Maximizing space utilization through electronic event scheduling a case study of best practices
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Maximizing Space Utilization through Electronic Event Scheduling: A Case Study of Best Practices. Keith Stiles Blue Ridge Community College [email protected] Information About BRCC. Location: Flat Rock, NC 128 acres, 13 buildings, 358,000 sq. ft.

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Maximizing Space Utilization through Electronic Event Scheduling: A Case Study of Best Practices

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Maximizing space utilization through electronic event scheduling a case study of best practices

Maximizing Space Utilization through Electronic Event Scheduling: A Case Study of Best Practices


Blue Ridge Community College

[email protected]

Information about brcc

Information About BRCC

  • Location: Flat Rock, NC

  • 128 acres, 13 buildings, 358,000 sq. ft.

  • Newest Building – Technology Education and Development Center (2008)

  • Fall Enrollment (2012): 2,270

  • CE Enrollment: 25,143 (2011-12)

  • 55% of students take at least one online course

Implementing an event management system

Implementing an Event Management System

History of event management

History of Event Management

  • Scheduling was accomplished for years via “The Book” which included special events, meetings, and classes.

  • “The Book” was passed between areas to accomplish major scheduling tasks.

  • “The Book” was at times “hijacked” in transit between areas to get events on an ever-increasingly heavy schedule.

Moving into the digital age

Moving Into the Digital Age

  • Campus licensed Resource25 but it largely went unused for 6 years

  • First implemented in 2008

  • Re-implemented to correct errors in initial implementation in 2009

  • Migrated to fully-hosted R25 in summer of 2010

  • Implemented 25Live in 2010-11

Advancing into the digital age

Advancing Into the Digital Age

  • Three Weeks of User Training in March 2011

    • One Week Devoted to Approver/Power User Training

    • Two Weeks Devoted to Requester User Training

  • 25Live goes “live” at BRCC on April 1, 2011

Revealing campus events

Revealing Campus Events

  • First live calendar feeds made their appearance on the BRCC website on May 17, 2011

  • Academic calendar converted to a live feed on July 29, 2011

  • BRCC-TV calendar feed of daily programming goes live on June 23, 2011

    • Station schedule is uploaded weekly to 25Live system using a CSV file, a PHP script, and Web Services

Revealing more campus events

Revealing More Campus Events

  • Campus Intranet, The Insider, was redesigned during the fall of 2011 and an Insider calendar feed went live on December 6, 2011.

    • Calendar feeds to each standing and ad hoc committee’s web pages went live on October 31, 2011, but their release, along with a comprehensive committee meeting calendar was delayed until the release of the new Insider.

Maximizing event management

Maximizing Event Management

  • Implementation of E-Commerce for:

    • Event Registration for Conferences

    • Selling Tickets for Upcoming Special Events

    • Student Self-Registering for Placement Testing and Orientation

    • Event Registration and Payment for Student-Sponsored or Student Organization Events

    • Event Registration for Recruiting Events

Implementation some best practices

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Plan before you build:

    • Build an Implementation Team

    • Identify Key Stakeholders

    • Analyze and Clean Your Base Data

    • Determine the Needs of Campus Stakeholders

    • Use Collaborative Data Building Techniques

Implementation some best practices1

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Building an Implementation Team

    • Key Task: Ensure Implementation Membership Includes Decision-Makers from Across Campus Constituencies

      • Garner the support of the Chief Academic Officer – this is integral support for success!

      • Supplement Academic Representation with:

        • Major Events Representation

        • Information Technology Representation

        • Facilities Management/Physical Plant Representation

        • Institutional Research Representation

Implementation some best practices2

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Identify Key Stakeholders

    • Academics

    • Continuing Education

    • Special Events

    • Athletics

    • Administrative Users

    • Facilities

    • Information Technology

    • Institutional Research/Effectiveness

Implementation some best practices3

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Start with Clean Base Data

    • Avoid simply importing your base data from prior applications

    • Analyze facilities data carefully for problem areas

    • Centralize data migration into one user if at all possible

Implementation some best practices4

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Survey Academic Areas to Assess Scheduling Needs

    • What space features are needed to schedule effectively?

    • How do spaces need to be partitioned for scheduling?

    • What are highly specialized spaces that will need special treatment?

  • Survey Event Schedulers to Assess Scheduling Needs

    • What types of events do event schedulers book on a regular basis?

    • What reporting needs to event schedulers have?

    • How do event schedulers categorize their events?

Implementation some best practices5

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Ensure open lines of communication between all users of the event management system

  • Actively solicit input from potential and current users of the system

  • Utilize customization opportunities within the software – 25Live has granted our campus huge customization opportunities

Implementation some best practices6

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Choose your User Authentication System early in the process – easier to implement Active Directory or other schemas up front rather than later

  • Analyze how requests for space need to be approved

  • Solicit a list of space approvers by area prior to building any security groups or settings

  • Encourage use of back-up approval choices to deal with illness, vacations, and the like

Implementation some best practices7

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • Plan security groups and settings before building within event management system

  • Build security groups around scheduling needs

  • Separate the System Administrator’s account from his/her Personal Account

Implementation some best practices8

Implementation – Some Best Practices

  • User Training

    • Think holistically about what users need to know before the system goes live

    • Plan comprehensive training and offer multiple sessions to provide opportunities for all potential new users

    • Train users with their new accounts in your TEST instance

Scheduling our facilities

Scheduling Our Facilities

  • Classrooms (75)

  • Labs (55)

  • 850 seat Conference Hall

  • Two auditoriums

  • Conference Rooms (8)

  • Other Schedulable Facilities (21)

What events are scheduled

What Events Are Scheduled

What else gets scheduled

What Else Gets Scheduled?

