Retired Action Project 8

Mapping and Improving Ten Major College Processes

Describe this Action Project's goal in 100 words or fewer:

Washington State Community College will develop and initiate a process mapping training program for staff and faculty while mapping and improving ten major existing college processes to improve service to stakeholders and operate more efficiently.

Describe briefly your institution's reasons for taking on this Action Project now -- why the project and its goals are high among your current priorities:

  1. WSCC does not require staff or faculty to document major college processes. Few WSCC staff and faculty members are trained in skills or tools needed to document, analyze and improve their work processes.

  2. We are aware that our institution has several major cross-functional processes which are poorly defined and undocumented. In many cases, a department handles one part of a process without fully understanding the steps that precede or follow. When a person leaves or transfers to another area, a process may break down because steps are not documented to assist in training the next person who fills that position. Without clear, documented processes, people may be under-prepared to respond appropriately during disasters or emergencies.

  3. AQIP Systems Appraisers have noted these weaknesses and recommend that we dedicate considerable effort toward understanding and documenting our work processes. Feedback from the AQIP Examiner completed in 2007 indicated that the execution of processes was an opportunity for improvement. We expect our examination and analysis of major processes will present opportunities to improve programs and services that impact all of our stakeholders. In addition, process improvements may increase productivity and favorably impact cost efficiencies.

List the organizational areas - -institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units -- most affected by or involved in this Action Project:

This project directly benefits our students along with our internal as well as external stakeholders.

  1. Team members for this action project serve as facilitators to the mapping initiative. As facilitators, they will be trained to train and lead their co-workers to map work processes, identify and analyze critical steps, then plan and carry out improvements. As a final step, results will be examined, reported and posted on the college's internal SharePoint network.

  2. Facilitator training will be managed by project co-chairs Judy Verdi and Kristin Meeks. Project team members (facilitators) will be recruited by department heads.

  3. Contingent on the ten major processes identified for initial mapping, project team members (facilitators) may consist of staff and faculty from:

  • Business Office
  • Academic Deans
  • Faculty
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Business & Engineering & Industrial Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Financial Aid
  • Library
  • Maintenance
  • MIS
  • Outreach
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Student Services
  • Tech Services
  • Work Force Development

Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve:

Project Scope:
  1. This project will initially impact ten major college processes.

  2. Project team leaders will collect recommendations from faculty and staff regarding which processes to map.

  3. Using the list of recommended processes, the President's Strategic Team will identify and prioritize ten major processes to be mapped.

  4. A minimum of 60 employees or 34% of the full-time workforce will be trained to map processes, identify critical steps, analyze critical steps and form action plans.

  5. A “train the trainer” approach will be used with trainees agreeing to train others in mapping skills.

  6. Nearly every department of the college will be affected by this project. We will involve our academic departments, our enrollment management department, our business office, our records office, our information technology department, our outreach departments, our human resources department, and our administrators.

Project Constraints
  1. We must commit time and resources to the training program.

  2. Mapping of major college processes must become a work standard mandated by all departments as part of our continuous improvement culture.

Project Assumptions:
  1. Eventual mapping of all major existing and future processes.

  2. Mapping sessions will focus on actual college work processes.

  3. Each of the ten major processes will be mapped in two 2-hour sessions followed by one 1-hour session to present findings and recommendations.

  4. This project will improve our institutional effectiveness by promoting improved cross-departmental communication and collaboration; increased employee efficiencies and job satisfaction; and improved satisfaction of our stakeholders.

  5. Work stations on campus will be populated with Microsoft Visio software so that employees will have the tools needed for the project.

Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion):

The timeline below indicates the major project tasks, who is responsible for each task, and approximate beginning and ending dates of each phase.


TaskWhoComplete By
1. Collect recommended processes to map and improve from staff and faculty. WSCC Employees Mar 15 2010
2. Communicate employee suggestions to President's Strategic Team Continuous Improvement Team Mar 15 2010
3. Evaluate and prioritize 10 major college processes for mapping President’s Strategic Team Mar 30 2010
4. Recruit project team members (facilitators) Department Heads April 15 2010
5. Train Facilitators Project Leaders May 15 2010
6. Map processes, identify and analyze critical steps, plan improvements and present proposed action plans. Facilitators and related department staff or faculty Nov 15 2010
7. Complete action plans Facilitators and related department staff or faculty Dec 15 2010
8. Analyze results and update quality indicators Facilitators and related department staff or faculty March 1 2011
9. Present findings Facilitators and related department staff or faculty April 1 2011
10. Post results on SharePoint CAO and Continuous Improvement Team April 1 2011

Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing:

  1. Project team members will be trained to facilitate training of others in process mapping (train the trainer.)

  2. Project team members will support ongoing department mapping sessions.

  3. Project team will meet every four to six weeks to assess progress.

  4. Project team will report progress to the Continuous Improvement Team, the President's Cabinet, the President's Strategic Team, and the Board of Trustees.

  5. Results will be communicated at faculty and staff meetings, through the On Campus newsletter, and through a SharePoint site on the college's intranet.

Describe the overall "outcome" measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals:

Outcome indicators for this project are:
  1. Ten major college process maps will be created and posted on SharePoint

  2. Each process improvement team will post a minimum of two progress reports on SharePoint

  3. Each process improvment team will report a minimum of two process improvements as a result of process mapping.

  4. A minimum of 60 employees or 34% of the full-time workforce will be trained to map processes, identify critical steps, analyze critical steps and form action plans.


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