University of Virginia Process Simplification
Process Simplification Teams and Reports: Completed Teams

Completed Teams

Check Distribution
Classified Staff Hiring
Direct Deposit
Electronic Transaction Initiative
Enhanced Employee Training
Faculty Hiring Business Case/Work Group
Implementation of $5,000 LPO
Implementation of Vendor Credit Card
Local Expenditure Limits/Approval Authority
New Employee Orientation
Research Administration
Short-term Enhancements to Sponsored Program
Travel Reimbursement Policies and Procedures
Web-based Forms

Check Distribution
The check distribution team developed the recommendations that led to a shift from a weekly pay schedule to a biweekly pay schedule for wage employees, and to the successful implementation of direct deposit for all wage and overtime payments. A result of this shift, departments no longer spend a significant part of their Fridays hand-delivering paychecks and are realizing a significant time savings. Team members:

Jay Scott, team leader, School of Medicine Steve Kimata, Bursar's Office
Susan Baugher, Bursar's Office Megan Koch, Office of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Joyce Chewning, Facilities Management Dolly Prenzel, Purchasing
Karen Eldridge, Audit Ken Sinarski, Financial Administration
Tim Gillet, Financial Administration Joe Tamony, Payroll
Barbara Graves, School of Engineering and Applied Science Susan Thompson, Psychology
Kelly Hershey, Payroll Paul Watson, Neurosurgery
Marshall Hunt, Housing Martha Williams, Human Resources
Laurie Kelsh, Office of the President

Classified Staff Hiring
A business case team was established during the Spring of 1996 to collect information about the process, identify potential areas for improvement, develop an argument for change, and create a work plan for a redesign team. The team targeted hiring officials and applicants as the stakeholders needing the most attention. In April 1997, a redesign team was formed to undertake further analysis of the hiring process and to recommend changes. Goals of the team include: increasing customer satisfaction with and understanding of the employment process; providing hiring officials an easily accessible pool of qualified applicants to meet departmental needs; providing applicants information about job opportunities and the application process that is easy to understand; and recommending methods, contents of training and other ways to help hiring officials in the hiring process. Final report.

Direct Deposit
During 1996, a Direct Deposit team was created to analyze the distribution of payroll/stipend payments and earnings statements to employees and stipend recipients, and to make recommendations to create a more efficient and less labor intensive distribution system. After conducting an extensive analysis of payroll distribution, the team recommended that direct deposit become mandatory for all new employees hired on or after July 1, 1997 (faculty, classified staff, and wage, including student wage). While direct deposit will not be mandatory for current employees, they will be strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. Employees who decline to sign up will be required to pick up paychecks at one central location. To ensure a smooth transition, the new policy is being phased in by vice presidential area. All vice presidential areas will be phased in by July 1, 1998. Effective October 31, 1997, all employees will receive their earnings statements through U.S. mail and discontinue distribution through home departments. Projected savings equal $42,000. Anticipated time savings resulting from this new policy equal 5 FTEs. Final report.

Electronic Transaction Initiative
The Electronic Transaction Initiative (ETI) was formed to provide guidance to the teams charged with implementing the web-based forms, e-forms, and other electronic efforts. The team completed phase two of the web-based forms project, making thirty additional forms available online. The team also completed the Automated Information Processing Project (AIP), replacing a number of paper processes with proven online systems, with receiving departments such as Accounts Payable accepting only online transactions of forms. The single payee payment voucher form was officially rolled out. This form replaces the old "COMBO" form. In addition, training for the new process was made available, and the team made changes to the appropriate web sites, such as Travel and Procurement. Financial Administration has assumed responsibility for updating all policies on-line. The initial review and update of institutional policies was completed Fall 2000.

