Welcome back to Di’s Coffee Corner! July 2019

Posted: 18/07/2019

Quarter 2 Sector Happenings and the Slow Implementation of Change

Welcome back to Di’s Coffee Corner, with the last Coffee Corner well received we’ve decided to make this a regular segment to keep you informed of what is happening across the Higher Education sector.

Like last time, here you will find a general chat as well as news about the sector and my observations on best practice and current pain points higher education is facing.

Sector Happenings

The past month has seen the arrival of winter with a vengeance in some areas. Long awaited rain in South Australia and parts of New South Wales and Victoria was well overdue and very welcome!

Over this time our DVE team has been working at UNE on their Curriculum Management System project, and this was one of the visitors we came across on campus one day.

Despite the weather being icy – and well below zero for several days – we have, on a warmer note much to celebrate.

Since last time, we have had more movements within the sector, we would like to congratulate some of our sector colleagues, including:

  • Gabrielle Rolan has been promoted to Pro Vice Chancellor International at UniSA.
  • Julie Mills has been promoted to Pro Vice Chancellor, Division of IT, Engineering and Environment at the University of South Australia.
  • Helen McCutcheon has moved from her role as the Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland to become the Deputy PVC at Curtain University.
  • Bruce McCallum, Director of Student Business Services at QUT, has decided to retire after over 20 years in the job. We wish Bruce happy times in his retirement!

We have also had some notable celebrations:

The Annual Rankings for Universities are out and its great news for Australia with many of our Universities listing in the top 150 globally, including a number of our clients namely: Australian National University, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, University of Western Australia and UNSW Sydney who we are extremely proud of!

We also had a celebration here at DVE with our CEO, who also happens to be my daughter, Jo Schneider, announced as one of South Australia’s top 40 leaders under 40! You can check out her interview with InDaily here.

If you haven’t already, make sure you follow her on LinkedIn.

Sector Pain Points

The slow implementation of change activities

We have been facilitating workshops across several universities during the past few months, and in all of these workshops, we have found that participants have an enthusiastic and committed focus on making improvements and changing complex processes. Their main frustration, however, is that changes are not being implemented in a timely way.

So, what do you need to roll out change faster, you might ask?

  1. Firstly, good leadership is required to enable change. The senior team need to be supporting and promoting business process improvements (BPI) at every level.
  2. Secondly, a change champion is essential to help drive the changes and support the team throughout the process.
  3. Finally, an Implementation Plan  is essential to ensure the required activities are mapped and assigned to various people, with due dates. The champion takes charge of the plan and ensures the activities are undertaken as required.

During a recent project at CSU, Julie Cleary, Acting Executive Director, Division of Student Administration, provided me with this feedback after we delivered their BPI Implementation Plan:

“This Implementation Plan is wonderful. It has taken all of the concern of ‘how are we going to make this happen’ from me. Receiving a report with recommendations about our problems is one thing, but including the Implementation Plan means my team and I can now get started immediately on improving our problem areas.”

Resolving frustrations with the 8 Wastes Workshop

One of the workshops I’ve been facilitating is our ‘Navigating the 8 Wastes in Higher Education’ workshop. These workshops help teams understand how they can make incremental changes daily to improve processes, reduce bottlenecks and avoid workarounds. The workshop content is based on Lean Thinking principles that are applied to our sector, and they are a cost-effective way to help teams solve problems themselves.

They have been incredibly effective in helping teams and individuals, resolve their frustrations around change not happening fast enough as attendees discover how much they can make a difference at an individual and team level.

When I’ve presented the workshop at universities, city breakfasts and even at TEMC their realisations are the same:

  • Attendees realise the importance of talking to each other about the issues and complexities of their work and how it relates and impacts on others, and many engage with each other for the first time during the workshop
  • Attendees discover that they can make incremental changes in their work that impact positively on their team, other teams and the university – and realise they have the authorisation to do it by being approved to attend the workshop.

As a result, many attendees implement changes within the first week after training with the help of the Action Plan completed during the workshop and the 8-week ‘Navigating the 8 Wastes in Higher Education’ email course that is provided to them upon completion.

If you are interested in holding a ‘Navigating the 8 Wastes in Higher Education’ to ease frustrations and engage your team in the process of making changes, then be sure to contact us.

That’s it for now! I look forward to catching up with you next time and hope to see you on my travels! Feel free to contact me any time for a chat about anything interesting you’re seeing in the sector and of course let me know if you have any changes or projects you’d like some help on!

Don’t forget to add me on LinkedIn.