stands for must have, should have, could have, and would like but won't get. It is often used in Agile software development.

Data Collection to Inform Measures and Benefits of BPI Getting data about how your process is currently working gives you information about why improvement is necessary and where to focus your efforts. More fundamentally it gives you a baseline that means that you can check whether the changes you have made are actual improvements. Experts at the University of Strathclyde have produced an accessible guide to help staff in HE evidence the benefits of BPI activities (see reading list). Useful data might include:  Process Time: How long does the process take from start to finish? How much variation is there in process time?  Customer feedback and complaints  Errors: What things are incorrect; have to be sent back or fixed in order to complete the process?  Staff Time: How long does it take staff to do their part of the process?  Volumes: How many, how often?  Hard costs: Software, paper etc. Data can’t always be easily accessed from a system and has to be collected manually. Two possible ways are suggested below. 23


Check sheets Simple check sheets used over a period of time (a couple of weeks, a month) are a way of getting some information about processes and staff time. It requires agreement from everyone involved in the process that they will complete the check sheet and it needs to be clear what happens with the completed check sheet e.g. who should they send it to? Sample check sheet to monitor process and staff time Day/time received

Processing time

Comments

Dept. 1

5. Brainstorm solutions to the problem 6. Agree which improvements will be implemented 7. Implementation plan 8. Measure, record and compare results to baseline data 9. Prepare summary documents 10. Create short term action plan, on-going standards and sustaining plan The following tools may help you manage your BPI project in an organised way that ensures information is readily available. It is good practice to ensure that the documents can accessed by everyone who is involved in the BPI activity. Concept Summary This is a simple one-page document that aims to succinctly describe the change requirement under the following headlines:

Dept. 2 Approval Administration

Errors Identifying common errors and keeping a simple tick sheet over a short period of time (a couple of weeks, a month) to get some data about volumes. These can then be put into a Pareto chart (see page 19) to identify which error you should focus on e.g. Student course change requests. Form not signed by student Form not authorised by department Not eligible to change course: Incorrect qualifications Incorrect experience No DBS check No space on new course

     

The problem/opportunity: who it affects and what the impact is? How the change maps back to University strategy & objectives What the expected benefits are? A snapshot view of the high level requirements A snapshot view of the early solution options And the proposed next steps

|||| |||| || |||| ||| |||| | |||| || |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| ||

Expert View: Measures are essential for being able to check whether or not your improvement has worked and also to help identify areas for further improvement. However, measures drive behaviour and you need to think carefully about what behaviour you want. Make sure you think about quality and quantity as well as tangible and intangible measures. Christine Stewart

Managing your BPI Project Most BPI projects have the following stages: 1. Scope and define the problem 2. Get baseline data 3. Document the current situation 4. Create and agree an ideal situation

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RAID logs A RAID log is a simple tool to manage Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies. Create your log at the start of your project and review with team members regularly. Risk: a possible future issue i.e. something that may go wrong. It can be any event that might occur and have a negative impact on your BPI project. Assumption: something that is set as true to enable an organisation to go ahead with a project e.g. specialist resources, availability of team members, authority to make changes Issues: something that is going wrong now in a project (unlike a risk which might happen) Dependencies: things that must be actioned or delivered to enable a project’s completion. This is a useful tool to prioritise actions. Dependencies might be output from other projects e.g. in a BPI project there may be a policy review happening and its outputs will affect the process. Risks

Assumptions

Issues

Dependencies

1 Critical

0 Critical

0 Critical

0 Critical

4 High

1 High

2 High

0 High

2 Moderate

3 Moderate

4 Moderate

2 Moderate

1 Low

1 Low

5 Low

1 Low

3 Negligible

0 Negligible

0 Negligible

1 Negligible

11

5

11

Power of stakeholders

Meet their needs: Engage and consult. Try to increase their level of interest.

Key stakeholders: Focus your efforts here Involve in decision making process Engage and consult regularly

Least important Inform via general comms. Try to increase their level of interest.

Consider: Keep informed and consults Use as potential supporters of the improvements/ champions

Interest of stakeholders

When Not to use BPI It is important to use BPI appropriately. You should not use BPI… When the solution is known – just implement it. If senior management does not support a BPI project. If you cannot involve all key stakeholders. If a policy is unclear/needs reviewing – you may wish to improve the policy first.

