Green Belt project – The Fee Assessment Enhancement
By Ryan Teevan, UCD Registry – Administrative Services
What is the Fee Assessment Enhancement Project?
The Fee Assessment Enhancement project is a review of our current practice around fee assessment with a view to improving the process for students and staff by the start of the 2019/2020 academic year.
The project is being done as an UCD Agile Green Belt project and uses Lean’s DMAIC (an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) methodology in delivering process enhancements and improved services.
What we aimed to achieve?
The aim of the project is:
- To improve the service provided to students and staff in relation to fee assessment.
- Identify areas of waste within the process for students and staff
- Provide a definitive outline on the Fee Assessment process, for EU fees as well as Free Fee Assessment.
- Give students and applicants more oversight over their potential fee status from the beginning of the process.
- Review internal processes with a view to streamline the outputs and to assist staff in supporting and delivering outcomes to students.
What are the benefits?
The project will benefit students and staff by providing a better level of service and support across the University.
The benefits include:
- Clear, usable information for staff and students
- Consistency of approach to fee assessment and the information provided
- Clearer information on the documentation required
- Rationale as to why fee assessment is required
- Information on turnaround times and managing expectations
Where are we now?
In early August 2019 we launched our new EU Fees website with Free Fees Website. Within this, we have produced dynamic eligibility reckoners which allow applicants, students and staff the ability to be assessed on the spot and provide the user with instant, consistent, correct information.
Within the new process, students can only submit via a designated online submission form, where they can upload all the required document and it will go directly to our Student Records team. This is a better service for students because it ensures that our Student Record team has all the required information and can easily review the application: all the necessary information is contained in one email.
We have created new checklists for each criteria outlining exactly what documentation is required for this, and students can download these directly from the new webpages, reckoners and submission forms. It is hoped that by providing these to students, it will reduce the number of follow ups required, leading to a better services for students and less processing by staff.
As part of the process we wanted to look at how we can better maintain controls in relation to the process. We decided to use UniShare for this and have created a number of categories within UniShare that allow us to maintain consistent process statistics and assist with future planning within the unit.
Overall the Green Belt process and methodology has been a great experience and I would like to thank Agile’s Michael, Olga and team for their time, support and guidance throughout it all, as well as our Project Team of Magda Jablonska, Sinead Myler, Catherine Mc Donnell, Nessa O’Shaughnessy and Stephen Bowie, with Andy Myler as project sponsor .
For anyone thinking of doing a Green Belt or any of the Agile training I would encourage you to go for it. As someone who has worked on a number of projects within the University previously, being able to take a step back and use the Lean Methodology has been a real benefit not just in delivering the project but both in other projects I am working on and in the space of organisation operations and approaches. I am happy at any stage to discuss with anyone who may be thinking about taking on a Green Belt project my own experiences.
Ryan Teevan (firstname.lastname@example.org), UCD Registry – Administrative Services