Change management

Our institutional approach to supporting change at York encompasses a number of options for you to consider when you want to improve effectiveness in your area of work.

Options for change

When you identify something that you want to work on, there are different approaches available, from guided Rapid Improvement Events, to the do-it-yourself approach supported by the Project Toolkit. Review the options below, and get in touch to discuss what will work best for you.

Finding the right approach

This table will help you decide what approach will work for your project.

Type of changeIssueExamplesContact

Implementing a University-wide change

Introduction of a new service or capability

Putting in place a new system or process

  • Online Learning
  • Google Apps
Kathryn Woodroof, Portfolio Manager, Enterprise Systems Group in IT Services

Policy development

Need for an institutional position

Position and policy required before changes can be made to structures, processes or technology

  • GDPR
  • Attendance monitoring
  • Equality & diversity
 Identified sponsor (UEB member)

Implementing a change
(compliance, strategy change etc)

Known change (legislation, University policy, new activity)

Uses current structures and processes

May follow on from policy development

  • National Minimum Wage
  • CMA
  • Right to work
Operations Manager (if support required). The expectation is that this work would be locally led

Staff restructure

Whole team or group of staff undertaking a range of tasks and activities

Current operation not fit for purpose

   HR Business Partner

Rapid Improvement Events

Specific defined and focused process

Identified as inefficient, ineffective or not meeting customer needs

  • Research contracts
  • UG & PGT Admissions
  • Special cases
Operations Manager or trained RIE facilitator

Technological solution

Solution already identified as technological (eg. need to go paperless)

Process not identified as inefficient or ineffective or necessary improvements to process already underway (or planned)

  • Expenses
  • Invoice processing
  • Optional module selection
Kathryn Woodroof, Portfolio Manager, Enterprise Systems Group in IT Services
Improving collaboration Helping other people to deal with a process or reach an agreement or solution
  • Improving intra or inter team collaboration
  • Project review
  • Idea generation
For more details see Learning & Development Facilitation pages

Rapid Improvement Events

If your change is suitable for a Rapid Improvement Event (RIE), we'll work with you to focus on what needs to be changed - for example a process or specified area of work. It involves blocking out time to work only on the change required - looking at the current situation, how it could change, and how the change can be achieved. It's not the only way to effect change, but for the right project it will help you to make quick progress.

We've been working with the consultancy firm Skills4Success to develop our own RIE approach. Our trained Rapid Improvement facilitators will will guide and support you through the RIE process, enabling you to swiftly and effectively implement a desired change. Please get in touch if you'd like to request this support:

What sort of changes do Rapid Improvement Events work for?

  • Changes to existing processes (but not systems)
  • Specific process or set of inter-related processes (eg the process for managing research contracts might be suitable, but the entirety of work covered by the Research Grants and Contracts team would be too broad)
  • Areas where need for change is clear (ideally from the perspective of everyone involved - the teams, the customers and senior management)
  • Processes that we have a clear authority to change rapidly (eg not processes that we would have to clear with a regulator or similar body before changing which might result in the proposed change being vetoed)

When are Rapid Improvement Events not suitable?

  • IT systems changes (eg where an existing process is being automated or an existing system is being replaced)
  • 'Cultural' team changes (although RIEs may have an indirect positive effect on this)
  • Team restructures

What criteria are used to prioritise projects for Rapid Improvement Events?

  • Likelihood of success
  • Possible scale of success
  • Extent of control of the process/extent of likely controversy around the process
  • Ease of access to data/evidence
  • Level of buy-in (from team, customers and senior management)
  • Resources (both RIE facilitators and time of the affected team)
  • Urgency of the need for change
  • Fit with the RIE methodology (see criteria above)
  • Strategic fit (both with University and business area strategies)

Find out more, and review case studies of Rapid Improvement Events at the University:


Project toolkit

At the moment, we can only offer the RIE process to a limited number of projects and initiatives.

However, the Enterprise Projects Team offer a full project toolkit and support options for people who wish to run their own change project. Find out more: