WST USM Rollout So Far– May 2019

By Jeremy Britton and Amy McDonald

Since our last update, a lot has happened in the world of the Unified Support Model. Phase 1 of the rollout ended in January when we completed the Implementation Stage with the first four offices in Law, Arts & Humanities, Social Science and Engineering & Architecture. Phase 2 of rollout kicked off in February 2018 when we began working with the five offices in the College of Health and Agricultural Science. We’re now at the outset of Phase 3, where we’ll be working with the offices in the College of Business and College of Science.
In addition to the above, we are also working closely with the teams in Registry. So far we have met with Assessment and Admissions and are scheduled to meet with Student Recruitment and Administrative Services in the coming weeks. These workshops are heavily focused on the interactions that take place within each of the teams, the systems in place to support these interactions and, ultimately, how this all fits in to the wider USM.

We ran a pre-event workshop during Work Smarter Together in March. This gave us the opportunity to introduce a diverse group of colleagues from across the university to some of the concepts and exercises we use during the Why Statement discovery process we run with each team involved in the Rollout. We really enjoyed this session and received some great feedback from those who took part. Seeing how the session unfolded with a wide cross-section of individuals in place of a closely connected team from the same unit gave us some ideas about moving forward with the USM and Why Statements in the future.

As a recap on our last update, and for those unfamiliar with the USM, at its core it exists to ensure that staff are fully equipped to define and deliver a consistently high standard of service in the most effective and efficient way. It’s called a model because it’s as much a philosophy or an approach to work as it is implementing the processes and systems we use to carry out the work.

In January we conducted a review of Phase 1 of the rollout. Our primary focus with the review was to gather feedback from the four offices with whom we had implemented the USM. With this information we were able to adjust our approach to Phase 2 to ensure a more seamless experience for everyone. We’ll be conducting a similar review shortly for the five offices in the College of Health and Agricultural Science.
Since our last update, membership of the USM Learning Team has grown considerably and now includes members from all of the offices with whom we are currently engaged. This team continues to act as a forum in which members from each office in the rollout can come together and share their insights, expertise and ideas to inform the rollout of the USM. This team has proven to be an invaluable resource in shaping a successful rollout and we hope to see it continue to grow and develop over the coming months.

In recent news, we’ve been working with Olga in Agile to see what we can glean from the Student Experience Mapping Project. The student-facing workshops conducted as part of this project provided some very interesting feedback from students about how they view, navigate and experience the University. Of particular interest to the USM is the feedback relating to the supports delivered centrally and locally. We plan to use this feedback to inform the ongoing development of the USM, with a focus on the student experience and ensuring that, where feasible, what’s important to them is incorporated into the services and supports that they receive.
That’s all from us for now. If you have any queries or want to find out more about the Unified Support Model you can check out our website, or email us at