Friday, 20 January 2017

Evidencing the benefits


In July 2015 The University of Strathclyde’s Business Improvement Team launched ‘A Guide to Evidencing the Benefits of Business Process Improvement in Higher Education’ following the allocation of funding from the Leadership Foundation’s Innovation and Transformation Fund. The guide has been well received within the higher education sector and elsewhere and has been cited in academic articles.

On Wednesday 18th the authors of the guide Heather Lawrence and Nicola Cairns delivered some evidencing benefits training to a group of staff from The University of Sheffield (including PIU) and Sheffield Hallam University.

The training was enthusiastically, intelligently and professionally delivered and I personally found the day thought provoking and incredibly useful. There was a really good mix of knowledge sharing and then reinforcing this with interactive activities that were completed in small groups.

Some of the things that I found particularly helpful included:
Discussion and debate about what a benefit is
Using the benefits map to unpick and consider what can be measured and how
Useful guidance about how some of the tools can be used with stakeholders to get buy-in and clarity of approach.

Nicola and Heather did an excellent job of presenting the material, allowing discussion and debate amongst the group and managing the group to ensure that all activities were completed (and there was an element of disruption from a small proportion of attendees).  Of course, it’s not my place to look at the evaluation of the training, but I suggest the immediate benefits of the training were reflected in the smiling faces of the attendees and the positive chatter. Longer-term benefits for me will ensure that we continuous improve our approach to measurement and evidencing the results of our process improvement activities.

I’m looking forward to seeing the refresh of the guide and the new case studies, which will be available from Monday 23 January.

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