Many organizations and institutions undertake process improvement as a result of external pressures to show improvement in some key measurable areas. While measuring success is desirable, it can cause leaders to lose sight of the bigger picture and the greater value.
Say a university wants to shorten the time required to process applications for admission from several weeks to days. Before reengineering, the current manual process to prepare the application takes weeks because, in addition to the electronic application, other required documents are submitted as paper or in an email attachment. Implementing a portal that ties the application and document submission to a single method can drastically shorten the application process and increase admissions.
Taking a closer look at the graduate recruiting and admissions business processes, the university discovers that its staff is unable to pursue recruiting efforts. Simplifying the applications process frees staff to focus on other business-critical tasks so the university can develop and implement a recruiting plan.
Clearly measuring the time taken to process an application before and after process reengineering is a worthy measure. The resulting key performance indicator of admitted students as a result of a streamlined applications process is also a measurable goal. However, the bigger gain—and the one that has the greatest impact overall—is the ability to begin recruiting efforts.
Here are some other opportunities you may find on your campus:
- Opportunity: Reduce time to record employee benefits by eliminating duplicate entries.
Impact: Decrease error and free up HR resources for posting positions and hiring assistance.
- Opportunity: Go paperless with change of major requests.
Impact: Provide better customer service, streamline requests, remove barriers to graduation, deliver transcripts quickly, and support students being hired in desirable positions.
- Opportunity: Streamline hiring process by using document imaging document tools to capture documents and faculty contracts.
Impact: Facilitate adjunct faculty contracts and payroll faster, which affects students’ ability to enroll in courses and streamline financial aid verification which can increase enrollment.
- Opportunity: Automate key communications to recruits and applicants.
Impact: Frees time for more personal contact when needed and additional time for recruiting, and helps departments coordinate communications resulting in fewer, but richer communications.
- Opportunity: Automate notifications across the institution.
Impact: For example, if a student withdraws from all classes, one notification can prevent collections, housing, library, and financial aid issues and help both the institution and the student.
Check back soon. Next month we will launch Stories from the field, featuring case studies from institutions that have implemented and benefited from their process improvement work.
Learn more about business process modeling services and check the previous posts:
- Part 2: Business process reengineering: doing it well
- Part 1: Consider the value of a business process review