The leadership of the Office of Business and Financial Services of the University of Illinois has committed to making organizational changes that will foster ongoing working relationships between OBFS staff members and their customers. The ideas listed below are initiatives currently under consideration.
Certification and Delegation Programs
General Description: Offer campus unit and OBFS staff members the opportunity to participate in career-enhancing mutual learning programs about how to manage University of Illinois business and financial services. Such programs could include:
- Certification Programs - Develop certification programs for unit support staff, business managers, AFOs, and OBFS staff that are endorsed by OBFS and Human Resources, such that a job candidate's certifications could influence hiring and promotion decisions.
- "Business Leader" Development Program - Develop a selective, long-term, cohort-based development program - in the style of the University Fellows Program - to include both business managers and OBFS staff members. The program would include an "immersion" experience: working remotely and meeting key people in another office.
- Delegated Agent Program - Create optional certifications that would entitle personnel to process certain types of transactions that, today, are processed centrally by Purchasing, Payables, or other OBFS units (i.e., conferment of "delegated agent" status).
Partnerships for Business Process Improvement
General Description: Create short-term task forces and renovate existing committees to establish problem-solving partnerships between campus stakeholders and OBFS functional area representatives. Such programs could include:
- Customer Service Improvement Task Forces - Solicit volunteers from existing OBFS-Campus Stakeholder committees, identify areas of concern, and form task forces to propose interventions.
- Campus-level Policy Task Forces - Task forces may also be formed to establish campus-level or University-wide procedures in areas such as the introduction or modification of policies affecting business transactions.
- Expanded Scope for Existing OBFS-Campus Stakeholder Committees - Review existing committees' participants, purposes, and activities; consider opportunities to include or communicate more consistently with secondary stakeholders such as representatives of other OBFS functional areas and campus unit staff members. In addition, ensure that committee activities meet or exceed unit participants' expectations for involvement in decisions that affect their business.
Current Initiatives that Could Be Expanded
General Description: In anticipation of the "pain points" that customers are likely to discuss in the partnership initiatives described at left, we recommend considering how the following existing efforts could be expanded:
- IN PROCESS: Transaction-level Transparency - A current project is examining workflow systems and related automated feedback systems. How could we build upon the efforts of this project to provide our customers with greater access to status information about their transactions or requests?
- OBFS Functional "Consulting Groups"- The Accounting Consulting Group in UAFR provides individualized accounting assistance to campus units. How could we employ this model to troubleshoot other types of transactions - or, more generally, to provide our customers with greater access to individualized assistance from OBFS functional experts?
- OBFS Staff Refreshers / Retraining - At this time, training materials are being incrementally updated, and the degree to which these updates can incorporate the campus customer's perspective is somewhat limited. How could we build upon training updates to provide OBFS staff with timely and customer-focused re-training and refreshers?
Last Updated: August 8, 2014