The Operational Excellence team aims to be a strategic consulting partner to help identify, analyze and improve our business processes while serving as project mentors on targeted cross-functional initiatives.
The concept of operational excellence has countless definitions, but at its core, it is simply a mindset that embraces principles and tools to create a culture of excellence within an organization. As institutions continually find ways to evolve, operational excellence has become one of the most successful methods for improving all areas of organizational performance. The definition of “excellence” can vary for each person, unit, college or organization. Still, we can achieve our goals by fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where all individuals are respected, supported and encouraged to provide input and thought leadership.
The Ohio State University’s Academic Plan is a multipronged initiative, and one of the goals involves achieving operational excellence. The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) will develop and continuously improve academic, administrative and business processes to advance the university’s academic priorities. We will enhance the operational effectiveness, transparency and efficiency of OAA’s academic, administrative and business processes. As a key step toward achieving this goal, OAA has installed an Operational Excellence program to help all units within OAA along our journey to excellence.
Adding value to the work we do by
- Providing a welcoming and inclusive environment where all individuals are respected, supported and encouraged to provide input and thought leadership
- Utilizing resources efficiently
- Quickly identifying problems at the root cause and then implementing solutions
- Positive working culture and improved employee morale
- Improved employee retention and engagement
- Higher-quality work
In Support of the Academic Plan
Academic Plan Goal: Achieve Operational Excellence
We will develop and continuously improve academic, administrative, and business processes to advance the University’s academic priorities.
To achieve this goal, we will enhance the operational effectiveness, transparency, and efficiency of OAA’s academic, administrative, and business processes.
- Redesign OAA’s organizational structure to align with academic priorities and provide optimal support for advancing the Academic Plan.
- Create an administrative modernization program to update processes, enhance coordination, and deliver efficient and effective results.
- Reestablish the Office of Institutional Research and Planning and promote data, analytics, and information to facilitate insights and improve strategic and evidence-based decisions.
- Embrace learning and development
OpEx curriculum has been developed around various topics and tools that all OAA employees can leverage. The goal of the curriculum is to arm OAA with the tools needed to operate efficiently and effectively. A few workshops are tailored to a more senior audience, while any employee of the university can attend others. Courses will be developed for all position profiles, accessible for remote individuals, and continually refreshed and updated based on participant feedback. A few examples of workshops offered include:
- Introduction to Operational Excellence
- Problem Solving Techniques
- Introduction to Project Management
- OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, Measures)
- Process Improvement
- Work Outputs & Capacity Planning
- Introduction to Process Improvements
- Establish portfolio management
Each unit within OAA will develop a portfolio of OpEx opportunities to be managed by the champion of the unit. This practice will foster an inclusive environment of continuous improvement where all employees can provide feedback and submit ideas of what could be improved within the unit. No idea is too small, as incremental improvements are the foundation for success in the program. The champion will partner with OpEx to identify project leads and report on progress of these OpEx opportunities to their senior leader. Large cross-functional projects will be vetted by the OpEx team and exist outside of this program.
- Enhance the culture
A foundation of developing our OpEx culture will be through the identification of champions. These individuals will be change advocates and influencers for the program. They are individuals who are genuinely curious about new ways of working and always trying to improve. They will go through a standardized learning and development curriculum and will socialize learnings through their units. They will lead the portfolio management function within their units and partner closely with the OpEx team on any potential cross-functional projects or initiatives.