Several Delta Efforts To Take Shape In '98

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Several Project Delta-related initiatives will take shape during the first half of 1998, including the consolidation of student financial services under a new student services organization, the appointment of consultants to assist offices in the integration of technology, and the first full round of departmental self-study management reviews.

In addition, Human Resources representatives will complete work on proposals to change the University's compensation and performance management systems, while other teams will propose changes in the University's research administration system, and the processes and activities that support student programming.

"Over the next few months, this Phase I implementation of Delta will gather strength," said Project Delta Manager James Kreinbring. "While the phase will last all of 1998, by the summer the University will see Delta changes in a number of areas."

In one of the major Phase I undertakings, a team led by Enrollment Systems Director Rita Owens will oversee completion of the new organizational design for student services, which involves integrating and centralizing the functions of Student Accounts, Financial Aid, University Registrar and other offices.

This initiative began last year, as Delta team members worked with administrators and staff on revamping processes and developing technology to enhance registration, housing selection, financial aid application and other tasks.

"As the processes and eventually the people are brought together," Kreinbring said, "there will be in-depth training provided to the staff in the new organization to assist with changing responsibilities. The implementation team also will look at where the University can cluster these services."

In a related initiative, another Delta team is studying ways to reshape University support for all student programming activities, such as student event promotions and scheduling.

The management review self-studies began last fall as pilot projects in the Buildings and Grounds garage and groundskeeping divisions, and the Electronics Workshop. The process involves using the Activity Value Analysis method, which encourages participants to come up with ways of achieving greater efficiency and reduced costs. The Delta Executive Team is reviewing the pilot results.

The next AVA reviews will take place in University Health Services, the Audiovisual Department, and B&G's Custodial and Planning and Construction departments.

By the end of the spring semester, Kreinbring said, the University will begin appointing the first technology consultants, or "integrators," to serve groups of offices and departments. Rather than serving as technology trouble-shooters, he said, the integrators will "lead campus implementations of Delta changes, manage departmental technology support programs, and train staff and faculty in making the best use of technology." Current Boston College employees will be considered for these positions, Kreinbring noted.

In the Human Resources division, Employee Development Director Bernard O'Kane is leading a Delta team that will develop a support system for employees affected by changes and reorganizations in the Phase I implementation. O'Kane also is working on the creation of programs that will ensure employees acquire the skills needed for new practices that will be introduced by Delta initiatives. The programs would build proficiency in areas such as: customer service and communication skills; use of technology like World Wide Web and desktop operations; team-building and performance; and developing leadership roles in a changing environment.

Another Delta team, along with the international consulting firm Hewitt Associates, is reviewing BC's performance management and compensation programs. The team is creating new systems that are designed to promote, develop, assess and reward an employee's contribution to the University. This system will include consideration for potential opportunities for variable pay, such as bonuses and team-based incentives.

A team led by Employee Relations Director Richard Jefferson is creating specifications for a major new Human Resources Information System. It will enable users to perform many tasks in an electronic format, such as obtaining personnel action forms or logging an employee status change, and will eliminate the need for processing volumes of paperwork.

Kreinbring also said that the Delta Executive Team is scheduled next month to review a plan to redesign the University's research administration process. The new model will emphasize using technology to enable administrators, faculty, students and other personnel to locate potential sources of support.

Details on these and other Delta-related activities will be available at the Delta World Wide Web site.

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