STREAMLINE BUSINESS PROCESSES
WHAT IS IT AND WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?
In 2015, UCR embarked on an “Organizational Excellence” (OE) initiative. OE has been described by campus executive leadership as:
- “An effort…by which we can examine everything we do administratively.”
- “Being an innovative business operation.”
- “Doing the right things and doing them well.”
- “Making our whole operation work better together.”
When attendees at an OE meeting in May 2015 were surveyed as to what they viewed as the most important areas of focus regarding OE, at the top of the list was “Streamlining Business Processes”.
So, how does the “Streamlining” of business processes align with the defined objectives of OE?
Business processes involve the provision of services or products to customers or clients. Customers or clients want to be satisfied – hopefully very satisfied – with what is provided, as well as how it is provided, how quickly it is provided, etc. This is the case whether or not the setting is a University.
Those who provide products or services ought to want their customers or clients to be very satisfied. It is how they want to feel when they are the recipient of a product or service. It makes their jobs easier to do when they do not need to spend time investigating or explaining why a service or product did not satisfy a customer or client. Customers or clients who repeatedly are very satisfied tend to remain customers or clients, rather than going elsewhere – and/or sharing their dissatisfaction with others.
In addition, the provision of a high-quality product or service in a timely and cost-effective manner means that the provider has more energy – and more available resources – not only to serve more customers or clients, but to explore new and better ways of providing existing services or products, and to develop new services or products – thereby further enhancing the experience of those they serve.
The “streamlining” of a business process is intended to provide its customers or clients with the highest possible level of satisfaction, by understanding and providing – as nearly as possible – exactly what it is that they desire from the process. It also is intended to reduce to the lowest possible amount the resources expended in that process. These outcomes are best achieved through collaboration and innovation between and among providers, customers, and as appropriate, facilitators of methods of delivery, of services and products. Collaboration and innovation, in turn, are most effective when the skill sets of the providers are enhanced through continual professional development. The importance of a culture of collaboration and innovation, as well as of professional development of employees, at UCR were highlighted as critical areas of focus at the aforementioned May 2015 OE meeting.
A cadre of skilled, dedicated, committed, and resource-conscious providers of products and services, interacting in coordinated and continual partnership with those whom they are committed to serve, can enable UCR to achieve over time the objectives of the Organizational Excellence initiative that have been established by Chancellor Wilcox and by Vice Chancellors Coley and Anguiano.