Enhanced Employee Training
The Enhanced Employee Training team's mission was to design a training framework that provides administrative employees the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to perform their jobs effectively. In May 1997, the team recommended that an Employee Education Coordination Council be established to promote the training of staff, coordinate training plans, conduct training needs assessments and evaluations, and develop suggestions to enhance the learning culture for University staff. Other recommendations are to: identify individuals in central administration to serve as contact points to departments; develop a communication plan to apprise employees about training programs and to provide answers to frequently asked questions; establish a network of experts within each department or group of departments to serve as a point of contact to employees; and develop and implement training plans for all administrative and clerical employees. Projected benefits include significant time savings for employees (estimated at 54,600 hours the first year of implementation); a decrease in the amount of time it takes a new employee to learn the job (132 employees were hired during FY 1995-96); reduction in errors and problems; higher employee morale; and increased service to customers.

Faculty Hiring Business Case/Work Group
A business case team was established in December 1996 to collect information about the process, identify potential areas for improvement, develop an argument for change and determine whether a redesign team should be formed to further examine the process. The Faculty Hiring work group was launched in the spring 1998 to implement the recommendations offered by the Business Case team to improve the quality and effectiveness of the faculty hiring process. Key changes made to the process include the elimination of two forms (the Faculty Data Sheet and the Preliminary Approval Form) which should produce time savings, and the creation of a standardized offer letter that should provide better consistency and control in the offer process. An E-form initiative to automate the routing of forms required by the Equal Opportunity Office (EEO) has been put into place. Final report.

Implementation of $5,000 LPO
By increasing the maximum amount of a limited purchase order (LPO) from $2,000 to $5,000, the University offered greater autonomy for end-user departments in the purchasing process and expedited procurements. The implementation also reduces administrative effort for small dollar purchases University-wide. The estimated administrative savings of implementing this project was approximately $41,000 a year.

Implementation of Vendor Credit Card
This team successfully implemented the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card Program at the University. The card facilitates small purchases and reduces the cost of recording transactions in the University's accounting system. As of May 1997, there are 547 cardholders. These cardholders have generated 10,654 transactions this fiscal year, with a volume of $1,892,307. With the cost of processing and paying a bill estimated between $50-$75 per purchase, the implementation of the University Purchasing Card has resulted in approximately $665,875 in savings for the 1996-97 fiscal year for the University. Team members:

Rick Seaman, team leader, Financial Information Services Sandy Layne, Purchasing
Lester Andrews, Chemistry Gary Nimax, Purchasing
Jackie Daniel, ITC Ken Sinarski, Financial Administration
Ellen Greer, Medical Center Diane Auger Smith, Office of the Vice President for Management and Budget
Dolores Hildebrand, Purchasing Hedy Southard, Biology
Jeannie Inge, Purchasing Hal Toms, Financial Information Services
Sarah Jordan, Financial Administration Tara Tyler, Organizational Development and Training
Susan Kirby, Audit  

Local Expenditure Limits/Approval Authority
In the spring of 1997, the Local Expenditure Limits/Approval Authority Team was created to examine policies regarding Dean/Vice President signature requirements on vouchers for meals, lodging, flowers, and gifts. The goal of the team is to reduce the number of approvals for local funds that require approval at the Dean/Vice Presidential level. The team made recommendations increasing limits to the Steering Committee in early October. The team hopes to finalize its report by the end of the calendar year. Final report.

New Employee Orientation
During the winter of 1996, the New Employee Orientation team was formed to analyze the current orientation process and to recommend a new process that would be more efficient and effective for UVA. Final recommendations are for the University to implement a new employee orientation process that: begins with a pre-employment benefits sign-up; continues as an ongoing education and training effort within the employing department; and culminates in a New Employee Welcome and Resource Fair event in which senior administrators and University resource representatives greet and interact with new employees. The New Employee Orientation implementation team carried out the recommendations of the NEO redesign team and established a new employee orientation process that begins with a pre-employment benefits session, continues as an ongoing education effort within the employing department, and culminates with the New Faculty/Staff Welcome and Resource Fair. Since July 1998, three resources fairs have been sponsored. In total, 1,970 faculty and staff have been invited to participate in the sessions, with an average of 46 University departments and state agencies displaying exhibits at each fair. In addition, the team developed the "University of Virginia Orientation Guide for New Employees" to assist hiring officials in conducting departmental orientations. The guide includes basic orientation information, a Departmental Orientation checklist, and a resource directory of faculty and staff. The team officially completed its work in April 1999, with ongoing support of this effort now residing in Human Resources.

