FAQ

Please see the IT website for all of the FAQs.  Below is a sampling of the FAQs currently available:

  1. Who or what is covered by the service?  Support charges are based on people.  We will support all of the subscriber's UCSF-owned desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.  Each device is tied to its primary user, who must be enrolled in the service to receive support.  There are two levels of service:
    • Basic for $44 per FTE per month
    • Premium for $75 per FTE per month
  2. What does basic service cover?  Basic service description is available here.
  3. What does premium service cover?  Premium service description is available here.
  4. Who is expected to use this service?  In general, we expect all UCSF faculty and staff to start using this service after January 2013 and before December 2014. Departments can decide when, during that time period, they prefer to join. Postdocs and students are automatically excluded from using or paying unless their department decides to pay for them to receive service.
  5. Can anyone opt out of this service?  Starting in January 2014, academic department chairs will be able to submit opt-out requests to their deans for full time research FTE's within their academic research laboratories who do not work with protected patient data at any time in the course of their employment. These exceptions are granted due to the unique equipment nature of these labs and the high number of their staff who do not regularly use computers. An academic research laboratory is defined as primarily engaged in non-clinical, academic research with a focus on graduate education and training. Central administration in these departments cannot opt out. Those who opt out will not receive campus desktop support services unless they pay on a time & materials basis (for IT service desk and desktop support costs).
  6. How will billing be done?
    • Billing will follow the model of the network charge, so that staff are charged according to their payroll distributions.
    • Anyone that is not an FTE that a department would like to have service for, for example a postdoc, will be billed by a separate system similar to how affiliates are billed for network service.
  7. What is hourly support and when does it apply?
    • For anything that is not covered by the service catalog for basic or premium service, you can purchase hourly support at a rate of $75/hr.
    • An example of this is a basic support customer who requires presentation support for an important meeting.  This is not covered by the service, but can be arranged and paid for on an hourly basis.
    • Hourly charges will require departmental authorization.  The authorization process can delay service in urgent situations, so we are working on a way to allow departments to pre-approve a quantity of hours to expedite service delivery.
  8. Can this service be legally charged to direct cost on NIH and other grants?  We are working with the UCSF Budget Office to assure that all such transactions will conform to federal and state laws.

See all of the FAQs here.

An incredible amount of work has gone into making both eProposal and CACTAS relevant and effective so once the initial bugs have been worked out the proposal preparation and submission system should be smoother.  A note of caution, rolling out new systems themselves is usually bumpy so we are careful in setting an expectation that these new systems will make everything perfect from day one.  

  1. eProposal is an electronic proposal preparation and submission system that will interface with existing internal systems (e.g., Peoplesoft) and grants.gov to make proposal preparation and submission much simpler and faster.  It provides electronic routing, and will replace Cayuse and Proposal Express.  eProposal should be piloting this fall.  
  2. CACTAS (centralized agreement contact tracking and approval system).  This is an award negotiation and reporting tool that will be used by C&G and Industry Contracts, and will house all research agreements, clinical trials, private grants, pro-fee agreements, correspondence, TAA’s etc.  Departments can purchase read only licenses or receive automated reports.   CACTAS will provide transparency on all contracts in process in both offices.  It is being built on the Salesforce platform.  The first release will go into full production on July 1.
 

 

 
 

 

In October 2014, as part of the final wave, UCSF will go-live with the UCPath system.  It is an integrated payroll and human resources system that will replace our current PPS system.  This service center will be located in Riverside, CA.  UCPath will be primarily transaction processing in the areas of payroll, benefits, leave and workforce administration. 

Fortunately, the important support that we provide to departments across the HR life cycle will continue.  We will also continue to analyze the potential effect of UCPath as it rolls out.  Our expectation is to minimize the impact on both the departments and our employees.  Two and a half years should give us that time.

As this is still early in the process, we have little information.  As soon as there is any up-to-date information we will share it with you. 

Please see David Odato's communication to the Human Resources community and the UCPath website.

OE is striving primarily for the following end-points: improved and consistent service, improved systems and accessible data, staff job satisfaction and cost savings. Each individual factor as well as a composite of these factors will drive OE’s success. The measure of that success will evolve throughout implementation and beyond.

Does OE work?  UCSF’s faculty and staff, the performance metrics and the financial data will tell us.

  • Faculty and staff will come to their own conclusions based on their individual experiences 
  • The ‘word on the street’ will also reflect a variety of reactions
  • The OE Cost-Savings Tracking Tool has been in place since October 2010. Currently, $42.3M has been recorded in savings. A valid concern is that OE winds-up costing more for some individual departments. The answer may be that OE does achieve its savings goals in the aggregate but that some individual departments may experience some increased costs.
  • Importantly, there are the OE metrics – tracking and extracting valid and valuable information to identify OE strengths and weaknesses.
  • Assessments by UCSF Leadership

Pre-award (RMS), IT and Human Resources are gathering data that evaluates the effectiveness of their respective initiatives. (This website posts this data as it becomes available to us.)

RMS posted the initial Baseline Faculty Satisfaction Questionnaire, the ‘How’s My Driving?’ results and their comprehensive RMS Six-Month Progress Report Plan

Below is a brief summary of the pre-award metrics plan. 

