Open Forums FAQs (Staff Specific)

ISS Open Provider Forum Questions

Categories of Staff Questions

Selection of the Prototype Hub S/C/D
Q. Is the inventory checklist going to be sent to Central staff, for example, those in Procurement, Accounts Payable, and Finance, also?
A. Yes, it will go to everyone who has the potential to be a provider in the prototype hub. Please keep in mind that involvement in a dialogue does not necessarily mean that you will be working in ISS in the future. The purpose of the dialogues is to understand what work is in-scope and out-of-scope in order to create a staffing plan.

You will have a choice of where you would like your dialogue to take place. It does not have to occur in your office, and can be in another convenient location on campus if you would like.

Q. I was told that the prototype hub would not have cubicles. However, I keep hearing that Engelmann is the preferred location and it is hard to envision space in that building without cubicles.
A. We have determined that Engelmann has the space needed to support the number of hub staff that we will need. We recently had our first meeting with Badger State Industries, who help provide design options. We know that we need to invest in the space, and will be looking at ways to support collaborative teams by providing additional features such as meeting spaces. The space will be functional to support hub work, and will not have cubicles.

Q. If there will be no offices or cubicles, what will the prototype hub space look like?
A. We will provide open workspaces to help staff to work collaboratively. We anticipate providing opportunities for prototype hub staff to have some input and involvement in the final phases of the space development.

Some IT staff supporting the hubs will be co-located with hub staff, but most IT staff will likely remain in their current locations for the foreseeable future. We do not have the budget to move large concentrations of IT staff at this time. Space planning will take into account how IT staff need to use the hub space.

The Executive Sponsors and Deans are aware that space is important. They will discuss one-time costs, like space costs, in the ISS budget. We are not in favor of the cheapest cost, and want the hub space to complement work done by the staff.

Funding Model
Salary / Compensation
Q. How will you address salary?
A. We are aware that salary inequities may exist among staff moving to the hub or among those staying in the central offices. Over time we will look at these inequities, but pay increases will not immediately happen. The goal is to get the hub up and running first. Of the institutions that we looked to for shared services examples, none were able to immediately fix their salary inequities.
In-Scope / Out-of-Scope
Q. Many of those identified as providers wear several hats and may be in charge of a few very specialized tasks for their departments. However, these tasks might only happen once or twice a year. What will the departments do if those members move to the hub and no one staying in the departments are able to do those specialized tasks?
A. It is important that we know about those out-of-scope duties, or tasks that are performed very infrequently, so that we can have a plan to address them. Our inventory checklists have evolved and will continue to evolve as we move forward. As we work through this phase, the Implementation Core team will analyze those out-of-scope functions and tasks. A dedicated subset of that team will work with the units to figure out how to transition those items throughout the process.

Be sure to be open and honest about your responsibilities. We will return your assessment and dialogue information so that you can let us know if we missed anything. We are working on an aggressive timeline with many working components, so please do not contact us immediately after your dialogue for your summary sheet. We will try to be as proactive as possible and return it to you in a timely fashion.

Q. I am in research support and do minimal work in the four functional areas. Does it make sense to include staff like me in the dialogue process?
A. We deliberately included staff like you so that we can know what your work looks like. A goal of the project is to identify staff with a lot of additional work on their plates. For example, if we can centralize rote HR and Finance-related tasks and take those out of the units, research support staff would have more time to focus on research.

Q. Will any staff continue to support both in-scope and out-of-scope activities after the prototype hub is launched?
A. Staff will be either part of ISS doing in-scope work or part of the central offices or departments doing out-of-scope work. We will not split staff between in-scope and out-of-scope work. It will be important to maintain the staff-department relationships that already exist, so some hub staff might split their time between Engelmann and other locations. For example, we might have an HR business partner who spends designated time with each of the departments every week.

Staff Reorganization
Q. At one point there was talk about hiring from outside the University for the head of the hub. Is that still happening?
A. We will soon open a recruitment for the hub leader. Anyone will be able to apply, but our hope is qualified individuals internal to UWM will apply and emerge. The process is to maximize our talent from within while maximizing success of the project. The hub leadership positions will be open to those outside of the University, but we will be utilizing our current staff to fill the other hub positions.

