Principles & Programs
When seeking the best places to focus the attention and efforts of a shared administrative service, the OEI looks for core business processes that could:
- Improve customer relationships through consistent high quality service,
- Reduce operating costs,
- Increase productivity to free staff up to work on mission-critical activities,
- Increase leveraging of investment in technology, and/or
- Enhance the opportunity for process reengineering.
Annually, the OEI adopts a set of initiatives that strive to achieve these benefits. Since the 2010 shared services benchmark study, OEI has chartered several successful initiatives including implementation of an award-winning Travel and Expense Reimbursement module, the ePAF for electronic processing of personnel actions, and a joint Accounts Payable Service Center. The current portfolio of the OEI targets a wide variety of administrative excellence, including a program targeted at students called the Campus Retention Initiative and an investigative and planning study of the complex PeopleSoft ERP architecture.
The University has adopted a set of shared services guiding principles that provide a context for how these initiatives are to be accomplished:
- Delighting the ultimate customer or end user is the top priority
- Using service level agreements, metrics, etc. extensively to foster accountability and emphasize roles and responsibilities and measure cost containment, unit cost, and savings realized
- Standardizing processes to drive out cost, improve service, achieve consistency, and reduce rework
- Fully-communicating to customers, stakeholders, functional staff, technical staff, etc.
- Involving people in these projects with creativity, vision and openness to innovation
- Recognizing technical diversity; priority is to standardize where possible but recognize the need for flexibility when necessary as it supports the academic enterprise
- Ensuring that a change management process occurs throughout the organization such that the full benefits of innovation are realized and embraces principles of continuous quality improvement
- Ensuring that policies are examined for the benefits provided and impediments removed when possible
- Aggregating transactions at a division, campus or system level as it makes sense to do so taking into context:
- Standardized policies exists
- Cost/benefit analysis suggests it is a good fit
- Level of automation achieved in the transaction
- Quality of service provided
- Degree to which knowledge of the activity around which the transaction is generated is necessary
- Not a one-size-fits-all and should be determined function by function
The OEI is chaired by Paul Toler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance for the MU campus. Its membership includes individuals from each functional pillar on every campus as well as representation from the Intercampus Staff Council and Intercampus Faculty Council. Administrative support is provided by the Strategic Project Management Office (SPMO).