Update on Operational Excellence @ Illinois
May 11, 2023 9:37 AM

Dear Faculty & Staff,  

As we move into the end of the academic year, we are also moving into the next phases of our Operational Excellence @ Illinois initiative. This program, consisting of university-wide teams of staff, is working to reimagine our operations in ways that eliminate administrative barriers and better support our teaching, research and other university missions.   

HR and IT emerged as the first critical university priorities in Operational Excellence and have been the primary focus of the teams in the past yearThanks to the collaborative efforts and commitment of all involved, both areas are moving into the Implementation Phase, the final phase of the initiative. In addition to progress made within HR and IT, Marketing & Communications (Marcom) has advanced to the Detailed Design PhaseWe want to thank the leadership and staff across these functions for their willingness to create a more resilient and efficient university.    

Initiative updates: 

  • The HR Functional Design Team completed a foundational service catalog and an organizational analysis to optimize both the experience of those receiving HR services and the satisfaction and career growth opportunities of HR employees. Upcoming HR efforts will focus on institution-wide organizational improvement of both Illinois Human Resources and unit-level HR services and operations. Illinois Human Resources has reorganized to better support campus services and is executing a change management strategy titled “IHR Reimagine.” 

  • The IT Functional Design Team also developed an early service catalog, and IT leadership identified key priorities for 2023 aimed at developing foundational service delivery structuresImplementation efforts will focus on establishing broader IT service management practices and processes through the creation of the IT Enterprise Service Management Office and developing a Center of Web Expertise to support campuswide web development and management services.   

  • Within the Marcom function, Public Affairs rebranded to the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing, reorganized its functions into Centers of Expertise and created infrastructure to support institution- and unit-level strategic planning. With this foundation in place, Marcom has now advanced to the Detailed Design Phase, which involves identifying key services and considering the best ways to deliver them. Marcom will also collaborate with IT on developing campuswide, web-related infrastructure. 

  • Additional university functions, including Budget, Data, Procurement and Space, began efforts to implement improvements identified in the earliest phases of Operational Excellence. 

  • Operational Excellence leaders will work with college, school and centrally budgeted unit leaders over the summer/early fall to establish unit-level transition teams to support the implementation of service delivery changes in alignment with the needs of unit constituents. To start, transition teams will support HR-related changes and changes in other functions, helping constituents understand upcoming updates and the impact of these updates to their work 

Ensuring long-term, continued success within these administrative areas remains a focus of this work. The Strategic Project Management Office launched standing advisory committees for each function involved in Operational Excellence (HR, IT, Budget, Space, Procurement, Marcom and Data) to promote campuswide coordination and alignment on future administrative initiatives. The office also continues to oversee all Operational Excellence projects. Further, over the last several months, we have made various investments in central services to support Operational Excellence and institutional change more broadly, such as filling project management and service management positions. 

Please visit the Operational Excellence website and its FAQ page to learn more about the individual projects, progress and accomplishments within each administrative area. And if you have questions, please email them to operationalexcellence@illinois.edu.   

Thank you for your continued collaboration and support as we work to rethink “business as usual” across our university. 


Mike DeLorenzo  
Vice Chancellor for Administration and Operations  
Vicky Gress  
Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning 

This mailing approved by:
Vice Chancellor for Administration and Operations

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Academic Professionals, Civil Service & Faculty
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