Creating Goals to Accelerate the Usage of Your Faculty Activity Reporting Solution

Before you roll out your faculty activity reporting solution, you should spend some time thinking about your goals. Every good system requires a good plan behind it. And now’s the time to think beyond the standard “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and to think deeper than “I want all faculty using the system for annual reviews.” Here are some tips on what to do to guarantee that you create measurable objectives that align with the overall goals for your faculty activity reporting solution.

Thinking About Goals from the Onset

Now that you’re thinking about a faculty activity reporting solution and the outputs you hope to achieve with the system, there are a number of decisions to make. Now’s the best time to take a step back and think holistically about how you want the solution to function on campus. It’s best to think about your approach on all levels. Start by thinking about your goals, and then explore what it will require to achieve them in terms of “who, what, where, when and how” to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of what you are trying to achieve.

  • How [else] can the university benefit from having faculty activity information centrally?
  • What outputs are required to satisfy those needs?
  • By when do you need each output?
  • Who will need to  utilize the system? Just full-time faculty or part-time and adjuncts too?
  • Which colleges will initially utilize the system? If not all, when will additional colleges be phased in?
  • To feel that you’ve reached success in implementing Activity Insight in the first year, what percentage of your faculty need to be using the system, and for what? In the second year? In the third?
  • For what processes/efforts do you want faculty/administrative staff to use the system in year one, two, three, and so on?
  • How much data do you need—one year? An entire CV?

Setting Yourself Up for Success with SMART Goals

You’ve likely heard the phrase before: SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. But they can be easy to forget. Remember to:

  • Be specific and set goals that answer the “who, what, where, when, which and why”
  • Stay on track by setting criteria and deadlines for measuring progress
  • Identify which goals are most important and make them attainable and realistic
  • Tie goals with a sense of urgency by associating each goal with a timeframe

Aligning Objectives with Your Goals

Once you’ve thought about your goals on a broad level, it’s time to focus in and think about how you will achieve them and the more granular objectives it will take to accomplish them. By thinking about what it will logistically take to accomplish the who, what, when, etc. of each of your goals you’ll be able to set defined measurable objective as well as a timeline. With these objectives and deadlines, you’ll be more likely to be successful in your use of the system as you’ll have a gauge for your progress. Knowing what you want out of the system in the end from the beginning will help you keep moving forward with various projects. Think about setting objectives like:

  • Increase usage by <insert growth percentage> by <insert date>
  • Further adoption by <insert number> users by <insert date>
  • Implement training and development for new faculty by <insert date>

After putting some time and thought into your objects, take a step back to look at what your objectives will get you. Be sure they’re set up to accomplish your goals for the system.

Here’s an example of how to approach goal planning for annual reviews:

Objective: Utilize a faculty activity reporting solution to facilitate Annual Faculty Reviews across the entire university for the Spring 2017 reporting cycle

Report: Faculty Annual Activity Report

Example goals if a faculty activity reporting solution is new to your university…

  • Objective 1: Launch the faculty activity reporting solution to faculty to facilitate Annual Faculty Reviews by September 01, 2016
  • Objective 2: 60% of full-time faculty in each unit have entered 1 year of activity data by November 1
  • Objective 3: 90% of full-time faculty in each unit have entered 1 year of activity data and have run/submitted their Annual Report by December 31st

Example goals if you’ve already been using a faculty activity reporting solution and are an established user…

  • Objective 1: Launch the faculty activity reporting solution to 10% more faculty to facilitate Annual Faculty Reviews by September 01, 2016
  • Objective 2: Increase the number of records added/edited per user average by <percent increase>
  • Objective 3: <Insert unit> (late adopter) implemented the system for their annual review process, and 75% of faculty added records and then ran the report

Now that you’ve thought about what you want from the system, it’s time to think about what you get from the system. One last goal to measure is faculty happiness and buy-in. Consider rolling out a survey to faculty to gain insight on how they feel about a given report, process or the system as a whole.

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