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High-Impact Service Transformation Starts with a Process Inventory

Finding Opportunities to Improve in Higher Ed

Higher ed’s landscape is more complex than ever. Diverse student and faculty populations, decentralized organizational structures, new teaching modes, and constantly changing regulations have led to complex – and sometimes confusing – academic, research, and administrative environments. So how do you gather and use information effectively to manage today while continually finding opportunities to improve? By completing a Process Inventory.

Start Your Transformation Journey

Download JMA’s Process Inventory Template

What is a Process Inventory?

A Process Inventory is a matrix – often complemented with a graphical representation – that lists all of your processes and key characteristics – or attributes – about each in an easy-to-reference format. It helps you better understand who’s doing what, when, where, why, and how. This information is key to managing effectively and identifying improvement opportunities.

For each process, the inventory includes the process name, purpose, start, end, actors, similar processes, related policies and guidelines, and technologies used. It also lists challenges – including redundant, outdated, obsolete, and manual activities, staff inefficiencies, and out-of-sync policies – and improvement opportunities. Additionally, it highlights interaction among processes, staff, and units across teams and units.

What are Benefits of Creating a Process Inventory?

Inventory information about processes, roles and responsibilities, organizational culture, and systems will help you find opportunities to:

  • Manage most effectively – especially if you’re new in a role.
  • Increase efficiencies by streamlining outdated, bureaucratic processes.
  • Release staff time by optimizing work structures.
  • Improve student and stakeholder services by realigning service levels.
  • Update policies by identifying and changing those not aligned with institutional philosophies.
  • Ensure business continuity by identifying critical processes.
  • Strengthen new hire onboarding and ongoing team training using inventory data.
  • Leverage technology by identifying manual activities and outdated systems.

3 Steps to Creating a Process Inventory

  1. Draft a list of processes. The list may evolve as you complete Step 2.
  2. Add attributes by interviewing staff and stakeholders and reviewing documentation including training guides, policies, etc.
  3. Analyze information collected to identify next steps – then act to streamline processes, optimize work structures, update policies, apply technology, and more.

Download our Process Inventory template here and start your transformation journey.

Not Sure Where To Start? Let’s Talk

Schedule a short, 30-minute call with JMA to discuss how a Process Inventory can support your goals. Not sure yet? Drop your email in the form below and we’ll share more information about our Process Innovation methodologies including Process Inventories, Mandate Workshops, and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Process Streamlining (PS).

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