In 2017, York University launched Project Benchmark, an initiative to identify administrative services that support teaching and research at York. The review looks at where those services are located, the efficiency and effectiveness of the services, and how the University’s results compare to other universities in Canada and internationally.
With help from the community, York University through the UniForum program has completed two years of data collection. The results of the data collection and feedback from community members through the two-part service effectiveness survey, along with benchmarking York’s results against other Canadian and international universities, indicate there are areas to create efficiencies and more effective ways of delivering services to enhance the overall experience for students, faculty and staff. Based on these results, York University is now launching a service transformation, using a holistic approach to transform services and how these services are delivered.
Service transformation is a collaborative partnership between academic and administrative units and uses a human-centred approach to engage University community members in redesigning services and service structures to best meet the needs of users.
The main goal of the project is to collaboratively create user-centred, high-quality, efficient and effective services. By embracing a new way of working, the Service Transformation Steering Committee – chaired by Lyndon Martin, dean of the Faculty of Education, and the service transformation teams – will work with functional and academic co-leads. The aim is a cultural shift that will result in a more agile and innovative University. The service transformation teams will work with stakeholders to create solutions that are centred around the needs of users through collaboration, co-design and collection of ongoing feedback.
The initial areas of focus for service improvement will be the finance and human resource functions. The steering committee will work with function-specific transformation teams to identify the criteria for the selection of priority areas and confirm the scope of services that will be addressed.
The future vision for York University’s administrative services is a balanced delivery model that meets institutional needs with established service standards, alignment of resources to processes and measured outcomes. Key elements of the future state include, optimal streamlined processes, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, defined and agreed-to process metrics that establish standards and monitor performance, and shared services that are governed by the user. Process improvements will result in released capacity within the units and Faculties to perform higher value work, resulting in improvements to student, faculty and staff experiences, while at the same time freeing up resources to support teaching, research and the academic mission of the University.