RMS Metric Examples
Client Satisfaction
  • Department satisfaction with RMS
  • Faculty satisfaction with RMS
Quality of Work Measures
  • Quality of proposals
  • Quality of RMS work
Internal Processes - Staff Satisfaction
  • Job satisfaction level for Associate RSC, RSC, Team Manager, Director
  • Staff Attrition
Internal Processes - Performance
  • Efficiency performance targets
  • Cycle times
  • Accountability
Training Program
  • Participant response
  • Increased knowledge
  • Application of information
Cost Measures
  • Cost per proposal
  • Cost of RMS operation
Implementation Progress
  • Implementation schedule
  • Implementation environment
  • Model integrity

 IT has a robust measures program in place.  Below is a sample.

IT Metric Examples
Client Awareness and Satisfaction
  • Survey ratings average 4.8 out of 5 (or similar scale) on 95% of all tickets
  • Meeting established SLA's 98% of the time
Productivity
  • Achieve device to tech FTE ratio
  • Achieve client per tech FTE
Incident Management
  • Time to respond
  • Time to resolution by tier
  • Ticket escalation percentage is less than 5%
Resource Management
  • Achieve targeted device to FTE ratio
  • Job satisfaction

UCSF Human Resources continues to develop their metrics program and will build upon feedback and experiences as each Service Center rolls out.

HR Metric

Examples

Client Satisfaction

  • Quick Customer Satisfaction Survey on email signatures
  • Periodic Satisfaction Surveys

Productivity

  • Service Level Agreements
  • Activity Measures

The OE Finance leadership are embarking on four main priority projects listed below.  Their detailed metrics will be forthcoming.

OE Finance Priority Projects
Chart of Accounts Redesign
  • Organizational framework for coding all financial transactions
  • Foundation for budgeting and financial reporting and planning
Enterprise-wide Financial and Managerial Reporting
  • Design & development of enterprise-wide consistent financial and managerial reports
  • Implementation of robust reporting solution/set of tools to produce reports
Budgeting and Financial Planning Analysis
  • Simplification of budget workflow and approval processes
  • Implementation of integrated budgeting and forecasting software
  • Delivery of an FP&A toolset to produce annual budget, rolling forecasts and long-range financial plan
Resource Allocation Model
  • Designing financially sustainable enterprise-wide model to support tripartite mission of UCSF
  • Realigning the UCSF funds flow in response to UCOP financial model

 

We are very interested in what you think.  Please click on the link and let us know how you will decide if OE is a success.

Since you have seen the funding model, then you are familiar with the ‘Headcount Price Per Year’ design.  After thoughtful analysis conducted by a group of MSOs and input from the four Schools, a dollar value was assigned to different populations based on the amount of effort it takes HR to support employee activities for the entire HR life cycle (recruit, hire, advancement, benefits management, separate, etc.).

A department will be billed a fee based on the headcount prices and the headcount based on home department code of the employees within that department.  As an example, the charge is $896 to support each staff person per year.  The department will be charged monthly based on a headcount snapshot that is taken on March 1st annually.  For fiscal year 12-13, the departments have a window of opportunity to review and make changes before the final headcount is taken on May 1st.   The official rates and billing charges will then be published May 31, 2012.

For a more detailed answer please click on this link and go to slides 23-37 or contact your HR Service Center Director.

 

You will still have an HR professional who is assigned to your department; however, you will now initiate and approve HR transactions by using the new HR Service Request System. This system is an enabling technology that allows departments to request, review, approve and monitor progress on HR service requests.  Your department can submit requests for the entire HR life cycle for staff and many academic personnel actions. It will capture the required data elements so that requests are complete and the HR Service Center can process them quickly and accurately. The security and access to data is driven by department code. To prepare for the transition to HR shared services, departments should be thinking through their business processes to identify who they want to initiate and approve transactions.  There are helpful process maps that provide a comprehensive and detailed listing of all HR-related activities and identify where and how each action will take place.

It is important to remember that the HR Service Request System does not replace face-to-face or phone conversations.  Training materials and job aids will be posted online to help departments prepare their staff to use the system.

Unsuccessful RSC candidates are not automatically considered for the ARSC positions.  Each position requires an application and is interviewed individually.  These positions are now closed.  If they are reopened in the future, the notice will appear on this website.   

The Team Manager positions were re-posted on September 29, 2011 and are now open to both internal and external applicants.  Updates on hiring decisions for the RSCs and recruitment process for the ARSCs will be posted on this site as they occur.

Here are the Chancellor’s words, slightly edited to make 25:

“OE is about:  making sure that every dollar we spend is in service of our mission (patients and health, discovery, and education) through excellence. “

To supplement her words with an additional 62 words:

Money: reduce administrative costs by $48M.

Faculty: minimize administrative burdens to be able to focus on ‘real job’

Staff: ensure equitable salary/roles & responsibilities, defined career path, training

Systems: invest in systems support to work effectively

Process: eliminate unnecessary steps, replace with clarity

Policies & Procedures: simplify, align procedures; reduce risk

Departments: ensure excellent service consistently available regardless of size & resources

These two comments come directly from the 'Come and Be Heard' feedback.

