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Ready, Fire, Aim! Presented by: Lea Pennock Director, Student Information Systems Sharon Scott

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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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slide1

Ready, Fire, Aim!

Presented by:

Lea Pennock

Director, Student Information Systems

Sharon Scott

Manager of Communications, Student & Enrolment Services Division

University of Saskatchewan

slide3
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

a bit about us
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

so what is a portal
So…what is a portal?

University of Saskatchewan

characteristics of portal technology
Characteristics of Portal Technology
  • 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

and what should a portal do
And…what should a portal do?

University of Saskatchewan

portal technology changes your institutional web environment
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

and how did we do it
And… how did 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

governance
Governance
  • 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

ready
Ready!

University of Saskatchewan

slide13

Momentum Builds

  • 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!

University of Saskatchewan

the stars align
The Stars Align
  • 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

we didn t have
We didn’t have…
  • A contract
  • A project team
  • Any funding
  • A governing structure

University of Saskatchewan

other challenges
Other Challenges
  • 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

decision time
Decision Time
  • 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

aim how do you eat an elephant
Aim!How do you eat an elephant?

University of Saskatchewan

may june 2003
May – June 2003
  • 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

july 2003
July 2003
  • 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

august 2003
August 2003
  • 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

engaging the campus
Engaging the Campus
  • 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

september 1 2003
September 1, 2003

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

september 4 2003
September 4, 2003
  • 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

soft launch success
Soft Launch Success!
  • 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

the launch menu
The Launch Menu

University of Saskatchewan

slide29

For Students…

University of Saskatchewan

slide30

For Students…

University of Saskatchewan

slide31

For Students…

University of Saskatchewan

slide32

For Students…

University of Saskatchewan

slide33

For Students…

University of Saskatchewan

slide34

For Faculty and Staff…

University of Saskatchewan

slide35

For Faculty…

University of Saskatchewan

slide36

For Faculty…

University of Saskatchewan

slide37

Groups Tools…

University of Saskatchewan

slide38

For Alumni…

University of Saskatchewan

if you build it
If you build it…
  • 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

official launch planning october to december
Official Launch PlanningOctober 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

january february 2004
January – February 2004
  • Development continues
    • AskUS! (Intelliresponse technology)
    • My Files
    • My Grades
    • My Exams
    • T2202A access
    • Transcript request with e-payment
  • Winter continues…

University of Saskatchewan

official launch
Official Launch
  • 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

usage statistics
Usage Statistics
  • 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

what did we learn
What did we learn?

University of Saskatchewan

technology is the easy part
Technology is the easy part
  • 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

needed a high level policy committee
Needed a high-level policy committee
  • 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

risks can turn out to be strengths
Risks can turn out to be strengths
  • 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

under sell over deliver
Under-sell, Over-deliver!

University of Saskatchewan

bulls eye
Bulls eye!

University of Saskatchewan

with paws we are
With PAWS, we are…
  • 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

with paws we are51
With PAWS, we are…
  • 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

to what do we owe our success
To what do we owe our success?
  • 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

future targets
Future Targets
  • 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

slide54
We needed a portal because

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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