Montana State University

Executive Sponsorship

Waded Cruzado, MSU President
Martha Potvin, Provost
Terry Leist, VP Admin & Finance

Program Management Office

Anne Milkovich, Associate CIO
Tel: 406-994-1010
pmo@montana.edu

OpenMSU

Proposals

The following proposed solutions have been identified by the Recommendations sub-committee based on OpenMSU surveys, focus groups, and professional expertise. An evaluation team will score the business cases using a rubric based on the following criteria:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Probability of success
  • Alignment to mission and initiative objectives

Proposed Solutions


BPA Process Improvement
BPA Proposal Summary

The BPA process had the second most survey comments for an activity that took significantly longer than it should at MSU, and it was tied for the most comments as the process most critical to change and/or streamline. The current BPA process involves duplicate entry of data and physical movement of forms. About 36,750 BPA forms were processed in FY2011, which is a high volume of transactions at MSU.

A project could be undertaken to improve the BPA process because there is significant campus demand for improvement, and because it has high-impact improvement opportunities and high transaction volume. A project team comprised of relevant central and distributed stakeholders should redesign the process, including elimination of unnecessary paper and manual processes, through the use of electronic document management & workflow technology.

Creating a Culture of Customer Service Customer Service Proposal Summary

In response to the OpenMSU Service Provider Survey, there were 97 customer service themed comments, placing customer service as the top comment theme area for this survey. In response to the OpenMSU Service Customer Survey, 38% of comments responded that customer service was what could be improved about administrative and technical functions [finance & accounting, HR, IT, purchasing and sponsored programs administration] at MSU.

A cross-functional project team could be developed to implement strategies to create a culture of customer service for administrative and technical functions at MSU. Team members could attend a professional development program to learn how to develop an organizational culture that supports consistent delivery of quality service and then use what they've learned to develop a customer service program at MSU.

Eliminate Paper-Based Processes and Inefficiencies Eliminate Paper Proposal
Summary

Paper-based processes are inherently less efficient than automated processes, can negatively impact customer service and generate costs associated with creating, storing and retrieving paper documents. 86% of survey respondents stated that they would prefer to use electronic processes in place of paper-based processes. 53 automation themed comments placed automation in the top five of comment theme areas for the service provider survey.

Use electronic Document Management and Workflow functionality that comes with the Banner system to replace many of the current paper-based approvals and notifications performed by our staff. Document Management would allow an external document such as a student's tax return, a vendor invoice, etc., to be filed as an image and attached within the Banner system rather than in a physical file. Worflow is a tool for automating and simplifying administrative processes.

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HR Process Improvement: Recruiting/Hiring HR Recruit/Hire Proposal
Summary

Recruiting/hiring had the most survey comments for an activity that took significantly longer than it should at MSU, and it was tied for the most comments as the process most critical to change and/or streamline. In addition, eight out of twelve units participating in OpenMSU focus groups commented on recruiting/hiring processes as having opportunities for improvement.

A project could be undertaken to reduce cycle times, increase the capacity of the HR Office and meet campus demand for improved HR processes. A project team comprised of relevant central and distributed stakeholders could contract with an external consultant who would analyze processes and propose recommendations for improvement. The team would review the consultant's recommendations, obtain campus input and develop an implementation plan.

HR Process Improvement: Payroll HR Payroll Proposal
Summary

Payroll had the fourth most survey comments for an activity that took significantly longer than it should at MSU, and it had the third most comments as the process most critical to change and/or streamline.

A project could be undertaken to reduce cycle times, increase the capacity of the HR Office and meet campus demand for improved HR processes. A project team comprised of relevant central and distributed stakeholders could contract with an external consultant who would analyze processes and propose recommendations for improvement. The team would review the consultant's recommendations, obtain campus input and develop an implementation plan.

HR Process Improvement: Electronic Personnel Action Form (EPAF) HR EPAF Proposal
Summary

HR processes overall had the fourth most survey comments as the process most critical to change and/or streamline at MSU. All twelve units participating in OpenMSU focus groups commented on the EPAF process as having opportunities for improvement. This was the only process that all focus groups commented on.

A project could be undertaken to improve the EPAF process to reduce cycle times, increase the capacity of HR service providers and meet campus demand for improved HR processes. The project team should be comprised of relevant central and distributed stakeholders. The EPAF process could be redesigned to incorporate workflow technology and could also include a review of where the process should be conducted.

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Purchasing Process Improvement Purchasing Proposal
Summary

Purchasing processes had the third most survey comments for activities that took significantly longer than they should at MSU and had the fifth most comments as the processes most critical to change and/or streamline. Purchasing at MSU is fragmented across about 11,400 vendors with spending of about $8,800 per vendor in comparison to external benchmarks for university purchasing of 6,000 vendors with spending of about $140,000 per vendor.

A project could be undertaken to improve purchasing processes because there is significant campus demand for improvement and because efficiency opportunities exist from more university-wide strategic purchasing.

Service Provider Development SP Development Proposal
Summary

In response to the OpenMSU Service Provider Survey, there were 79 training themed comments, placing training in the top two of comment theme areas for this survey. MSU does not have one group that is coordinating institutional training and development to ensure that service providers are getting the training they need, tracking that training has been received and assessing its quality.

OpenMSU could support and promote the implementation of a professional development and training organization as part of the HR Office as proposed by the Chief Human Resources Officer. A project team could be created to assist in the development of this organization as it would apply to service providers for OpenMSU functions (finance & accounting, HR, IT, purchasing, sponsored programs, administration and Web development, and content management).

Service Provider Staffing & Turnover SP Staffing Turnover
Proposal Summary

Central functions provide services to the entire institution, and business processes that are initiated at the unit level often flow through them. Therefore, inadequate central function staffing levels can negatively impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions' administrative operations. Turnover also affects the institution's administrative efficiency and effectiveness and is a challenge with both central and distributed functions because of issues such as low pay and heavy workloads.

A project should be undertaken to determine if MSU's central functions are adequately staffed and to develop strategies to address turnover in both central and distributed functions, considering factors such as compensation and workload.

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Shared Services Center Pilot Shared Services Proposal
Summary

Administrative services are fragmented across departments creating challenges with training, process coordination, communication, equitable allocation of services and overwhelmed staff. Distributed services physical proximity allows for greater responsiveness but can lead to institutional inefficiency and increased compliance risk. Central services are typically more efficient at an institutional-level with decreased compliance risk but lack specialized customer knowledge.

A project team could develop a shared services center pilot that would initially accept a small number of volunteer unit clients. Unit clients would be represented in center governance. The center should focus on customer service, central coordination and continuous process improvement. A new Administration & Finance position could be created to oversee the center's implementation and operations.