Although OE has been a constant theme that both the Chancellor and her senior leadership have embedded in many of their communiqués, meetings and presentations, it is correct that the Chancellor hasn't held an OE dedicated event since she launched OE over a year ago.

Through the feedback from the Come and Be Heard sessions, our senior leaders have heard that you have concerns they are not out in front championing OE and they might be insulated and disconnected from the reality of the stresses you are feeling in your daily work. You want to know that in addition to the business side of UCSF, they care for the people side.

The Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration realize the endless hours they do spend on OE are not visible for many of you.  John Plotts and Jeff Bluestone in fact spend a large percentage of their time on OE meetings, forums and discussions with tthe OE leadership and teams, working through sensitive and thorny issues. Sue, John, Jeff and the Deans are committed to making this work and making sure it results in a better and stronger work environment for all of us.

We are currently scheduling Town Halls at Parnassus, Laurel Heights, SFGH and Mission Bay. These 'Talks with UCSF Senior Leadership' will be held in June. The objective is to give faculty and staff an opportunity to hear from the Deans, Jeff Bluestone, John Plotts, as well as David Odato and Susanne Hildebrand-Zanki regarding OE and to engage in discussion. We will send out the announcement as soon as we have the details.

The EVCP office acknowledges that “We should have done a better job communicating our organizational goals.” By not doing so, it distracted the focus from the critical work of these individuals and instead, generated the above comment.  

Before a Vice Chancellor was hired, the leadership thoroughly assessed whether the positions could be combined, reduced, replaced or eliminated. In the cases where the positions were mandated by the University of California’ President’s Office, such as Diversity and Ethics, the positions were advertised. In the case of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, they partnered the position with the Medical Center. Since UCSF is at the forefront of research, filling the vacant Vice Chancellor for Research position was a critical need. With the steep 50% budget cut, these positions were funded using and leveraging existing resources.

“We are in a particularly challenging economic and political climate. But this doesn’t mean, for a second, that we’re going to give up on our aspirations of leadership and excellence in all aspects of our mission and vision.  What it does mean is that we need to be flexible, to be able to respond well and maintain leadership in a highly ambiguous and risky environment. We can’t continue to do things the way we always have. If we do, we will fail. We do need change and for that we need your continued help. We will continue to invest in what we need to, to further innovation and creativity.”  This message is from Jeff Bluestone in direct response to the feedback from the recent Come and Be Heard session.

Dear Anonymous,

Without your name or department, we are unable to give you specific support.  However, we will do our best with the information you kindly sent.  First of all, it certainly sounds like you are a valued employee, skilled in pre-award and someone who the department values. It sounds as if your manager has thought about your future and has taken time to work out a positive career opportunity for you.  Phase I is the first of four phases to fully rollout the new model for pre award support.  Eventually all departments will have their pre-award activities managed by a pre-award expert who is part of a team/cluster.  Each faculty member will work with this expert.  Your manager was trying to assure you of a career move that would be particularly good for you and for the department. Instead of ‘sacrificing you’, it seems that your manager is going to some effort to protect you.  If you chose to apply for a position in a cluster, you would have the benefit of training, leading to signature authority and you’d have a defined career path.  Your manager was correct, if you were selected, we make every effort so that you would still support the faculty you currently work with.   

No doubt, OE will have its difficulties and challenges as it rolls out.  But we have a commitment to the Chancellor (and to the fiscal challenges) to make OE work.  It is a very anxious time and will continue to be as the new OE ways to work are rolled out. You are fortunate to have a manager that has taken the time to guide you in a constructive and supportive direction.

We would hope that you have an opportunity to have a further conversation with your manager.  You might also find it helpful to see the document on the web ‘Guide for Volunteer Departments’.  There are close to 40 common questions that people have been asking. You may find that to be useful.  We are having another Brown Bag April 7th just to talk about these new Pre-Award positions. We hope you can attend.

There are no ulterior motives - quite simply, the timeline that we initially put up was not very detailed because we didn't know the details. We do have some more information now so we are including the timelines for IT, and Pre-Award. As soon as we have more detailed timelines for AP/HR and Finance we will put those up. 

Being able to anticipate upcoming changes is very helpful. Although we don't always know exactly when all the pieces will fall into place, we will be more diligent in keeping these updated so that you can have a more clear picture of what's coming and when.

Since none of this has happened yet, a cluster still feels like an impersonal substitute for a very personalized way to work. In reality, the individuals in the cluster will be assigned to support specific departments and faculty. One of the benefits of receiving your support from individuals within a cluster is that when they are on vacation or out with the flu, you will have someone within their team who can still help you. A key element to their training is the customer support piece since we know that is an essential component of the success of the cluster structure.

The personal connection is so important for each one of us and it does need to remain an essential element of how we do business. In some cases, the individual in the cluster who supports your department may be a new person. You will build a relationship with them just as you have over the years with new people coming into your department. In other cases, the individual who is sitting in your department might be the very one who will be sitting in the cluster and is there to answer your questions and to support you.

Fortunately for those of us working through this time of significant change, UCSF does have support for change management. These opportunities encompass activities that support an individuals’ ability to manage their career and their emotional well being. It also supports supervisors so that they can lead and support their staff during transitions.

