It was decided, following a suggestion from Faculty Administration Managers, that administrators conduct their own action research as they are the best position to develop solutions to the problems that they are dealing with on a day to day basis. The administrators in turn identified that there were JISC resources available in the form of Toolkits that would support them in the project.
The University was keen to identify a means of supporting the process review and the JISC funding would enable the resources to support the Faculty Administrators with their project by enabling a higher degree of support and providing a dedicated resource to ensure effective dissemination of the activities.
The essence of the bid was as follows:
The University has three faculty offices that provide academic administrative support, but work largely independently of each other. As they provide similar services to staff and students there is the opportunity to streamline and standardise some of their processes and have a higher degree of integration across the faculties, to support better administrative performance and provide quality services to our staff and students.
The bid documentation was completed and the administrators were extremely happy to have the support of the following senior managers at the University:
Rob Campbell, Pro Vice Chancellor
Patrick O’Reilly, Head of Information Systems and Technology
Andy Graham, Dean of Faculty of Advanced Engineering and Sciences
Professor Carole Truman, Dean of Faculty of Well Being and Social Science
Sam Johnson, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Media Technologies
When completing the bid application we had a look at the range of “off the shelf” Infokits that are on offer from JISC. During an initial scoping session, the project planning team determined that there were a range of JISC resources that could be used to help us plan, manage and perform the project activities and decided that the following kits would be ideal:
Process Improvement Infokit
The Process Improvement Infokit is going to be used to teach the action researchers the fundamentals of mapping processes, the techniques to be used so that the maps are understandable, professional produced and capable of being reviewed and enhanced by all.
Project Management Infokit
The Project Management Infokit will be used to help prepare the project plan including: scoping the project; determining the responsibilities; setting the targets and milestones; planning the timelines. It is anticipated that the templates available will prove very useful in undertaking this task and to teach those new to project planning some of the underlying principles.
Change Management Infokit
The change management Infokit will be used to manage the subsequent changes that come out of the project.
Archi Mate Process Modelling Software
We also decided to use Archi Mate for process modelling. Archi is a free, open source, cross-platform tool to create ArchiMate models. The Archimate Process Modeling tool is going to be used to prepare and revise the process maps that they can be modelled and re-modelled by action researchers and presented to stakeholders.