4

Sustaining Your Improvements Stakeholder Engagement Identifying and engaging with key stakeholders throughout your BPI project is important. Stakeholders are people with an interest in or who are affected by the process. Stakeholder Matrix A stakeholder matrix is useful tool to ensure that you are communicating in the most appropriate way. The matrix looks at power of the stakeholder versus their interest in the process. By plotting your stakeholders onto the matrix you can use the tool to effectively manage and engage stakeholders. 26

Ensuring that improvement activities are maintained (and continue to be improved) is critical. Some ways that you may help to safe guard improvements are:  Clear measures that are monitored  Training for staff  Time to review the process and standard operating procedures  BPI training for all staff  Make the process (its metrics and any problems) visible using simple visual management techniques.  An institutional culture of continuous improvement 27


Top Tips for BPI 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Case Studies

Keep your project scope small (remember this is about continuous improvement). Process map onto brown paper first – not straight into a computer system. Collect some baseline data. Involve others Take time to address the root cause. Think about the customer or beneficiary of your process. Allow enough time to undertake BPI work. Collect some key measures after implementing the improvements. Aim for fast implementation (where appropriate). The longer you leave it the harder implementation becomes. Manage your stakeholders.

Conclusion BPI is an effective way of reviewing and improving the way work is carried out. If you are looking at future computer system development a standard, a simple process will always be easier to programme than a complex process (and after process improvement the computer system may no longer be needed). Efficient and effective processes are a way of releasing staff time to focus on value-added work. Be prepared to pilot improvements (as part of the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle) - they will give you the data you need to fully implement new processes. The case studies in this guide focus on larger process reviews. BPI can also be carried out on smaller processes such as scheduling meetings, dealing with emails (in a shared in-box) and dealing with enquiries at a helpdesk. Expert View: One of the difficulties with process improvement in higher education is the complexity. Not necessarily the complexity of each individual process but the fact that each process is linked to another or a group of other processes. Therefore, the unpicking of this can prove difficult and lead to scope creep. Whilst process reviews recommend that a process be looked at from supplier to customer i.e. the end-to-end process, the higher education environment often means we need to ‘chunk up’ processes. Be aware you need to understand where a particular ’chunk’ fits in the overall process to ensure you understand the possible repercussions and can include people from further up the stream to help mitigate any possible repercussions. Christine Stewart 28

Edinburgh Napier University - Employer Mentoring Review Background Employer Student Mentoring is a successful programme managed by the Employer Opportunities Team. Over the year 145 students participated in the programme, of which participant students have consistently improved degree outcomes and employability, compared to their peers. The University committed to increase participation in the scheme to 200 students as part of the University’s Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Funding Council. The Head of Employer Relations asked colleagues to undertake a process review in order to ensure the sustainability of the programme at a time of significant organisational change and to improve efficiencies. Methodology Given a full workload in the Employer Relations team, it was decided to approach the process redesign as a series of workshops. A total of 5 workshops were run between 15 June and 7 July 2015, focussing on: current state process mapping, identifying ideas for improvement, and future state process mapping. Significant additional work was undertaken on the review outside of these workshop sessions by the team. Staff availability was challenging; however, staff involved were flexible in the planned workshops, and as a group tailored discussions to meet the requirements of the live mentoring process. The team also worked to ensure that all changes to systems and processes would be implemented in advance of any organisational changes, for the benefit of the students involved in the programme. Outcomes  Procedure Guidelines. These were based on the agreed future state, and referencing the new systems introduced as a result of the workshop. These ensure that staff taking over running the programme at any point in the future would understand the new process.  Use of new Systems SharePoint. This ensures that the team can move to a secure institutionally owned, paper light approach, where they can concurrently access student and mentor information, and flexibly report on demand. In populating this system the team undertook a data-cleanse, ensuring the most accurate information is held (primarily regarding returning mentors). Furthermore the system is structured to ensure that the data to be entered in the future will be less prone to error than previously. 29


EventBrite. The team have also taken the opportunity to use EventBrite as a solution to booking their training and events, a solution that saves significant time and effort for staff who currently exchange a series of emails with individual students in order to book them into an induction session.