Since individuals respond to change in very different ways, UCSF offers a variety of tools and settings that meets the needs of such an independent work place. The spectrum includes how to deal with change on a personal level, assessing your own skills and preferences and tools to be more successful in a changing work place. If one is embarking on a job change, there are a series of workshops to support a successful transition. There are specific workshops for those who are responsible for the management of individuals. Individual counseling is also a valuable option.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual to take advantage of a program that caters to their particular needs. We have identified multiple opportunities available to all members of the UCSF community – see the list and links below. You’ll note that some are existing programs and others are customized for a specific departmental request.

We encourage supervisors to enable an individuals’ request to attend a class or program. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANAGING CHANGE ON A PERSONAL LEVEL (sampling)

WORKSHOPS FOR MANAGING YOUR OWN CAREER (sampling)

  • Career Planning Workshops Offered by Campus HR  415/476-0420 
    • Modules for managing change, development planning, networking, interviewing, resume critique and interview practice
    • These career development workshops are scheduled regularly and are available at no charge

WORKSHOPS FOR MANAGER'S ROLE IN MANAGING AND LEADING DURING CHANGE

  • Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP)  415/476-8279 
    • A Leader's Guide: Understanding Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Change Management
    • Conducting Layoffs in a Humanistic Way: A Supervisor's Guide
  • Individual Counseling 1:1 direct support  415/476-8279 
    • FSAP services include individual consultation as well as workshops for groups and are available on request at no charge
 

Fortunately for UCSF, similar efforts have been undertaken at other institutions. As part of our early work with OE, we looked at comparable universities to find out what worked and didn't work and what we could learn from their experiences. Please click here for a full scope of information and links.

We still have considerable work to do before we are close to posting new OE specific jobs. The process for applying to new positions that are posted on the UCSF career website is the same for any UCSF job posting and will certainly follow the UCSF policies and procedures. However, we are reviewing the process and if changes are made, we will communicate them at that time. 

Since we don' t know yet what the new models will look like, we also don't know exactly what the new jobs will be. We are working through the new processes now and will keep you updated when we have some more definitive information.

We did post some positions earlier that were important positions to support the OE Work Groups. One OE position currently posted is for a Research Administration Training Director (Requisition #34388BR). The information is available on BrassRing, as would any position description. Training is inherent to the success of Research Administration so this position was posted prior to when many of the organizational decisions have been made.

 

Many long term employees have an intense connection to UCSF that spans decades. In some cases, it is generational. A long term employee brings a perspective that is rich in experience and wisdom. They have been resourceful and creative as they have worked around systems and tools that were challenging and frustrating. Many long term employees have long ago figured out what needs to be fixed and why. They may have been through changes here that haven't lived up to expectations and intuitively knew what should have happened to make them work.

We need long term employees to participate to make sure we are paying attention and that we can take full advantage of all the experiences they bring to the table. Leaving UCSF knowing that they helped make the work just a little bit easier and a little bit more straightforward would be a win-win for everyone.

No guarantees exist for any of us in our current positions nor will they exist in any new OE related organizations. Transitioning from your current job to a new job will most likely follow the same procedures that are currently in place and guided by UCSF policy.

The expectation is that any new positions in OE will not only be fully supported but also every effort will be made to ensure success. Joining a new organization and being one who is instrumental in a new way to work can be very exciting but also very challenging. One should make the transition to an OE position with the expectation that the commitment is long term.

Through the Operational Excellence initiative, the larger IT Work Group has created a Help Desk Work Group. Its goal is to make life easier for you by having only one point of contact when something goes wrong. Whether you’re a student, staff, or faculty, you’ll be able to get help via one telephone number, email, web, chat, or in some cases a walk-in location. These initial points of contact represent the “level one” Helpdesk, and should be able to address the majority of the problems with first-call-resolve (e.g., password changes, minor problems). As necessary, they will triage other issues to the appropriate level 2 and level 3 support centers. The hours of support will also be extended.

At this point we honestly don’t know. Your own department manager is your best resource for information concerning the immediate plans within your own department. Changes are happening now and gradually throughout the Schools as some departments have begun to share services with other departments.

The OE Work Groups are hard at work completing their high level designs. OE has planned an extensive program to communicate much of what is happening within OE.

As you can also see from the broad timeline below, there is still a long way to go to complete the work of the Finance, HR/Academic Affairs, Research Administration and IT Work Groups.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

February 17, 2010

March 31, 2010

  • Initial plans for OE initiatives are vetted and submitted to the Chancellor

June 2, 2010

  • The Chancellor announces her decision and charges the Schools and Campus to move forward with Operational Excellence with a mandate to achieve effective, efficient and consistent levels of administrative services that are reliably available to all departments.
  •  Achieve economies of scale that result in savings of $48M by end of FY2013

June 22, 2010

July – December 2010

  • Work Groups translate the Chancellor’s charge into plans for a working reality.
  • Develop designs and recommendations for streamlining processes, policies and procedures.
  • Identify the technology necessary to support more effective and efficient ways to work. 
  • Initial higher level designs are vetted by Schools, the Senior Work Group, the OE Coordinating Committee and executive leadership.
  • New tool is rolled-out to Schools, departments and Campus to track savings retroactive to January 2010.

