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Position management redesign project under way
Open forum scheduled for June 5

May 29, 2007
By Sally Linder

Every department at Ohio University shares one thing in common: the need to manage a workforce and the budgets associated with those positions. Finding better ways to make position-management business processes efficient and effective -- and useful for decision-making --is the task of a newly developed project team. 

"Every department is spending about 85 percent of its budget on people. In some departments, it's as high as 95 percent. To operate effectively, any leader has to be able see the linkage between their budget and that staff," says Ohio University Associate Vice president for Finance and Administration Terry Conry.

To help create a better set of tools for position management, Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Decatur launched the new project in April, when he formed a steering committee to set the position-management-project course. That group includes John Day (Office of the Provost), Darrell Winefordner (Budget), Gwen Brooks (Human Resources), Shelley Ruff (Information Technology), Terry Conry (Planning/Assessment) and Dawn Copeland (Finance and Administration).  To help facilitate, the university engaged Bearing Point Consulting Services, which has expertise in process redesign for higher education.

"Vision OHIO calls for at Ohio University shares one thing in common: the need to manage a work force and the budgets associated with those positions. Finding better ways to make position-management business processes efficient and effective -- and useful for decision-making -- is the task of a newly developed project team. 

Early interviews with a group of campus administrators, deans, budget unit managers and others confirmed the need for improvement on several levels. These groups say, and the steering committee agreed, that current practices (everything from creating a position to tracking expenses) can be cumbersome, time-consuming and of relatively low value.

The team will look at better ways to logistically track personnel and related finances in an efficient, user-friendly way so that the data integrates readily with the university's Enterprise financial system.

"We want a system that makes entering information and retrieving it simple so that any leader can use it like a gauge on a dashboard, "Conry says. "And we don't want to spend too many resources maintaining this tool."

The steering committee identified a 10-member project team that would recommend changes in the position-management system. That team -- which includes representatives of Human Resources, Payroll, Information Technology, Grants Administration, Finance and Administration, the Center for Organizational Development and Effectiveness, and the colleges of Engineering and Health and Human Services -- are charged with understanding the issues, analyzing options and proposing solutions.

The project team first convened at the end of April. One of its initial tasks will be to gather information from managers who are responsible for position management. As part of that effort, it will hold an open forum from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, in Baker University Center 230 to solicit input from university administrators who have budget and personnel responsibilities. 

The group expects to make its final recommendations by the end of summer.

This is the first in a series of business-process improvement projects the university will launch, Decatur says.

To attend the open forum and contribute to the team's understanding of the business issues associated with the position-management process, contact Joni Tate at tate@ohio.edu or joe.bliffin@bearingpoint.com to make a reservation.



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Published: Jan 3, 2007 9:35:38 AM
 
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