Q. How will you determine if a staff member is over- or underestimating his/her abilities in the assessment survey or during dialogues?
A. We ask that you have an honest conversation, as this will ensure that you are placed in a role most suited to your strengths and skills. We will have conversations with the recipient stakeholders, such as Program Directors and others affected by the upcoming changes, but these will not be about individual staff. We will be asking recipients generally what is currently working well with their staff and structure, and about what could be improved. There will be conversations with supervisors about best fits for staff.

Q. Will staff get to provide input about where they are best suited? What happens if someone disagrees with the role selected for him/her?
A. This is the reason why we are going through this process. We want to ensure that staff end up with the best possible fits, and we want to consider their perspectives as part of the process. It is worth reminding all that those who currently are primarily involved in the delivery of in scope services will likely be reporting to someone different, doing different things, doing the things they do now differently, and doing things from a different location than they do now.

Q, Will hub staff have their new position descriptions in place before hub initiation?
A. Position descriptions (PD’s) and roles will evolve as we evaluate information collected during the staff dialogues, and during follow-up conversations with staff, ISS Leadership, the Executive Sponsors, and leaders of the supported units. We anticipate solid transition plans around February or March, and staff will be trained in preparation for their new roles. PD’s will be finalized before staff move to the prototype hub.

Q. When will staff find out who will transition to the hub?
A. Staff will find out who transitions prior to “go live” date, and there will be continual communication with staff before then. You will not simply receive an email and your position description right before you move to the hub.

Q. Will anyone lose his/her job?
A. Some jobs will look different than they do now, but no one will lose his/her job.

Q. Are staff going through the dialogue process the only ones eligible to move into the prototype hub? Will you consider others if they are not part of that process?
A. We are focusing on staff currently providing services within the identified schools, colleges, and divisions that will be served by the prototype hub. If you know of staff that did not receive a dialogue request but should have received one, please let us know so we can add them to the process.

Relationship between Central Offices and ISS Organization
Q. Are you having dialogues with staff from the central offices?
A. Yes, we will also be meeting with those staff members because their functions and roles could be changing as well. The ISS Core Team wanted to make sure that Central staff also see Shared Services as an opportunity for career growth. Additionally, some Central staff may be interested in doing in-scope work and possibly moving to a hub.
ISS Project Details
Q. It seems as though areas like BATO are already functioning well. How needed is the ISS process?
A. We are not seeing the enrollment growth that would allow us to get back to past staffing numbers, so shared services will help us function well while staying lean. Operational efficiency and effectiveness is a goal across UW System, and we have the scale to do this here. The prototype hub will give us the opportunity to make adjustments along the way, as well as to learn from one another across departments and functional areas. Instituting an integrated, shared services model across UWM will enable all of UWM to realize the increased effectiveness and efficiency of the model.

Q. Is space planning happening concurrently with the staffing evaluation?
A. Yes, we are currently planning for space, and we are considering transactions, FTEs, and current staffing levels as part of the evaluation process. We are using estimated numbers for those components, but these numbers will be refined throughout the process.

Implementation Planning
Q. Will you be taking a phased approach to the staff dialogues, considering you need to meet with 150 staff members?
A. We have identified 150 people as providing in-scope work, and we are including as many people as possible so that we do not leave anyone out of the conversations. Because of that approach, it is possible that some identified staff members only spend 5% of their time on in-scope work. We would still like to meet with those individuals. Dialogues will be no more than one hour, even for staff who serve in multiple functional areas.

Q. After the assessment and dialogues, will there be more Open Forums to update staff?
A. We will have dialogues with staff during the month of October. After that, the ISS Core Team will analyze the information, identify staff strengths and interests, determine what we have and what we need, and create an initial staffing plan including roles for both the hub and the central offices. The Functional Leadership team will review that information and make a recommendation to the Executive Sponsors.

