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The Subject Matter Expert Perspective

You’ve been hearing about business process improvement from key leaders at UC San Diego like VCR Sandra Brown and AVC Linda Collins. You’ve also heard about the significance of business process improvement work from the Kuali project team, but now let’s hear from the people doing the work for the Kuali Research Project; the subject matter experts, or SMEs.

We gathered insights from two SMEs who have been a part of some completed business process reviews.

SME Trevor Johnson has participated in six business process reviews:

  • Complete Compliance Requests (process 1.2.3)
  • Determine Agreement Type (process 1.3.1)
  • Route for Review and Approval (process 1.3.2)
  • Final Review and Submit to Sponsor (process 1.3.3)
  • Negotiation (process 1.5)
  • Send Notice of Award to Unit (process 1.6.2)

(Find all of the Kuali Research business processes under review, their status and reference numbers here.)

Trevor explains, “… business process improvement process has been very enlightening. By shedding light on processes that haven’t been reviewed in many years, if ever, we have been able to take a serious look at areas with multiple unnecessary steps, repetitive processes and outdated tools. Then, using the lean six sigma methodology, devise easier, consistent and better understood processes which we can implement in the Kuali.

“I think we are going to see some major improvements in how we manage the entire research administration lifecycle. Things will be clearer, processes will be consistent between offices and there will be far fewer work-arounds. I am really looking forward to not only the new system, but better and leaner processes that Kuali will support.”

Stella Sung participated in the Negotiation process review (process 1.5). This is what she had to say about her work, “There are a few ways how the negotiations [business process improvement] will impact how we do business. First and foremost, it will provide more transparency to our campus customers, like what are the statuses of agreements we’re working on, including requirements that are still pending. I like the idea that all central offices handling research agreements will be using the same model so that there’s one single place for the campus customers to check the statuses of their agreements. It may also provide contract officers with better ability for workload management.”

Trevor and Stella are only two of the more than 40 subject matter experts from across campus who are using Lean Six Sigma methodology to develop business process future states for Kuali Research. Be sure to subscribe to the Kuali Research Project Update newsletter to read about more of the subject matter experts.

Category: Research Administration, News