An update to the community on PRASE

Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost, and Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration, have issued the following letter to the York community:

We are writing to provide a brief update to the community on the progress of Phase 1 of the Process Re-engineering & Service Enhancement (PRASE) project. Three weeks have passed since the launch of the project was announced and a great deal of work has already been completed.

The project governance has been established and York and PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada (PwC) staff are working together to review the various functional areas, or “streams”, that are to be included in the scope of the project. Individuals have been designated to lead each stream, and these stream leads have been actively working to support and engage members of the community in the rollout of this initial phase of the project. Keeping the PRASE project on schedule will be a challenging task due to the very tight timelines that have been set out and the significant amount of work to be completed.

There are a couple of factors influencing the decision to move forward on a tight time frame. It is important to establish momentum for initiatives like this, and by completing Phase 1 within the next 12 weeks, we hope to have identified some early successes before the end of March 2011. This will allow us to begin achieving savings and see a return on the investment in this process. In addition, this timeline will allow the results of the first phase to potentially influence the upcoming budget plan update process, which is typically completed in March/April every year.

As part of Phase 1, the PwC team has been interviewing senior staff at the University, and conducting a change readiness assessment. At the end of last week, more than 38 individual interviews had been completed with more than 22 additional interviews to occur before the holiday break. The results of these interviews and the associated change readiness assessment will be made available to the community early in the new year.

In addition to the interviews, a comprehensive data gathering exercise is almost complete. This exercise required a significant amount of effort by a large number of people from across campus. Data gathered from divisions, Faculties and units will be examined and verified through workshops over the next several weeks and will provide the basis for identifying opportunities for improvement.

The working group members have been focusing their efforts on planning for the first set of workshops within each of the streams and coordinating all the details required to set up 30 to 60 workshops before the holiday break. It is expected that there will be 250 to 300 participants involved in these initial workshops, and future workshops later in Phase 1 will provide further opportunity for community engagement.

The success of PRASE is dependent upon the support and engagement of many community members. To date, the level of dedication and support of staff from across the University has been tremendous. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the work that has been completed and to thank everyone for their valuable contributions to PRASE.

Details on PRASE, its governance structure, FAQs and news are posted on the PRASE website. The website is updated regularly and we encourage everyone visit the website and write to with any suggestions, questions or feedback.