Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Assurance and Continuous Improvement through Operational Reviews
Year Submitted 2006
Name of Institution University of Calgary
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Ron Bond<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Telephone: 403-220-7231
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.

All stakeholders for each unit are considered in the reviews. Feedback from stakeholders includes staff, customers, executive management and the Board of Governors, strategic partners, local communities and external funding agencies. This feedback process pulls the real issues and opportunities to the forefront.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.

The framework outlines a process that is applicable to any post-secondary institution. With appropriate background information regarding the intent of each step, and an Operational Review Coordinator with the right organizational and business background, this process can be transferable. We could facilitate this by writing up the complete program in a manual for use by others.

Quality Impact

The expected outcome was to achieve a time dated assessment of how well we are doing our job within various administrative and support functions. We have achieved this in the areas reviewed, with a range of changes from major functional reorganizations to validation that a specific unit is moving in the right direction. In the longer term the expected outcome is that we have initiated continuous improvement and quality assurance programs across the campus.

Productivity Impact

The University of Calgary recognizes that we can no longer continue cutting budgets and adding work loads. This program supports our renewed focus on doing the right things and discontinuing efforts that are not worthwhile. It sets up the future steps for measuring progress and provides the analysis required to develop new initiatives to address gaps in service or program effectiveness. All of these results contribute positively to productivity in both absolute and percentage terms. The organizational learning enables continuous improvement and the data analysis leads to better reporting and measurement which in turn leads to progress and accomplishments.


This review approach is original because it focuses on the business of the unit within the context of the overall strategic direction of the institution. It is much more comprehensive then most assessments because it combines three distinct perspectives into one summary report. Equal consideration is given to stakeholder perspectives, internal operations, and the independent external reviewer(s). Operational Reviews have gained acceptance and success at the University of Calgary (as demonstrated by the operational changes that have resulted) and one faculty is now participating in the process.