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SSR Project Update - Issue 12

This project update for the Support Services Review has information on new appointments, and more about AskOtago. We also have dates and details about the staff information sessions and on training and support.

We encourage staff to continue to send through any questions or comments for this newsletter or the website using the ‘Have your say’ form. Please note that if you would like us to respond to you directly, then you will need to include your name and contact details. As we are experiencing a high volume of submissions there may be a delay in responding back to you. We will get back to you ASAP.

Information sessions

The next staff information session is on Thursday 19 April at 11am in the College Auditorium. This session will cover Information Technology and provide more detail regarding how this service will be delivered post the SSR implementation. This session will be livestreamed to make it accessible to staff outside of Dunedin and will be available on:

The streaming should start 5 minutes before the event.

Further advice for people wanting to view the stream:

1. The live streaming works with most web browsers, but not Internet Explorer.

2. People can use our Test Stream at any time, to check in advance that they can receive University of Otago streaming.

The Test Stream is at:

3. The live stream will be restricted to University of Otago IP addresses.

Rooms 7.11 on the Christchurch campus and C31 on the Wellington campus have also been booked. Each of these rooms has full video conferencing functionality.

In addition we will also be recording the session and it will be available to download from the SSR website after the session.

The following session is on HR, and will be on Friday 27 April.

To date we have had information sessions on Shared Services, Finance, Administration, Student Experience and AskOtago. These are available online at SSR website - Implementation Updates. If you have questions in regard to Client Services, please contact us, or you can discuss with your Client Services Manager.

In response to your questions

We have updated the SSR website with responses to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The following are questions that were raised at the recent Student Experience information session.

Will portfolios be detailed when positions within Student Experience are advertised?

At the staff information session about student experience Philippa Hoult gave some examples of what portfolios might look like; however, these will need to be developed by the Head of Student Experience.

How will delegations within Student Experience be decided on?

All delegations will be decided in consultation with appropriate stakeholders (e.g. academic departments). It is likely that only current delegations will be in place from day one and these will be reviewed and extended as appropriate during the establishment of the Student Experience services.

From David Tapp

I’ve had another great week and continue to enjoy being back on campus after not spending much time here since my days as a student.

It’s great to see things continuing to progress with the redevelopment of St David 2. You may have noticed that the trench from the St David 2 building toward the Visitors Centre is being filled in and it won’t be long before paving stones are laid and St David St is back to normal.

If you have attended any of the recent staff information sessions or viewed the presentations online, you will have seen the vision for Shared Services. As someone with experience managing the provision of shared services, I was delighted to see that the vision developed for shared services at Otago aligns strongly with my own shared services philosophy.

I derive great personal satisfaction from knowing that in providing quality shared services, my team allows leaders to focus on things that are important to them. Safe in the knowledge that operational functions are being performed to a high standard, leaders can focus on taking advantage of opportunities as they arise and have more time to reflect on strategic issues.

Recruitment of Shared Services management positions is continuing, and a recent appointment is detailed in this update.

Finally, my invitation to stop me on campus and say hello (especially if I look lost) was genuine. I’m really enjoying meeting staff and I look forward to more opportunities to engage with you soon.

Training and Support

Outlined below are details on a range of training and support options currently available.

Career Development Adviser

Joanna Budai is available for one-on-one confidential and impartial support to assist people in their career choices - contact her via

CV preparation workshops

These workshops will assist staff in preparing CVs and cover letters to help you present your skills, knowledge and experience effectively to prospective managers and employers. Registration and information for CV Preparation workshop

Interview Skills Workshops

This workshop will help prepare your responses to questions during interviews and how to present your best self.

Prosci® Fundamentals of Change Management

This one-day programme is designed for project leaders and those with managerial responsibilities. It introduces:

  • a shared definition of change management and how it impacts organisational outcomes
  • the research and best practices around change management
  • the interconnection between change leadership, change management and project management outcomes
  • awareness of the three phases of organisational change
  • understanding and applying the Prosci® ADKAR Model for individual change.

Deciding My Future: making good job choices

A three-hour workshop developed by Jane Davis focuses on what is important to consider when making choices about future job and career options, including personal values, balance between work and personal life, identifying your strengths and taking action.

A workbook will be provided to you when you register so attendees can complete required pre-work.

Support for staff in Christchurch and Wellington

Thanks to the staff in Christchurch and Wellington who have let us know what support you would like to receive. We are currently planning visits to both campuses in the coming weeks when we will provide the opportunity for staff to attend the workshops listed as well as the opportunity to engage 1:1 with Jo Budai, Career Development Advisor.

As soon as plans are confirmed we will communicate via email with you and provide details about how to register for both the workshops and individual sessions.

In the meantime if you would like to attend workshops or meet Jo and have not let us know yet, please register your interest by emailing us at

EAP - staff support

We remind staff that you can access personal support through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). A new feature is that EAP now offers financial and budgeting advice, as well as other counselling services.

EAP services are available to staff at any time through the existing provider, Stratos Ltd. EAP services are confidential to you and based on a self-referral system. There is no requirement to advise or make a request to your manager. Further information can be found in the EAP section of the HR website.


As detailed in the SSR Business Case, AskOtago will be underpinned by an easily accessible and searchable knowledgebase to provide a more consistent service, resulting in higher resolution rates at first contact and lower training costs. A number of transitional staff have been working on the development of the AskOtago Knowledgebase, and the focus has now moved from the design stage to collating/compiling content.

Sometimes an AskOtago interaction will be the first – or only – experience a person may have with Otago. It is therefore vital their questions are answered clearly, they have had a positive experience, and have formed a good impression of Otago. Staff are encouraged to send through any feedback on existing FAQs, as well as suggestions of new ones, by emailing

There are two Knowledgebase Administrator roles (yet to be advertised) responsible for the maintenance and updating/optimisation/continual improvement of the Knowledgebase, ensuring a consistent writing style is used and that content is clear and has a logical flow. They will use analytic tools to assess customer feedback, trends and common queries to identify omissions and recommend changes or enhancements. As individual areas around the University will retain ownership of their information, the Knowledgebase Administrators will be responsible for developing effective content management processes and ensuring information is shared effectively.


We are currently updating the SSR website with the full list of staff appointments.This will be available early next week.



  • Director Marketing
  • Head of Student Experience
  • Manager Client Services x 5
  • Senior Manager Finance Services
  • Group Leader Student Development
  • Manager Finance x 10
  • Manager Strategic Finance
  • Manager Supply Chain



  • Team Leader Administration Support Services
  • Coach Performance and Delivery

Additional positions may be advertised during this time. For a full list of vacancies please be sure to check the Current Vacancies section of the HR website.

We welcome your feedback on the project implementation as it progresses. Contact us to discuss, or let us know if you need more information at

From the Support Services Review Project Team