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Ready, Fire, Aim! Presented by: Lea Pennock Director, Student Information Systems Sharon Scott Manager of Communications, Student & Enrolment Services Division. Ready, Fire, Aim! A bold approach to implementing a campus portal. Acting boldly, and seizing their chance,

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Ready, Fire, Aim!

Presented by:

Lea Pennock

Director, Student Information Systems

Sharon Scott

Manager of Communications, Student & Enrolment Services Division

University of Saskatchewan


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Ready, Fire, Aim!A bold approach to implementing a campus portal

University of Saskatchewan


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Acting boldly, and seizing their chance,

With no promise of funds in advance

A team of mere mortals,

Unacquainted with portals

Put one in by the seats of their pants.

University of Saskatchewan


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A bit about us…

  • Lea Pennock, Director of Student Information Systems

  • Sharon Scott, Manager of Communications (SESD)

  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

    • 18,000 undergrads

    • 2,000 grad

    • 13 colleges, full range of programs

    • 1 of first 3 in the world and first in Canada to implement Luminis Platform 3

University of Saskatchewan


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Many IT professionals are rushing to produce portalware and portal-like web pages without fully understanding the scope of a portal undertaking for an institution or even really understanding what a web portal is or should do. —Howard Strauss, 2002

University of Saskatchewan


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So…what portal-like web pages without fully understanding the scope of a portal undertaking for an institution or even really understanding what a web portal is or should do.is a portal?

University of Saskatchewan


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Characteristics of Portal Technology portal-like web pages without fully understanding the scope of a portal undertaking for an institution or even really understanding what a web portal is or should do.

  • Consolidation: multiple services via single sign on (SSO)

  • Consistency: common look and feel

  • Community: tailored to specific groups based on institutional role

  • Customization: user-tailorable, in both content and form

  • Channels: to deliver content and services

  • Content Management: tools for managing/distributing content

University of Saskatchewan


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And…what portal-like web pages without fully understanding the scope of a portal undertaking for an institution or even really understanding what a web portal is or should do.should a portal do?

University of Saskatchewan


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Portal technology changes your institutional web environment…

“…from an institution-centric repository of information and applications into a dynamic user-centric collection of everything useful to a particular person in a particular role.”

—Howard Strauss

University of Saskatchewan


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And… how did environment…we do it?

  • Just-in-time project management

  • Evolutionary budgeting

  • Tightly scoped - focused on quick wins

  • Soft rollout

  • Faculty pilot

  • Two launches - quiet launch first, loud launch later

University of Saskatchewan


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Governance environment…

  • Advice and Advocacy

    • Advisory committee with broad campus representation

    • Leveraged previous needs assessments

  • Decisions and Work

    • Lean, mean steering committee

    • Small, practical working team

University of Saskatchewan


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Ready! environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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Momentum Builds environment…

  • Urging from Director of University Communications

  • Common desire to enhance campus web services

    • Stakeholders develop preliminary business plan

    • Various technologies investigated

  • Student dissatisfaction with telephone registration

  • External review recommends virtual one-stop

  • Colleges developing local solutions

  • SIS vendor selection process

    • Scope — is portal in or out? Do we really need a portal?

University of Saskatchewan


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Fire! environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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The Stars Align environment…

  • May 8, 2003 - Board of Governors approves Banner Student Project with portal

    At this point…

  • We had the demand

  • We had the technology

  • We had the institutional will

    But…

University of Saskatchewan


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We didn’t have… environment…

  • A contract

  • A project team

  • Any funding

  • A governing structure

University of Saskatchewan


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Other Challenges environment…

  • What do we call this portal?

  • Coordination with Student Central and self-service goals

  • College-specific portals being developed

  • Jurisdiction/governance

    • Need for high-level policy committee

    • Coordination with Si! Project and UniFI Project

    • How does the portal fit into the University structure?

  • Content issues

    • Portal not a technical project, but the default is to assign to IT staff

    • Who has the authority to publish channels? To send e-mail, post announcements, and to whom?

    • Who is in charge of the content development and maintenance?

    • What to put in the portal - establishing content/service priorities

    • Instructor data not consistently collected and stored

University of Saskatchewan


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Decision Time environment…

  • Gather forces

  • Determine authority and responsibility

  • Determine scope - what will be included for soft launch?

    You can’t always plan for opportunity—sometimes you just have to take a giant leap into the unknown! – Lea and Sharon (stranded in airport)

University of Saskatchewan


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Aim! environment…How do you eat an elephant?

University of Saskatchewan


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May – June 2003 environment…

  • Project Manager assigned

  • SCT visit – rush meeting with advisory committee

  • Review of previously gathered requirements

  • What was “out of the box” and what would be doable?

  • Charter document developed

  • Project team established

  • Technical training - Salt Lake City

  • September 1st target launch date set - What? Are we crazy?

  • Contract signed May 41st

University of Saskatchewan


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July 2003 environment…

  • Technical training continues

  • Content planning begins

    • Vendor consultants onsite

    • Broad campus representation

  • Technical team tasks

  • Realization that team needs to address content issues too

  • Weekly Steering Committee meetings - amazing progress!

University of Saskatchewan


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August 2003 environment…

  • Continued technical/channel development

  • Content training is needed

  • Scheduling challenges around summer vacations

  • Look/feel design begins

  • What will we call the portal? What do students think? Real cookies work!

    • My.usask.ca

    • Paws.usask.ca

    • Mypaws.usask.ca

University of Saskatchewan


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paws.usask.ca wins environment……paws down!PAWS: Personalized Access to Web Services

University of Saskatchewan


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Engaging the Campus environment…

  • Luminis demos for stakeholders

  • Dog & pony show - 2-day, 6-presentation blitz across campus!

