Review of business processes yields short- and long-term improvements

Improving the way the University does business is the essence of the OneMontclair program. And while new systems will provide expanded and better capabilities, reviewing and re-engineering business processes has become an important activity within the project.

Nancy Grimshaw is a consultant who has been working with the University for the past year spearheading the business process redesign (BPR) activities. With assistance from Charlie Matteis, director of Organizational Training and Development and team lead for OneMontclair Business Analysis and Campus Readiness, Grimshaw has used Picture Card Design Methodology (PCDM) to help areas take a deeper look a their business processes.

PCDM is a fast, effective and inclusive method for examining current processes to see where improvements can be made. Colored adhesive notes are used to illustrate each step in a process, the people involved, the type of interaction, and delivery method (paper vs. online).

“This is a quicker but just as effective method of business process redesign than traditional re-engineering,” Grimshaw explained.

Finance was the first area to participate in the business process re-engineering activities. More than 40 processes were evaluated resulting in nearly 450 recommended changes.  Grimshaw is now working with Human Resources on reviewing 34 processes.  

Marilyn Fogarty, finance manager in the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming, said reviewing business processes early on was “very encouraging. Updating policies and procedures will serve the University,” she said. “I gained an understanding of the challenges in developing a system that will support a wide variety of campus needs.”

Catherine Bruno, post-award officer in Research and Sponsored Programs, agreed. “The most important insight I’ve gained is how much we, as a community, want to make things better, more efficient and more effective. We all have the same goal.”

The process has already resulted in improvements in the Finance area that are being implemented immediately.

“What’s great is that this process allows us to challenge the way we are currently operating and make changes where it makes sense,” Matteis said. “And in some cases we don’t have to wait until the new software is in place, especially when it comes to a policy change or something as simple as eliminating paperwork and workarounds.”