Over the course of the last year, individuals from across the School of Medicine have continued work on the Carolina Value project. The work is currently primarily focused on the key administrative areas of IT, Finance, Human Resources, and Research Administration, with an eye towards ensuring excellent service and accountability, and providing consistency for processes that currently vary across multiple departments and units.
Across all of these administrative areas, multiple departments are currently being served by centralized SOM departments. The Office of Information Services (OIS) currently serves about 40 departments, programs, and centers with 5,000+ users and 20,000+ devices across the SOM. As discussed over the last year in multiple Carolina Value meetings, in the coming months, most Information Technology desktop and server management services will be consolidated under the umbrella of a SOM IT organization, led by Uduak Ndoh. This organization will provide desktop support and server administration in a hub-based system strategically located around campus to provide staff with support through a combination of a central Helpdesk, remote support, and face-to-face walk-in desks. OIS is currently working with Departmental leadership on the transition plans while the SOM Planning Office is helping identify space for the hubs.
The Finance service center currently provides finance and research administrative services to 13 departments and Centers. The Human Resources service center already supports 65% of SOM departments and Centers. These service centers are focused on building infrastructure, developing Service Level Agreements, and implementing process improvements to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
Throughout the planning process, work has been done to support standardization and opportunities to improve administrative processes and eliminate extra steps through the use of Lean process mapping sessions involving many front-line people from across the School and Campus. With broad representation from across the SOM and main campus, teams have worked together in the following ways:
- Map the SOM research grant cycle from pre-award to close out. There are opportunities to address variation in the research administrative processes, hand offs and bottlenecks. A team will begin working specifically on the pre-award process in the next month.
- Map the financial transactions for funding of staff positions and for managing the annual raise process. Due to the complex funding and revenue streams managed by departments, it is essential that these processes be standardized and effectively managed. An action plan to address short term and long term opportunities is being developed.
- Map classification and recruitment processes in HR, which affect how quickly and accurately new positions are created and hired. Multiple projects are being identified to improve the accuracy and timeliness of this important process.
- Further, work was completed with the Office of Commercialization and Economic Development on tech transfer opportunities including developing a strategic plan, holding an industry summit and providing infrastructure recommendations.
- SOM lab managers helped to renegotiate contracts for lab supplies. These new contracts, including new pricing on office supply university contracts, are being loaded into the system and those savings will be identified in the next month.
- The SOM Office of Research has done considerable work with a task force to develop a policy and metric for research space allocation, addressing a long standing need to improve how research space is allocated. That work is near completion and will be presented in a second round of presentations in the next few months.
In the coming weeks, more details will be shared specific to the initiatives in each functional area.
As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions and questions. Please contact us directly, or at carolinavalueSOM@unc.edu.
The SOM Carolina Value project team: