When given the opportunity to lead one of the teams involved in the Organisational Excellence (OE) exercise, Initiative Owner (IO) Ms Priscilla Soh, Senior Associate Director of NUS Science, was pleasantly surprised. “President had personally requested for us, at the faculty level, to be involved in the OE project, and I felt very honoured and privileged. Although the timing of this project coincided with the busy period of annual reviews, I saw this is an opportunity for me to contribute,” Priscilla recounted.
Priscilla co-leads a team with Ms Clara Peh, Senior Associate Director of Office of Human Resources, and their team has been tasked to review the performance management processes for Executive and Administration staff. Their team comprises Mr Soon Kian Yong, Manager, Office of Human Resources; Ms Cannie Leong, Senior Manager, Office of Human Resources; Ms Goh Mia Yang, Associate Dean, NUS Law; and Ms Yong Yung Peng, Senior Manager, NUS Medicine.
We worked hard, did our best and we really hope to make this project a great success.
Clara added that the team members meet weekly, with each meeting lasting over three hours. The team now has a better understanding of each other’s views, and they have also forged stronger ties among the team members. Their discussions covered various aspects, including personal anecdotes, and they sometimes laughed over their collective experiences. Priscilla continued, “Clara and I have known each other for over a decade, and we truly value the time that we spent with our team and the camaraderie forged.”
From left to right: Ms Yong Yung Peng; Ms Cannie Leong; Ms Priscilla Soh; Ms Clara Peh; Mr Soon Kian Yong; and
Ms Goh Mia Yang
It was challenging for the team to meet in October, as it was during the annual review period. The dedication of everyone was evident nonetheless, with 100 per cent attendance, as they worked diligently to ensure that the project made good progress. “We were excited about the numerous ideas brought up during our discussions and we also laughed at our silly ideas,” said Clara. “But we realised that even silly ideas can be good ideas.” She added that although each member offered a different viewpoint, everyone wanted the best outcome for the University. By synergising perspectives from both Central Admin and the faculty level, the team members were view the processes holistically, and they went on to identify the gaps and proposed improvements to further streamline the workflow.
The improved processes will benefit the end user by using design technology to reduce the average turnaround system response time through budget calculator enhancement and e-letter digitisation. While the full impact of the new processes that the team has introduced may not be felt immediately, Priscilla and Clara are confident that these revised processes will ultimately benefit the NUS community.
Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.