Kentucky Community and Technical College System Streamline HR Process

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System got proactive when they streamline HR process that was clogging the productivity pipeline

Kentucky Community and Technical College SystemWith many labor-intensive, paper-based human resources processes for essential functions, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) was faced with challenges affecting their ability to reclassify and create new positions to support the changing nature of the business of Higher Education.

KCTCS chose VeBridge for an in-depth analysis and tailored solution. VeBridge quickly developed and implemented an efficient, configurable system for document/content management, eForms and workflow available and applicable to every college within the system.

Headquartered in Versailles, Kentucky, KCTCS includes 16 colleges with over 10,000 employees on more than 70 campuses. KCTCS serves a diverse set of students of more than 90,000 with programs such as associate degrees, pre-baccalaureate education to transfer to a public 4-year institution; adult education, continuing and developmental education; customized training for business and industry; and distance learning.

The Transformation of the Process

Each college within KCTCS is a separately accredited institution, with a HR Director responsible for position requirements and classification.  With the previous system, each time college administrators wanted to establish a new permanent position or reclassify a current position, they had to complete a JAQ (Job Analysis Questionnaire) form.  The process was manual and paper-based, with e-mail routing and manual signatures required. Since the form had to include sections for every possible scenario, it was often unclear to administrators which ones applied to their position.

Many administrators were unaware that the JAQ form was the driver of the process. As a result, they would often find themselves going through various channels to get the form in-hand. Improper completion often led to delays…and accompanying frustration. Once the form was completed it would travel to HR, obtain budget approval and require final approval by the president. Only when this process was completed could the job be posted to be filled.  Without process standardization or a central location for essential forms, getting approval for positions could involve significant delays.  The manual process also prevented the ability to audit at a macro level to pinpoint roadblocks within the system.

A Tailored Yet Flexible Solution

KCTCS wanted to streamline and optimize the Job Analysis process.  KCTCS administrators sought out VeBridge for a solution to increase productivity and facilitate ease of use for multiple users within each college. Ken Walker, KCTCS Vice President and member of KCTCS President Michael B. McCall’s cabinet, has been a strong supporter of the ECM initiative within KCTCS. Walker says “KCTCS has always been focused on continuous improvement in everything we do. The use of ECM technology in our operations allows us to operate more effectively, and the implementation of the JAQ workflow is the first application on a systemwide basis. We will leverage the success of this process to help transform operations of other functional areas of KCTCS”

VeBridge proposed a single solution that targeted two essential elements of the HR formula: the JAQ workflow and the Position Description (PD) process.  With this newly automated system, various college department administrators and HR Directors could communicate needs and acquire documents seamlessly. Essential information and forms were available in a centralized electronic location, thus saving time throughout all phases of preparation and posting.

With a thorough understanding of the current JAQ process and optimal end goal, VeBridge delivered a tailored yet flexible solution with adaptive functionality.  According to HR Administrative Services Director, Stephanie May,  “The best thing about the solution was the fact that it was easy to customize, but still had one consistent workflow and central repository that would bring standardization and allow us to really be able to audit the process across all colleges.”

The VeBridge Difference

VeBridge team member Bill McGrath worked in close concert with Stephanie May, System Office and College HR staff, all of  whom had high praise for his technical insight, and for his approachable attitude—a real value when many different personalities must come together to communicate and learn something new.  “Bill had the intuitive ability to both understand our process and pick up on the inefficiencies by asking the right questions. He not only knew the technology but also did a great job in managing the people component of change management—getting consensus and collaboration between the different groups.”

Measurable Results

For users at the management and administrative levels, the biggest value was ease of defining required HR data fields. KCTCS also saw great improvement in the ability to detect problems and apply fixes, and found the new “smart form” JAQ, which drives user input, much more user-friendly than the former five-page Word document.

As KCTCS’ educational programs continue to grow, more position additions and reclassifications will arise, and JAQ requests will increase accordingly. Besides the savings in time and improved productivity for managers and HR directors, the VeBridge solution provided much-needed transparency. Administrative staff now have a macro view of efficiency and a micro view of workflow statistics to help them make decisions and create policies.

From her experience with this project, Stephanie May envisions the possibilities of expanding into other HR processes, which would be another win for productivity at KCTCS.

A Bridge to Better Business

Through the use of technology, KCTCS brought innovation and intelligence to the JAQ process by simplifying what was once complicated.  The JAQ process is just one example of a complicated paper process in Higher Education that can be enhanced through the application of ECM technology.  Many other examples exist, from admissions and enrollment to back-office tasks in HR and Finance.  In general, the higher the number of human touches or decision points in a process, the greater the ROI in optimizing that process.   In the highly competitive market of Higher Education, greater efficiency and productivity in administrative functions can be key differentiators.