Two innovative programs designed to improve performance

Priscilla Reckling and Scott BuryTwo new programs at KU Medical Center are taking the "train the trainer" concept to a whole new level. The Performance Improvement Partners program, created by Priscilla Reckling, director, Organizational Improvement Office, and the Animal Research Coordinator certification program, created by Scott Bury, Ph.D., director, Office of Animal Welfare, are designed to essentially clone our experts, thereby increasing the level of expertise on campus. Both programs are great examples of how to support our strategic plan's emphasis on innovation. 

Performance Improvement Partners (PIP) program
This program, supported by the Organizational Improvement Office (OIO), trains employees within support services departments in improvement techniques and tools.  Through the course of 10-12 months, the PIPs are taught techniques to identify improvement opportunities and given tools to launch and coach improvement teams. Candidates for the program were selected by the Organizational Improvement Office or by their associate vice chancellors. 

Currently, nine PIPs representing five departments are going through the program and have completed eight hours of in-class training, including team building, program expectations, technical tools, business theories, and more. Participants were instructed to identify small, manageable and measurable projects that needed improvement. They could work on these projects individually or as a team.  The PIPs meet bi-monthly with OIO for coaching and mentoring sessions and to report on their projects' progress. 

"A positive side effect is that folks are learning from each other and problem-solving with each other," said Priscilla Reckling. "The projects that were selected are ones that have been around and needed to be addressed, but hadn't been yet. Each participant brings to the table different knowledge and expertise, so the strength of a program like this is that every person can help others work through issues because of past experience." 

Kevin Growney, assistant controller in institutional finance and administration, is a program participant who is working on a project to improve monthly research institute and endowment billing and a second project to implement a financial tool for facilities management. 

"It's great to have a set of peers to discuss challenges and ideas with and who give constructive feedback," Kevin said. "You don't feel like you are alone in accomplishing your objectives. As a result of this program, my department's management team has embraced the process improvement concept and has identified more than two dozen opportunities that we can prioritize." 

Once the PIPs complete the program, these trained employees will serve as a resource to departments and teams to help identify and support other improvement opportunities. The first class of PIPs should graduate by the end of the year. 

For more information on the Performance Improvement Partners program, you may contact Priscilla Reckling at 913-588-7813 or Tom Field at 913-588-5121. 

Check out next week's issue of KUMed Central to read about the inventive Animal Research Coordinator certification program.

Pictured: Priscilla Reckling, director, Organizational Improvement Office, and Scott Bury, Ph.D., director, Office of Animal Welfare

Last modified: May 29, 2014