University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Implementing Administrative Metrics

Project Sponsor: Steve Cawley, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Overview of the Project

The Best Practice Management Tools Task Force/Administrative Service and Productivity Steering Committee was charged by the U of M president in 2005 to identify key outcome-based measurements by which the University could assess administrative functions' performance and benchmark their activities. This system is intended to be in direct alignment with and supportive of the University's overall metrics and strategic management systems. These metrics are specifically intended to measure the performance of common administrative/operational activities that occur at a variety of organizational levels throughout the institution in order to allow for information-based decision making about the University's administrative functions. These metrics are positioned in the context of other measures such as: the University's top-level metrics, Academic Units' Compact Scorecard metrics, unique unit metrics, and strategic initiative measures. This has been an evolving body of work that is now being driven by the University Administrative Team as a part of Transforming the U.

The University Administrative Team has refined and endorsed an administrative metrics system that primarily utilizes a “scorecard approach” that will be cascaded into the organization. An underlying premise of this system is that administrative operations should be assessed holistically to get at the idea that operations are marbled throughout the institution (i.e., central administrative units and colleges). Metric categories and suggested measures have been defined for each quadrant of the scorecard. Discussions have begun about data sources for the suggested measures and the scorecards are currently being piloted in three management systems – IT, HR, and Space/Facilities. Administrative leaders are counting on this system to be a critical information source for assessing the performance of their respective disciplines throughout the Institution.

Project Goals

The primary role for Emerging Leaders will be to conduct relevant research and develop recommendations to implement and operationalize meaningful and sustainable administrative operational scorecards at the University. Specific PEL project tasks may include:

  • Research and document business planning processes currently in place at the University.
  • Research best practices in business planning in the private, public, and education sector, paying special attention to public research universities.
  • Research the current status of administrative service benchmarking at the University.
  • Research best practices in administrative service benchmarking in the private, public, and education sector, paying special attention to public research universities and its relevant professional associations.
  • Develop recommendations around technology tools (e.g., dashboarding, Web portal) that can facilitate the successful implementation of administrative metrics/business planning.
  • Develop recommendations around a process and format for University business planning that incorporate administrative operational metrics as well as administrative strategic metrics.
  • Develop recommendations around how administrative metrics, administrative unit business planning, and administrative unit service level agreements can articulate “value” from the budget model cost allocations.

Project Team

Team Leaders

Meredith E. Fox, Coordinator and Senior Project Manager, University Administrative Team
Bernard Gulachek, Director of Planning, Office of Information Technology

Team Members

Jessica Beyer
Community Program Assistant
The Center for Small Towns
Coach: Jacqueline Johnson

Steve Gillard
Senior Analyst and Information Systems Architect
CFANS Administration
Coach: Joel Maturi

Andy Howe
Office of the Senior VP for Academic Affairs and Provost
Coach: Kate Maple

Julie VanSteenbergen
Assistant To
Design, Housing and Apparel
Coach: Toni Smith