40,000 students,
5,000 staff,
5 campuses,
1 process language

We’ve moved from one eclectic group of processes to one base process. In the past every department might run processes such as admissions slightly differently. Now we have one way to do everything.

ELSPET GARVEY — Manager, Business Process Management Office


Because of size and complexity of our organization—it was really important that we better understand our processes. We needed to capture processes as we went, put things in a consistent format, and move towards mandated standards.

For implementations of PeopleSoft, Campus Solution, HR, and Finance–actually any of our enterprise systems–XSOL has been a key part of our toolkit. XSOL helps us look at what’s changing, assess impact, and make visible what we do.

At documenting–XSOL is great. At maintaining documentation (the truly important bit)–XSOL is even better.

For example, we can ask XSOL to

  • Show us all the controls
  • Show us all the change impacts
  • Run us a roles matrix so we see the impact on the academic heads, assess the impact on particular people and then be in a position to ask, “should we be asking an academic head to sign off on something that looks low impact?”

At documenting–XSOL is great. At maintaining documentation (the truly important bit)–XSOL is even better. As a result you don’t get the dead documentation zone that plagues every organization. That means our organization can describe what it does. This ability is vital when running any change project, getting compliant or reducing the cost of inefficient processes.

I want an alive place where I can ask, ‘what is it we do?’ and ‘does it bear any resemblance to what people actually should do’ XSOL supports us to get these answers. It’s not like a diagram as a picture locked away in a Word document. It’s alive.

That means that we now have half a chance to be able to automate these processes, which is huge for us.

Being able to pull together a whole visible taxonomy for an organization is a huge thing for us. We can see and ask, ‘What processes should be on the list–What is an end–to–end process?’ And we could be pragmatic. By that I mean we didn’t have to wait until we knew everything. We could start and then build on it.

That means that the rest of the organization can see how everything fits together. Seeing this big picture helps get everyone around the table, trained better, and involved in the success. This in turn helps us to prioritize and measure.

We now manage our processes as assets

Seeing this big picture allows us to be focusing on what we should be doing, and ask the questions; is it sensible? is it aligned with strategy? does it meet the customers’ needs?

This means we can make sure we are focusing our energy and resources on the right things. That means not only a better service, but a better place to work. Plus people feel more confident, they are better able to question things and participate in the process, and either remove a frustration or gain an appreciation of why things are the way things are.

Because of using XSOL, we don’t have that handbrake of whenever we start any new change project having to first start by documenting processes. So we can get into the actual project much earlier.

We want to get the monkey off our back of these huge implementations which are great the day they finally go live then its downhill from there. We want to move towards continuous improvement. XSOL has helped move us down that path.

‘It’s now at the point in the University where no strategic project happens without process management and change management and XSOL is a key part of that’

We are now in the midst of our biggest ever change project: looking at the whole way we deliver faculty services. Many of our processes had evolved organically. Now we are moving to one generic process. We are also able to test our thinking first. XSOL is again core to this ability.

PHIL TAYLOR — Process Portfolio Manager


We started using XSOL because we realized giving everyone a view of our organization’s processes was critical to our productivity and smooth running. We’ve found that if you know why you are doing something and how ‘what you do’ affects someone else, your behaviors change radically.

You place more emphasis on quality. You know what quality looks like to people in other divisions. And you tend to make sure that your actions (or inactions) don’t negatively impact another person, or the organization.

We also knew that to realize this benefit, we needed a tool that was useful across our organization–not just to the business process analysts. We’ve achieved that. Today, the executive, auditors, people involved in the process and those managing the process, all use XSOL.

XSOL presents what’s relevant to each group and leaves out what isn’t. For example, XSOL can capture the deeper level of information relevant to the people doing the process, present back KPIs and performance targets that process owners need to know, or give high- level ‘cost-of-process’ information to the executive.

A process mapping tool would not have been usable–let alone relevant–across the organization. Process mapping lacks three vital things that tell you about risk, what affects what and reality.

  1. Scope what happens inside the process right down to the task level. Without this context all you have is nice pictures.
  2. Boundaries where the process starts and stops. If you don’t know this, your process map has no context, therefore no meaning.
  3. Controls the factors that mitigate risks. This could be stopping fraud, paying the right people on time or a compliance control because of regulation and government statutes.

These things tell you about risk, what affects what and reality, yet they are often ‘assumed or implied’ in a simple process map. XSOL lets us handle all three. For example we can capture the process control so there is no ambiguity about the level of risk.

So we are able to cater for different audiences without drowning anyone in detail they don’t need

XSOL can also help us identify and reduce process cost. Processes cost the organization in several ways.

  • Throughput
  • People-time
  • The system cost to build triggers to report on
  • Compliance cost

Take compliance cost: XSOL can make sure we have as few compliance processes as possible, but the processes we have are the right ones.

With XSOL we are continually able to either de–risk processes, reduce the costs of processes, or in some cases do both.