January – Summer 2011

  • Work Groupsadvance designs to more detailed work plans including detailed training, certification and job descriptions, development of workload measures, refinement of tools to enable process improvements, quantitative and qualitative performance measures that enable credible service level agreements. 
  • A significant focus of the work during this time frame is drilling down on the costs of any proposed organizational structure, determining how to charge for services and how those funds may flow.
  • Identify possible models for piloting to test what works well and identify what needs to be adjusted utilizing rigorous metrics for objective assessment. This will be a continuous improvement process resulting in a thoroughly vetted model for delivering a particular administrative service.

Summer – end of FY2013

  • The different Work Groups will be in varying stages of development.  In all cases, continued efforts will be on refining recommendations to produce excellence in systems, tools, policies and procedures.  These months will most likely see both testing of recommendations within a pilot format as well as full implementation. The new technology will be rolling out during this time period.  By the end of FY 2013 the target of a $48M in savings must be met.
 
 
 

To date, no conclusions or changes have been recommended. The process of refining post-award is complex because the service is connected to pre-award and finance. To make sure post-award is reviewed in suitable depth, a separate subgroup has been formed with both pre-award and finance members. It formally sits within the Finance Work Group but there is a strong bridge and link with Research Administration.

For each potential improvement, the Work Groups take into consideration the following issues:

  • Does it save money?
  • Are we solving the right problem?
  • Is the benefit of all this change going to be of real value? Will we recognize it as beneficial?
  • Are we paying attention to the people most impacted by the change? Do they have a voice in the solution?
  • What will the impact be on the departments? How will they restructure or absorb the changes in work flow?
  • Will the technology support the streamlined processes?
  • Is accountability clearly identified and supported with delineated roles and responsibilities?
  • Do the numbers and data support the claims? Do we trust the data?
  • Are the solutions realistic and are we giving ourselves the time to test them?

Yes they are. UCSF is dedicated to taking into consideration the knowledge, practices, and needs of all its people, not just the ones at centralized locations. However, at this stage in the timeline, we can only reassure you that we will take the uniqueness of your situations into considerations and make every effort to keep whole what is currently working so well. There are many ways that you approach your work that have proved to be cost effective and efficient. Our hope is that the OE effort can benefit from best practices wherever they occur.

Keeping that in mind, UCSF still has to reduce costs and that will entail tough decisions and some changes to how we have long been accustomed to working. Fortunately, the process that has been established to find these solutions is led by your colleagues and is broad-based and thorough.

The prior effort saw two universities struggling to overcome significant cultural differences and some differences in objectives. Though ultimately it did not come to fruition, the lessons learned will actually be helpful as OE attempts to bring together UCSF’s own strong, independent departments.

In addition, OE has the great advantage of having a Chancellor who has the authority and responsibility to make decisions in the overall best interest of the UCSF campus.

An effort like OE that is broad, complicated and targets the work we do every day is bound to be fraught with difficulties and disagreements. Without a robust exchange of views and productive tension, we can't get to the best possible solutions. No one can guarantee success but we can guarantee rigorous and relentless attention to answering the right questions. 

We also know that we won't get it all right at the outset; we will need to make adjustments until we do get it right. Doing it right is as much about paying attention to 'what to do' as it is about paying attention to 'what not to do.'

For many of us, the wait since the Chancellor initiated Operational Excellence in late 2009 until now has felt long and tough. Yet to others it feels like it has been rushed: for Work Group members tasked with meeting these deadlines, it feels like an intense time crunch.

Though it may seem like it is taking forever, Operational Excellence is on schedule according to its original timeline.  While this timeline has created uncertainty for individuals and departments, it has given us some critical time to approach this more judiciously.

It is at the time of highest stress that we need the clearest vision. A large number of UCSF staff members are working hard to translate this OE vision into a working operation. Once the new ways to work have been developed, they will be shared with you. In addition to Town Halls and Brown Bags, we will be sharing what we have developed on-line.

These two comments reflect very common and valid concerns throughout the departments. Together, they strike at one of the principles the Chancellor and the Dean of the School of Medicine have highlighted in earlier comments: the importance of departments having equal access to outstanding administrative support. The OE Work Groups are charged with addressing differing levels of support for the departments.

The Research Administration Work Group is working on a solution that taps into the existing expertise within departments and benefits other departments by giving them access to it. No one wants to dismantle existing excellence but we need to figure out a way to translate that excellence so that all departments and their faculty can take advantage of it.

Because supporting the faculty in their research is a critical cornerstone of UCSF, it merits our best efforts at continual and significant improvement. Recent changes have proved highly beneficial, and we are eager to keep the momentum going. Additionally, the implementation of the new RASII research system will bring with it new working methodologies.

The OE Research Administration Work Group, supported by many of you in the departments, has outlined the following steps for improvement.

  1. Streamline the current pre-award process.  Make the proposal development, submission and award set up as easy and clear as possible. Eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth including redundant signatures.
  2. Create a Research Administration job family.  Redefine job roles to reflect the new way to work. Ensure consistent performance review across all positions. Provide clearly defined career goals and professional advancement that is transparent and encourages highly professional level service.
  3. Provide Training, Certification, and Signature Authority.  Provide individuals with intensive training and ongoing education resulting in appropriate levels of professional certification and signature authority.

