Treating the ‘pain points’ in our processes

August 15 / 165


Two-week sprints of development and testing performed by teams of professional staff across the University are focusing on system and process improvements for students, staff and researchers.


Every day at 9.30am teams get together, tasked with delivering incremental improvements to some very specific problems and simultaneously trying to smooth the impact of ongoing changes on the university community.


These daily meetings are part of the Shared Services Implementation Plan (SSIP), which started in late 2014 to help the University community transition to the Melbourne Operating Model.


The aim for the first semester of SSIP was to support the transfer of operational services such as HR, finance and student support. 


The current second stage, which began in June, concentrates on improvements to processes, with a focus on nine initiatives across the student, staff and research areas including:


  • A single, multi-channel student service 
  • Timely re-enrolment and class registration for students
  • More effective student success services 
  • Smooth start ups for research projects
  • Faster ethics approvals 
  • Easier research outputs collection 
  • Ready to Work for all new staff members on their first day, with on-boarding available within 48 hours of job acceptance
  • Easier travel 
  • Painless payments

You can read more about each of these initiatives here


The project teams are working to alleviate some of the key ‘pain points’ associated with each process, meeting with stakeholders, facilitating workshops and developing engagement plans to understand where these are occurring. 


“What that essentially means is we’re putting the customer – our students, staff and researchers – at the heart of our thinking, and co-designing improvements which reduce waste and allow us to do things much more efficiently,” says Paul Duldig, head of University Services.


Using a ‘Lean and Agile’ approach, the teams work in two-week sprints to design, develop and test improvements. 


“The real benefit of an agile approach and the two-week timeframe is that, if the solution we’re working on isn’t quite right, or we receive new feedback or data that impacts that solution, we have the opportunity to review each fortnight and either start again with a new approach, or adjust and continue,” Mr Duldig says.


“We know there are many more issues to be addressed, but these particular projects will hopefully go some way towards solving major issues identified as most troublesome to the University community.”



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