Dear Colleagues,

With 2015 well underway, it’s time for my quarterly update on UCSF Human Resources. This message shares information on our organization transformation activities, the HR Funding Model Subcommittee’s recommendations for FY16 rates, and HR’s role in the lean process improvement pilot.

In December, we announced plans to begin restructuring the HR organization. Our plans were informed by the findings of the Chazey Partners’s assessment of HR conducted last summer and fall, although we are adapting them to fit the unique UCSF organization. We have made progress – launching several recruitments, beginning to design optimal workflow to improve labor and employee relations and postdoc services, and planning a pilot for HR business partners to work with academic departments. Read more about the recruitments here and please continue to read HR Update for information about timing and the important step of gathering customer feedback. 

This week the HR Funding Model Subcommittee reported rate and budget recommendations for FY16 to the HR Advisory Board. I understand that customers cannot continue paying increasing rates for HR without seeing improvements in service. At the same time, we are challenged by the fact that immediate cost reductions would result in unacceptable cuts to HR services because they would require a reduction in HR staff. I appreciate that the Funding Model Subcommittee recognizes this challenge and has recommended a rate and budget strategy that will help us invest in further standardization and process redesign activities that will help us provide HR services more efficiently. I believe these efforts, along with our technology strategy to prepare for UCPath and the organization restructuring activities mentioned above, will position HR rates to begin flattening within 18-24 months.

Specifically, the Funding Model Subcommittee recommended, the HR Advisory Board endorsed, and Senior Vice Chancellor John Plotts approved the following:

  • Headcount category inflationary increase of 3% for FY16 with expectation that the total HR budget will flex up/down based on headcount
  • No changes to the weighting of each employee population
  • Reduction of amortization payments for up to two years to use the funds to invest in critical service improvement efforts to make processes more efficient, which in turn will allow HR to achieve real savings

Additionally, the subcommittee provided procedural guidance on important budget and billing issues: the billing headcount freeze date, billing department structure, residents and fellows recharge guidelines, funding for the costs of errors, handling of lost revenue due to headcount fluctuations, and eliminating the per-badge charge to departments for new employee ID badges. The subcommittee was very thoughtful in their recommendations, and I urge you to visit the funding model webpage to read the details of their report and review procedural updates and FAQs to ensure you are informed of changes for FY16.

As in past years, Maye Chrisman’s leadership as chair of the subcommittee has been instrumental in helping us develop a sound plan. Please join me in thanking her, and all members of the subcommittee, for their insight and guidance.

In closing, I want to highlight an important process improvement effort already underway – HR is piloting a FAS initiative to apply lean process improvement principles to onboarding at UCSF. We have convened several teams uniting customers and service providers from HR, IT, and the Police to participate in Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Kaizen events in order to identify solutions that reduce work and improve service. Key opportunities now in the works are: 

  • Onsite first day badge production – now happening!
  • SRS+: new functionality to improve access requests for doors 
  • First Badge Free: central funding for new hire badges to limit the extensive manual tasks associated with collecting this nominal amount 

Just last week, our latest Kaizen team developed plans for making most new hire forms electronic, eliminating 90% of the time-consuming paper forms for onboarding. Stay-tuned for more details as we continue to simplify and streamline how we help managers welcome new employees. 

As always, please contact me or a member of my HR leadership team with any questions.


David Odato
Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
Chief Administrative and Human Resources Officer
UCSF Medical Center