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Interdepartmental team tackles ID-process improvements

Learn how payment has been streamlined for students and employees.

By Lindsey Coulter

November 20, 2019

Exterior of Tivoli Student Union with MSU Denver banner.

If you’ve had a Metropolitan State University of Denver identification card or badge replaced lately, you might have noticed the process was easier than ever. Following nearly two years of work, an interdepartmental team has streamlined key steps in the ID and badging processes for students and employees.

For this iteration of the ongoing ID-process improvement project, the team focused on payment.

Historically, students have paid for their ID at the point of receiving it, which contributed to long wait times and significant backups at the Auraria Bookstore cashier’s desk. After examining the process, the team developed mechanisms to roll ID costs directly into matriculation fees. While students must still present a government-issued ID and current course schedule to receive an ID, they don’t have to worry about an additional out-of-pocket expense. ID Center staff members simply hit a button on the payment screen that records the transaction, and the University receives a monthly bill.

“We’d received concerns about students’ inability to pay at the point of sale, so in addition to making the process easier, we also wanted to make it more equitable,” said Leone Dick, chief of staff to the vice president for Administration, who served as project manager.

In addition to its functional uses, for many students an ID is truly an identity piece. It can be a proof-point that they belong to the University community or could help mark a new beginning. In the future, ID data could also feed into institutional data-collection efforts so we can better understand students and their needs.

To find efficiencies within the employee-ID process, the group (including the Auraria Higher Education Center’s leadership and facilities teams; employees within MSU Denver’s Information Technology Systems, ID Center and Accounting Services teams; and Tivoli Station and Bookstore staff) completed a gemba walk. This method examines the actual work required to complete a task by moving physically and sequentially through each step. Former Process Improvement Specialist Sarah Buller served as process-improvement manager.

The gemba walk revealed that multiple front-line and behind-the-scenes bookstore staff, Human Resources orientation leaders and department supervisors all had to complete a series of steps for each $22 ID charge. The walk helped the team remove extra paperwork and front- and back-end redundancies. Now, employees seeking new or replacement IDs must simply present a document tying their name to their University #900. Instead of individual departments being billed, ID costs are now covered by a central budget fund.

“In addition to making campus life a little easier for students and employees, streamlining the ID-payment processes also united a number of different campus groups,” Dick said. “Our ultimate goal is a streamlined process all the way around.”

Topics: Accounting Services, AHEC, Best practices, Collaboration, Facilities Planning

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