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Business Improvement Team

The MMU Business Improvement Team (BI Team) is part of LRIS (Learning, Research and Information Systems) and was formed in 2009 to address a gap in MMU’s services provision around corporate project management and business process improvement.

What we do

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The BI Team provides programme and project management support and a wide range of business analysis support, including process mapping, workshop facilitation, requirements gathering and root cause analysis. Click the image above to open a larger version of the infographic.

The list of projects we are involved with (below) illustrates the breadth of what we do. Our key values are centred on Lean Management which has as its central pillars: “Customer Focussed” and “Respect for People” (i.e. staff).

  1. Programme and Project Management (PPM)

    There is plenty of good PPM practice around the university, but little standardisation. There is also a lack of a solid PPM approach in some areas. The BI Team aims to promote a standardised approach to PPM across MMU, including defining what our PPM methodology should look like and promoting good practice.

    You can view / use the existing templates and toolkits

    The BI Team also coordinates the MMU Project Management Community of Practice.

  2. Business Process Improvement (BPI)

    BPI (also known as Business Process Management – BPM, and Business Process Re-engineering – BPR) is a loosely defined set of methodologies and tools aimed at helping organisations become more efficient and effective.
    There are a number of approaches including Lean and Systems Thinking – all of which have this common aim but which go about it in different ways. Systems Thinking focuses on people and operations as inter-related within systems, whilst Lean helps to identify “waste” within processes and come up with ways to reduce this and increase both customer value and staff satisfaction.

    The BI Team aims to introduce some of this thinking to MMU in order to help us achieve improved services and greater efficiencies.

Current work programme

  1. Analytics, CMI and SEM

    CMI (Continuous Monitoring and Assessment) and SEM (Student Engagement Monitoring) are projects left over from the EQAL programme (see below). These, alongside the related Analytics project, are being project managed by the BI Team.

  2. Intelligent Campus

    Intelligent campus is a programme, led by Phil Range, to develop a vision and blueprint for the way in which our campus buildings and facilities can be joined up with each other and with other services.
    An example of this would be where the room environmental controls are aware of timetables, so can automatically switch on and off heating, etc. according to when the room is scheduled for use. The BI team is providing programme coordination and project management.

  3. Business Information Systems Rationalisation

    This is a long term programme looking at consolidating our key corporate systems for finance/HR/payroll/procurement and student-related information systems.
    • Programme coordination
    • Tactical systems review
    • Resource requirements
    • Process Improvements
    We have worked in the following areas providing various levels of process improvement support:HR – preparatory for move to SAP
    • Procurement – preparatory for move to SAP
    • SIPs – part of SIPs improvement programme
    • Systems requirements analysis for a new Student Enquiry system
    • Systems requirements analysis for a Student Appointments Booking system
    • Systems requirements analysis for an exceptional factors system
  4. Recruitment and Admissions ESRA project

    ESRA stands for Enhancing Student Recruitment and Admissions. This programme consists of four projects: 

    • UCAS paperless working [Complete]
    • Confirmations and Clearing screens [Complete]
    • Direct Applications pilot (Postgraduate Taught) - pilot phase complete
    • CRM
    The BI Team provides:
    • Project setup and management
    • Benefits planning and process mapping
  5. RKE change programme

    RKE (Research and Knowledge Exchange) have an ambitious programme to review existing processes around research support and pre- and post-award management for which we are providing programme and project management and business analysis support.

    Key projects include:

    • Pre- and Post-Award management
    • Post Graduate Research lifecycle
    • Web Profiles
    • Research Ethics
    • Research Data Management
  6. System support in Accommodation, Catering and Conferences

    The above three areas within Facilities provide important services for students and staff and currently have old systems that need replacing. The solution in Conferencing and Catering is part of the Kinetic Kx suite and these have already gone live (as of June 2015). The Accommodation system is called RMS and is currently being implemented. The BI Team provides project management for all three projects.

  7. Active-Active Datacentre

    As part of its programme to provide greater resiliency and service effectiveness, ITS are implementing a £2M project to put in place datacentres in All Saints and Birley Fields buildings, and to link these so that if one fails the other takes over. The BI Team is providing project management.

  8. Informal Study Zones

    This project aims to provide students with better spaces to carry out informal study, as well as information about where to find them. The BI Team is providing project management.

