A New Way of Doing Business at UC Davis
As Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef indicated in his Fall Convocation address two years ago, the University of California has been asked to accommodate 60,000 new students and 7,000 new faculty by 2010. Given the tight timeframe and the challenges at hand, our campus quickly recognized the need for a creative, multi-faceted approach.
To help deal with the physical implications of this growth, new buildings are already being constructed, and the long-range development plan is being revised. In parallel developments, the Office of the President established a planning group to identify the strategies needed to manage growth effectively while controlling costs and improving the overall work environment for UC employees. In July, 2000, the group identified six general strategies:
- Develop campus business portals that will integrate components of the new business architecture
- Apply new approaches to how the university recruits, retains, and develops the best people
- Streamline UC's cumbersome policies and processes
- Leverage new technology to contain costs and improve services to UC's constituents
- Integrate campus financial systems and provide enhanced financial reporting through implementation of emerging technology standards
- Embed performance management systems in UC business processes and focus on the most important financial controls
The report, UC 2010: A New Business Architecture for the University of California, outlines an operating environment strikingly different from the current one.
Focusing on People and Processes
It would be tempting to see the NBA purely as a technology project designed to develop a new Web portal for the campus. It is in fact primarily a business-driven initiative that recognizes the need for new and better ways of doing business.
Many campus departments and faculty, motivated in large measure by continuing budget constraints, the rising popularity of the Internet, new student expectations, and the prospect of greater convenience, have already gone online with courses, virtual chemistry labs, student services, e-recruitment, parking fee payments, online ordering, and other services. The NBA simply recognizes this trend and proposes to provide a framework for the creation of similar resources and their integration into the campus enterprise portal.
A number of technological solutions will certainly be required for the enterprise portal to provide reliable access to a range of secure services at all times, as well as the ability to personalize information to each individual's needs and interests. But the team's focus will be first and foremost on people and processes. The team's approach will include finding ways to make our jobs easier, redefining processes (particularly those that can be automated and those that might be overly complex, time-consuming, or inefficient), and leveraging technology in support of the campus' business needs.
Phased Approach, Incremental Results
In this first, planning phase, the focus of the UC Davis NBA Team has been on defining an organizational structure and on prioritizing goals. Major accomplishments include:
The New Business Architecture promises to be a long but exciting journey that will require long-term, sustained investment, collaboration, and change in many of the fundamental ways in which the university operates. These technical and cultural changes will occur over the next few months and years as improvements are made to enhance and expedite the delivery of services, reduce cycle time, and increase process efficiencies. Most importantly, this initiative promises to improve working conditions for all of us.