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FuturePMO 2017 - Susan Palmer-Trew, The Open University: Do Less. Do it Better.

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The Open University, alongside many other HEIs, faces significant challenges in allocating its scarce resources, both in terms of financial resources and the efforts of its staff and our ability to make the best decisions – and the University’s ability to successfully execute those decisions – is critical to achieving our strategic goal. In Autumn 2016, we put the brakes on the volume of change we were trying to achieve as an institution, we were falling short in both our ability to identify the right changes and to deliver them well.

This session will be both reflective and proactive, sharing our transition as a PMO through considerable cultural and procedural change and sharing how our approach is impacting the OU’s capacity and capability to manage, lead and land change in order to deliver the best for our students.

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FuturePMO 2017 - Susan Palmer-Trew, The Open University: Do Less. Do it Better.

  1. 1. Do less. Do it better. The Open University
  2. 2. You cant be everyone's cup of tea. If you were, you’d be a mug’
  3. 3. Impact, Influence and Inspire
  4. 4. Our Mountain In Autumn 2016, we put the brakes on the volume of change we were trying to achieve as a University We were falling short in both our ability to identify the right changes and to deliver them well
  5. 5. 8 Large Projects Definition of Large and Medium projects: those which have a significant (L) or moderate (M) impact on 2+ OU units 35 Medium Projects 135 Small Projects
  6. 6. The outcome was simple: we needed to do less and do it better We had three areas of focus: Clear the decks – to free headspace and capacity Change procedure - Single approach to approval, prioritisation and assurance Reinvigorate our community and capability activity
  7. 7. Should we do it? Canwedoit? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12345678910 Projects in this zone are unlikely o be sensible to progress at all. Projects in this zone may have some value, but they may not be sensible to progress now Projects in this zone are likely to be sensible to progress now Clear the decks
  8. 8. Should we do it? Canwedoit? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12345678910 Projects in this zone are unlikely o be sensible to progress at all. Projects in this zone may have some value, but they may not be sensible to progress now Projects in this zone are likely to be sensible to progress now Rationalised Portfolio
  9. 9. Single approach to approval, prioritisation and assurance APPROVAL PRIORITISATION ASSURANCE Accept or reject proposals inline with key criteria: • University Strategy • Step change in capability • Student Focus • Decide when initiatives happen in relation to the wider portfolio and known dependencies. • Retain the right to pause, stop or reprioritise. • Provide 2nd line assurance to all projects such as healthchecks and gate reviews. • Reporting to University Committees and External Bodies
  10. 10. Impact on students Investment needImpact on staff IT Resource Doing the right thing
  11. 11. Doing it right Better scrutiny and challenge of change and investment cases Embedding an assurance framework Minimum standards for all project delivery Improved understanding of project methodologies and business readiness Institutional wide improvement in our ability to challenge and prioritise change initiatives
  12. 12. Reinvigorate our community and capability activity
  13. 13. Improve our approaches to investment appraisal Be more confident making decisions rooted in uncertainty Prioritisation requires further refinement especially where resource demands are high Still learning
  14. 14. In groups you will take two decisions, that match those taken by MCB in the recent months. You’ll have a snap shot if the information that MCB are provided and the approval criteria that is used to make decisions. You’ll have about 5 minutes to take a cabinet decision There are three outcomes that you can use You’ll need one reason to support your response 14 CAN YOU MAKE BETTER DECISIONS? Approve Reject Differ
  15. 15. June MCB – SLC Stabilisation Sponsor: Finance Director Business Lead: Finance lead Overall aim: Stabilisation of the student loan system and processes to support existing and planned student finance products Funding request IT Cost: £1,395 (17/18, 18/19, including £445k contingency) Staffing Cost: £576k (17/18, 18/19, including £192k contingency) Impact on Student Low Difficulty High Staff impact Low Funding request validated Yes IT requirement (BRM) IT Governance process completed Activity prioritised to provide resources Mid – End July to work alongside our offshore providers. Strategic alignment No. Risk Mitigation Objective/s (solution): Challenges & Risks: Benefits and success measures: Objectives 1. To stabilise the components of the Post Liability Programme 2. To provide tuition fee liability and tuition fee loan information at the student level 3. To update and strengthen our ability to process new loan products 4. To reconcile the fee and loan income and cash receipts via a cashbook and sub-ledger Through the delivery of a student loan management system with a fully integrated sub-ledger to reconcile those accounts, delivered through integrating an off-the-shelf package with OU In-house development • Work with Supplier A to deliver exploratory activity is underway but not due to deliver until end of July. The working assumption is that our current supplier can deliver the preferred option. • Substantial resource requirements from business areas already handling high volumes of change (Academic Service and IT) • Technical risks from interfacing with legacy systems and unknown 3rd party product, • Activity prioritised by IT to provide resource mid-end July. This is dependant on the delivery of the tactical activity, which remains the institutions priority for IT resource. • Should MCB not approve the case in full, this outcome should be shared with the institutional risk register for visibility • Estimated financial benefits £1,535 by 19/20 (assumes stable student numbers) • Broad institutional benefits due to removal and mitigation of financial and reputational risk Milestones 1 Automated interface to SLC system 02/03/2018 5 Cashbook and sub-ledger system 31/10/2018 2 SLC Attendance and COC system 02/03/2018 6 Data migration 31/10/2018 3 Student Loans management system 31/10/2018 7 Management information 31/10/2018 4 Integrated Track and Chase functionality (including deregistration) 31/10/2018 7 Benefits realisation to be tracked and reported 31/10/2018 Should we? 6.6 Could we? 7.5Tier 2
