Since 2014, the Business Process Improvement Initiative (BPII) has taken a structured approach to improving processes. Our team has worked with more than 800 staff and students to improve 30 processes through facilitated Rapid Improvement Events.
A Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) is a week-long workshop that uses tried and tested lean process improvement tools to methodically analyse a process and identify opportunities to enhance its effectiveness. At the end of the event participants will have designed a new and improved process which has been built with the needs of all relevant staff, students, customers or other stakeholders in mind while minimising unnecessary business waste. An event generates an action plan for implementing the new process and the RIE participants form the implementation project team.
What does the BPII team do?
We work with you to:
- Empower staff to look for opportunities to change that can benefit themselves and the students
- Facilitate groups of staff to form teams and to improve their own processes
- Explain and train in the fundamentals and principles of the Lean Methodology
- Support project management to implement the improved processes
- Identify key issues preventing you from achieving your strategic goals
- Impartially facilitate workshops to assist with delivering projects
- Organise work spaces using lean
What should I expect?
Working with the BPII team you can expect:
- To work within the structured approach used by the BPII team to get results
- To actively undertake specific roles to improve processes
- To create a new process as part of a cross functional team
- To identify key issues preventing you from achieving your goals
- Our support to define the issues with your process
- Our support to improve your process
- Our support to facilitate workshops
How are processes selected?
Any Macquarie staff member can nominate a process for a Rapid Improvement Event (RIE). The BPII will then work with the Business Process owner and stakeholders to determine if the process is right for a Rapid Improvement Event. If you have an idea for the improvement of a process, please contact our team. A member of the BPII Team will be in touch to arrange an initial meeting to discuss some of the issues with the current process.
Who gets involved?
Potentially, any member of staff can be involved in an improvement process. They will take on a variety of roles during a Rapid Improvement Event as well as the resulting implementation project. Broadly speaking you can participate in improving a process in one of 3 ways:
- RIE Participant - As a participant you will attend the workshop for the 5 days and then subsequently work with the other participants to deliver the action plan
- Critical Friend - A Critical Friend can be anyone who is involved in the process either as a customer or staff member. You will be invited to attend report out sessions during the week of the RIE, at these sessions you can give feedback and direction to the RIE group in addition to answering any queries from them
- Voice of the Customer - During the RIE a customer lunch is hosted by the participants, at this lunch customers of the process discuss what they feel works with the process in addition to areas where they believe improvements could be made
Anyone can initiate or request a project. This is the person or team of people who have identified a need for a process improvement. Request a process improvement.
The Project Sponsor is the senior member of staff who has the responsibility of owning and delivering the process. The Project Sponsor agrees and champions the process improvement project through to implementation and review, to ensure continuous improvement. This person does not always attend all of the activities associated with the project.
The project team is made up of staff from across the university who use or have a role in the delivery of the business process. By using a cross section of staff the team identifies the roles, needs and wastes associated with the current process. The project team attends the Planning and Training Session, the five-day Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) and is responsible for implementing the new process within the agreed time frames.
Business Process Improvement Manager
A Business Process Improvement Manager from the BPII will work with the project team from the time a request is made through to implementation. The BPII Manager provides expert direction, guidance and the tools to the project team to improve the process The BPII Manager will facilitate the Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) and project manage the implementation of the action plan post RIE.
Business Process Improvement Initiative (BPII Team)
The BPII team provide facilitation and project management expertise and use a number of methods and tools in mapping out the process, identifying issues and areas for improvement. The team also provides improvement tools and training in the Lean in HE methodology.
Critical Friends are all staff and students who use the process and are willing to contribute their expertise, experiences and expectations to improve the process. Critical Friends are on call during the five day event to ensure any queries can be answered and acted upon during the RIE. In addition, there are two report out sessions during the RIE where Critical Friends can give feedback and direction to the RIE team. Critical Friends also assist the Project Team by removing any roadblocks during the implementation of the new process. There is no limit to the number of Critical Friends.
The customer is the end user of the process. Customers can be staff, students or external bodies that work with the University. The project team identifies these key stakeholders and seeks their input to ensure the process meets their needs and delivers the outcomes required when needed.
What staff who've worked with us say
"The BPII team were really good with helping us to streamline our process and improve our efficiency. The work that you do is very empowering and it is the benefit we gained through the process is huge. We are truly thankful to all involved."
"The RIE process conducted by the BPII team is well thought out and designed to extract pertinent information for the identified issues, and ways to address them. The team were able to keep all members on track all week to effectively improve our process in a timely manner."
"The support, insight and encouragement of the BPII team to guide us through the process has been fantastic. I will be recommending it to colleagues."
"The process and structure provided by the team was really helpful for moving systematically through the issue. As a result we recognised points which had not been flagged previously. I really enjoyed the week and the whole RIE process."
"We utilised the BPII team to help us to sort out some issues we had been having. They were able to help us refine our process and eliminate the wastes by sharing their knowledge. The effective RIE has proved to be a success for our group."
Some of what we've already delivered
BPII offers facilitated workshops as an opportunity to bring groups of staff together to share their knowledge, provide input and formulate solutions for existing issue or to plan for future developments. In 2016 we facilitated workshops where staff proposed University responses to the closure of Macquarie University station in 2018.
Key issue identification
BPII offers Key issue identification workshops which give a structured approach that enables diverse stakeholder groups to analyse a particular issue and prioritise the key factors at the root cause. In 2016 we facilitated workshops for the Office of Financial Services where we used this approach to establish the finance processes that faculty based Departmental Administrative staff believed to be the most challenging to work on.
Some processes we've improved
- Casual academic onboarding
- Faculty of Arts - casual appointments
- Casual academic recruitment
- Research funding applications
- Post-graduate domestic admissions
- Library enquiry management
- Research project account set-up