A Year in the Life of Business Change

It’s that reflective time of year to consider what’s been achieved in the past twelve months and as I look back, there are some exciting achievements across our people and projects that I’d like to share.  

You know that saying, it takes a village to raise a child, this year I’m changing it to ‘it takes a village to make change happen’.  As I reflect on our colleagues across the institution who have actively helped shape, create, drive, and deliver real change and impact across our projects, it’s their passion that continues to stand out. 

One highlight was the rollout of the new online travel portal, as part of the Purchase to Pay Project.  We had been running a pilot for a couple of weeks to test the solution, but with increasing frustration surrounding the offline process, we were asked to go live with the online platform in a matter of days.  At that time the project had a team of three. Just eight days later, we had drafted in a total of 11 people, in time for going live.  With a huge amount to organise in those few days, we shaped the implementation, training, communications, support, security and DPIA checks, reconciliations, sub-project look-up tools, reconciliation process, and access rights…the list went on and on.  But it was the 100% commitment and effort of those from across Finance and Transformation who pulled together to get the job done.  The result – we enabled colleagues to book travel themselves, or through an arranger, in just over a week and instantly removed the frustration of the 100 people trying to book travel each and every day.  We also removed unnecessary layers of financial approvals for all Agresso users and removed the need for purchase orders for all Travel bookings, more than 16k per year! 

When I consider the impact we’re making on people, I can’t help but think about automation.  We now have 10 automated processes live across the institution with the most recent automation for Registration and Extentsion Requests in the College of Social Sciences.  One of the teams from CoSS told us that the implementation of the extension requests robot has directly improved the well-being of their team, giving them the much-needed extra capacity to do other things (and breathe!). Making this impact, especially at this time of year for our teams is amazing, and the more we can do with automation next year – the better!

As I look forward, I think about what lies ahead for 2023, I still come back to ‘it takes a village to deliver change’.  We will continue to look for others to get involved in all our projects, notably in the Timetabling and Onboarding projects.   We will do this by securing the backfill and enabling our people the time to contribute meaningfully, rather than dipping in and out.  We will also focus on those solutions that continue to make a difference to our colleagues.  Each time we remove any wasteful activity, we’re enabling the institution time to do more valuable tasks.  It can’t be done by Transformation alone; we need the village to contribute and help us get change over the line. 

Ciara Lightbody

Director of Business Change