Quantitative Benefits  Savings in the region of 50 hours of full-time equivalent staff time for our Employer Relations Assistant.  Additional time savings in excess of 24 hours of coordinator time could be achieved if the changes proposed in the new process are successful in delivering the same level of service. The team plan to reinvest this time in achieving higher numbers of matches and in ensuring that the quality of interaction with students and mentors is maintained.  In terms of paper, using the systems above will save the printing, sorting and filing of around 1000 sheets of paper.  The review has also enabled the Employer Mentoring team to be successful in gaining reaccreditation under the Scottish Mentoring Network’s Quality Standards in September 2015. Only 9 projects in Scotland across both public and third sectors hold this award although we are the only University with accreditation. The review provided evidence for reaccreditation by evidencing how the team met quality indicator 5.3, to ‘Operate regular project reviews for staff to focus on any issues relating to the management of the service and its delivery.’ Qualitative Benefits  The most significant impact of this review is in the quality of the mentoring programme. The team are optimistic that the changes that they have made have increased visibility of the programme for team members, which will enable them to offer a better service to students, and better maintain relationships with mentors. There is improved tracking of follow-along (the regular contacts team members make with students) and through feedback at the end of the years.  An unintended but very welcome result of the process review has been the keen interest in the review mechanism from the Chair of the Scottish Mentoring Network, Jacqueline Thomas, who is interested in disseminating details of the review with SMN members across Scotland. Lessons learned  A series of workshops gave staff the necessary time to understand the problems with the existing process and identify (and implement) improvements. 30

Involving staff from the Academic and Business Liaison (ABL) team in the discussion phase was beneficial as they acted as a critical friend, providing an objective viewpoint and challenge, ensuring the team did not take for granted the way that the process had previously operated. When it came to implementation, the team from ABL were able to provide technical insight, ensuring that they could initially trial, implement, and source training for a system to replace their Access database. System Sustainability. Neither of these new systems bears any cost to the team, and work towards a longer-term possibility of implementing a bespoke mentoring management system.

Manchester Metropolitan University – Student Hubs Background As part of MMU’s award winning transformation programme, Enhancing Quality and Assessment for Learning (EQAL), a project was set up to review the processes used in the student-facing drop in centres (Student Information Points, or SIPs). The SIPs were subsequently renamed Student Hubs and will be referred to as such in this document. The high-level goals of this were: 1. to review processes across all Student Hubs and identify standard processes; 2. to identify process improvements for key processes; 3. to introduce Lean concepts to the Student Hub staff and to provide skills transfer so that they could undertake further improvements unaided. Methodology A Lean approach was used, founded on the key Lean principles of customer value, respect for people, waste elimination and establishing flow. Definition stage Meetings were held with the Senior Hub Advisers and their line manager to define and agree the scope of the project, the “rules of engagement” (e.g. size and length of workshops) and the Business Improvement Team’s facilitation/training role. The outcome was then taken to the formal Student Hub Management Group for approval. Set-up stage Briefing documentation was created and circulated to the Senior Hub Advisers for approval, and then circulated to staff. This outlined what we hoped to achieve and emphasised that the improvement would be identified by and with the staff (respect for people). There were some misgivings regarding the impact on students, which came from Student Hub staff who were used to “doing their own thing” (see lessons learned). 31


Workshops An initial half-day workshop provided an introduction to some of the key Lean concepts, and this was followed up (same day) with a review of the processes undertaken across the Student Hubs. We used an Impact/Complexity grid to identify processes with high impact / low complexity (quick wins) and high impact / high complexity (longer-term improvements). This provided the list of processes to be tackled. Follow-up workshops were dedicated to specific processes. The common approach used was to:  review any metrics that were available (e.g. student satisfaction, end-to-end times);  create as-is process maps;  analyse the as-is and agree the to-be;  analyse the to-be and identify/agree actions to be taken. Outputs The project was very successful overall as all of the aims outlined in section 1 were achieved. For example: All Student Hub processes were re-profiled for a standard approach across all Student Hubs (where possible):  Some processes were very specific to a Student Hub because of the nature of the Faculty – this was recognised and accounted for.  The overall number of processes undertaken by the Student Hubs was increased when it was recognised that some Student Hubs provided a service that others did not.  Where possible, standard processes for each Student Hub were identified (see Letters example) Specific processes were reviewed and improvements defined both short-term “quick wins” and longer-term enhancements that usually required an IT system to support them. As an example of this, the way in which Letters was produced was greatly improved, e.g.: the number of letter variations was reduced. Some Student Hubs almost created a bespoke letter on a student by student basis – staff here were initially resistant to changes as they saw this as providing a less good service. When they realised that the speed of service was the main thing the students wanted (we asked) they came round. The mechanism for producing letters was streamlined – in some cases letters that had taken 2-3 days to turn around were now produced on demand (within minutes). Some letters needed changes to IT systems to allow improvements, and these were documented so that formal requirements could be provided to IT Services (most of these were subsequently provided). 32