Projects we have finished

  1. Student email

    MMU students use the Microsoft Live@Edu system, which gives them a rich web-based Microsoft Outlook environment coupled with cloud based storage (SkyDrive). This project was managed by the BI Team.

  2. Email migration to Outlook and Exchange

    We provided overall project management for this project which came in under budget and with successful outcome – apart from some teething problems which one will always encounter.

  3. MMU Print

    We provided overall project management for this project which was delivered on time and to cost. It has provided a reduction in waste as jobs that would previously have been printed and then not used, are deleted from the system automatically if not printed within 48 hours: the total of pages saved since installation in April 2011 (pages deleted by users and the system) is 3,189,932 pages - a pile of paper 319m tall (Feb 2013). The Multifunctional printers provide a wide range of services compared with the previous copier fleet.

  4. System for REF support

    RKE (Research and Knowledge Exchange) have implemented a system called Symplectic which allows us to compile information required for our REF submissions (previously this had to be done largely manually, a time consuming and labour intensive process). We provided project management: the project has been delivered on time and to budget. (Other projects still ongoing within the RKE change programme are listed above)

  5. Planon upgrade

    Planon is a system used by Estates to manage work orders, assets, etc. A major upgrade is being planned that will not only enhance the system but provide opportunities to review and improve services. We provided project management for the first phase of the project, and Estates have subsequently provided a dedicated project management resource for the final stages. 

  6. NWFA move

    NWFA (North West Film Archive) is hosted by MMU (part of our Library services). Previously located in Minshull Building, the archive moved into the refurbished Manchester Central Library as part of the major Archives+ initiative that brings together many key archival services in one place. NWFA is still part of MMU, but is hosted in the superb new Manchester City Council environment. The BI Team provided project management support, and the project was delivered on time (with the exception of some technical problems with the colour film vault that were outside of our control) and to budget.

  7. Student Journey

    MMU already gathers a lot of information about student experience and satisfaction, but hitherto we have never conducted a full life-cycle study of student experience. Using a technique called customer journey mapping, we led a project, in partnership with the Student Union, to capture this full lifecycle picture with a cohort of undergraduate students. The Student Union have now taken this over for the last phase of the project as the BI Team project manager is on maternity leave. 

  8. I-CRED

    I-CRED stands for Improving Collaboration and Records and Documents management. This programme consisted of three projects:

    • Infrastructure (which will be based around SharePoint 2010)
    • Collaboration (project managed by a member of the BI Team)
    • Records and Documents management

    The BI team provided programme and project management and business analysis. Among the outputs from I-CRED are the Governance and Secretariat Records Management SharePoint site and the Project Portfolio SharePoint site (where documentation for the different projects is held).

  9. EQAL

    MMU's biggest ever change programme, which lasted between 2010-2014 was managed by the BI Team. Outputs from the programme included the new undergraduate curriculum, new VLE, personalised student timetables and many other business and system improvements. EQAL won the The Guardian University Awards (Student Experience) 2013, and EUNIS Elite Award for Excellence 2014. 

Who we are

The BI Team is led by Bruce Levitan and comprises a group of project managers and business analysts working on projects and improvements that cut right across the university. We have experience and skills in a range of project and business improvement areas, and many of the team hold the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis as well as project management qualifications. Bruce was voted one of the top 25 people working in Lean in Europe in the 2015 Lean Management Journal awards.

We are always keen to promote PPM and BPI, so if you want to hear more about this, are seeking some advice, or just want to find out more about what we may be able to do to help, please get in touch.

Our contact details are:

Head of Business Improvement
Bruce Levitan
email b.levitan@mmu.ac.uk 
ext 1511
Project Delivery & Programme Manager Programme Manager
John Mulliss
email j.mulliss@mmu.ac.uk 
ext 6170
Catherine Seville
email c.seville@mmu.ac.uk 
ext 6709 
Project Managers and Business Analysts
Paul Wright 
email p.wright@mmu.ac.uk 
ext 3696
Vicki Garry
email v.garry@mmu.ac.uk
ext 1524

Anna Beaumont
email a.beaumont@mmu.ac.uk 
ext 5946

Secondment, covering for Samantha Connolly (on maternity leave)

Project and Improvement Delivery Officer Project Support Officer

Niki Tragen
email: n.tragen@mmu.ac.uk
ext 1812

Irina Sarbusteanu
email i.sarbusteanu@mmu.ac.uk
ext 1478