As part of the Group of Eight (Go8) research-intensive universities, our client, a large public University, has a well-earned reputation for excellence in research and research training. The University was seeking to enhance this reputation and to respond to changing government requirements for research funding.
As a basis for improvement, the University recently conducted a review of their Research Services, motivated by the desire to:
The review identified many areas where services could be improved, one being process management. Acting on a recommendation of the review, the University significantly restructured its Research Services to take the lead in industry best practice and to improve customer service delivery. This restructure has resulted in a dedicated Research Strategy Office (RSO) and a separate Grants Management Office (GMO).
Central to the success of this new structure is the clear definition of the respective roles and accountabilities of the GMO, RSO and external stakeholders in research grant development and management services. This is particularly important as the University was looking for the restructure to help drive cultural change. It is in this context that Research Services identified the need to develop and document its business processes, with primary focus on GMO processes and secondary focus the interactions between the GMO and key areas within the University.
WDScott used a five phased approach to develop the new GMO processes that support the University’s Research Services overall vision and stakeholder needs, taking into account sector best practice, positioning the University to successfully compete within the Go8. The five phases involved:
Throughout the engagement, WDScott ensured involvement of research personnel in engagement activities as a means to further staff buy-in to the GMO’s purpose, vision and objectives; and to aid in communication of the required culture change.
The output from the engagement provided the University with documentation to help streamline the grants management process whilst clarifying responsibilities and helping support cultural change. Specifically:
Identifying ‘pain points’ and thus the source of improvement opportunities provided the University with the precise information needed to improve and streamline their processes.