When the EQAL programme ended, a thorough review was undertaken, and one of the findings was that student satisfaction definitely improved as a result of the Student Hub improvements. Lessons learned One of the tensions in any sort of improvement work involves taking staff away from their day job so they can concentrate on improvements. The ideal was to have Kaizen-style workshops lasting 2-3 days to see a process improvement through from beginning to end. This was problematic for the managers so a workshops approach was used. As a result, some of the actions were not seen through and also key staff were not always available. If possible full Kaizen workshops should be undertaken. Some staff found it very hard to understand that a “Rolls-Royce” service is not necessarily the best thing for the customer. They genuinely want to provide customer value, but don’t realise that sometimes it’s fast , rather than bespoke, which is what matters. The lesson here is to spend time gathering customer feedback before the workshops are held. In hindsight we could have prevented some of the resistance if we’d spent a bit more time on this (VOC). The general issue is gathering baseline data – which is often lacking. Staff tended to want to provide IT solutions to improve their existing process rather than (potentially) radically changing the process. The lesson is to look at IT as an enabler, not a solution. In hindsight we should have chosen a process that didn’t need much IT as the first quick-win, to drive this lesson home. The University of Sheffield – Undergraduate Prospectus Production Background In May 2015 the Process Improvement Unit was asked to conduct a process review of the prospectus production process. The problems we agreed to improve were: reduce the administration in the process so that more time could be devoted to value added work (such as creating clear, interesting content), remove some of the rework at proof stages, make it clearer to academic departments what content was required, make the sharing of key recruitment data easier, explore ways of proofing on one document rather than update on many different documents, having one source of data and starting to prepare the content for the online prospectus earlier in the process. Methodology We used a lean approach to the improvement activities. We ran a four-day kaizen event to improve the process for the production of the prospectus. The main tools that we used were process mapping, customer personae to ensure that process was fit for purpose for different department contacts eg undergraduate tutors, experienced marketing professionals, departmental secretaries. We used 33


an agile prioritisation tool (MoSCoW) to prioritise good ideas, and then drilled down to reach consensus about which good ideas would be implemented for this academic year.

Outputs The improvements were implemented within two months of holding the review. Rapid implementation ensured that the team remained focused and committed to the improvement process. Key improvements were:  Agreement to hold a creative briefing meeting for academic departments and professional services so that everyone understood the brief for prospectus production.  More and targeted 1 to1 meetings with academic departments to create good quality content.  A move to one source of data.  Prescriptive/specific templates for departments who are providing the print marketing team with information.  Better use of Google documents (rather than emailing and filing word documents and spread sheets), shared with key staff.  Use an Online Proofing system.  2 stage proofing (to reduce rework).  Bring forward digital update for the online prospectus (where appropriate).

The University of Strathclyde – Postgraduate Taught Admissions Process Background The Business Improvement Team (BIT) led a University-wide process redesign of the Postgraduate Taught (PGT) admissions process across all Faculties and Professional Services to improve both the home and international admissions targets. The process encapsulates the first phase of the student journey at Strathclyde, from pre-application to a student registering, and is essential in providing potential students with an excellent first impression of the university. Over 125 Faculty and Professional Service staff are involved in delivering a seamless application experience for the students.

Measures:  90% of information returned to Corporate Affairs on time compared with 15% in the previous year.  The total number of email queries reduced from 871 to 453 (a decrease of 48%) and the proportion of emails related to creative activity increased from 7% to 17%.  Results of staff survey - satisfaction with the process increased from 48% to 78%  Proofing stages reduced from three to two  Production of the online prospectus was two weeks earlier than previous years.

The process focused on the undergraduate prospectus – further work will need to be undertaken to review whether the postgraduate prospectus can be produced in the same way.

