If you call Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) these days, you’ll hear the friendly, reassuring voice of Jack Jensen on their automated answering system. PSDS adopted the automated system around the same time as the ExpenseUVA launch, in order to more quickly route callers to the right team member to help them. Jensen’s recorded voice gives callers a few quick options to choose from to receive specialized service.
It was fairly easy to choose who should be the voice on the other end of the line. Jensen, a Training and Development Specialist in Finance Outreach and Compliance (FOC), is practically the voice of UVAFinance: he’s recorded hours upon hours of “tips and tricks” training to help financial professionals across grounds, and, for the hundreds who have already accessed the online, on-demand training for ExpenseUVA, it is Jensen’s voice that explains the approval routing process and guides them through the process of uploading receipts.
When the Travel and Expense Team contacted FOC about developing training for the thousands of users who would use the new expense system, the most immediate issue was how the small team could deliver training to so many.
“Not only were there a vast number of potential users,” said Jensen, “but also, there were so many different ways people could use the system: different roles, different school-level policies, reimbursing expenses, reconciling T&E cards . . . the list goes on.”
It was immediately apparent that in-person instruction would not only be hard to deliver due to the size and scope of the audience but also, given that the system was a “switch on” system with a go-live date weeks in the future, it would be an ineffective training method.
Patty Marbury, UVAFinance Training Lead, put it this way: “We needed the training to be ‘just in time’ training – users need their how to’s at the moment they’re doing the task. We couldn’t be training people six weeks before go-live; they’d forget everything without a chance to immediately get in the system and begin entering expenses.”
Marbury added that another priority was providing training that was always available as a reference because different user groups wouldn’t be accessing the system all at the same time, and many users, such as infrequent travelers, would not access it routinely.
Another reason the instructor-led training model wasn’t the best choice is that many departments have their own processes and requirements when it comes to reimbursing expenses and it would be impossible for trainers to know what they are and be able to deliver effective live training.
Online training made a lot more sense, and when he began to develop the training, Jensen decided to draw from his 14 years of high school teaching experience. As a high school algebra teacher, he had “flipped” his classroom. Instead of the traditional lecture/homework model, Jensen had recorded his lectures as required watching for his students at home, leaving in-person class time as an opportunity for students to work through their algebra problems in class, asking questions and receiving Jensen’s one on one assistance.
Jensen found his flipped classroom accommodated a wider array of learning styles and allowed his students to actually understand the material more. The ability to pause instruction, to replay a portion, to both hear the instructor’s words and visually see the lesson being explained, when coupled with having someone close by when it was time to do the work, was just what many of Jensen’s students needed in order to gain a greater understanding of the subject at hand.
The flipped classroom model is also being used more widely with adult learners, so Marbury and Jensen recommended this approach for the ExpenseUVA training.
For ExpenseUVA, Jensen’s online training consists of a thorough catalog of all the information any user would ever need, organized carefully by topic and by user role. Accompanied by in-person assistance from each school/unit’s Ambassadors, as well as prompts and guides within ExpenseUVA, the training is an audiovisual walkthrough of the entire expense management process.
Developing the training was no small endeavor.
Months ago, using Chrome River’s existing training as a baseline, Jensen began the process of learning not only the Chrome River software, but also UVA’s expensing process. For weeks, working from his carefully written scripts, often from his makeshift ‘recording studio’ (a reclaimed broom closet in Carruthers Hall), he spent long hours recording voice-over guidance for every single step that anyone using ExpenseUVA could take, matching video screen capture of the process to his narrative, and making many adjustments along the way as the system took its final shape.
All in all, Jensen produced around five hours of online training, broken up into bite-sized pieces and accessible to users on demand. To date, over 340 people have accessed the online training. User response has been overwhelmingly positive; learners appreciate both the ease of finding the information they’re looking for and the fact that Jensen’s sessions are “easy to listen to.”
That easy, conversational tone is intentional, but not easy to deliver, says Jensen.