Ideally, the OE initiative will streamline award set-up by establishing a single owner for the process. Though substantial improvements have been made recently, the process has been challenged by having multiple organizations taking part. Contracts & Grants, EMF, the department, and a possible Cluster must all be aligned to ensure a simple and effective award set-up process. Because of the complexities of working out a solution, the group working on this has all the key players working on it together.

Our long-term goal is to provide the entire UCSF community with a high-speed, reliable, secure, and sustainable voice and data network. The first phase of this effort will focus on blanketing the campus with ubiquitous wireless coverage through the architecture and deployment of modern equipment for the campus data network.

We recognize that getting new IT equipment through UCSF Procurement is difficult and takes a while. That said, IT Procurement (eg, helping you get a new laptop) is an area that has been flagged for improvement: we need to negotiate better contracts and improve the purchasing process. We have the Procurement Work Group focusing solely on making this a more effective and user friendly transaction.

We recognize that we have to make it beneficial to you, as the client, to utilize the IT Tech Stores. We plan to create a central procurement/vendor management office to help all of UCSF (including the Medical Center) get the IT equipment they need.

To resolve issues like yours, we’re taking two major steps: First, restructuring the UCSF Active Directory; and second, consolidating all Campus and Medical Center email/calendar services (including disaster recovery) into a single Microsoft Exchange environment (preferably outsourced).

When the process is complete, everyone at UCSF will have an email identity based on their first and last name. This identity will be attached to consistent email addresses, in most cases @ucsf.edu or @ucsfmedctr.org. This should fix problems with getting your email and provide a better email experience overall, especially when moving from one part of UCSF to another.

No, UCSF is not centralizing all administrative services. However, in order to reduce our costs and to minimize the replication of processes, we must become more efficient and change how we currently get our work done.

The OE effort is looking into the best way to accomplish this. The initial report to the Chancellor demonstrated that cost savings could be achieved by pooling together some of the administrative services which are currently replicated in multiple departments. The current thinking is that a cluster-style organizational unit might best meet the Chancellor's charge. Not only does the work flow need to be streamlined but the information technology that supports our work needs considerable investment to be more effective. We anticipate that cluster-style units may help us achieve these goals.

We don’t know exactly what they’ll look like, but we do know how we’ll be creating them. Here are some fundamentals that are guiding how we develop these pooled administrative services/clusters:

  • The identity and integrity of the Schools and their departments will be preserved
  • Pooling administrative services into groups is more cost effective than replicating that service in 55 different departments, ORU's and Interdisciplinary Centers
  • Clusters will be organized to primarily support the faculty and their departments
  • Clusters will enable smaller departments access to a service level that they might not have had otherwise
  • The cluster system groups subject matter experts into teams, thus providing a consistent level of service, backup for holidays, illness and unexpected absences
  • Clusters also ensure consistent application of policy and procedures
  • Services provided by clusters to a department will be required to adhere to strict performance standards. The department will partner with cluster management to provide performance feedback and successful team assignments

In addition, it’s likely that:

  • Although Research Administration, Staff HR & Academic Affairs and Finance may house some of their services in a cluster-style organization, some activities within each of these functions may remain within the department
 

What we don't know right now: 

  • what a cluster looks like
  • what services it will provide
  • what services will remain within a department
  • where clusters will be located
  • how they will be governed
  • how they will be paid for
  • if departments sharing services is a viable option to meet the OE objective of cost savings and operational effetiveness

These are the questions the OE Work Groups are working through now. The design and activities assigned to a cluster are the charge of the OE Work Groups.

We do know some fundamentals that are guiding how we develop these pooled administrative services/clusters.

We won't know what many of the new jobs may look like until the OE Work Groups finish their work. A few departments may start participating in a pilot some time in the spring or early summer.  Other departments may not participate until the last months of 2013. 

Our jobs will change as the new tools roll out throughout the following years. Additional OE benefits - new training programs and the introduction of some new job families that have career path opportunities clearly defined - will be rolling out in the coming year.

1.  How are announcements being communicated to the IT community? All announcements will be communicated on the OE website and on the IT website Announcements will also be communicated on the IT-FORUM listserv. To subscribe to the IT-FORUM listserv please visit this page and follow the instructions. 

2.  Will the full job descriptions (i.e., job descriptions and IT questionnaires) be available? Yes, they will be posted to the OE website.

3.  When will the senior field technician and field technician positions be posted?  We are targeting mid Dec to post the positions and interviews to begin interviews in early January.

4.  Where will the positions be posted?  All positions but the Desktop Engineering Manager will be posted on the UCSF internal job board.  The Desktop Engineering Supervisor is posted here.

5.  What should I be doing to prepare to apply?  There are a number of things you can do to prepare for the application and consolidation process.

  • Talk to your manager about how this process will impact your department. If your manager needs help with this please ask her/him to contact Sian Shumway as soon as possible. 
  • Watch the UCSF internal job board for the new positions. Start working on your resume, and ask your management and customers if they will act as references.
  • Stay engaged.  Reach out to your colleagues for support and guidance.  Monitor the IT-FORUM listserv for announcements and updates.