This project was the first of its kind at the University of Strathclyde, where the BIT brought together an Improvement Team from Student Experience and Enhancement, PGT Administrators from each Faculty, and a Faculty Manager to work collaboratively to find bold, ambitious and innovative ideas that were focused on improving both the student and staff experience. Methodology A Lean approach was used, founded on the key Lean principles of respect for people and continuous improvement. Outputs A range of service delivery problems were identified with the current process, using a variety of business improvement tools such as process mapping, voice of the customer feedback, and capturing the number and types of errors. The key findings are illustrated in Figure 1. The Improvement Team evaluated the current

Lessons learned  This project benefitted from having a focused and supportive sponsor, who was familiar with BPI techniques  The outputs included procuring a proofing system; the timescales for implementing a software solution were incredibly tight. A longer lead-time would have been helpful. 34

Fig 1: The key findings of the PGT Diagnostic highlighting the service delivery problems 35


process to reveal the root cause of these problems and identify improvement opportunities to address them; over 100 ideas were raised in response.

objectives by increasing the number of home and international PGT students, streamlining our operations in this area of core business while improving the effectiveness of our processes.

Following the Diagnostic findings, the BIT engaged over 200 university staff in participative feedback sessions, including administrators, Faculty senior management, and the Executive Team. This was an essential part of the project which directly influenced the project outcomes. The BIT used the data gathered to clearly demonstrate the need for change to all stakeholders and highlight what they stood to gain by engaging with the process redesign. The buy-in from such a broad group before any changes were made helped to drive the work forward and empowered the Team to make the improvements. Furthermore, when the new process was designed, the BIT delivered an intensive training programme to over 150 staff involved with the process to make sure best practice was consistently implemented and sustained across the university. Emphasis on stakeholder engagement dedicated key project messages ensured that staff felt consulted, valued and informed. This is critical to help to embed and sustain the new process, and ultimately achieve the project benefits. The Team designed a guide for applicants to improve the information provided at the start and avoid many of the errors made at this stage, created Standard Operating Procedures to implement a streamlined and consistent way of working across the university, and established Service Level Agreements on timescales for releasing offers, which were supported by Visual Management to communicate and drive consistency within local departments. The same metrics measured in the Diagnostic Phase were recorded postimplementation and the key benefits to date are summarised in Figure 2. The outcomes have contributed towards achieving the University’s strategic KPI

Lessons Learned The engagement, positive feedback and support from senior stakeholders was invaluable. Project overview sessions were extremely useful for engaging staff and setting the scene. The time taken for full rollout and implementation was underestimated due to the volume of staff involved. As business improvement projects and IT system improvement projects will sometimes overlap, communication channels need to be established at the outset to ensure mutual and positive benefit. The University of York – Student Appointment Booking Process Background The Academic Support Office (ASO) provides a support service to all taught students interested in discussing and developing their academic writing. The team offer one to one drop in slots and appointments. An informal conversation with the team leader who mentioned problems with the current set up and that she was on the verge of signing up to an external solution provider led the Business Analysis team to investigate. The BA identified what work (if any) had been done in relation to the current ‘as-is’ process, who were the key stakeholders, how had they been involved, what other solution options had been considered and importantly, had IT been engaged in anyway? It was agreed that before they signed a contract with a new provider, they should take the time to learn more about the current process. Method A Concept Summary was produced then, we mapped out the current ‘as-is’ process. Initially we spent some time with a couple of students to ascertain what the process looked like from their perspective. We then layered the student’s view onto the process map, which the core team had defined. It was clear to see exactly where the cracks were within the process. Amongst other issues, the headliners were:  No ability for the students to see what free appointment slots were available for booking  No automated timely communications  No waiting list capability  No ability for the team to report on the effectiveness of their service

Fig 2: The key benefits of the PGT Process Redesign

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We identified the ideal process and we were able to develop a requirements matrix. We now had a much better understanding of what we wanted. This led us neatly into a period of Solution Discovery.

 

Solution Discovery Research We compared a number of options and considered the cost benefits for different IT solutions. The team wanted to buy a product because it had functionality to manage a waiting list. However, after some discussion, what we originally thought was a ‘must have’ system requirement actually turned out to be an operational process change requirement. The team improved the process and thus the perception of the service simply by changing the timing of when they released new appointments (from termly to every 2 weeks). The requirements matrix was shared with providers to learn more about their product’s existing core functionality. We made sure to include core team members as well as future potential users of the system. The Recommendation A clear winner was identified and it was a system already used at The University of York (elsewhere). The hope was that we would have the new system live in readiness for the start of term at the end of September 2015.

student has cancelled an appointment There is now clear visibility from a staff member perspective in terms of who is scheduled in for which appointment. Appointment bookings integrate back into Google Calendars for both staff and students. The team are now able to report on a number of key stats including how many appointments were scheduled / attended / missed / most popular department booking appointments / preferred time of day etc. Having this insight to hand is great and has generated more ideas for what additional management information can be reported on in the future.

