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Budget Challenges? Follow These 3 Steps to Streamline Processes

Tight Higher Ed Budget? Time to Process Streamline

It may seem counterintuitive but – when budgets get tight – it’s time for targeted process streamlining. Here’s why.

The initial reaction to financial challenges is to cut services, freeze hiring, and reduce operational expenditures. But now is the time to systematically review your processes and act strategically to improve efficiencies, deliver more effective services, and realign work structures.

Follow These 3 Steps to Streamline Your Processes

  1. Inventory your processes to better understand who’s doing what and why.
  2. Identify processes and services to stop, start (yes start!), continue, right size, and streamline.
  3. Streamline your processes – and adjust others as appropriate.

This 3 step approach will improve efficiency, balance service levels, and reduce duplication – allowing you to reallocate resources where they’re most needed. And streamlining also supports complementary goals. Reduce time to offer with a more efficient admissions process. Increase student retention by adding advising activities. Quickly offer more sections on demand by streamlining non-faculty hiring.

JMA’s Process Streamlining (PS) methodology – tailored for higher education – engages leaders to envision the desired future state and staff and stakeholders in problem discovery and solutioning. PS leverages advanced brainstorming tools and AI that enable team collaboration and visual creation.

Use PS to Address Your Financial Challenges

  • Create Rapid Change: You need immediate change. PS generates solutions that can be implemented in 90-day increments for short-term impact.
  • Build Staff Buy-In: You need to avoid burnout and turnover and build staff support for change. PS involves staff – leveraging their knowledge and building their support for change.
  • Eliminate Duplication: You can’t afford duplicate, uncoordinated activities and staff. PS generates unified, best-practice solutions, integrates operations, and aligns work structures.

PS Delivers Both Short Term Results and Long-Term Benefits

Streamlining outcomes can be designed to target short term fiscal challenges – but solutions will also support long term goals when you’re back to growth mode. And in addition to improving processes, leaders learn new approaches for creating change, staff gain an appreciation for peer challenges and build relationships, and the organization builds capacity as staff learn tools and approaches to continue to effect change. PS provides the foundation for innovative, process-based thinking to become a standard approach.

Where to Start?

PS can be used to improve many higher ed processes – student processes (recruitment, admissions, registration, advising/CRM, financial aid, scheduling, payments and refunds); human resources (hiring including non-full-time faculty, onboarding, retirement); financial (student accounts, procurement, eShop); research (grant application review, RA/TA hiring/changes); and more.

Let’s Talk

Schedule a short, 30-minute call with JMA to discuss your challenges and opportunities and learn more about the role Process Streamlining can play. Not sure yet? Drop your email in the form below and we’ll share case studies of successful process streamlining projects from our clients.

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