Creating a Culture of Performance

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1 Creating a Culture of Performance Five ways to turn data into action, collaboration, and strategic outcomes an ebook for institutional leaders

2 3 Introduction A culture of high performance means 5 One Source 6 A living, breathing strategic plan 7 Sharing 8 Efficiency 9 Accountability 11 Using one integrated, data-driven performance management solution 14 A first-to-market, state-of-the-art solution 15 About Ellucian Contents

3 Introduction For higher education, the ability to demonstrate performance is more important than ever to funders, policy-makers, and institutional leaders. A standard of high performance requires institutional effectiveness at all levels, in particular the effective use of data to inform decisions, planning, and improvement. Managing performance does not rest solely on the shoulders of institutional administrators. Faculty and staff must also be invested in outcomes and understand their role in achieving strategic goals. So how do institutions create an institution-wide culture of performance? Increasing the focus on data, while a common answer, is not a complete answer. Data alone does not increase performance. Data must be tied to action. Employees must see data not simply as a tool for reporting out, but as a key asset in their own day-to-day decision making. Improving access to data is not a means of exposing weakness, but a way to enable learning and collaboration. Data is key to annual and longterm planning, while also empowering staff to course-correct as needs and short-term requirements change. 3

4 In order to build a true culture of high performance, institutions must: Remove data from silos, providing one source for relevant, actionable data Help employees at all levels tie their actions to broader strategic goals Integrate data and processes to improve sharing and collaboration Reduce time spent reconciling numbers, chasing down data, and duplicating efforts in order to provide more timely, trustworthy reporting Align data to key performance indicators needed for internal and external accountability requirements This book addresses each of these elements for creating a culture of high performance, and presents a comprehensive solution for achieving success. 4

5 A culture of high performance means One Source When the head of Recruiting can access a central dashboard, view the institution s strategic plan, drill down to a departmental view, and adjust day-to-day actions to better support strategic goals, performance improves. When a staff member in Recruiting can access a central dashboard to see how his or her actions contribute to the institution s priorities, performance improves. And when a faculty member in the Biology department can access a central dashboard to better understand how specific student outcomes affect Recruiting, performance improves. Breaking down barriers between people, data, and action is essential to creating a performance-driven culture. With data in silos, leadership and staff are flying blind when it comes to making informed decisions and accelerating learning and overall campus effectiveness. And institutional leaders looking for timely, trustworthy reports are saddled with debates between departments around how to define or reconcile data, or worse, an inability to demonstrate performance to key stakeholders. These challenges can best be solved by implementing a comprehensive performance management solution. One that captures data from multiple sources and integrates it into a single view to improve decision making and collaboration. One that ensures efficient and effective reporting. And one that helps individuals understand how they personally contribute to institutional goals. Connecting people, data, and action builds a culture of performance. 5

6 A culture of high performance means A living, breathing strategic plan High performance must be a daily goal, not an annual exercise. Too often, a strategic plan has carefully-crafted objectives that get lost in day-to-day operations. But because these objectives are tied to funding and accountability requirements, they need to be integrated into daily, weekly, and monthly performance tracking. For example, say an institution wants to demonstrate its commitment to writing across the curriculum to ensuring that students build written rhetoric skills from entry to graduation, regardless of their focus of study. What mechanism ensures that the Mathematics department will allocate resources to this goal? How easy would it be for the department head to obtain useful historical or predictive data to support action planning? How accurate will a report to the provost be on institution-wide progress against this objective? And how will faculty know how to contribute to this goal? Institutions need a comprehensive performance management solution that puts strategic objectives front and center at all levels, lets employees map actions directly to these goals, and tracks progress at regular intervals. This solution should provide access to institutional analytics and learning upon request. And it should require and capture standardized data, aligned to internal and external reporting requirements. Greater alignment between action and strategy plays a key role in building a culture of high performance. 6

