Mapping the Processes

 

The JISC Process Mapping InfoKit was used to educate the project team on process mapping. There were three types of approaches to process mapping that were discussed. There were three teams of seven to eight administrators in each action research group. Each group eventually decided on a preferred approach to documenting their processes, but ideally using flow diagram, on paper.

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This was the first iteration of a mapped process using Archimate. These steps were captured by the a group of eight administrators in this action research group.

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This process is managed by the administrators following receipt of the student’s application.

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Following the process mappings, a process modeller used Archi to digitally map the processes.

Archi, is an open source modeling tool that uses ArchiMate to create architecture diagrams. Archi, was developed by the University of Bolton, as a support, and entry-level tool for Enterprise Architecture.

This is a process that was mapped using Archi:

Module Board Process with Issues

The first meetings of the action researchers

The first meetings of the action researchers involved an overview of the following and was facilitated by the Project Manager:

  • the role of the project facilitators
  • the role of the action researchers
  • the role of the team leader
  • the project and project timeline
  • the JISC tools and infokits to be used
  • the method of communication and recording activities

Training Needs Analysis

A training needs analysis of the skills needed by the administrators to participate in the project was undertaken by the staff development team. The analysis determined the following skills as being essential:

  • action research principles and research skills
  • process mapping skills
  • working as a member of a project team
  • conducting meetings, chairing and minute taking
  • use of the Moodle VLE for recording and sharing project activities internally
  • writing and presenting business change proposals
  • influencing and negotiating skills
  • affecting change – both organisationally and individually

It was decided that administrators could opt in to personal development during the project, depending on their own perception of individual needs.  However, with action research and process mapping skills being imperative, it was decided that a training session would be offered prior to the start of the project.

Planning the workload

A facilitated meeting was held to divide the workload of the groups

Twenty five faculty administrators (referred to as Action Researchers from now on) were asked to choose which process (from the three chosen during the scoping session) they would like to review as a team. They were also asked to indicate if they were interested in becoming the “leader” for the chosen action research team.

Three groups of 8/9 action researchers were formed and two leaders volunteered. The administration manager volunteered to lead the group without a volunteer leader until such time as another leader came forward.

It was decided to set up a Moodle occurrence for the project so that all action researchers could contribute to publishing information for their own group and to view the progress of all groups in the action research project. This was set up by the Project Manager and all action researchers were given the status of ‘teacher’ to provide full access rights.

Initial documentation was imcorporated into the Moodle environment including: the bid proposal; link to the JISC infokits; group membership; action research guidelines; the project process and contact information for project leaders and action researchers.

Determining what needs to be done

An exploratory meeting was held to determine which processes the action researchers (administrators) wanted to investigate and from all the processes that were defined (10) during the initial creativity session (using KETSO), it was decided to concentrate on three, namely ‘mitigating circumstances’, ‘applications’ and ‘exam boards’.

At this meeting, the action researchers were asked to choose which process they would prefer to work on and to indicate if they would like to lead an action research team. 

As the processes were cross faculty, it was decided that for the teams to be successful, sufficient reprentation from each faculty was essential to enhance the success of equal input and acceptance of subseque3nt proposals. 

It was decided that the Project Management Team (namely the Head of Staff Development, Professional Development Officer, Reader and Faculty Admin Manager) would facilitate the work of the action researchers but would not be active action researchers themselves.  It was agreed that it is important that those doing the work are in a better position to make suggestions as to what is workikng well and what can be improved.

Therefore, it was determined that the role of the Project Management Team would be to:

  •  encourage progression of the project in accordance with project timelines
  • facilitate development workshops
  • set up moodle environment to support project
  • organise rooms and refreshments for meetings
  • suggest JISC infokits as appropriate and facilitate use
  • assist in writing proposals and communications to stakeholders
  • assist in writing project updates to stakeholders