Research Administration
In March of 1996, the Grants and Contracts Business Case team recommended that a process simplification redesign team be formed to examine the research administration process. Accordingly, the Research Administration team was formed and officially launched on September 8, 1997. The mission of the team is to evaluate and to recommend re-engineering sections of the research administration process to improve quality, efficiency and ease of use. The Research Administration team presented its final recommendations to redesign the University's research administration process in June 1998. The team examined research administration from start to finish and offered 19 recommendations to facilitate research at the University, improve the quality of the current process, make it more effective and efficient, and establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability throughout the process. The RAT implementation team was launched in 1999 and completed its work and submitted its final update to the VP for Management and Budget in June 2000. This team implemented numerous initiatives. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) completed internal reviews of its grants management process and implemented a new "teaming" system for managing grants and contracts. Pre- and post-award staff now work together according to the type of award, such as federal, industry, and foundation. A mechanism to provide schools with delegated signatory authority for standard proposals was put into place. A number of updates to the OSP web site were completed. The web site now includes information on policies and procedures, available training, and cost accounting standard requirements. The search for the Director of OSP, which is being overseen by the Office of the Executive Vice President, was launched in June 2000. Changes will continue to be made as needed. Final report.

Short-term Enhancements to Sponsored Program Processes
The team identified University needs for information contained in the sponsored program data base and successfully developed the means for accessing it. In addition, the team automated the notice of award to schools, departments and investigators. Primary benefits are in time savings and enhanced service delivery. Team members:

Mike Glasgow, team leader, Microbiology Elizabeth Fortune, School of Architecture
Becky Abell, Office of Sponsored Programs Norma Miller, School of Medicine
Debbie Boggs, Psychiatric Medicine Rick Seaman, Financial Information Services
Faye Cline, School of Engineering and Applied Science Bill Thurneck, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Troy Dunaway, Law School Hal Toms, Financial Information Services

Travel Reimbursement Policies and Procedures
The Travel Reimbursement Policies and Procedures implementation team was formed in June 1996. The Travel Reimbursement Policies and Procedures team implemented new travel procedures designed to simplify the travel planning and approval process, decrease the turnaround time for reimbursement, produce time savings for both travelers and travel processors, increase departmental accountability, and improve customer satisfaction. A new Travel Authorization and Claim form, created in an Excel format, allows users to complete a variety of key travel forms in an automated fashion. The Excel form also automatically carries out predefined calculations based on the information provided and transfers key data across forms in the workbook. The Excel form simplifies processing of a number of required travel forms and reduces errors in completion of these documents. Summary status report.

Web-based Forms
A team was formed in late September 1997 to create a plan for putting appropriate non-automated paper forms on the World Wide Web as a means to eliminate or make more efficient the use of paper forms. The team does not take the place of the current efforts of ITC to implement e-forms technology at the University. Putting all of the current paper forms on the Web now may produce a cost savings and also take the University another step toward an automated and paperless workplace. Goals of the team include creating a single Web site in which all forms are "inventoried," and making recommendations on how to handle multi-part forms and any other non-standard forms. Operating units then will be able to go to one location, identify the form they need, complete the form on the screen and print it for manual distribution. The team will focus on human resources, financial administrative, and purchasing forms. Benefits of the project will be savings in printing costs and storage space, and having available the most current form. Final report.
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Last Modified: 10-Nov-2010 07:58:00 EDT