WorkCyte News October 2018

WorkCyte News will regularly help faculty and staff in the College of Veterinary Medicine learn more about upcoming improvements to software and business processes.

October 2018
This month’s edition features updates on Improved Service Delivery – including the notice of an additional open forum – and a reminder of all the places where you can learn more about the WorkCyte initiative.

Improved Service Delivery update
The biggest WorkCyte development in the last month has been the unveiling and discussion of proposed Improved Service Delivery models for human resources and finance. Feedback on the proposed models, gathered from open forums and comments submitted on the WorkCyte website, will be considered as the university makes a final decision in the coming weeks.

One frequent question we hear is, “Do we really need to do this?” Answer: yes. Improved Service Delivery, as the name implies, will improve HR and finance services across campus. The new structure makes the best use of talented employees to serve Iowa State’s mission by:

  • Moving from generalists to specialists;
  • Implementing common policies and procedures, which will generate more consistency across units, colleges, and departments;
  • Providing advanced training in Workday to improve the speed and accuracy of our work;
  • And cross-training to better manage workloads at peak times, and provide back-up to employees for vacations, conferences, and other times away from the office.  

The transition to Workday is a big part of the equation. Workday will help us work more efficiently and effectively, in ways that have not been possible before, due to the limitations of our current IT systems. For example, the assignment of “security roles” within Workday integrates well with the goals of Improved Service Delivery – addressing who performs HR and finance actions and streamlining these processes so that fewer touchpoints are needed.

Another question we hear often goes something like this: “Does Improved Service Delivery mean we’re not doing a good job today?” And that answer is a resounding “NO.” Just because we can be more effective in the future doesn’t mean we aren’t effective today. There is always room for improvement in every aspect of Iowa State’s mission. A few examples from Academic Affairs:

  • Faculty continually review their courses to improve student outcomes. A recent redesign of pre-calculus courses by the Math department cut the DFW rate (the percentage of students who earn a D or F, or who drop the course) from 65% to 17% in five years, a 73% reduction.
  • We also do projects with companies who help us streamline our processes. A recent collaboration between Boeing and the Graduate College reduced the program of study approval process from 82 steps to 18, and from 252 days to only 26.
  • Boeing is also helping the university redesign the onboarding process for new students, and Vermeer Corporation is working with the Office of the Vice President for Research to streamline the pre-award grant process.

For colleagues who currently have HR and/or finance as part of their job duties, it’s only natural to feel anxious about Improved Service Delivery, and how it might affect your role on campus. Please keep in mind that the approval of a new model is only the first step in the process – there will be much more information to come – including individual conversations with staff impacted by the initiative – and we will keep you up to date as decisions are made.

For more information …
An additional open forum to discuss Improved Service Delivery will be held Thursday, October 25, from 9:30-11 a.m., at the Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall. The event will feature Pam Cain, interim senior vice president for University Services and chief financial officer; and Kristi Darr, interim vice president for University Human Resources; discussing the finance and HR proposals in greater detail.

Look for more information on WorkCyte each month through this newsletter. You can also read more about the initiative in Inside Iowa State, and on the project website:

For questions about the WorkCyte program and how it will impact Academic Administration, contact Rob Schweers,

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