Don’t underestimate the power of validation

With the validation process completed and the Current State Assessment report in its final draft, I’m pleased to say, I thought it would be a good idea to let you all know what the team have kept themselves busy with in the past few weeks. And busy we’ve been, believe you me…

Process mapping at the Recruitment Marketing workshop

As Lesley had said in her previous post, workshops were only the beginning of our journey and gave us a lot of food for thought…

After each workshop the swathes of brown paper and post-it notes were meticulously converted into a corresponding digital process map and a list of issues raised, and disseminated to all of the workshop attendees for validation.

Why validate?

Conversion from Offer digital process map
Conversion from Offer digital process map

The purpose of the post-workshop validation was twofold: firstly, to help ensure that we got an accurate account of what had been discussed during workshops and secondly, to gather data and evidence to help us understand the context and impact of each issue identified. So we’ve been asking for reports, statistical data and examples of current practice, often on a rather short notice, which our colleagues from across the University have been patiently supplying, and for that we are immensely grateful! 

Why did we need the information?

The information we’ve been provided with has helped us to get a better understanding of the key issues within the process and, where possible, quantify them. For instance, taking into account estimates from a number of colleagues, we were able to determine the approximate number of staff hours assigned to manual document chasing caused by the lack of a suitable EUCLID functionality, which would streamline the process and reduce the need for manual intervention. However, not everything was easily quantifiable and, where that was the case, we took a slightly different approach, namely to assess the impact on the end user experience, end user being either staff or applicants. Issues around our application process and communication raised by staff were also validated through focus groups with 1st year UG, PGT and PGR students, who have successfully gone through the process and offered their comments and suggestions for improvement.

What happened next?

The validation process
The validation process

Once validated by workshop attendees, the findings were shared with a wider group of colleagues in order to test whether the insights and data gathered were largely consistent with those in the wider University. Both commonalities as well as variations of practice were carefully mapped out with the view to inform the potential solutions. In addition, a number of one-to-one consultations with senior University colleagues took place in order to gain valuable insight from as wide an audience as possible and identify areas of concern which might have not been raised at any of the workshops.

Validation almost done…

Finally, last week, Emma and Lesley delivered a presentation to the Marketing Forum which gave us a further opportunity to validate the marketing issues, as they were to appear in the report, and to incorporate any final comments from the attendees. It’s very reassuring that the feedback received was very positive and comments only added to the strength of evidence.

Emma updating our colleagues as the King's Buildings
Emma updating our colleagues at the King’s Buildings

I wonder, is this a sign of a work well done? Let’s not jinx it, but it certainly looks like a good start to the next step of our journey…

Though, rest assured, the Project Board will soon let us know, so keep your ears close to the ground for further updates!

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