Initiatives to smooth path to information technology

UBC students, faculty and staff will find it easier to "click, walk and talk" their way to the university's information technology services as the recommendations of a business process redesign (BPR) team are implemented this fall.

An eight-member ITServices team devoted 10 weeks away from their regular on-campus duties to work on the project which focused on how ITServices could best meet the needs of its customers. The team followed a methodology that has proven effective at other universities, says BPR team leader Michael Shuster.

"Our recommendations received solid backing from ITServices senior management, allowing us to move forward on recommendations that will bring a more customer focused philosophy to all levels of our organization," he says.

Working with consulting firm JM Associates, the BPR team spent three months this spring examining current information technology practices and benchmarking against other service organizations such as the Workers' Compensation Board and B.C. Hydro before coming up with the recommendations to improve ITServices.

The group presented its report to project sponsor Ted Dodds, associate vice-president, Information Technology, this summer.

In the report, the team made 22 recommendations addressing specific issues in the following areas:

One of the team's key recommendations is the creation of the client care manager position. The manager will ensure quality of service to existing clients and handle the marketing and public relations for ITServices. Kathleen Morley has been appointed to the role on an interim basis.

"We have broken into new teams now to look at the recommendations one by one to see how best to implement them," says Shuster.

He says that while some of the BPR team's recommendations may require allocation of staff or funds to implement, there are some initiatives that have already been acted upon.

ITServices kiosks have been set up near the Koerner Library information desk in a pilot project to increase access to IT services for students. An amalgamated call centre will merge the ITServices customer support centre, telecommunications service advisers and UBC telephone operators to streamline call routing on campus.

The team expects improvements to both speed and quality of customer service through the development of an amalgamated client database, a single trouble-call tracking system and a `triage' database listing who does what at ITServices.

The team also recommended the department develop staff training plans to help foster a climate of customer service among employees.

For more information on the BPR team's recommendations and on ITServices, visit the Web site at