  16. 16. June MCB – SLC Stabilisation Sponsor: Finance Director Business Lead: Finance lead Overall aim: Stabilisation of the student loan system and processes to support existing and planned student finance products Funding request IT Cost: £1,395 (17/18, 18/19, including £445k contingency) Staffing Cost: £576k (17/18, 18/19, including £192k contingency) Impact on Student Low Difficulty High Staff impact Low Funding request validated Yes IT requirement (BRM) IT Governance process completed Activity prioritised to provide resources Mid – End July to work alongside our offshore providers. Strategic alignment No. Risk Mitigation Objective/s (solution): Challenges & Risks: Benefits and success measures: Objectives 1. To stabilise the components of the Post Liability Programme 2. To provide tuition fee liability and tuition fee loan information at the student level 3. To update and strengthen our ability to process new loan products 4. To reconcile the fee and loan income and cash receipts via a cashbook and sub-ledger Through the delivery of a student loan management system with a fully integrated sub-ledger to reconcile those accounts, delivered through integrating an off-the-shelf package with OU In-house development • Work with Supplier A to deliver exploratory activity is underway but not due to deliver until end of July. The working assumption is that our current supplier can deliver the preferred option. • Substantial resource requirements from business areas already handling high volumes of change (Academic Service and IT) • Technical risks from interfacing with legacy systems and unknown 3rd party product, • Activity prioritised by IT to provide resource mid-end July. This is dependant on the delivery of the tactical activity, which remains the institutions priority for IT resource. • Should MCB not approve the case in full, this outcome should be shared with the institutional risk register for visibility • Estimated financial benefits £1,535 by 19/20 (assumes stable student numbers) • Broad institutional benefits due to removal and mitigation of financial and reputational risk Milestones 1 Automated interface to SLC system 02/03/2018 5 Cashbook and sub-ledger system 31/10/2018 2 SLC Attendance and COC system 02/03/2018 6 Data migration 31/10/2018 3 Student Loans management system 31/10/2018 7 Management information 31/10/2018 4 Integrated Track and Chase functionality (including deregistration) 31/10/2018 7 Benefits realisation to be tracked and reported 31/10/2018 Should we? 6.6 Could we? 7.5Tier 2
  17. 17. June MCB – Teaching Pathway Sponsor: Exec Dean Business Lead: Academic Lead Overall aim: Investment to support the delivery of the Academic Strategy Funding request £1,401k (17/18, 18/19, 19/20) Impact on Student Medium (faculty specific) Difficulty Medium Staff impact Medium (faculty specific) Funding request validated Yes IT requirement (BRM) No requirement. Strategic alignment Direct contribution toward Academic Excellence Objective/s (solution): Challenges & Risks: Benefits and success measures: • Appointment of permanent teaching-focused academic posts to accelerate achievement of the OU’s Academic Strategy around Academic Excellence • Development of new teaching excellence and infrastructure to increase capability and leadership in the University's subject area Y • Some risk that we draw students away from existing curriculum by the creation of a specialist Subject Y degree • Inability to attract candidates with appropriate skills and experience to deliver the intended benefits • Failure to capitalise on identified opportunities in a high demand area (Subject Y) by not investing in the teaching capability • Curriculum offer subject to standard university process, mat not be approved • Increased staff motivation to pursue teaching- focused promotion pathways and realized academic strategy • Enhanced OU reputation for teaching excellence in Subject Y • Attracting equivalent matched funds • Secondary benefits via the development of new curriculum Milestones 1 Appointment of professor to lead initiative as demonstrable commitment to teaching focussed career paths aligned to the Academic Strategy Q4 2017 4 New curriculum products From 1.5 years after D1 & D2 2 Appointment of other academics Q4 2017 5 External engagement instruments (e.g. MOOCs, KTPs) aimed at increasing industry collaborations by supporting CPD and research consultancy. From 3 years after D1 & D2 3 Appointment of other academics Q2 2018 6 New assessment model for skills-led curriculum 2 years after D1 & D2 Should we? 5.7 Could we? 6.7Tier 2
  18. 18. June MCB – Teaching Pathway Sponsor: Exec Dean Business Lead: Academic Lead Overall aim: Investment to support the delivery of the Academic Strategy Funding request £1,401k (17/18, 18/19, 19/20) Impact on Student Medium (faculty specific) Difficulty Medium Staff impact Medium (faculty specific) Funding request validated Yes IT requirement (BRM) No requirement. Strategic alignment Direct contribution toward Academic Excellence Objective/s (solution): Challenges & Risks: Benefits and success measures: • Appointment of permanent teaching-focused academic posts to accelerate achievement of the OU’s Academic Strategy around Academic Excellence • Development of new teaching excellence and infrastructure to increase capability and leadership in the University's subject area Y • Some risk that we draw students away from existing curriculum by the creation of a specialist Subject Y degree • Inability to attract candidates with appropriate skills and experience to deliver the intended benefits • Failure to capitalise on identified opportunities in a high demand area (Subject Y) by not investing in the teaching capability • Curriculum offer subject to standard university process, mat not be approved • Increased staff motivation to pursue teaching- focused promotion pathways and realized academic strategy • Enhanced OU reputation for teaching excellence in Subject Y • Attracting equivalent matched funds • Secondary benefits via the development of new curriculum Milestones 1 Appointment of professor to lead initiative as demonstrable commitment to teaching focussed career paths aligned to the Academic Strategy Q4 2017 4 New curriculum products From 1.5 years after D1 & D2 2 Appointment of other academics Q4 2017 5 External engagement instruments (e.g. MOOCs, KTPs) aimed at increasing industry collaborations by supporting CPD and research consultancy. From 3 years after D1 & D2 3 Appointment of other academics Q2 2018 6 New assessment model for skills-led curriculum 2 years after D1 & D2 Should we? 5.7 Could we? 6.7Tier 2
  19. 19. Thank you susan.palmer-trew@open.ac.uk

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