6.  How many references should I line up?  At least 5.

7.  What type of people should I talk to about providing references?  Your supervisor or manager, a prominent customer who can speak to your customer service skills and others who will be able to provide specific information on your work.  For Field Manager applicants, you will be asked to include direct reports as part of your reference pool.

8.  How will my references be contacted? Should they write letters? Will they receive phone calls?  References will be contacted via email to submit an online reference.  Please do not ask them to write letters, as we will only accept submissions via the online reference tool.

9.  Brass Ring munges resumes. Can I email my resume to someone to make sure you see it in all its glory?  If you upload your resume as a PDF it will be attached to your application as is, so your resume will be seen as you intended.

10. If I’m applying for a management position, should I list members of my current staff as references?  Yes, you should.

11. Will current staff’s comments be confidential when providing references for management candidates?  Yes, they will.  The reference tool anonymizes the responses so they will not be attributed to any one person or category of respondents.

12. I’m not comfortable asking my current supervisor to provide me with a reference. Do you still need to contact them?  For internal transfers it is the practice for the hiring manager to contact the direct supervisor.

13. Can I apply for multiple positions?  Yes, you are encouraged to apply for all of the positions for which you qualify.

14. If I apply for a manager and/or engineering position and I don’t get it, will that be held against me if I apply for a field technician position?  No.  We encourage you to apply to any position for which you are qualified and have interest.  Non selection to one position will not impact your ability to be selected for another position.

15. If I apply in the first year and are offered a position and decline it, can I reapply in the second year?  Yes.  You can apply to any posted position for which you are qualified at any time in the process.

16. If I am offered a position in the first year and I decline it, will that be held against me if I reapply in the second year?  No

17. If I apply in the first year and I’m not offered a position, can I reapply in the second year?  Yes

18. If I apply in the first year and I’m not offered a position, will that be held against me if I reapply in the second year?  If you are not offered a position in the first year, we encourage you to apply in the second year.  Non selection at any point in the process will not be held against you. 

19. If I apply in the first year, and I'm offered a field technician position, can I reapply in the second year to try to get a senior field technician position?  Yes.  You can apply to any posted position for which you are qualified at any time in the process.

20. Do the manager positions (Desktop Engineering Manager and Field Service Manager) require previous supervisory experience?  Yes.  Please review closely the posted requirements of the positions.

21. Will people without prior supervisory experience be given a shot at the supervisory positions of they aren't filled with UCSF candidates before they open them up to external candidates?  No. Supervisory experience is a minimum requirement for the posted supervisor positions.

22. Will there be a skills assessment test, or will technical skills be assessed in the interview?  We will certainly assess technical skills in the interview and are still reviewing whether we can add a technical assessment to the process.

23. What if an employee is on leave during interviews?

  • Employees should be neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by the leave. The same rights/responsibilities will apply to individuals on leave as other employees.
  • If an employee has been on a sustained leave and is unaware of the ITS desktop reorganization, the supervisor should contact the employee directly to explain the process and timeline.
  • If an employee is interested, s/he should be encouraged to apply for the position(s) in question.
  • If an employee is qualified and an interview is the next step of the process, if s/he is unable to attend in person, the employee should be given the option of interviewing by phone.
  • If an employee is selected for a position, the job would be held until s/he is released to return to work.
  • If an employee requires accommodations when s/he is released to return to work, the interactive process will proceed
     
  1. How many field service teams will there be?  Where will they be located?  There will initially be 5 site-based teams. The size and main location focus of these teams may change over time, based on customer populations.
    1. Parnassus
    2. Laurel Heights and Mount Zion
    3. Mission Center Building
    4. San Francisco General Hospital
    5. Mission Bay, 654 Minnesota Street, China Basin Landing, 50 Beale Street, 220 Montgomery, Executive Park, Oyster Point
  2. Will teams be housed together at each site?  This depends on the site. We want to maintain as many support relationships as possible through the transition, so some technicians will continue to work in close proximity to their customers.
  3. How will space be allocated?  We will make an effort to create a shared space at each location grouping where teams can gather and be co-located.  This will not always be possible and teams may be split amongst several spaces.
  4. Will field technicians have to be on-call?  We anticipate that technicians may be on-call after hours on a rotational basis.
  5. Will field technicians rotate between locations? Over time yes, to provide a wide range of experience for our staff.  However, transitions will be methodical and planned to not disrupt service to customers.
  6. Will field technicians rotate to the Service Desk?  Yes, we anticipate that Field Technicians will rotate through the Service Desk and overtime Service Desk technicians may rotate into the field.
  7. What’s the purpose of rotating technicians through the Service Desk?  To increase Service Desk knowledge and increase first call resolution.  IT Field Services is an extension of the IT Service Desk and having both teams understand workflow will improve service to the campus.
  8. Will all field technicians rotate to the Service Desk, including senior field technicians?  Yes.
  9. When technicians rotate to other locations or to the Service Desk, how will you arrange coverage?  By increasing the ability to resolve issues at the Service Desk, less tickets will be sent to the field. We’ll coordinate closely within our teams to provide coverage.
  10. How many people are going to be affected by this consolidation?  It is difficult to know the exact number because departments will make individual decisions about staffing decisions.  For example, a person in a department doing 50% desktop support and 50% web support, may have their position transition to 100% web support and be unaffected.  However, there will be departments that eliminate staff doing desktop support.  Based on survey data collected during the OE Desktop Support Consolidation workgroup, it was estimated that there were approximately 180 staff doing desktop support at some percentage.  The FTE count was approximately 100. 
  11. What is the expected participation level across (i.e., how many customers does 74 FTE cover)?  Pending approved service levels as monitored by the IT Field Services Advisory Board, the staffing model will support all of campus.
  12. When the UCSF Medical Center joins the IT Field Service after 2014, will more jobs posted?  The current staffing model is just for the campus side, so we will need to add positions to staff Medical Center.  We have not yet determined staffing levels and will begin working with the Medical Center in 2013 to develop that plan.
  13. Will I be provided with a mobile device?  Field Technicians will have smart phones.
 
