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Leading university leverages Nintex Promapp to propel process excellence

Leading university leverages Nintex Promapp to propel process excellence

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University of Western Australia deploys the process mapping capabilities of the Nintex Process Platform to accelerate process improvement and underpin Business Continuity.

Nintex, the global standard for process management and automation, has announced that The University of Western Australia (UWA) has embarked on the deployment of Nintex Promapp, the visual and easy-to-use process mapping and management capability of the Nintex Process Platform, to support long-term continuous process improvement across all its faculties and operations.

UWA is ranked in the top 100 of universities around the world, based on QS World University Rankings 2020, and provides world-class education, research and community engagement. It has nearly 24,000 students enrolled across three locations in Crawley, Claremont and Albany as well as in satellite educational facilities in Kalgoorlie.

The decision to leverage the process mapping capabilities of Nintex Promapp follows a requirement by the university for each faculty and operations area to document, understand and update their processes as well as support a culture of Business Continuity and improvement.

UWA needed to gain a best practice approach to all end-to-end processes from curriculum planning to timetabling and student enrolment, while achieving a more standardized approach and managing process variants effectively.

“We looked at several solutions but were impressed with Nintex’s ability to give us a whole-of-university approach for end-to-end document processes, as well as accountability and the tactical ability for all staff to easily edit and update processes,” said Emma Bailey, Continuous Improvement Manager, at UWA’s Office of Service Delivery.

The University of Western Australia chose Nintex Promapp because of the software’s central information repository where processes and all associated documentation can be maintained, and process owners and experts can own updates and improvements.

Processes and procedures are currently being documented in the university’s finance, HR and brand, marketing and recruitment teams and will roll out across campus management thereafter. Nintex Promapp is also supporting faculties with distinct requirements such as the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, with service delivery in podiatry, dental clinics and rural medical placements, where the tool will help refine process hierarchies and associated documentation for coaching staff.

“Other benefits of using Nintex Promapp include the ability to easily move process hierarchies from a high-level process to a really detailed instruction,” Bailey said. “The platform enables you to see links across processes and identify processes marked up for action. This will deliver a high-performance culture that is values-led, collaborative, open and ultimately supports all our centralized and remote staff.”

The university predicts that long-term benefits from process management will include improved internal and external customer service by being able to provide transparency around specific processes.

“By having processes documented, we will reduce errors, gain efficiencies, and provide a standard service delivery,” adds Bailey. “Process improvement will enable individuals to take responsibility for the processes they own and encourage them to provide feedback on processes they’re in, leading to greater staff satisfaction. We will create a working environment in which staff are inspired to give their best in process excellence every day and are motivated to be part of UWA’s success.”

To find out more, Intelligent CIO spoke to Warwick Calkin, UWA’s CIO

What necessitated your decision to implement the solution?

The requirement for a central repository for all processes, procedures, RACI (responsibility assignment matrix: responsible, accountable, consulted and informed) and process documentation; a need to be transparent about processes and the steps involved to help to manage internal and external customers’ expectations; and documented processes and procedures to allow for the easy identification of potential low cost technology solutions. In areas where significant IT investment is planned for the future, it is essential that processes are understood, simplified and standardized before any system implementation commences.

Can you explain how Nintex Process Platform has accelerated process improvement?

There was limited understanding and documentation around complex end-to-end processes that have touch points in multiple areas at the university and how one sub-process has a knock-on effect on another process in a different area. Nintex Promapp gives a common view of the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of these processes, and which teams are involved. It is quick and easy to use so our process owners are using it without extensive training. Our staff can see not only the ‘activity box’ but also the tasks that support that activity. Having detailed tasks documented is allowing us to identify process improvement opportunities. This supports change management towards improved service delivery by giving stakeholders a clear picture of the state of play and what is changing. Staff who are documenting their processes in Nintex Promapp feel more empowered to challenge process steps with their stakeholders as they are able to easily share and discuss the documented process.

How has it facilitated each faculty and operations area to document, understand and update their processes?

Nintex Promapp can rapidly accelerate the time it takes to understand and document processes. The documentation no longer needs to be carried out by business analysts or process specialists and can be carried out by staff themselves. We are rolling Nintex Promapp out to different areas, starting with our service functions. It is quick and easy to use so our process owners and editors are using it with only basic training. Our Continuous Improvement Team provides an interactive two-hour training session with an area of the university. If required, they will work with the area to begin documenting their process landscape or value chain. Participants then begin using Nintex Promapp to map a real process and procedure in their area, to learn by doing. Nintex Promapp is intuitive, and we find that staff are quick to master it to document processes and keep instructions current. It is also proving to be a quick reference for both academics and professional staff who only engage with a service a few times a year but need to refresh on what is involved.

How has the solution successfully underpinned your Business Continuity arrangements?

By understanding and documenting processes across the university, we are better placed to handle unexpected events. It is easier to adapt processes quickly if they are already documented and understood. Nintex Promapp makes it easier to communicate changes and gives our decision makers the ability to quickly understand the steps, tasks and skills involved in key processes to resource them accordingly. Well-defined processes help us quickly upskill people to take on a new role, adding much-needed flexibility in our teams as priorities shift or we take on new opportunities. Nintex Promapp is cloud-based, allowing a new or existing team member to access processes wherever they work and ensure a consistent level of service is maintained, even under difficult circumstances.

How is Nintex Promapp also supporting faculties with distinct requirements?

Nintex Promapp and the Nintex Promapp process management principles – which we have embraced as UWA process principles – provide a number of options for recognizing process variants, depending on the scale of the difference across faculties procedures. Where possible, we want to share best practice across the faculties and aim for one cross-faculty process. However, more importantly, we want to ensure that the process documentation accurately reflects the process variants which are followed by each faculty at any point in time.

Why did you choose to work with the provider?

We wanted a system that was easy for people working in the process to follow and use. Nintex Promapp allows users to easily navigate a workflow across sub processes, process activities, tasks, work instructions and screen shots. The other key requirement was a system that enabled processes to be visible and kept up-to-date. Process creation and editing in Nintex Promapp can be done through a Word editor and the process map is automatically updated, so no drawing or graphics software skills are required.

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