“I want the audio to sound like I’m sitting next to you, walking you through it, not like I’m reading out of a manual. When I write my scripts, I’m not writing an academic paper, I’m trying to have a conversation with someone,” he said.
Producing the training for an extraordinary, large-scale roll out like ExpenseUVA is just one example of the training efforts led by Finance Outreach and Compliance. FOC also developed and delivers a regularly-scheduled “Finance Fundamentals” course that is required training for anyone with finance system responsibilities, training for ResearchUVA as well as research administration, TravelUVA, the Integrated System, and much more. In addition, they routinely host Brown Bag sessions for finance professionals across Grounds.
“The training team in FOC is charged with designing, developing, and in some cases, delivering training on finance processes and systems for all UVA employees,” said Marbury.
“We are always happy to help,” she added.
UVAFinance will continue to help with additional ExpenseUVA training by hosting in-person lab sessions post go-live, where users can bring in their first travel workbooks or T&E Card reconciliations and work through the process with assistance. FOC and the Travel and Expense Team made the choice to offer these sessions after go-live as a way for users to get live support when entering expenses and to reinforce the online learning.
Sometimes, all users need to feel better about change is a reassuring voice explaining clearly what the next steps are and how to navigate the process, and as long as there is change, FOC will gladly be that reassuring voice, whether that is in-person or online.
ExpenseUVA and ExpenseUVA training can be accessed online at http://www.procurement.virginia.edu/pageTravelandExpense
Managing people is one of the most important roles in any organization, and also one of the most challenging. Recognizing the tough role managers have, UVAFinance has begun an intense, year-long course for managers called the Management Development Program (MDP).
UVAFinance worked with the Center for Leadership Excellence to develop the structure of the MDP, which includes three facets: 360-degree feedback, a series of development sessions, and individual coaching. Eighteen managers representing almost all of UVAFinance’s departments made up the inaugural class, with the second class to begin this autumn.
During the group's first skills development session, the facilitators provided participants with an overview of their 360-degree feedback results to create awareness of common strengths and developmental opportunities. Participants had the opportunity to discuss challenges that they are facing and to help each other generate potential solutions.
The remainder of the session included content about leading teams through change using the framework from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. The group explored the ways that our rational mind and emotional mind affect our ability to make lasting changes, both personally and professionally. The participants discussed the patterns that support successful change and began to create individual action plans for a change they plan to lead. The session provided a great opportunity for self-reflection, relationship building, and knowledge sharing across the various areas of UVAFinance.
In addition to the 360-degree feedback and the skills development sessions, participants in the program have the opportunity to take part in one-on-one leadership coaching. The one-on-one coaching began with sessions with the Center for Leadership Excellence, where participants were able to review the results of their 360-degree feedback and discuss professional development opportunities. Participants are encouraged to continue their leadership coaching throughout the program with Patty Marbury, who is a certified coach.
“Coaching involves a lot of self-study and individual development, and, because they decide what they want to work on after reviewing their 360, it’s led by the participant,” says Marbury.
“This program gives our managers the tools and resources they need to be successful at managing people,” she continues. “We’re developing our managers and growing our leaders.”
Linda Mayo from Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services, currently a part of the MDP program, says she has found the program "immensely helpful."
"It gives you perspective on the commonalities between yourself and other managers," she says.
"And the coaching sessions have been very enlightening, because of the HR perspective Patty brings."
The long-term goal of the program is that all those in UVAFinance who manage others will participate in the program.
Anti-corruption laws like FCPA are of great relevance to UVA, as we strive to increase global experiences for students and global impact our academic community. Finance Outreach and Compliance has provided general guidance, complete with FAQ, Additional Resources, and access to short online training here. Compliance with requirements of the FCPA is consistent with the expectations of UVA’s Code of Ethics and is specifically required by University Policy.
I wanted to take a few moments to let you know about some of the exciting projects the Finance Outreach & Compliance (FOC) team is working on:
- Jack Jensen has been busy developing training materials and work aids to support the launch of ExpenseUVA on April 17th. You can find more information about the launch and support materials on Procurement and Supplier Diversity Travel and Expense website.
