Getting to know the Shared Services Innovation Team

How a new team within Shared Services is fuelling innovation and improving services.

28 July 2022

Service Innovation, a new team within Shared Services, is asking tough questions to help the university channel its spirit of innovation, enhance administrative processes, and improve user experiences. Armed with a diverse skill set in project management, business analysis, process optimization, change management, learning, and stakeholder engagement, the team is focused on fueling conversations that lead to continuous learning and improvement of services.

Knowing that collaboration is a key ingredient for success, Service Innovation is working with peers in Shared Services to identify potential areas for improvement—some of which could be hiding in plain sight.

“We have great opportunities to look at how we deliver services to colleagues and staff and build on our current practices,” says Trevor Lumley, Director of Service Innovation. “It starts with a willingness to ask, ‘How can we make this better?’”

As a PhD graduate in Environmental Sciences from the University of Alberta, Trevor appreciates the challenges that post-secondary institutions have been facing as a result of fiscal restraint. He believes that the simple question is often the catalyst that uncovers inefficiencies or issues that have long been accepted as “the way things are done.” It can also spark the exploration of more efficient and effective solutions from the very people who do the work.

Given the team members’ different skills, knowledge, and experience, he notes that they’re uniquely equipped to challenge each other to think and act beyond their own disciplines to thoughtfully implement innovation. “Taking a 360-degree view of a problem can bring fresh and innovative solutions to light, and we want to ensure that we’re focusing on the right things and implementing them the right way.”

He further explains that in order for the university to reap benefits of any updated processes, people need to be engaged, prepared and supported as they learn new ways of doing their work. Active involvement and support of the university community in the design and implementation helps ensure that solutions have positive, enduring results and meet the needs of users.

Shared Services has continued to find efficiencies in the processes that emerged from the Service Excellence Transformation. From automating the collection of multiple e-signatures to generate employee offer letters to implementing Freshservice, a new enterprise service management tool for the organization, the university is leveraging technologies to do things faster and more effectively. Currently the Service Innovation team continues to work on the opportunities that came from the process redesign activities in human resources and finance from SET and is consulting with the Centers of Expertise and university community to help assess their benefit and prioritize upcoming work.

In keeping with the university’s service excellence principles, the team believes that achieving excellence is a continuous process and that innovation isn’t limited to major breakthroughs or groundbreaking ideas. Trevor says, “Innovation is in the DNA here [at the university]. It can happen in smaller, incremental ways that have great impact. We have great people who observe, who challenge, and who experiment with solutions. Why not apply that approach to improve the way we work to make the university even better?”


Meet the Service Innovation Team

Wendy Abraniuk (Senior Business Analyst) joined the university six years ago and has held multiple temporary positions related to system training and process development for HR Services and SET. She brings over 15 years of experience in systems and business analysis to the Service Innovation team.

Adebusuyi Fajemisin (Senior Business Analyst) holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and has over 9 years of experience working as a Business/Data Analyst in the banking and healthcare industry. He also worked with Alberta Pension Services and Alberta Health Services before joining the University in May.

Nakotey Okai (Senior Consultant, Innovation Initiatives) holds a Master in Chemical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has over 20 years experience in process engineering, lean manufacturing/six sigma, continuous improvement and leadership in operations, consulting, pharmaceutical and transportation sectors.

Marcia Minto (Senior Consultant, Innovation Training Strategy) holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan and has over 20 years experience in learning and development and human resources services. The majority of Marcia's career has been spent in various leadership roles within the public sector; specifically working with Indigenous Relations, Health, Advanced Education, and Education.

Ang Li (Senior Consultant, Process Design & Optimization) holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Master in Business Administration from Schulich School of Business. He joined the university three years ago in the IST department and brings nearly 15 years of experience in business analysis, process optimization, and project management to his new role as a Senior Consultant.

Kristiana Indradat (Senior Consultant, Organizational Change Management) holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and has nearly 15 years of experience in organizational change management and strategic communications in the public sector including the Government of Alberta, the Workers’ Compensation Board-Alberta, and Alberta Health Services.

Julie Yen (Reporting and Data Analyst) holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in industrial Engineering. She brings 10 years of experience in system development, system maintenance, and data analysis to her new role.

Lynn Bell (Business Process Designer) joined the university six years ago for the PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade and subsequently joined Human Resource Services. She brings over 22 years of human resources and management experience as well as 17 years in Olympic sports administration.

Donna Harrop (Consultant, Organizational Change Management) is a passionate, creative and results-focused Prosci certified change management practitioner who brings over 17 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. She has supported enterprise change projects at the U of A with Information Services and Technology, SET and now the Service Innovation Team.

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