Next, we will have conversations with leadership of the supported units to receive input. These conversations will likely take place in early January. A final staffing plan will be created, which will involve more conversations with all involved. We might need to conduct some follow-up conversations with staff related to their roles and opportunities. Therefore, in summary, there will be multiple conversations, communications, and follow-ups.

Q. When is the prototype hub estimated to be up and running?
A. Our timeline currently indicates April 2, 2018 as the starting date for the hub. Throughout the project, we have understood that milestones sometimes change. Therefore, this is a tentative date depending on scope and space planning.

Q. How will you evaluate the information from the dialogue sessions?
A. The Implementation Team will compile the information and look at the in- and out-of-scope functions, while considering staff needed in the hub. They will make a staffing recommendation based on that information. We want to determine the best fit to meet in-scope meets while ensuring the out-of-scope work in the schools and colleges can be completed. Our goal is to have a recommendation at the end of the calendar year. We would then begin conversations with leadership in early 2018.


Selection of the Prototype Hub S/C/D

Selection of the Prototype Hub S/C/D Questions
Q. How were the schools, colleges, and divisions chosen to be in the prototype hub?
A. In the to-be design phase, each business function had an organizational team that evaluated possible groupings for the prototype against specific criteria. The College of Health Sciences, College of Nursing, and Zilber School of Public Health have a natural affiliation and have already begun collaborating in other areas. Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the School of Education are currently supported with a shared services structure in BATO. Finance & Administrative Affairs is included in prototype to provide a sufficient number of staff and the ability to manage the ebb and flow of work across the academic and fiscal years. The leadership of those schools and colleges are enthusiastic about this project as well.

Q. What schools and colleges are involved in the prototype hub? When will things change for staff in these areas?
A. The following have been chosen to be a part of hub 1: School of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Nursing, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, and the Division of Finance & Administrative Affairs. February/March 2018 is a soft target for the implementation of the prototype hub. You should already start seeing some changes in early 2018, but the timeline is flexible at this point.

Q. Could you describe the hubs a bit? Will you move salary lines? Will all hub staff move to the same physical location? How will these moves affect schools and colleges not located on the main campus?
A. The prototype hub staff (Finance & Accounting, Procurement & HR) will be co-located, because they will need a close relationship with the central offices providing training, compliance, and higher-level transactions. We want to foster a team environment. IT staff will likely stay in their current locations, unlike Finance & Accounting, HR, and Procurement hub staff.

We will enable the prototype hub staff to work as a team. We will also try to maintain a physical presence for prototype hub staff supporting schools and colleges that are not located on the main campus. We understand it will be important for staff to visible and accessible, so that will be incorporated into our implementation planning.

Funding Model

Funding Model Questions
Q. What happens to impacted staff that are grant-funded? Will they also move to the hubs?
A. Position funding is a separate question on which we will have to work. Regarding whether to move those staff, we will have to determine what work they do now, and how they do the work. We will also be evaluating departmental research and administration during the Implementation Phase.

Q. How will you pool salary lines? Will you bill back schools and colleges based on the amount of resources or staff that they contribute to the hubs?
A. The funding model is to be determined, aside from the planned use of lift and shift. There is no plan to implement a chargeback mechanism at this time. Please note that our goal is not to predetermine which departments, schools, or colleges are served first by the hubs based on the number of staff contributed to hubs.

Salary / Compensation

Salary / Compensation Questions
Q. Will the salary lines move with employees who move to the hubs, or will those lines stay within the schools and colleges?
A. Yes, some salary lines will need to be reallocated to fund the positions transitioning to ISS. Decisions about specific lines will be made through a process of analysis, negotiation and planning by project and school/college/division leadership. Deans are aware of this.

Q. As staff duties change, how will salaries be affected? How will you address salary inequities that arise from staff movement?
A. We will not cut anyone’s salary as part of a move to the hub. Inequities will surface, and some of those already exist. We will utilize the mechanisms already in place to address those inequities to the best of our ability. Given our resource constraints, not all inequities will be remediated immediately.

