Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Introducing UVAFinance's new 'Go-To' Team

In every department or office, there always seems to be a person or two who knows the answer to any question, the location of any item, or the right person to go to for any concern. These “go-to” people are invaluable, as we all realize when one of them is on vacation or otherwise occupied when we need help.

Chances are, the person who came to your mind as your own area’s “go-to” might be on the newly formed UVAFinance Administrative Services Group.

Formed in response to the UVAFinance Appreciative Inquiry process and made up of administrative professionals from all departments, the ASG team will provide comprehensive, coordinated administrative services to all of UVAFinance.

The team has been hard at work for several months, identifying their strengths, coordinating efforts, and solidifying how to execute roles and responsibilities to best serve UVAFinance going forward. The official launch date for the ASG team is July 1.

According to team leader Disha Venkatesan, Director of Administrative Services and Strategic Initiatives, the team is focusing on building an infrastructure that will improve productivity and efficiency.

Organized around basic administrative functions such as finance (Recon@, FTE management, cost transfers, etc.), Purchasing, Human Resources (onboarding and offboarding, etc.), physical space, travel and expense, records management, events, budgets, and communications, the team will be cross-trained, collaborative, and able to back one another up at a moment’s notice.

“The contact for each unit won’t change,” said Venkatesan. What will change, she clarified, is how the work gets done.

“We’re working on standard operating procedures and cross training,” she said; adding, “for staff, this means that when your ‘go-to’ person isn’t available, you’ll still have help available – someone who will know exactly how to assist and will already be in the loop, because they’re part of our team.”

Stacey Rittenhouse, “Mayor of Carruthers” and longtime “go-to” person, says that the team’s organization means that things won’t fall through the cracks.

“There will be a greater continuity of service,” she said.

Another benefit of the new team, said member Patrick Wood, is that because the team works so closely together, they will be able to quickly identify processes that need improvement and address them.

About his fellow ASG members, Mike Beverage said, “the things we do in our roles have always impacted one another. Now, the processes are running more smoothly and we can collaborate and streamline everyone’s workload. It’s enlightening, and definitely a good thing.”

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