Institutional Research and Quality Improvement assists MU offices, departments and units with improvement, plain and simple. This can be from designing or redesigning a process in order to increase efficiency and use of resources to facilitating the work required to create and implement a strategic plan. Regardless of the scope of the project, we generally take a three-step approach.
- First, working closely with the office, department or unit, we start by understanding current state and articulating the future state. How does the process currently work? What is happening in the office, department or unit that needs to be addressed? What is the specific problem the office, department or unit is trying to solve? We use particular tools and techniques (e.g., SWOTs, process mapping, secondary data analyses) to assist during this diagnostic stage.
- Next, through design and planning, we determine how the office, department or unit is going to get to this future state. This involves using tools, such as project charters, stakeholder analyses, and strategic planning rubrics to identify what needs to change, how that is going to happen, planning the change, then communicating that change to those who will be impacted.
- Once the designing and planning is complete, we assist with implementation and assessment. This will always involve assessing the change: did the change work as designed and is the desired outcome being achieved? We do this by identifying metrics that assist in determining that. Finally, communication plans are developed to ensure all stakeholders are informed of the change and receive the necessary information and/or training to best manage change.
Each step has specific tools and techniques that are useful to employ.