Beaver Works Project Timeline

May 2018 - The Core Project Team was formed. The team dove into the Baker Tilly report, creating a project plan.

June 2018 - The Core Project Team presented the project plan to the Executive Steering Committee.

Aug. 2018 - Mike Green and the Core Project Team chose a project name to brand and market the project:

        Beaver Works:




            Value &


 Business Operations Inventory:  Sept 2018 - March 2019

Sept. - Nov. 2018:  In support of the priority to build an innovative and responsive organization, the Core Project Team is creating a business operations function inventory for OSU:

        - Budget and Fiscal Planning

        - Business Centers

        - Business Affairs

       -  Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management

       -  Business Offices (e.g. Cascades, University Facilities, Infrastructure and Operations, Athletics, Research Office and University Housing and Dining Services)

Dec. 2018 - March 2019:  Worked with Javier Calvo Amodio, Associate Professor in Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and his research team to compile and refine the business operations inventory data to create primary and secondary areas. An explanation of this process is provided by Dr. Calvo below:

“Using the inventory spreadsheets collected from the various business units, the team’s analysis focuses on identifying commonalities in language across the business units in how they state their tasks. The methodology the team is using to complete this analysis is an iterative coding process that involves identifying codes that are both unique to individual business units and common across all business units.  These key terms are then coded for the tasks provided by all business units in the inventory spreadsheets.  The codes are evaluated for their validity and refined to a new set of codes that is then applied to the list of tasks.  This iterative process is repeated until agreement is reached among the team.  The team expects this coding process to yield key insights into the commonalities and differences across the various business units in how they structure and designate their tasks. This information will be used to help group tasks into defined roles for improved standardization of roles across all business units to analyze the data and information gathered in the inventory and focus groups. We will use that data to assess viable structure options to present to the Executive Steering Committee for review.”

Nov. 2018:  Information was presented to the university community at Training Days.

Dec. 2018 - March 2019:  Identified quick win projects, prioritize and develop action plans to work with subject matter experts to develop and implement solutions that provide momentum as longer term project needs and priorities are identified in the focus groups.

Business Functions Focus Groups:  April 2019 - June 2019

April 2019 - June 2019:   Engaged over 280 business operations employees and university partners in 20 focus groups on 8 functional areas identified in the business operations inventory, including:

        - Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Business Analytics, Grants, Payroll, Purchasing, System Access, Travel

        - The feedback from these sessions identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

June 2019 - September 2019:   Compiled and analyzed the feedback from the focus groups.  Provided summarized findings of each functional area focus groups along with a summary of the business operations inventory work completed by the Core Project Team to participants and then all of DFA business operations employees.

Operational Excellent Documents  

June 2019 - December 2019:  Created Operational Excellence documents for each functional area (Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Business Analytics, Grants, Payroll, Purchasing, System Access and Travel) to identify next steps in the areas of policy and process improvement, information technology solutions and organizational structure considerations.  Present findings to Mike Green, Heidi Sann and Sherm Bloomer to identify options and priorities moving forward. 

January 2020 - February 2020:   Operational Excellence Project Owners were contacted to discuss agreement and acceptance of their role within the functional area for which they were recommended by the Core Project Team

September 2019:  As noted in the achievements and timeline section of the project plan, the Core Project Team originally planned to identify and present the pros and cons of potential organizational structure options to leadership at this point in the project. However, no clear consensus has emerged on the most effective organizational structure for OSU from the feedback collected and the work done to date.  


Therefore, the Core Project Team has begun working with functional area owners and stakeholders to tackle process and policy re-engineering, ensuring overall coordination and a systematic approach. The Controller’s Office is exploring long-term structural organization options in order to better align resources with the current business needs of our partners across the university community, utilizing input from the Core Project Team. The business operations steering committee will review recommendations for any structural changes, with the ultimate objective of supporting innovation, efficiency and effectiveness, in alignment with the principles in the DFA Framework for Success. We encourage everyone involved with these efforts to continue to think broadly about how best to accomplish our work in support of OSU’s Strategic Plan.