- LaVerne Harris, with help from the rest of the FOC team, developed some short informative videos on various topics for the redesigned Export Controls website (coming soon).
- Brandi Van Ormer is working to bring the UVAFinance websites in line with our new UVAFinance brand guidelines.
- Danielle Hancock and Christopher Birkl from the Managerial Reporting Project (MRP) are introducing UBI work aids designed to make adopting best practices quick and easy as part of the monthly Fiscal Administrators meetings.
- Christine Carrizosa is spearheading our efforts to update the Finance policies and move them into the policy directory. Currently in the works are policies related to fine and decorative arts, revenue generating activities, fixed assets, and expenditure credits.
- Andrew Bedotto has transitioned to export controls and is working on improvements to our restricted party screening procedures.
- Erika Priddy and the UVAForward Planning Committee are hard at work developing an outstanding agenda for this year's conference on May 25th and for the preconference workshops. Please save the date and check the UVAForward website for updates.
- Lynn Galasso is organizing a second meeting for ARMICS coordinators from Virginia state colleges and universities in conjunction with the Spring FOCUS conference that will be held at the Boar's Head April 18-19th.
- Patty Marbury is providing professional coaching to participants in the first cohort of UVAFinance's Manager Development Program, in addition to her ongoing oversight and support of FOC's training initiatives, developing web content, and collaborating with other central areas and projects to provide change management resources.
- Greg Ball is currently on assignment to MRP and Student Financial Services and is working on getting student financial data into UBI.
- I am working with Office of Sponsored Programs, MRP and the office of the VIce President for Research to develop a QlikSense application that will enable more efficient monitoring of compliance with financial conflict of interest requirements.
While this list is not exhaustive, I hope it provides you with a little insight into our ongoing work to support UVAFinance's mission, vision, and core values.
Mission: UVAFinance provides the financial framework to accurately, effectively, and transparently steward University resources in a complex educational and healthcare environment. We are the source of financial expertise, information, solutions, and insight that informs internal and external stakeholders and enables University students, educators, researchers, and administrators to be their best.
Vision: UVAFinance is the valued and trusted financial partner that the University community turns to first.
Core Values: impeccable source of information; service excellence; innovative action; collaborative partner; and valued, high-performing teams
Have a great Spring!
Kelly Hochstetler, Director
"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." Albert Einstein
Effective 3/1/2017, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) has resumed responsibility for review and processing of labor distribution (LD) adjustments and Retro Requests (>90 day LD adjustments and Other-than-personnel-services (OTPS) cost transfers). Effort reporting and certification will also be transitioning from FOC back to OSP in the coming weeks. Due to these changes, Andrew Bedotto and Christine Carrizosa have taken on new responsibilities within FOC. Although Andrew will continue to support the current effort reporting cycle, he has otherwise transitioned to the export control team and will be performing a variety of export and licensing assessments to support University research, teaching, service and patient care activities. Christine will assiting Finance areas in updating policies and updating or developing procedures for use by personnel in departments and schools as well as performing financial compliance reviews and Agency Risk Management and Internal Controls Standards (ARMICS) testing.
Please join me in supporting Andrew and Christine as they focus on their new roles!
Kelly Hochstetler, Director
UVAFinance recently hosted 21 people representing 13 in-state schools to discuss internal control standards and best practices that directly support the vision and objectives of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Specifically, the meeting was a practical forum to network and discuss state Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards (ARMICS).
On November 11, 2015, President Teresa Sullivan and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan announced some exciting changes for the Finance area. Among other changes, Melody Bianchetto was promoted to Vice President for Finance and given oversight of the University Budget Office and Procurement and Supplier DIversity Services in addition to the Office of the Comptroller, Student Financial Services, Finance Outreach and Compliance, Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Managerial Reporting Project. To read more about these changes please check out the November issue of the EVP-COO Area News.