A Triager’s Insights about Process Triaging

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University.  From #8 to #4 in the nation.  How ’bout them apples!

While our Process Triage workshop is a one-day intense event, its effects can be profoundly positive when the team’s improvement proposals are implemented.  This is the case with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University.  We met Dean Linda McCauley in Atlanta when Rosey presented at Vistage Chair Larry Hart’s group in 2014.  Dean McCauley triaged their student recruiting and student life processes that fall, selecting faculty and staff go-to’s as triagers. The initial improvements list focused on these “producer” improvements.   They were followed by groups of student triagers to get a Voice of Customer perspective — “customer’s” improvements.  These students generated a ranked list of proposals as well.  Dean McCauley directed the customer/student list be worked first.  

The Director of Recruiting, Jasmine Hoffman project managed the improvement efforts.  The successes led to Jasmine and Rosey teaming up to present to the Graduate Nursing School Recruiting Association’s annual meeting the following year.  Rosey presented the theory of it and Jasmine presented Emory’s case study results.  That led to us triaging in other nursing schools such as California Baptist (Dean Geneva Oaks), Case Western Reserve (Dean Mary Kerr) and Johns Hopkins University (Dean Patricia Davidson, four processes triaged).  So we’re well acquainted with some of the highest ranked nursing schools in the nation.

We were delighted to conduct a refresh triage at Emory this year. Dean McCauley returned as sponsor and Jasmine served as host.  One of the returning triagers, Arnita Howard, Director of Careers Services and Student Affairs offers her insights:

Process Triage in brief, is designed to evaluate a business process and identify areas for improvement.   When first approached about participating in this “exercise” it seemed more like a way to pinpoint, with incredible detail and specificity, all of the ways that our process fell short.  Two intense days evaluating how we interact with and serve our prospective students from the prospect stage to orientation yielded some incredibly helpful feedback about how we might increase enrollment and convert more of those prospective students into admitted and enrolled members of our community. 

Fast forward to 2018, almost four years later, and we are once again coordinating a triage to evaluate our student life cycle from orientation to alumni.  We have experienced unprecedented application growth as a result of the strategic enrollment initiatives implemented after the first triage in 2014 and now we have to figure out how to manage increased enrollment.  During this second exercise we triaged our student experience and I must admit, I am genuinely excited to participate in a process that is sure to yield a positive return on investment.  Initially, I was skeptical and frankly threatened by what might be revealed by evaluating our business process.  This time, I look forward to hearing from members of our team about how we can transform the overall student experience, thereby increasing our student satisfaction rate by 100%. 

Process Triage challenges you to take an in depth look at the services and/or product that you provide, identify pain points, and then allows YOU to think strategically about how to prioritize improvements.  Arnita Howard

We couldn’t have said it better.

From #8 to #4 in the nation.

Process triaging helps with the right list of improvements. In the right hands, good things happen.



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