The full email from Mike Green, Heidi Sann and Sherm Bloomer can be viewed here.

September 2018:  The Beaver Works Executive Steering Committee and leaders in University Marketing and Relations, Compliance Office and General Counsel’s Office met on the topic of risk tolerance. The group recommended the Division of Finance and Administration Leadership Council develop a risk appetite statement and summary. The Steering Committee committed to providing examples of how current risk tolerance impacts the work of their units, colleges and division.

April 2019 - May 2019:  The DFA Leadership Council, with the help of research division leaders and Patti Snopkowski, our Chief Audit, Risk and Compliance Executive worked to provide a draft set of risk appetite statement for the division that were shared in working sessions with teams that applied the statements to current issues and decisions. Those teams included the Beaver Works Core Project Team, the Fiscal Policy Team, and the DFA Extended Leadership Team. In full consideration of their feedback, the risk appetite statements were revised.

June 2019 - Aug. 2019:  Risk Assessment Tools were developed, tested and finalized.

December 2019 - February 2020:  Delivered Risk Appetite Statements and Tools communication, training and implementation to the university community and DFA including working sessions to apply the statement and tools to actual decisions or issues that units face.   Click here see email from Mike Green and Paul Odenthal.

Sept. 2018 - Dec 2018:  The Division of Finance and Administration (DFA) Framework for Success was pulled out of the scope of the Business Operations Project and identified as a separate, division-wide project. Session 1 with the DFA Leadership Council was held to kick off the project and begin efforts to review the division’s mission, vision and core values, and create principles and key performance indicators.

Jan 2019 - June 2019:  Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio and Heather Riney engaged the Extended Leadership Team and other stakeholders in working sessions and discussions to apply the principles and gather feedback to further refine the principles.

Aug. 2019 – March 2020:  Leadership Council defined key activities and overarching division metrics for each of the key performance indicators (KPIs).  The key activities will focus our efforts over the next few years to speak to how we are doing in DFA and share the story of what we provide for the university.

Dec. 2019 – Feb. 2020:  In partnership with DFA senior leaders, Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio and Heather Riney presented an overview of the Framework for Success to DFA units.

June 2019 – October 2019: Heidi Sann, Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller, and Kelly Kozisek, Chief Procurement Officer, are providing direction and vision for the travel re-engineering project. The team created a project charter, project structure and business case demonstrating return on investment.

October 2019 – December 2020:  Huron Consulting was contracted to provide project management for the Travel Redesign Project.  The Travel Core Implementation Team was selected and communicated with to form the team that will engage in leading the redesign efforts for this project.  

December 2019:  Data and information gathering conducted by the Project Lead, Alex Sims.  Beaver Works provided the travel related business operations inventory; focus group feedback; functional area relationships between travel and other related or impacted areas of business operations; the Travel Operational Excellence document; and stakeholder contact lists.

January 2020:  Travel Redesign Project kickoff meeting and working sessions with Huron Consulting.

February 2020 - Ongoing:  Core Implementation Team meetings and work to redesign Travel at OSU.

September 2019 - Ongoing:  Sherm Bloomer, Associate Vice President for Budget and Resource Planning, is sponsoring the Beaver Works Business Analytics Project and Heather Riney will provide portfolio management and support for this deep functional area.

February 2020 - Ongoing:  In support of this area of business operations, Impact Studio has selected University Financial Management (UFM) for development in 2020 as a Core Initiative. UFM kicked off in February 2020 and is currently in the Prepare Phase.  A need exists to prioritize and tradeoff both Oregon State University academic unit costs and revenues in a strategic, optimized manner. Budget pressures have peaked with the coincidental timing of the recent implementation of modified Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget processes. Academic deans and directors have not been asked previously or provided the tools to act strategically regarding their college-level program decisions and to optimize within an allocated budget.  The work of the University Financial Management Working Group, and the overarching hypothesis to address the need and issue expressed above, is to provide the needed tools and expertise to support the deans and their academic leaders and faculty.  For updated information, click on the Impact Studio website.




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