Australian National University

Australian National University – A strategy, roadmap and plan for 2020

The Australian National University (ANU) was established in 1946 in the nation’s capital with a mandate to ‘advance the cause of learning and research … and take its rightful place among the great universities of the world and to undertake postgraduate research and study both generally and in relation to subjects of national importance’.

The Problem

ANU’s integrated Management Information System (iMIS) had evolved as a research performance management tool over the past 3 years. ANU realised that the current system would not enable the level and detail of reporting and analysis required to meet the future needs of the University.

It was imperative to develop a new strategy, look for new and innovative ways to leverage the existing systems and provide a roadmap for future developments.

The reporting requirements at ANU are extensive but meeting the requirements was difficult due to the significant manual effort required to extract data from the siloed transactional systems and the effort required to stitch it all together in a world of spread sheets. Large hard copy reports were being produced to support management decisions, but made it  difficult to determine key areas that required attention. Producing an ‘enterprise’ view of the business was an arduous task due to a lack of consistency of data definitions and structures. An added issue was the amount of duplication of effort to produce similar reports in areas across the campus.

The publishing of the new ANU strategic report – ANU by 2020 – and the release of an audit on management information highlighted the issue that without an integrated reporting environment, significant improvement to technology and business processes that enable consistent and timely reporting, it would be impossible to report against current and future KPIs.

A proposal was put forward to the steering committee to define and develop a strategy, roadmap and plan that would provide the information needs of the University into the future. The steering committee gave approval for the development of a plan and roadmap and Altis Consulting was contracted to execute this critical first stage of work.

The Solution

Altis Consulting was engaged by ANU to deliver the Management Information Strategy for the whole of ANU. This required Altis to review their current data warehouse implementation, collect business requirements across the University and provide a high level roadmap and recommendations to implement changes that would deliver on the University’s future requirements.

The first step was to interview business and technical stakeholders across the University, including the Vice- Chancellor and Executive team, College Deans and General Managers, and Directors of each of the service divisions. A detailed analysis of the current state and business requirements were used to produce a future state vision.

A prioritisation session was then conducted to set out the roadmap of work. Work was conducted over an 8 week period, with the final document and presentation delivered to the executive sponsor in December and a steering
committee presentation delivered in February 2012. Work has now commenced on delivery of the roadmap initiatives.

The Results

ANU now has a clear understanding of the business requirements across the University including set KPIs that must be reported on in order to meet the goals of the ANU 2020 strategic report.

The existing business intelligence infrastructure was validated and a prioritised roadmap to deliver the business requirements was set out.

The strategy developed will enable ANU to develop a reporting infrastructure that will meet the stated goals of the University. This strategy has provided clear guidance on the required changes to technology, business processes and resources required. This will enable tight management of budgets and timelines and will be a blueprint for project management into the future.

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