7 A culture of high performance means Sharing Institutions of higher education are looking for ways to maximize resources and still be effective. Increasing collaboration across departments in order to better leverage existing knowledge and resources is one important strategy for meeting this goal. Using an integrated performance management system allows faculty and staff greater access to: reporting and analytics, whether academic, learning, or business intelligence increasing return on existing investments comparative data showing how other departments are contributing to institutional goals, where there are common weaknesses, and how collaboration might accelerate progress and change platforms for collaboration increasing capacity for research and learning or developing solutions to strategic challenges campus-wide learning about what works and what doesn t, saving time and money on interventions already proven ineffective Sharing information also means greater employee engagement. When staff can access a single view of the institution s strategic priorities, and drill down to understand how all parties, including themselves, are contributing to common goals, they will participate more in the planning process and take greater ownership over outcomes. Tapping into the institution s collective knowledge and expertise is critical to creating a culture of performance. 7

8 A culture of high performance means Efficiency It s hard for faculty and staff to engage in long-term planning or strategic change when they re already stretched thin with day-to-day responsibilities. But tracking down the number of students in Econ 101 should not be taking time away from efforts to increase minority enrollment. A central performance management solution should create efficiencies that reduce time spent on basic deliverables. A user-friendly interface and streamlined processes will eliminate time spent chasing down numbers, reconciling data, performing manual entry, and piecing together reports using multiple data sources freeing employees to focus on higher-value activities. In addition, a performance-management solution should enable institutions to standardize key performance indicators and ensure that actions are aligned from the outset. Reporting on internal and external requirements should consume far less staff time if data comes from a single, reliable source that has been actively and regularly updated and is trusted throughout the campus. End of year reports should not contain surprises if employees have taken ownership of data from the start. Perhaps most importantly, a centralized performance management system will better leverage existing business intelligence tools by linking information to specific actions and strategies. 8

9 A culture of high performance means Accountability With the increase in performance-based funding and market competition, institutions of higher education are on the hook to show they are meeting, or exceeding, all internal and external performance requirements. From the federal administration to state legislatures to university boards and top donors and prospects, external stakeholders are demanding greater accountability and transparency against a set of dictated metrics, as well as evidence that resources are being spent wisely. Internally, institutions are struggling to achieve their own aspirations with fewer resources. Simply put, presidents and cabinets have to be able to demonstrate to their own satisfaction, and to a variety of third parties, that they are achieving their mission and high-level goals. This software will let us measure against defined key performance indicators, and report and track our progress. It is one of the coolest pieces of software that I ve seen in years. Robert Wisler, Director of Information Technology, Northwood University 9

10 This presents several challenges for performance management: Defining key performance indicators and ensuring data, action, people, and processes are aligned Providing a platform for employees to view data in context and add or adjust actions accordingly Creating a single source for performance tracking and providing different views for different people Getting accurate data in a timely fashion Standardizing definitions and interpretation of data both in information systems and among employees Generating a wide and diverse range of reports to meet the needs of various stakeholders Empowering all employees to meet their personal goals as well as understand how their contributions support institutional priorities Accountability does not simply mean data. It means creating a culture of performance in which staff from top to bottom have a common platform for tying data to action, and action to desired outcomes. In the end, leadership should be able to obtain comprehensive, visually compelling reports that demonstrate performance against key indicators, while at the same time assuring stakeholders that long-term plans are sound and responsive to industry changes. 10

11 Using one integrated, data-driven performance management solution Ellucian, a leader in providing solutions to higher education s most pressing challenges, is offering a new solution specifically designed to help institutions create a culture of performance. While it elevates data management to a new level, it also addresses people, process, and strategy. Introducing Ellucian s Institutional Performance Management (IPM) This solution provides the following capabilities that are most essential to effective performance management. 1. Increasing operational efficiency Ellucian Institutional Performance Management (IPM) provides cabinet-level leadership and institution-wide staff with a single platform for developing and maintaining a unified, data-driven culture of performance. IPM aggregates data from various locations, maps it to departmental and institutional goals, and provides staff with easy-to-use dashboards for tying their own actions to these goals. Reduce time spent developing metrics Ellucian IPM comes with built-in metrics and KPIs that clients can use as-is or customize to meet their needs. These metrics measure strategic goals at the department and institutional levels, as well as specific indicators, such as admissions inquiry/application yield, diversity, student/faculty retention rates, cost-per-student, number of full time employees, and more. IPM makes accessing relevant data easier than ever for administrators, faculty, and staff. 11