  • Locations (academic and special events spaces)

  • Human Resources (custodial staff, security, I.T. Technician, Media Technicians)

  • Event-related Resources (tables, chairs, etc.)

Dealing with scheduling policies or the lack of

Dealing with Scheduling PoliciesOr the Lack of…

  • Competition for Finite Space Between Curriculum and Continuing Education Courses Created Significant Points of Friction

  • Special Events Scheduling Jumped in Front of Curriculum and CE Scheduling at Times

  • Lack of Clear Procedures and a Policy Created a Chaotic Scheduling Process

Writing a scheduling policy

Writing a Scheduling Policy

Scheduling policy specifications

Scheduling Policy Specifications

Typical fall term academic scheduling procedure

Typical Fall Term Academic Scheduling Procedure

Curriculum class scheduling

Curriculum Class Scheduling

Typical fall term continuing education scheduling procedure

Typical Fall Term Continuing Education Scheduling Procedure

Continuing education scheduling

Continuing Education Scheduling

Typical events scheduling procedure

Typical Events Scheduling Procedure

  • Scheduling in Special Events Locations (e.g., Conference Hall, Auditoria, etc.) is done year round as requests are made.

  • Scheduling of Special Events that use classroom or lab locations are scheduled after each term’s Academic and Continuing Education Schedules are set.

  • Special Events take second or third seat behind Academic and Continuing Education Scheduling in classrooms and labs.

Managing special events

Managing Special Events

Higher education space utilization analysis

Higher Education & Space Utilization Analysis

  • “Allocating space on campus is an ongoing challenge. Institutions continually assign new and existing space in an attempt to meet pressing program needs and priorities. Undertaking a comprehensive space planning effort allows the institution to rightsize both academic and nonacademic space allotments. Reconciling industry benchmarks and institutional standards with the perceived needs of individual program providers results in a justifiable standard for assigning space.”

    Michael S. Rudden. (2008). “Ten Reasons Why Colleges and Institutions Undertake Campus Master Planning (And How to Align Your Campus Planning Effort to Best Address Them). Planning for Higher Education 36 (4), 33-41.

The accountability trend

The Accountability Trend

“We believe that improved accountability is vital to ensuring the success of all the other reforms we propose.” (Final Report of the Commission on the Future of U.S. Higher Education)

  • Transparency of Information

  • Measurable Standards of Accountability

  • Accountability as a Driving Factor in Innovation

  • Need for Operational Intelligence

Decision making with real data

Decision-Making with Real Data

  • Discussions around academic space have often been based on anecdotal data instead of quantifiable data.

  • “As institutions continue to review cost-containment issues, become further inundated with compliance mandates, and refine accountability standardsand performance expectations, their need for more meaningful space information is critical (Watt, 2007, pg. 5).

The role of institutional research effectiveness

The Role of Institutional Research/Effectiveness

“Institutional researchers can assist administrators in overcoming technical and institutional barriers to most effectively use space information and assist them in managing their complex enterprises” (Watt, 2007).

  • Access to and Understanding of System-Wide Data

  • Statistical Knowledge and Data Modeling Expertise

  • Ability to Present Complex Data in Understandable and Useful Formats for Campus Decision-Makers

Comprehensive space planning

Comprehensive Space Planning

Integrative planning

Integrative Planning

  • Having a robust facilities management software system, Series25, and a fully implemented student information system opens up a world of sophistication for higher level data analysis that can be used to examine campus data holistically and integrate that data into true planning activities.

  • Reliability of reporting is enhanced when the multiple systems are fully communicating with each other.

Tools available for data analysis with series25 products

Tools Available for Data Analysis with Series25 Products

  • X25 Data Analysis provides:

    • Summary Statistics

    • Three Groups of Analytical Data

      • Scheduling Effectiveness

      • Inventory Fitness

      • Utilization

    • Filtered Data Sets

Types of analyses of space data using standard 25live reports

Types of Analyses of Space Data – Using Standard 25Live Reports

  • Space Utilization Summaries by Space

  • Time Spreads by Department

  • Comparison of Term to Term Data

Data extraction and space modeling

Data Extraction and Space Modeling

Analysis of Current Space Issues

Modeling of Future Space Needs

Modeling future building configurations using space and scheduling data to arrive at more efficient configurations of academic space.

Creating multi-year projection models for decision-makers concerning likely future academic space needs especially concerning classrooms and labs coupled with analyses of current scheduling practices.

  • Analyze the effectiveness of your daily scheduling prior to registration (look at MWF and TR scheduling patterns across the day).

  • Extract data from your event management system or from filtered data sets if you use X25 and complete statistical analyses using SAS, SPSS, or other software (e.g., regression analyses, analysis of variance, and others) for the purpose of determining benchmarks and ranges of variance for space analyses.

Final thoughts

Final Thoughts

  • “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” (Coburn, 2007, pg. 107).

  • Any successful event management system implementation requires a data first approach.

  • Involve all stakeholders in discussions of setup, maintenance, and policy-making.

  • Take the time to analyze space usage based on real data instead of anecdotal evidence.



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