Service delivery team assignments announced

Before break

More ISD information will be emailed and posted online Friday, Dec. 21, including:

  • Position descriptions for HR and finance specialists
  • Transition timeline
  • FAQ updates

A major piece of the improved service delivery puzzle fell into place when assignments for 11 service teams of finance and human resources specialists were announced Dec. 14.

Feedback gathered since HR and finance improved service delivery (ISD) models were introduced in October showed widespread confusion with the term "unit." Instead of defining units, 11 teams -- named for tree species -- are assigned to colleges, departments and offices within ISU's five divisions. For example, the Redwood team will serve the College of Engineering's academic departments, research centers and administrative units. The Juniper team will serve three colleges (Business, Design and Graduate), the library and academic affairs division administration (provost office, CELT, lectures program, etc.). Academic departments that are co-administered by colleges will be served by the Spruce team.

All university areas have service team assignments, including the Ames Lab and ISU auxiliary units (for example, athletics and alumni association). Service teams are not assigned to independent entities affiliated with the university, such as the ISU Foundation and Iowa State Center.

About the teams

University human resources worked with the finance division and top ISU administrators to develop the teams. Assignments are based primarily on the size (personnel headcount) and complexity (HR, finance and payroll processes) of the areas they serve, with attention to the university's existing organization structure. The assignments, sorted by team name and division, are available on WorkCyte's ISD website.

"We surveyed senior leaders (president, senior vice presidents, VP for research, VP for Extension and Outreach, deans, and Ames Lab director) to inform the service team assignments," said Kristi Darr, interim vice president for university human resources. "We wanted to make sure we took into account their unique needs, which is why, for example, there is a service team (Spruce) to support the dually administered academic departments."

The work that specialist teams will do is tied to processes and transactions in the Workday software system going live campuswide July 1, 2019. The number of HR experts on each team is expected to be proportional to the headcount. Finance specialist numbers will vary -- for example, some areas will need numerous grants experts, while others need none.

"All of these teams will be right-sized for the areas they're serving," said Pam Cain, interim senior vice president of finance and university services. "We'll determine the approximate number of specialists needed in early January."

Who's filling the specialist roles?

Final position descriptions for the HR and finance specialist roles will be posted by Friday, Dec. 21. Employees (and supervisors) interested in learning more about the positions should attend the Jan. 8 job showcase in the Memorial Union.

A preview of the employee interest survey used to help match staff with specialist positions will be available before the job showcase, then posted Jan. 9-18 for employees to complete online. Staff must complete the survey to be considered for a specialist position. Qualified ISU employees with interest in specialist positions will be considered before external searches are launched.

The ISD structure changes supervisory lines, but specialists may continue serving their current unit as part of its service team. Staff doing HR and finance work in colleges, departments, centers and offices can indicate their placement preference on the interest survey.

"We want to accommodate, to the extent possible, employees' desires to support a specific area of campus," Cain said. "We're committed to filling the specialist positions with our current employees, and we'll do that by evaluating your job skills and not just a resume."

Moving forward

Transition teams will be formed to help units identify and manage ISD changes in their areas. That includes:

  • Reassigning non-ISD duties done by staff who move into specialist positions
  • Redefining position responsibilities for staff who do not move into the ISD structure though their HR/finance duties do

Phased implementation of the ISD structure is moving quickly to stay on track with Workday's go-live date. Finalists interviewed this week for the HR and finance associate vice president positions that will help lead ISD, and Dec. 16 was the deadline for guaranteed consideration for the finance manager and senior human resources partner positions that will supervise the specialist teams.