August 8, 2012
In March of this year, I introduced my vision and more specifically, direction for the Division of Finance and Administration (DFA). We are moving forward with our goal of process improvement focusing on collaboration and customer service. Although there have been many milestones over the past six months, I will highlight three that I consider significant accomplishments. Those three areas include setting a foundation as a learning organization, developing continuous improvement team leaders, and establishing a strategic plan for all of our business units.
The DFA has put in place a foundation for a learning organization environment by establishing quarterly strategic review sessions for department leaders to share experiences, goals and lessons learned from their efforts to improve operations. This has been very beneficial to address the ongoing efforts to meet accreditation report promises for process improvement and allow input and discussion on best practices.
Continuous Improvement Teams
Employees from all of DFA areas have come together to be trained in continuous improvement methods and a few have taken on a leadership role in providing assistance across DFA and have provided training and guidance for other units upon request. Team leaders have completed a total of 63 process improvement projects in less than six months. We are in the process of quantifying the time and money saved from these projects, but we estimate the first 32 have saved in excess of 1300 hours in processing time. The potential of this effort is extraordinary, and there have been numerous requests for training on Continuous improvement methods.
Each of the DFA units has started a strategic planning effort directed at supporting the institutional goals and meeting the expectations of the Northwest Accreditation Organization. As a part this planning effort, each unit leader has provided an agreed upon set of Management Objectives to accomplish during the upcoming fiscal year. The objectives were influenced by our strategic themes of: innovation, collaboration, customer service and continuous improvement. Working together on these strategic plans we believe the result will be shared services organization where all units work together to provide the expected support for our campus clients.
Our plan over the next two quarters is move forward with the continuous improvement projects using the teams we now have established. In July we had a report out for all of DFA to communicate the projects and improvements made within our units during the last 6 months. We also had a Best Practices & Continuous Improvement Exchange on campus with participation from external business supporters of continuous improvement efforts. The next 6 months we will continue to move towards our goals of supporting the University strategic initiatives by meeting the accreditation requirement, expanding community engagement and building our strategic plan. For updated and quarterly reports, I strongly encourage everyone interested to review the website for The Office of Strategic Initiatives & Continuous Improvement.
I believe the last six months have put us on the right track and, more importantly, this could have only happened by engaging our staff at all levels. I would like to thank all of the DFA staff for their support and help in making the first six months a success.
Vice President for Finance and Administration