Angela Martin
Angela Martin
Executive Sponsor

University of Kentucky

Administrative Process Improvement (API)

In the fall of 2010, the University of Kentucky senior leadership initiated a wide-ranging effort to gain efficiencies, curb expenses, and avoid duplication of administrative tasks. Referred to as the Administrative Process Improvement project, the goals of the project are as follows:

  • To improve the experience of students, patients, faculty and staff as they interact with the critical processes at the university,
  • To enable the university to achieve operating efficiencies and effectiveness across the enterprise,
  • To invest the time of our employees, our most valuable asset, in ways that add value to the university process, thus providing enrichment in their time at work,
  • To serve as a model for best practices as we review our administrative processes.

A decision was made to first identify processes which are currently problematic and establish work groups to explore the issues and offer recommendations for improvements. We believe these efforts in the area of administrative process improvement will eventually lead to a sustainable model that has been developed collaboratively by the subject matter experts and end users.

Several meetings were held with colleges, central offices, and administrative units where many issues and concerns surfaced. The Administrative Process Improvement Steering Committee members chose three workgroups to pilot the improvements in travel, purchasing, and payroll - three processes that impact all units across the enterprise. Deans and administrative units submitted nominees to serve on workgroups to review current processes, identify best practices, and make formal recommendations to gain efficiencies in the areas of processing travel, payroll, and purchasing.

The workgroups will be asked to:

  • Employ lean methodologies by utilizing a Structured Problem Solving technique. Training is provided by the UK Lean Systems Program
  • Work with the Steering Committee to develop specific goals for the project and their group
  • Diagram the current process and steps taken to complete each task, identify inefficiencies and duplication, and make recommendations utilizing best practices
  • Develop metrics to measure improvement to achieve "best practices" at UK
  • Develop project timelines and resource requirements
  • Pilot improvements and confirm effectiveness
  • Regularly report progress
  • Develop a process for continuing refinements and cost savings

The workgroups will be asked to incorporate successful countermeasures into university standard business procedures to assure that a new baseline for performance will be maintained. Once recommendations and pilots have been completed, a final strategy for enterprise wide implementation will be outlined in a project plan.

Please continue to check this website for progress on the Administrative Process Improvement project and updates.