The program

 

In early 2019, just as the University was consulting stakeholders on its new strategic plan, Transformation 2030, the University also decided to hold parallel discussions on its administration. This project, entitled Review of the financial and human resources administrative processes, had three goals:

  1. Evaluate the current state
  2. Design a future state
  3. Propose a multi-year plan

The review highlighted that external pressures were forcing the University to become more efficient at a time of financial constraints. It also revealed that to effectively recruit students, attract professors and researchers, retain employees, and receive prestigious research grants and donations, the University must renew its financial and human resources tools, systems and processes.

Following this evaluation, the University launched an unprecedented multi-year modernization program under the leadership of the associate vice-president, finance and administration.


Alignment with Transformation 2030

The University’s strategic plan, Transformation 2030, is driving the need for change. The program to modernize administration is a key component of the University’s ambitious plan to implement best practices throughout the organization. Here is how the program aligns with Transformation 2030’s four strategic pillars and three of its core aspirations.


Goals

Policies and processes

  • To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative processes and services.

Organization and people

  • To support professors, researchers, employees, and students by providing simplified, responsive, easy-to-use services.
  • To promote good governance by minimizing risks and improving accountability, transparency, equity, and inclusiveness.

Information and systems

  • To facilitate analyses and data-based decisions by providing accurate, complete, easily accessible and timely information.

Benefits for the community

Administrative employees should expect:

  • Complete end-to-end human resources data, such as leave balances, hire dates, vacations, employment history, etc.
  • Streamlined access to information and simplified task execution (including from mobile devices) for transactions such as leave approval, as well as reimbursements and payment approvals.

 

Senior management should expect:

  • Near real-time visibility on university-wide or unit-wide quality data and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Improved analysis capabilities and easier scenario modelling to support decision making
  • Ability to develop strategies and make decisions based on data

 

Professors and researchers should expect:

  • Simplified processes that reduce their administrative burden
  • Self-serve and near real-time financial analyses, charts, ratios, graphs and reports for better decision making
  • Research grant information (such as remaining funds) provided in near real-time
  • Better links between student/academic and financial/HR information

 

Students should expect:

  • Professors and researchers focusing more on teaching and research and less on administrative tasks
  • Efficient and accurate administrative services

 


Guiding principles
  • Information quality
  • End-to-end simplification
  • University-wide perspective
  • Alignment with best practices
  • Agility
  • Client focused
Milestones
Program timeline.

Five years. Three phases.

1. Lay the foundation (2019-2021)

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities, data governance, definitions and structures
  • Re-define the service delivery model
  • Select a new enterprise resources planning (ERP) system

2. Transform (2020-2023)

  • Review all administrative processes
  • Replace the ERP system and related systems
  • Implement the new service delivery model

3. Refine (2022-2024)

  • Leverage data and new capabilities for analytics and strategic advice
  • Implement new services such as workforce and succession planning
Governance

Program Level

Program Sponsors
  • Champion the program and provide strategic direction
  • Are accountable throughout the program's lifespan
  • Prioritize projects within the program
Program Steering Committee
  • Provides operational direction by managing program objectives, scope, risks, budget and timelines
  • Creates consistency among projects and manages interdependencies
  • Initiates projects and acts as an escalation point for program deviations
Program Director
  • Provides day-to-day tactical direction for the program
  • Executes in accordance with the program objectives set by the governance
  • Manages overall progress, performance and stakeholders

Project Level

Project Sponsors
  • Champion projects
  • Are accountable throughout the project's lifespan
  • Prioritize the project's business needs
Project Steering Committees
  • Manage project objectives and monitor project scope, risks, budget and timelines
  • Approve change requests
  • Ensure appropriate measures are taken to ensure project success
Project Teams
  • Execute the project and are responsible for the project deliverables
  • Consult with appropriate stakeholders
Project Managers
  • Execute in accordance with project objectives
  • Manage project progress, performance and stakeholders
  • Manage project risks and issues
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