Q. If staff resign because they do not want to move to hubs, will their open positions still move? If so, from where will the salary line come?
A. We will utilize our current processes to determine whether to fill position, and then go through a recruitment process if needed. We do not yet know whose salary line would be used in that scenario.

In-Scope / Out-of-Scope

In-Scope / Out-of-Scope Questions
Q. Is there a clear definition of what is meant by “in scope” as it pertains to the duties of those employees slated for possible movement to the HUB?
A. The Process Improvement and Training teams have been evaluating the services within each of the functions and have an initial list of anticipated in-scope services. We will be able to communicate this initial list soon. We expect the list to continue to evolve as we learn more about the details of the work across the different units.

Q. How will you divide the out-of-scope work that does not move to the hubs?
A. An example could involve two staff members in the same unit who each have a 50/50 mix of in-scope and out-of-scope work. One of those staff members might go to the hub and take all of that in-scope work, while the other would stay and take all of the out-of-scope work.

Once we have the data and analysis from the Implementation Core Team, we’ll have a better understanding of the impact on out-of-scope services. Then, that team will make specific recommendations for managing out-of-scope work and those plans will be developed in collaboration with the supported units.

Q. Have the in-scope and out-of-scope processes already been determined? Can we receive a list of these? It is hard to determine sometimes which staff are involved.
A. Our four functional teams (Finance & Accounting, HR, IT, Procurement) made up of 50 to 60 staff are working on a list that will be consolidated. There will be a high-level list at the dean or division head level, and a detailed list including information regarding impacted staff, service initiators, and receivers of service.

Not all of the relevant processes may be transitioned to the hub on day one, as some may take additional time. We developed our lists before having detailed conversations with staff about their work. Those conversations may determine whether processes are in scope or out of scope.

Q. How can staff find out what processes are considered to be out of scope?
A. We are evaluating this now, and we will not leave the schools and colleges without a plan to determine how to accomplish their out-of-scope work. There is the possibility that some in-scope work could be transitioned gradually to the hubs. Resources and urgent needs could dictate which processes we move immediately.

Q. What should staff do to make leadership aware that something should be in scope, like reporting?
A. In the case of reporting for IT, an initial conversation with Bob Beck from UITS may be helpful. We realize that reporting is not strictly IT, but speaking with Bob would be a good starting point. Staff are always welcome initiate a conversation with anyone on the Leadership Team about in-scope/out of scope work, or any other Project related item.

Staff Reorganization

Staff Reorganization Questions
Q. Will all employees just be “chosen” for the hubs? There are no interviews for these positions?
A. While there will be detailed conversations with individual staff, these will NOT be job interviews. Most positions in ISS will be filled via the “lift and shift” method, meaning staff members will be transferred from their current positions into a position in the hub. However, we will recruit for the hub manager who will report to Tim Danielson (Chief Human Resources Officer) and the future Chief Financial Officer of BFS. The management of the ISS IT Team will report to the Chief Information Officer. Through the detailed staffing planning, we may identify other supervisory positions that will be opened up for a recruitment process.

Q. How much discretion will the hub manager have to fill hub staff vacancies?
A. He/she will have a role in the process, and will work with the Leadership team and unit leadership to determine how to fill the ISS staff positions. Those decisions will be based on what we learn from the conversations with staff and other stakeholders.

Q. When will you start contacting people about their job responsibilities, and how will those employees targeted be notified?
A. The Implementation Core team hopes to begin reaching out within the next few weeks. We’re starting with a list of people based on job titles, but realize that won’t include everyone we should talk with. Therefore, we plan to learn as we go about other individuals to involve in the process. Stakeholders in the supported units will be contacted directly about next steps.

Q. Is there a published list of questions for the job analysis exercise with which targeted staff can prepare?
A. There is not currently a list of questions. However, the Implementation Core team is working on a process that will fully inform staff about the process and allow them to prepare for the planned conversations.

