Priority Based Resource Analysis (PBRA)

The Priority-based Resource Analysis (PBRA) is a mechanism that allows planners to accurately link resources to objectives. Intended as a budget management tool, it provides an analysis of what resources the Division, Faculty, or unit is spending on what - relative to the priorities in their Integrated Resource Plan.

The PBRA is particularly significant in that it looks beyond the incremental dollar to what an area is doing with its total resources (human and fiscal). It is intended to serve as an essential decision-making tool - providing planners with priority-based information about their expenditures that can help them to make difficult choices about what to do with their resources.

Pilots

The IRPO has engaged in an extensive series of pilots intended to refine our understanding of how Faculties and units currently understand what is driving their budget, how they link budget categories to activities, and how they assess the resource impact of engaging in one activity over another (engage in trade-offs). Based on this analysis and additional research, the IRPO will work with planners to develop a 'best practice' model(s) for Priority Based Resource Analysis (PBRA).

The IRP Office has completed seven Faculty pilots, and an administrative unit pilot.

The goal of the PBRA pilots is to:

  • Determine whether a single approach to the PBRA process can be applied to all Divisions, Faculties and units.
  • Develop a template that is:
    • A good fit with how the Faculties/units operate
    • Transparent and straightforward.
  • Develop standardized and effective:
    • Assumptions for PBRA attributions
    • Definitions (including FTEs)
    • Common cost drivers
    • Overhead cost rates
    • Approach to mapping operational costs to priorities
  • Develop transparency in:
    • How budgets are determined
    • The way allocations are made
    • The agreements and contracts governing budget decisions (allocations and otherwise) and how these can impact the ability to achieve priorities.
  • Develop a model that is flexible and responsive to changes in assumptions/environment.

Priority-based Resource Analysis is an essential tool for the cost analysis to complement the revenue analysis at the unit and department level under the new SHARP budget model for all the Faculties to gain better insights of the financial operation of our academic programs and services.