VPs issue spring quarterly report on PRASE

Engage, sustain, transform poster

Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration, and Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost, have issued this spring Quarterly Report to the York community on the PRASE (Process Re-engineering & Service Enhancement) project.

We are pleased to provide you with the second Quarterly Report on PRASE, reflecting our commitment to the community to provide timely updates on the progress of the program.

After eight months of intensive work, which included comprehensive planning and consultation exercises, we are pleased to report that 24 separate PRASE initiatives are currently underway with significant progress being made through the fall and early 2012. More detail on these initiatives can be found on the PRASE website.

Major milestones have been achieved on many PRASE initiatives, including:

  • Sm@rtbuy, York’s electronic marketplace implementation, is a simple, user-friendly system that will make routine purchases more “routine”. It is an online procurement system designed to streamline purchasing at York, freeing valuable staff time and budget dollars. User Acceptance testing started May 2, with an expected launch date in August 2012.
  • The Working Group on Budget Planning has completed its initial research phase of work and is now preparing to release its budget model recommendations to the York community as part of an extensive consultation process, beginning in May. The results and next steps will be communicated via YFile on May 10 and posted on the PRASE website.
  • The business case for the Automated Travel & Expense System was completed and approved. A Request for Proposals was released May 2 to select a vendor to assist in the implementation of the first-ever electronic expense system at York.
  • A point-of-service reconciliation has been completed for Services for Students, and a report was delivered to the Executive Sponsors May 1.
  • The draft Institutional Accountability Framework was delivered in early April and is being reviewed by the Executive Sponsors.
  • Intelliresponse (Automated HR General Enquiries) has been deployed as of March 30. In June the system will be accessible to all faculty and staff, enabling them to get answers to general human resources inquiries, including links to specific information or websites.
  • In support of the work undertaken by the ARM Project Team, the ARM/CUPE Hiring system integration preliminary testing is complete; testing will continue as contracts are generated to identify necessary enhancements/changes that need to be made to ensure a successful upload. Improving the contract faculty “Hire to Pay” process will significantly reduce the amount of data that needs to be rekeyed. The summer session is being used as a pilot prior to the major payroll exercise for the September pay.
  • Enhancements to the ETF Smartforms were successfully implemented for processing changes for CPM, YUSA, YUFA and CUPE 1356 staff.
  • The Project Inventory Tool – Roadmap – has been developed and implemented within University Information Technology (UIT). This system enables UIT to see all of the projects within their purview, including timelines, required resources and risks.
  • Enhanced self-service is a UIT initiative that will allow the community to reset their passwords without the need of a trouble ticket.
  • A review of post-award processes was conducted with researchers and staff. The findings are on the PRASE website. A business case was developed and approved expanding the current working group to include finance leaders. This group will develop an action plan to address the challenges raised.
  • Business cases have been approved for projects focused on Academic Advising, Student On-Campus Employment, OSAP Processes, Petitions Processing, Services for International Students and New Student Transitions. Terms of reference have been developed for each and working groups are underway.

Work on these initiatives and others continue as part of the overall program.

Creating a Better Workplace

The link between PRASE and Creating a Better Workplace continues to grow closer and stronger. As a result, we have requested that Suzanne Killick become a member of the PRASE team. Suzanne is responsible for the Creating a Better Workplace Initiative, as well as the change management activities that need to be considered as part of the PRASE program. Activities over the past quarter show that:

  • An invitation was distributed to the community seeking individuals interested in becoming a member of the newly created advisory committee;
  • Parameters have been drafted for an employee opinion survey;
  • Working groups are underway for the Leadership and Management, Rewards and Recognitions, Information-Sharing and Culture Change initiatives, with all progressing as planned.

Further detail on the Creating a Better Workplace Initiative can be obtained through the Creating a Better Workplace website, as well as through the PRASE website.

A recent PRASE update presentation that includes a detailed progress dashboard for PRASE and Creating a Better Workplace can be viewed here.

We are also pleased to announce that Marion Karol recently joined York University and the PRASE program as program director, initially focused on overall program coordination and program benefits. Previously, Marion was a program manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, involved in the development and delivery of the PRASE – Phase 1 report. As such, she brings extensive knowledge of the overall program at York University, as well as similar work done at other universities.


The PRASE program continues to evolve, and we recognize that our collective success is contingent on your continuing full support. We greatly appreciate that requests from the project directors for volunteers to help inform their work have been so positively received. There has been significant activity and progress this quarter on the PRASE Program, having engaged more than 500 members of the community in the various activities related to PRASE.

In keeping with PRASE principles, we need to continue to focus on ensuring that our human and financial resources are focused on supporting the academic priorities articulated in the White Paper, the University Academic Plan, faculty and divisional plans.  Recent federal and provincial budgets, as well as the Drummond Report, only underscore the imperative for the University to become more efficient, effective and accountable.

Community input is vital to help us discern what is working well, what needs to be addressed and, most importantly, what a York solution can and should look like. We know you’re very busy and greatly value your time and energy investment.

We are committed to providing you with ongoing updates through the PRASE website, through the project directors and through our next PRASE Quarterly Report, scheduled for summer 2012.

If you have any questions or comments, contact us at prase@yorku.ca.