Q. Will LTE’s doing in-scope work move to the hubs? Would they be moved into a temporary role?
A. Staff in temporary roles doing in-scope work would likely move into ISS and remain temporary. Recruitment processes are necessary for staff to move into permanent roles, and we do not envision creating new permanent positions for recruitment at this time.

Q. If a staff member moves to the hub, how will you determine what schools and colleges with which he/she works? Will that staff member continue working with the same school or college as now?
A. Yes, it is likely that you would still serve the same school or college in the hub as you do now. We’ll understand more about how work might be distributed once we’ve completed the data gathering and analysis of staff resources and staffing requirements.


Communications Questions
Q. What type of direct communication can targeted hub staff expect to receive in addition to the general updates that go out to campus? Will those staff receive specialized announcements to stay informed?
A. We are working on communication planning, including more email and newsletters with targeted communication. We are also planning additional future forums. The goal of this planning is to provide more opportunities to communicate with impacted staff. However, we need to first identify which staff will move to the hubs before narrowing this communication to them.

Q. I appreciate the invite to this forum, the Chancellor’s video, and updates about the project. Policy changes often are introduced with little notice or staff involvement. It might be better to err on the side of inviting more staff than fewer staff to these forums to ensure that no one is left out.
A. We will continue to host more open forums which will be available to the larger campus, and we are also posting various communications on the Integrated Support Services Project website.

In the future, hub staff will make it easier to effectively communicate policy updates, for example a change in vendors, to impacted staff.

Relationship between Central Offices and ISS Organization

Relationship between Central Offices and ISS Organization Questions
Q. Will we continue to have Central offices? What happens if they have to move locations?
A. Yes – The central offices will include subject matter experts to support the hubs and provide training and advice on complex cases and policy implementation. They will also be responsible for campus-wide platforms, programs, and polices; compliance monitoring; and functional service excellence. Our space planning for Engelmann will incorporate both ISS and central office needs, and my include identifying other space for central offices.

Q. Are the central offices going to decrease their staff numbers due to the hubs?
A. We are not yet sure, as we first need to conclude our analysis during the implementation phase. The ISS Leadership is thinking about how we want our central offices to look. For example, how many Central HR officers will be needed to provide training for hub staff? Central HR officers currently spend a lot of time obtaining data or ensuring compliance, which prevents them from getting more involved in other areas.

There is high turnover in some areas and faculty will often come to longer-serving staff for any needs they have because the faculty do not yet know the new staff well enough. As a result, those longer-serving staff members that remain in the schools and colleges may end up more burdened when the hubs start.

We need to put in process a way for faculty to know where to go for out-of-scope processes, and for in-scope processes, rather than automatically placing burden on the remaining staff. Remaining staff will also need to receive training so they know where to refer faculty when appropriate.

ISS Project Details

ISS Project Details Questions
Q. How are procedures changing to support the ISS project? Will there be a reduction in the red tape, which affects many of the current processes?
A. The Process Improvement and Training teams, representing each business function, are re-writing business process in a way that will include fewer steps and stops. The integrated model will also empower ISS staff to complete work without the “gatekeeper” roles currently played by central office staff. That will also increase the efficiency of our processes.

Q. How will this project affect external centers like nursing community centers and audiology clinics? Those centers also have financial staff offsite, so how will they fit into the model? Some of those staff serve the community directly.
A. In July, ISS Leadership members Bob Beck and Tim Danielson met with the deans of the schools and colleges in the prototype population. We do not yet have the answers to this. We are aware of the special circumstances surrounding these centers, and we are working on this. Staff within those types of units can expect to be involved in further discussions and planning.

Q. Will you keep the external centers apart from this model until you work out the details?
A. We will want to involve those staff in the data gathering process during the Implementation Phase to see what work is similar, and what work overlaps. Conversations will help us to determine what the hub/center relationships should look like, and to find out what is currently working and what is not.

Q. How will the implementation of the project affect the student population? Many departments provide academic services to students on campus. How will that service provision change?
A. Currently, faculty are on a spectrum from slight involvement in business functions to full involvement. We are putting a burden on faculty and their support staff when requiring them to be heavily involved in business support functions. This project should ease that burden on them, allowing them more time for instruction and research.