  • Content administrator training

  • Development & testing environment up and running

  • Fall teaching institute – introduce PAWS to new faculty

  • Targeted Announcers assigned and trained

  • Developed training courses to be offered (ITS Training services)

  • We’re on the eve of the launch, all set to go, guns are loaded…

University of Saskatchewan


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September 1, 2003 environment…

E-mail to Associate VP (ICT) from Technical Lead…

Rick,

The portal is not yet live due to an unforeseen requirement to re-install the entire portal

—Todd Trann, Technical Lead

University of Saskatchewan


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September 4, 2003 environment…

  • Content is king - Content Lead assigned (officially)

  • PAWS Team

    • Project Manager from ITS

    • Technical Lead from ITS (and technical staff)

    • Content Lead from SESD (and designers and writers)

    • Central Webmaster & WebCT Administrator

    • ITS Training Services staff

    • ITS Help Desk staff

    • Student Information Project Administrative Assistant

  • Team begins meeting weekly to continue development and plan for official launch

University of Saskatchewan


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Soft Launch Success! environment…

  • Soft launch occurs, just 3 days off target date

    • Allows for feedback and bug fixing

    • No hype means no expectations

    • Go ahead, get your paws wet…

  • Steering Committee amazed at richness of initial release

  • PAWS Team catches up on sleep…

University of Saskatchewan


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The Launch Menu environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Students… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Students… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Students… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Students… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Students… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Faculty and Staff… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Faculty… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Faculty… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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Groups Tools… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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For Alumni… environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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If you build it… environment…

  • Stats for week one - over 4,000 users!

  • 7,000 users by the end of October

  • Faculty pilot project begins

  • Fall development continues and more services continue to roll out

    • Campus Arts Scene Channel

    • PAWS FAQs Channel

    • PAWS Training Channel

    • Huskie Headlines

    • Huskie Game Schedules

    • U of S Webcam

    • Weather Channel

  • CBUC in Oct – PAWSitive feedback

  • Plans begin for “official” launch

University of Saskatchewan


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Official Launch Planning environment…October to December

  • Student Information Project Communications Task Force charged with launch planning

  • Request from Student Central (one-stop) to co-launch

  • Winter settles in

University of Saskatchewan


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January – February 2004 environment…

  • Development continues

    • AskUS! (Intelliresponse technology)

    • My Files

    • My Grades

    • My Exams

    • T2202A access

    • Transcript request with e-payment

  • Winter continues…

University of Saskatchewan


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Official Launch environment…

  • March 15-19, 2004

  • Student engagement (volunteers, student newspaper, student societies)

  • Computer lab managers across campus

  • ITS help desk

  • College staff representatives

  • Poster, banners, giveaways, presentations, t-shirts, advertisements, announcements, balloon trees, brochures

  • Winter continues…

University of Saskatchewan


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Usage Statistics environment…

  • 37,000 accounts with 15,000 users

  • More than 4,000 courses

  • More than 75 unique special interest and administrative groups—and growing!

  • More than 300 faculty, staff and students have taken training courses offered by ITS Training Services

University of Saskatchewan


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What did we learn? environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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Technology is the easy part environment…

  • Need to address business process issues behind content management

  • Need content lead

  • Collaboration is key – portal crosses lines of responsibility

    • Overlaps in service areas

    • Uncoordinated communications

    • Faculty with existing web pages

    • Colleges with own portals, etc

University of Saskatchewan


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Needed a high-level policy committee environment…

  • Stewardship

    • of content, roles, communication, users, permissions…

  • Responsibilities for data

    • Collection, storage, accuracy, distribution, updating, removal…

    • Compliance with privacy requirements

  • Image and message consistency

  • Identification of new potential users

    • prospective students, researchers, service providers…

University of Saskatchewan


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Risks can turn out to be strengths environment…

  • No plan

    • Could seize opportunities, quick wins, low-hanging fruit

  • Tight timelines

    • Forced quick decisions

  • No budget

    • Can’t go over budget! (don’t try this at home)

  • Early adopter

    • Co-development with vendor team

University of Saskatchewan


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Under-sell, Over-deliver! environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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Bulls eye! environment…

University of Saskatchewan


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With PAWS, we are… environment…

  • Responding to expectations (students are ready for this)

    • Meeting current needs

    • Building a base for additional services and new audiences

  • Advancing U of S image

    • Branding (leveraging existing awareness of UofS huskies)

    • Reputation (among students, colleagues,etc)

  • Facilitating adoption of technology by more faculty (students drive this)

University of Saskatchewan


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With PAWS, we are… environment…

  • Communicating more effectively with all constituents

    • Targeted messaging

    • Reducing e-mail clutter

  • Building communities

    • Portal users

    • Content providers

  • Continuing to work with our vendor in feature development

  • Proving value through usage (system sells itself)

University of Saskatchewan


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To what do we owe our success? environment…

  • Talented and committed staff

  • Campus was ready, prior work had been done

  • Commitment and persistence: “doggedness” (despite some nay-sayers)

  • Agility in decision-making

  • Key campus units bought in

    • Early adopters (SESD, Communications, Engineering…)

  • Vendor support

  • Enthusiastic project sponsor

University of Saskatchewan


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Future Targets environment…

  • Delivery of ERP services through PAWS

    • New systems replacing legacy systems with a focus on distributed self service

  • Content management strategy (as opposed to just Sharon)

  • New channels and services

University of Saskatchewan


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We needed a portal because environment…

Our website was riddled with flaws

So boldly we went

For leather hell bent

And we managed to limit faux PAWS!

University of Saskatchewan


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