Like many UK HEIs, the GW4 Universities have been busy over the last few months compiling policy and finance compliance reports for the RCUK. The last sixteen months have been a steep learning curve for us all, working through processes, learning the quirks of finance systems, working with academics who are also on a learning curve in terms of open access.
In our spare time (?), we’ve met for a baselining workshop to build understanding of where each of us is on the journey (to use RCUK speak!), experiences so far and thoughts on work to be done. We are pinning this on a framework using LEAN methodology, and during the first workshop we looked at who our customers are for this process, what they want, areas of waste currently hampering efficiency, and a bit of crystal-ball gazing with our ‘to-be processes’ thoughts.
Our colleagues at Exeter have started work on looking at the issues surrounding third party intermediaries for APC payments, building on the work on the Jisc APC project.
We’re also looking forward to our colleague Liz joining us in Bath from the 8th October. Liz will be focussing directly on this project, and we expect to have much more news and experiences to share once she gets her feet under the desk. For example, one of the first outputs we’ll see is some work on Functional Cost Analysis – how much is it currently costing us to process APCs in terms of administrative effort. This will give us a control to measure against at the end of the project. More work in this area is ongoing via the Jisc Monitor project, and several other of the Pathfinder projects are working on similar analysis.