Many support staff also work directly with students. We will make plans to avoid negatively impacting other work that is done in the units once the hubs are up and running.

Implementation Planning

Implementation Planning Questions
Q. How quickly will the next hubs come online?
A. The second hub may start 6-12 months after the prototype hub comes online. The prototype hub gives us an opportunity to learn from successes and challenges experienced early on. We should see a gradual increase toward greater efficiency in the prototype hub. The goal will be to progress through the roll-out within a reasonable amount of time, allowing for adjustments and stabilization of operations after each hub implementation.

Q. Will the Implementation Team continue for hubs 2 and 3?
A. Yes, the team will remain, but we will likely adjust some of the Core Team and Readiness Team members to include individuals in the units to be supported by the other hubs.

Q. Have you identified space for the hub?
A. No decisions about a location for the prototype hub have been made. However, the initial space plan is considering Engelmann Hall, and we are focusing on an analysis of that space. No other locations are being considered for the prototype hub right now.

Q. Will the prototype hub use Cherwell or another system for incident tracking?
A. We do not know the answer to this yet.

Q. I work in a center with different schools and different systems, and I value the unique relationships that I have developed. Will we lose those personal relationships to gain efficiencies? What else will we lose?
A. No one wants to have to communicate with a distribution list, and there is a lot of face-to-face interaction in a university environment. You will serve a dedicated group of clients when you are in a hub in order to try to maintain those direct connections. In the hub for example, you will still know to reach out to Mary for assistance. The difference will be that Mary will now be part of a team and there will be additional support to assist as needed. What will be lost is inconsistent processes and inefficiencies. We will build and enhance relationships in a more cohesive and documented way to increase efficiency.

Q. When new future processes are introduced, who will determine whether those are in-scope or out-of-scope? How will we keep from simply hiring new staff for those new processes?
A. We will never really be done with process improvement or integrated support planning, as we will always be figuring out new processes and places to fit those processes. We are aware of the need to be continually adapting on a two, five, or seven year basis, for example. However, we do not necessarily have all of the answers yet.

Oversight, accountability, and governance structures are being built into the model. Therefore, a formal structure and feedback loop will help us examine services that might not be meeting expectations. This is a key component of the model.

Q. How sound are you on the model currently? Are there metrics in place? How will you evaluate it?
A. We spent approximately a year examining the as-is state, and six months on the design phase. This is a theoretical model based on insight we gained by looking at other university models. Our teams recommended two models that were further refined with feedback from the Sponsors. The integrated model that we decided upon is a middle ground model. Please see the “Models” and the “Resources” page on our website for more background information. ISS Resource page

Three teams in the Implementation phase are working on metrics and measuring successes. For example, there are currently approximately 13 ways to go about hiring someone now. How can we measure this? We will first have to narrow down the number of ways to hire by standardizing the process before we can evaluate it. A team will also be examining key performance indicators for the future model.

Q. What is your current training plan? Will staff be fully trained and ready before the prototype hub is launched? Who will do the training?
A. Each functional area is currently working on a detailed timeline involving creation of training materials and training sessions. This process will differ slightly across the functions. There will be some flexibility, but the goal is to have staff ready to perform work on day one. The finishing of training will likely be part of the criteria examined to determine when we can safely launch the hub. Subject matter experts will be providing training for the hub staff. Training needs to be accomplished “just in time”; not too early and not too late.

Q. What should potentially impacted staff be doing at this time, in addition to the work that they are already doing?
A. It would be helpful for staff to communicate with other staff members who also may be impacted. We want to spread the word to everyone that might not have heard about this project yet. Identifying staff by job titles is just the first step, and that is why we need your help to identify others to invite to conversations.

We also ask that you participate in the conversations about your work tasks with the Implementation Core team willingly and openly. This will help us in the early stages of the implementation phase and will lead to the best possible decisions for individual staff and for the organization.