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Process Improvement Symposium Award Winners Announced

On Feb. 7, Boise State University staff and faculty attended the Process Improvement Symposium, where change makers in the community were recognized for their process improvements.

Boise City councilwoman Lisa Sánchez spoke at the event.

“We connect most deeply when we have worked together to overcome adversity,” Sánchez said.

Nine awards were presented to individuals and departments for their contributions in business process innovation. The winners for each category are as follows:

Shadow Hunter Award

Jenn Ambrose and the electrical and computer engineering support team were given this honor, which is awarded to an individual or group that has sought to reduce redundancy in process or data, leveraged system functionality to reduce manual tracking or other similar endeavors.

Ambrose developed several automated request systems using secure forms in WordPress to feed directly to an online ticketing system. This new process eliminated several google forms and related shadow systems to allow support agents to review/claim requests, share solutions and track project status. The customer portal also made it easier for faculty and students to see the status of their requests.

Tree Hugger Award

The Graduate Student Success Center received this award for an individual or group that has sought to reduce the carbon footprint in their offices, to digitize documentation or other similar solutions.

This team acknowledged the paper waste created from a manual thesis and dissertation review process, and moved to purchase two iPad Pros and software to make the review process paperless. The new streamlined review process also offers more transparency for students and faculty, faster processing times and a better use of campus resources by cutting down the man hours required to process paper documentation.

Splendid Self-Sufficiency Award

Katie Toyoshima from the Idaho Small Business Development Center was chosen for this individual or group award that acknowledges ways to improve autonomy, decentralized process or make life generally easier.

Toyoshima spearheaded an effort to replace an outdated surveying system for assessing client satisfaction after first meetings with small business consultants. The old process was very manual and labor intensive, as surveys were sent by mail and manually entered into a computer system to analyze the data. Toyoshima utilized the client database to automate a surveying system that sends the survey via email, collects the data and displays it on an easy-to-read dashboard, resulting in improved response rates and data integrity, while also saving hours of employee time.

Incremental Innovation Award

Jennifer Buel from TechHelp earned this award reserved for an individual or group that started a ripple and inspired efficiency in their work area.

Buel helped establish and streamline many of the department’s projects and processes. There was not an established filing/e-filing system, filing naming conventions, job aids or department processes in place before she became office manager of TechHelp. Now, all administrators are on the same page and all staff members know the procedures. Having standard naming conventions for e-files makes it easier to find documents. Standard department procedures have made administrative tasks easier and more efficient for everyone involved.

Fresh and Fly Award

Mitch Rust from Boise State Admissions received this award for those that have innovated as student employees on campus.

Every year, Admissions purchases prospective student names from College Board and ACT for outreach campaigns and purchases a program that removes duplicate names already in the customer relationship management (CRM) database. Rust, a computer science student, did the programming to allow Admissions to remove duplicates with no cost to the university, saving more than $10,000 each year. This also reduced duplicate mailings, saving paper resources and fuel costs for delivery.

Leaps and Bounds Award

Human Resources and Budget and Planning were awarded for their innovations across the campus community.

This project team replaced the budget position action request (BPAR) form by moving all actions to the electronic EAF form and the compensation and classification form, which is more manageable and less manual. This constituted a win for HR compensation and the campus community.

Cool Collaborators Award

Public Safety, Bicycle Program and Cycle Learning Center won this award for a group that has banded together with a common goal to the benefit of the whole.

This team has been leading an ongoing effort to make Boise State a platinum level bicycle friendly university. By increasing outreach with students, staff and the Boise bike community, this team has made biking-related improvements in transportation (bike routes/lanes), parking (bike racks), special amenities (bike barns and repair stations), education/incentives (free bronco biking class) and community outreach.

Building the Bench Award

Jennifer Eichmeyer and the genetic counseling program won this award for creating an innovative student structure to support the campus community.

Thanks to this team’s advocacy for the program, Boise State is now home to the very first online Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program.

Change Maker Award

Meaghan Compton from Campus Services was recognized as a change agent who innovates and implements, and demonstrates a positive attitude.

Students, faculty and staff were unable to independently or easily check real-time balances of flex dollars – Bronco Bucks – and remaining numbers of meals left on their residential, weekly or value meal plans. Compton reached out to The CBORD Group, Inc., to identify proper code to capture this data in a meaningful way and shared the code with IT professionals to then integrate the code and ensure auto sequencing of the data. Students are now empowered and provided with the tools to independently access at-a-glance meal plan balances, flex dollar balances and Bronco Bucks balances via their my.boisestate account.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for being leaders in continuous improvement across the campus.
The Process Improvement Symposium will be held again next year and organizers from the University Financial Services Office of Continuous Improvement team hope to have nominations submitted that represent every department on the Boise State campus.