Monday 13 July 2015

ucisa SS15 conference - day 2 #ussc15

The first session of day 2 was a business showcase – Service Desk Institute Carla Thornley and Sharon Mossman from Newcastle University and was based on the Newcastle University SDC journey. 
The challenges - some negative perceptions of the service, multiple contact methods, ticket quality wasn’t constant and the system had been customised so was difficult to upgrade.  They produced a roadmap - to standardise, to increase training including SDI analyst training, to produce a customer charter and to measure activity.  They restructured to become the 'Service Desk' rather than 'Helpdesk' and increased ITIL awareness.
The assessment process – despite some delays in procurement of ITSM system they successfully introduced the NU Service with new telephony and call recording systems in the Service Desk. This led to very much improved customer feedback.  They found the SDC process an easy process to follow and although there was lots of work to collate information, the process provided opportunities to reflect; it generated sense of pride and raised the profile of the dept. within the university.
Their thoughts from their experience - don't aim for perfection - do what you want to do to improve the service, don't be afraid to fail, prepare thoroughly, be proud of the good stuff you do.

The second session of the day was a presentation by Emma Anderson, a student from the University of Leeds entitled ‘It's not just Facebook and Twitter. How students use technology in their everyday lives’.
It was an interesting presentation and great to hear insights into the student experience – there were lots of useful points that can be picked up from a library perspective too. 
Emma explained that:
Students typically have at least 3 mobile devices
A laptop is vital but essay writing is better on an actual computer as if you’re working at desk you’re 'a lot more studious'
Email is needed on the go
Email avoids awkward phone calls
The Leeds Uni app is very useful
Even people with Macs still get Microsoft Word
One Note syncs
A tablet is useful for reading
Facebook admittedly is a lot of procrastination but useful to reach out to those in a group to work on shared projects or assignments.  
Twitter is good for your social profile and to get news quickly
The ‘Brotherton library is gorgeous – you feel clever just sitting in there’
But need more plug sockets - students fight over plug sockets (interesting – basic requirement)
The new Laidlaw library has plug sockets as far as the eye can see, comfy chairs and bright spaces
Group spaces are needed
Also need desks that have a PC plus extra plug socket plus space for work

Emma praised the IT Service Desk staff as students are tech savvy but have different needs so it is good to be able to pop in and have chat. A physical presence is definitely needed so more approachable and more personable 'Lovely friendly faces’.  Also it is hard to explain computer problems over the phone or email - need to speak face to face

She gave good, positive feedback about student experience at Uni of Leeds and had a direct approach to what students want and need. 
The next sessions was a panel session:
Heidi Fraser-Krauss (Chair)
Emma Anderson
Rachel Fligelstone
John Fijalkowski
Carla Thornley

The only thing that is constant is change - an old problem that is still relevant today.
How to cope with change?
Bring people together to talk - do the change together - share – get everyone involved - personal contact.  Make it a team effort - not everyone needs to be an expert - ask staff what digital means to them, relate to what they want and need to do.  In the corporate world, change is necessary to survive – it’s slower in the HE sector so need to be a champion of change - setting goals and vision.

The move from IT to digital - digital capabilities that are the responsibility of everyone.  Is it obvious where people have to go to for help?  If they have a problem the Service Desk needs to be like a sat nav and know where to get help
Transformational change - don't assume you know what the customer wants.  Share the journey with the customer.  Get people to realise that change is needed - be dramatic - educating people
The problem is often not with change itself but supporting change - relate it to organisational change

It’s important to give students notice of changes - be honest. But the problem with all student emails is that students get bombarded with email so use app notifications, twitter, announcements on VLE,
You need to make the difference between communications about 'vital' issues and things of interest.  Still need to tell students about things of interest so use somewhere else to provide a daily update or feed.  How do students feel about change? They are willing to embrace change - new computers, new apps - keep student needs central

Who should drive change?
Ask students what they want and tell them what will work – then got to meet in the middle. Show people what is available, listen to what people say and then make decisions. Share experience.
Be open to innovation - support people to use technologies

The next sessions were parallel sessions and I went to one about mapping and optimising the Student Journey using a service design approach by Ruth Drysdale and Jean Mutton from jisc.
It was about Jisc co design - prospect to alumnus – the student journey from the student, user, customer point of view. 
Is HE a 'Product' or 'Service' industry?  A qualification and an experience?

There were a couple of practical activities:
Question - who is involved in student enrolment?
Basically everyone

Tools and techniques
Service blue printing
Emotional journey mapping

Task - Make a personna?
Walk that person through the process
(This activity was good not necessarily as a task in itself but was a good group round the table discussion and light relief)
So what is Service Design?
Problem solving - People centred

After lunch there was a presentation by Chris Dixon, Rob Ellis and Tom Skarbek-Wazynsk from Lancaster University.
‘Ping pong, coke and crisps’ – a tale of innovation.
It included an opportunity to tweet a task to Tom to work on and come up with the beginnings of a solution during the 45 minutes of the session. #Tasktom

Chris gave some background and context to the Innovation hub quoting examples from Virgin Atlantic who have lots of success and awards.  “Innovation is invention plus exploitation plus persistence” (virgin definition)
Also the Gartner model - bi modal
Mode 1 - the long haul, vital work
Mode 2 - looks easy more risky

When they set about creating the innovation hub they created a business case and then recruited.
Aims - engaging students to improve student experience - ask students if want to be involved.  Every idea has a digital twist.  Some ideas fail.  Embrace the idea that anything is possible.  Operate flexibly Agile methodologies.

Cardboard office

Rob talked through some of the ideas and projects that they have undertaken and how they approached the development of ideas. 
Project types:
Nike - just do it.  Tough Mudder.  Bonkers

e.g. Minecraft
Build university - gaming society
Crisps and coke

e.g.  Gamification
Record of day to day life at university (not academic) Library use e.g. course hand in
A badge should be achievable by everyone if they want

e.g. Peer help and market place

Get ideas through idea generation events and opportunities such as 'Jolt the library' where students pitch ideas.

Summary – the expectation of what's possible versus reality is very different in the education environment.  There are a number of blockers. Be prepared to get into trouble.  Once students have a platform for ideas they will use it.  Be flexible.  Need senior management support - have a varied steering group/ advisory board early on.
Breaking rules!

The next session was a business showcase HEATsoftware and John Ireland, University of Oxford. 
5 different service desks which were consolidated into one support function - service desk consolidation project.   
Lessons learned:
It was business change rather than a process change with technology.
Look at the changes from a customer perspective
'Cake is the way to hearts and minds and to get organisational change through...'

The project was successful especially as far as customer experience was concerned. 
Self service - good feedback
Clarity 'your call has been resolved'
Faster and more effective escalations
Single phone number
Complaints: zero about new tool set
350 staff in central IT using system so a vast operation and need time to get used to processes

It was an interesting presentation to see how change is driven through in an institution where change is sometimes complicated and involves a lot of people and processes.

There was then another batch of parallel sessions and I went to one with the title 'what a digitally capable institution looks like' although it was mainly about feedback to a ucisa survey and the digital capabilities group 

The final sessions of the day were 20 x 20 sessions which were brief sessions from a variety of presenters and institutions. Some of them were very interesting and would have warranted much longer sessions and opportunities for questions.  (see my notes below - I don't usually take paper notes but it was the last session of the day #conferencefatigue.
Hopefully the slides will be  available from the ucisa website so I would recommend looking there.  
Tony Brett's presentation was useful and kept to the 20 x 20 format.
Gareth Edward's presentation was fascinating and I didn't take many notes as I was concentrating on the slides.

All in all, a great conference with lots of ideas to take away. 

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