  1. What is the interview process?  The interview process will vary depending on the level of the position. Senior level positions will go through a panel interview with many key stakeholders and the direct manager of the position.  Staff positions will undergo an interview by a smaller group of stakeholders and the direct manager.
  2. What happens if I am on vacation during interviews?  We intend to work with all candidates selected for interviews to accommodate schedules. We expect candidates interested in working in the new organization to be flexible and attempt to be available by phone or Skype during the interview period to the extent possible.
  3. How important is the interview? Won’t reputation, history, and references be sufficient?  The selections will be based on many factors, including your resume, your interview, reference checks and review of your personnel file.
  4. If non-union field technicians do not apply for a position, is that considered a resignation or lay off?  In the event an applicant does not receive a job offer, the applicant’s current department will determine whether or not to retain the individual in his/her current department. Unsuccessful applicants whose departments are unable to retain them will face layoff, according to PPSM layoff policies and procedures.
  5. Will I be offered a single salary, or will I keep my current salary?  If your current salary is above the salary range for the new position you are hired into, your salary will remain the same unless that salary is more than 5% above the salary range maximum.  In that case, your salary will be set within 5% of the salary range maximum.
  6. What does red circling mean?  If your current salary is above the salary range of your new classification then your salary is frozen until the top of the range exceeds your salary. Red circling of an employee’s current pay rate is done on a case by case basis and will be a decision made between the hiring managers and human resources.
  7. When will I know whom I'm working with, and for?  Management and engineering positions will be hired first, so when interviews start for field technicians you will know who the managers are, and probably which campuses they will serve.
  8. When will I know where I’m working, and whom I’m supporting?  When we offer positions we will ask where you want to work, and who you want to support. We will take these considerations into account when creating the field support teams.
  9. If I decide to drop out of the process after finding out who the supervisor is, and reapply in the second year, will this be held against me?  No
  10. If you have more than enough qualified candidates for some positions, do those not offered positions in the first year get preferential consideration for the next round of hiring?  No
  11. Will more senior employees get preferential hiring or have bumping rights? No
  1. How will departments whose employees are split between the UCSF Medical Center and Campus be supported?  This is something we are aware of and currently working on. We anticipate that teams will have access to provide support in either environment.
  2. When and how will departments be consulted on when they would like to transition to the new service?  We’re beginning outreach to department administrators and MSOs to identify areas to focus on.  If you would like to consult with us earlier, please email Sian Shumway.
  3. What support will be provided to departments who are losing IT staff?  We will work closely with departments to minimize impacts. We will have trained contract staff to help back fill in departments who need/want support.
  4. There are departments with faculty and staff at multiple locations at multiple campuses. If a customer moves from campus to campus, will they need to work with different technicians?  To some extent yes, but we want to minimize the number of support staff you interact with for continuity of service.  For example, you may receive support from 2-3 people at Mission Bay and when you work at Parnassus, it will be another handful of field techs supporting you.
  5. For departments that retain specialized IT support, will local IT staff have administrative rights to devices?  Yes.  In order to allow a department’s full range of support, we realize we’ll have to share and coordinate access to machines.  A great example of this is in Facilities Services where their IT staff retain administrative access to machines in order to provide specialized application support. 
  6. How will you be soliciting feedback from customers and technicians during the transition?  We will proactively engage customers through the transition period and beyond.  We will do that via in person meetings and surveys.  Additionally, the IT Field Services Advisory Board is available to collect feedback and make recommendations to the service.
  1. What are the plans for asset management?  We will use Service-Now for asset and configuration item (application, service) management. We are working on integrating endpoint management solutions (Big Fix, Casper Suite) with Service-Now to automate asset management as much as possible.
  2. Will local IT staff have access to the infrastructure and tools built by the IT Field Service?  Yes. We encourage all UCSF IT staff to use the same desktop engineering (imaging, patch management, reporting) and service desk (ticketing, change control, remote access) tools. There will be no charge to local IT staff to use these tools, now or in the foreseeable future.

This FAQ document answers questions about the application process and job descriptions, the hiring process, the new ITFS organization, department logistics, and enabling technologies.  Please review the document.  If you have additional questions that are not answered, send us an email and we will ensure you get answers!