12 IPM eliminates the cost of manually integrating key performance indicators and allowing disparate campus systems to define and track conflicting metrics. Reduce reporting burden IPM replaces multiple reporting systems with a central data source aligned around common metrics. This eliminates manually generated reports, duplication of efforts, and data that cannot be integrated to reflect performance at the institutional level. A secure role-based reporting environment enables employees to monitor institutional objectives and submit relevant and timely documentation that supports their accomplishments and identifies actions for improvement. IPM unites reports with the institution s ERP to close the gap between planning and performance. Get better return on existing business intelligence investments Many institutions have made considerable investments in business intelligence products and services. IPM lets them take information from these systems and align it to actions and outcomes that support strategic priorities. It makes data from business intelligence tools available to a broader user base when and where they need it most, increasing overall return on investment. Provide more timely, relevant data to cabinet-level decision makers IPM offers leadership the ability to monitor how progress is being measured, what corrective actions are being taken to improve performance, and how different departments are keeping the focus on key performance indicators. More timely, accurate reports help them keep the organization on track to meet annual accountability requirements, as well as frees up time to create longer term strategies for operational and academic effectiveness. 12

13 Ellucian s IPM solution will allow us to deliver critical management capabilities to all 19 institutions in our system to ensure that every decision about resource allocation is viewed through the lens of its impact on student outcomes. Thomas Danford, CIO, Tennessee Board of Regents 2. Improving institutional accountability Improve ability to demonstrate performance against internal and external requirements IPM automates alignment between data, action, and internal and external accountability requirements, which are increasing with performance-based funding and Board, donor, parent and student expectations. IPM s centralized performance management system is designed to keep employees focused on KPIs year-round, so that time is spent on continuous improvement, rather than racing to compile accountability reports from unstandardized, inaccessible data sources. Deepen engagement from faculty and staff IPM provides individuals with a tool for entering action plans that tie to strategic goals, ensuring that weekly, monthly, and year-end data is readily available to leaders reporting on institution-wide outcomes. The tool offers staff visibility into their personal impact on strategic outcomes, increasing engagement in planning and improvement. 3. Increasing student success Student success is ultimately the end goal for all participants in a high performancebased culture. This includes everything from retention and learning to graduation rates and post-graduate achievement all important metrics to prospects and funders, as well as internal stakeholders. IPM enables administrators, faculty, and staff to keep student success at the forefront of action planning, data collection, and strategic assessment. 13

14 A first-to-market, state-of-the-art solution Ellucian Business Intelligence IPM No other higher education IT provider is offering a solution this comprehensive, easy to implement, or aligned to strategic goals. IPM is the first affordable software system for end-to-end performance management, supported by consultative services that address installation, configuration, process, and strategies for creating a culture of performance. Partners Three partners combine competencies to provide everything needed for a comprehensive performance management solution. IPM informs decision making using data stored in Ellucian s industry leading administrative ERP systems, as well as data from other locally-available sources. Nuventive TracDat software provides a configurable framework to support strategic planning, institutional assessment, quality improvement, and accreditation. Microsoft Sharepoint brings the action-oriented data directly to the desktop. Its dynamic, data-rich environment provides users the context they need to make datadriven decisions. Nuventive TracDat Sharepoint Portal 14

15 About Ellucian Ellucian helps education institutions thrive in an open and dynamic world. We deliver a broad portfolio of technology solutions, developed in collaboration with a global education community, and provide strategic guidance to help education institutions of all kinds navigate change, achieve greater transparency, and drive efficiencies. More than 2,400 institutions in 40 countries around the world look to Ellucian for the ideas and insights that will move education forward, helping people everywhere discover their futures through learning. To learn more, visit 15

16 Headquarters: 4375 Fair Lakes Ct, Fairfax, Virginia 22033, USA Phone:

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