This year’s breakout sessions covered a wide range of topics and attracted over 240 participants. Session descriptions and materials are available below.
The People Side of Processes (8:15 a.m.)
Presented by Kristin Polywacz, Manager, Center for Operational Excellence & Organizational Development, Madison College
The people on a team are the biggest factor in a project’s success or failure. It’s not enough for them to know improvement techniques. They also have to believe in what they’re doing and feel valued as well. In this session, participants learned how to embed practical approaches to help people embrace process improvement. Part of the learning came from the book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, by Chapman and White.
Exploring Best Practices in Student Employment (8:15 a.m.)
Presented by Justin Mumford, Assistant Director of Student Employment, Office of Student Financial Aid, UW–Madison
Working on campus as a student employee offers college students valuable experience that can benefit them throughout their college years and beyond. With the right approach, the student employment experience can be even more powerful, providing high-impact practice and skills that are directly transferable post-graduation. In this session, participants learned about the holistic approach to student employment supported by the Student Employment Team within the Office of Student Financial Aid and explored best practices and ways to creatively maximize the experience and bolster student engagement.
Microsoft PowerApps: Building Custom Solutions to Common Problems with Office 365 (10:15 a.m.)
Presented by Jonathan Henkel, Student Information and Technology Manager, School of Nursing, UW–Madison
This session was geared toward anyone who has ever wanted a custom application to manage data or improve a workflow, but lacked the coding skills to do it themselves or the funding to hire developers. It introduced participants to Microsoft PowerApps as the potential solution. Included in Office 365, which all UW–Madison employees already have, Microsoft PowerApps offers the tools to empower “citizen” developers. The School of Nursing is using these tools to manage admissions, track current student data, process submitted forms, and more. Participants learned how they can leverage this platform in their work or workgroup today.
“Pulling” (vs. Pushing) Change—Aha’s and Oh No’s from 20 Years of Quality Improvement at UW–Madison (10:15 a.m.)
Presented by Maury Cotter, Co-Founder and Emeritus Director, Former Office of Quality Improvement, UW–Madison
Quality improvement was introduced at UW–Madison in 1990 by former Chancellor Donna Shalala (1988-1993) after a long line of students waiting for their checks from the Bursar’s Office appeared on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal. While skeptics challenged the idea of adopting a “corporate” approach, Maury Cotter was hired to help launch quality improvement efforts and build the former Office of Quality Improvement (which she directed until she retired in 2017). Quiet successes led by insightful leaders at all levels enabled efforts to gain momentum and grow over the years—to the current, thriving 20-year anniversary of Showcase and a strong Office of Strategic Consulting! In this session, Cotter and former Chancellor John Wiley (2001-2008) shared their stories and examples of breakthrough moments, crashes, and culture-shifting strategies.