The Business IT Annual Symposium event is held every Fall and focuses on bridging the gap between business-related functions of the University and technological solutions that support them. Join us this October to contribute to the conversation.
Harnessing Innovation to Improve Business Operations
Participants engaged with colleagues from various functional areas (HR, finance, facilities, student services, IT) in discussion and ideation of a solution in one of three topic areas: achieving business process consistency, finding and utilizing data, or sharing best practices.
A guest judge panel selected winning proposals from each topic area. The selected proposals will be shared at the IT Professionals Forum later this Fall. Attendees were asked to vote for a People’s Choice Award proposal. That proposal will also be moved forward at the IT Professionals Forum
Discussion at the Annual Symposium led to fourteen proposals addressing identified opportunities for improved processes, data finding and usage, and sharing best practices. The proposals are detailed below. The proposals selected to move forward initially are identified in the Winning Proposals field below.
The proposals below were selected to move forward to the IT Professionals Forum in November. The proposals were selected by a panel of guest judges including Deans from the School of Social Work, College of Applied Health Sciences, and the College of Media.
Selection 1 – Sharing Best Practices
Using the example of the campus plan to hire 500 new faculty, we would use a survey of business managers to identify and prioritize the business processes potentially affected by this effort. These could include: the search process, onboarding, hiring approval, appointments setup in payroll, negotiating spousal hire, special hiring factors (URM, dual career, start-up packages, etc.), CFOP creation for faculty research, budgeting/forecasting, equipment ordering, inventory tracking, need for support staff, etc.
Of the identified processes, we would select the 5 most critical to address–as ranked by the same group that submitted them.
Once the 5 processes were identified, we would ask business managers to submit their current processes/forms. These would be collected anonymously via a webpage hosted by Business IT Collaboration. The site would have a page for each process and allow documents to be uploaded.
A group of SMEs, stakeholders, and process owners (i.e. IHR for HR, OBFS for Finance, etc.) would select the best-in-class and work to refine and move towards standardization.
We propose a 1-year test phase to allow the process to be adopted. After that time, it should be re-evaluated and, if deemed successful, could be pushed towards becoming required.
After the initial 5 processes have been addressed, this whole process could begin again and look at 5 other practices in need of improvement or standardization.
Selection 2 – Finding and Using Data
Layer 1: A Smart Data Bank. This is a central place where folks can go to for general data questions.
- What are data sources out there on campus?
- Where are commonly used reports? Can these reports be shared with different colleges, or communities?
- Ideally, if it allows community users’ input, it will help enrich the contents, and foster better communication in the community.
Layer 2: We’d like to propose a data mentor program on campus, where domain experts who desperately need data to support decision making, operational needs can be paired with data experts in the domain. The pair group can have a monthly chat to facilitate understanding and bridge the gap between the two sides.
Layer 3: Along with these two layers, we would like to focus on community building through communications to facilitate these layers proposed. A MS team space, or a listserv can be options to consider.
Additional layers can be added as needed, including the potential for future training.
Along with these two layers, we would like to focus on communications to facilitate these two layers proposed. A MS Teams space, or a listserv can be options to consider.
Selection 3 – Business Process Consistency
People’s Choice Award
The People’s Choice Award goes to a proposal that was not selected by the judges, but symposium attendees voted as their favorite from the remaining entries. This will be updated after voting is closed.
TADA Collaboration — Trustworthy Actionable Data and Analytics Collaboration
A framework, similar to the Business/IT Collaboration where there are dedicated individuals leading thecharge for intentional business data collaboration of trusted stakeholders to identify, address, and resolvedata issues.We see this collaboration addressing data redundancy issues and coordination of systems, applications and data efforts at the University while being mindful of System efforts to improve datasharing.
The outcomes include consistency in data, common definitions, reduction of data and process redundancy, standardized reporting by functional areas, data-driven decision making, formalized strategic priorities, increasing job satisfaction and morale.