Lessons learned Perhaps the biggest lesson learnt was the importance of carrying out a focused piece of analysis and discovery work up front. Get to your know your process and ask the users what causes them the most pain. In doing so, we were able to select the right solution for the right job and that just so happened to be a solution we already had here at our fingertips!

Implementation - Weekly scrums / RAID logs and Test Scripts Given the timescales it was important that our implementation remained on track. Weekly Scrums. To support this, we scheduled in meetings every Friday to cover what we had completed, key actions for the coming week and any issues. We also made use of a RAID log to keep a track of who was doing what by when. The collaborative approach between the team and Target Connect worked well. Sharing the RAID log meant that everyone involved was able to keep up the pace. Everyone had visibility of the latest position, what work was still outstanding and what the blocking issues were. Testing & Go Live. We documented our own test scripts and designed them from both a student and staff member perspective. It was great to see how just by doing some basic user testing, you can learn a lot about where additional value can be added. Following a team training session, the system was good to go. The application was deployed to live in time for the start of term and the uptake since then has been great. Benefits All Round  Students are now receiving automated communications (including reminder emails which has meant the ‘did not attend’ stats have reduced significantly).  Appointments become immediately available again for a re-booking once a 38

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Glossary of Terms Term BPI Concept Summary Customer Persona Deming Cycle Failure demand Fishbone Diagram Force field Analysis Kaizen Event Kano model Lead times Lean MOSCOW Prioritisation matrix RAID Rapid Improvement Event RATER A Root Cause Analysis Runners, Repeaters and Strangers Single-piece flow

Value Stream

VOC Waste

Further Reading

Definition Business Process Improvement A simple one page document that aims to succinctly describe the change requirement A tool to identify different customers interests Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, Continuous Improvement Cycle Demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer A root cause analysis tool To analyse the strengths and weaknesses of change An intensive workshop held over 3-5 days to improve a process A tool to identify customer requirements The time between the start and completion of a process A methodology for process improvement, identifying value and process flow A prioritisation tool A prioritisation tool A tool to manage Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies See Kaizen Event A tool to understand voice of the customer A methodology to identify underlying causes An approach to help identify types of activities that run through a process, identified by volume and complexity. Processing one unit at a time (no batching). It focuses on completing one piece of work with as little work in process inventory as possible. The Value Stream is the entire set of activities across all parts of the organisation involved in jointly delivering the product or service. Voice of the Customer Non-value added work 40

“Efficiency and Effectiveness in Higher Education� A Report by the Universities UK Efficiency Task Group, September 2011 Andersen, B. and Fagerhaug, T. (2006) Root Cause Analysis. Simplified Tools and Techniques. 2nd edn. Milwaukee, WI:ASQ Quality Press Balzer, W.K. (2010) Higher Education: Increasing the Value and Performance of University Processes. Productivity Press, New York Bicheno, J. (2008) The Lean Toolbox for Service Systems. United Kingdom: Picsie Books, United Kindom Bicheno, J. and Holweg, M. (2008) The Lean Toolbox: The essential guide to lean transformation. 4th edn. Buckingham, England: Picsie books, United Kingdom Hines, P. et al (2011) Staying Lean: Thriving, Not just Surviving. Productivity Press, New York Lawrence, H and Cairns, NJ. (2015) Best Practice Guide: Evidencing the Benefits of Business Process Improvement in Higher Education, UK: University of Strathclyde Womack, J.P. and Jones, J.T, (2003) Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corportation. Simon & Schuster/Free Press Yorkstone, S (2016) Lean Universities. In: Netland, T. & Powell, D. The Routledge Companion to Lean Management, Routledge, ISBN: 978-1138920590. Forthcoming. Zeithaml, V.A., Parasuraman, A., and Berry, L.L. (1990) Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations. New York: The Free Press AUA Good Practice Guides: Problems? No Problem! Practical problem solving for university managers Managing Change Wringing the Changes Total Quality Matters Useful websites: http://www.leanhehub.ac.uk http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/pcmg http://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/process-improvement 41

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Good Practive Guide #43 - Introduction to Business Process Improvement for HE administrators  

Business Process Improvement (BPI) is an umbrella term for a number of methodologies that enable the re-engineering of business processes. T...

Good Practive Guide #43 - Introduction to Business Process Improvement for HE administrators  

Business Process Improvement (BPI) is an umbrella term for a number of methodologies that enable the re-engineering of business processes. T...

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