The History of APR

At the time of APR’s original 2007 charter, UW-Madison had absorbed approximately $50 million in administrative state funding budget reductions and approximately 340 state-funded positions. It was also determined that 40% of administrative staff would become eligible for retirements within the next five years, so the need to standardize, streamline, and automate our processes had become even more important.

Now in our tenth year, APR has achieved sustained improvement for UW-Madison. The growth of APR has been an evolutionary process in which we have continued to try to build on our strengths and leverage key relationships in support of our mission and goals. We have continued to remain true to the fundamental principles of Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen, and we have built our project management strength in recognition of its significance in the successful implementation of projects. In addition, we have continued to build our capacity across campus with staff training in process improvement methods and large-scale projects (e.g., Financial Internal Controls) that engage many customers and stakeholders. Over the past 10 years, APR at UW-Madison has earned a national reputation for its process improvement work in higher education.

Administrative Excellence

In early 2011, UW-Madison retained the Huron Consulting Group to examine the efficiency of the university at the enterprise level. APR was asked to manage the Huron engagement, subsequently branded as the Administrative Excellence initiative.

APR provided support and oversight throughout the first phase of the initiative, during which Huron identified over 70 possible areas for improvement. The Administrative Excellence Advisory Committee prioritized and selected seven recommended efficiency projects. In the second phase, APR led cross-campus teams in conducting the necessary data collection and development of UW-Madison business cases for each of the seven Huron recommendations. During these phases, APR strove to bridge the Huron methodologies to the Lean Six Sigma methods practiced by the campus community.

Huron’s Administrative Excellence engagement with UW-Madison was completed in December 2012. APR continues the Administrative Excellence work by monitoring the progress and success as each project is implemented and operationalized by the respective business owner.