Thursday, 25 February 2010

And we are nearly there...

With the feedback on the JISC Self-analysis framework assessment report received from our Project Director, we focused mainly on 3 activities: re-writing parts of the report and clarifying some additional details, trying our skills in process mapping activities and arranging a feedback session workshop for our stakeholders. All of the 3 activities proved to be quite straight forward although as expected the process mapping was a bit tricky. The main reason being that the processes that we looked at were outside of our department and getting the detailed information to produce an ‘As Is’ version was quite challenging. In the end we did manage to produce a process map for ‘New Enquiry’ process of our Knowledge Exchange department in both, ‘As Is’ and ‘As Should Be’ versions, but it did not look like a valuable way to spend the time as that was not the purpose of the project.

We have also organised all the administrative side of the CaRM Project Feedback Session which we are going to hold in March. We have invited all of our stakeholders and individuals who expressed interest in our project during the past 6 months and we are hoping that it would be useful for them to hear about what we have been up to.

Another interesting event is planned for the next week as we are holding a Skype conference call with our collaborative presentations group. We are looking forward to hearing more about other projects and to find out if their results were much different to ours.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Progress report

And yes, there is some progress to speak about! We have finally managed to put together all of our data collected from the User Requirement Survey (URS) and Baseline Assessment , analyse it and produce several interesting reports – URS analysis and CRM and the HE sector. We have also spent a lot of time going through the CRM Self-analysis framework and critically assessing to what extent we have used it during the project and what could be added to improve the framework. All of the reports still need a little bit of work but after they are finalised, we will focus on compiling the reports into the template distributed by the JISC and produce the draft project report.

In addition today we received several documented processes from our colleagues in the Knowledge Exchange department from which we are hoping to do some process mapping in the next week or so. We have also received an email from Sharon regarding the collaborative presentations – we were partnered with the projects from the universities of Salford, Loughborough and Roehampton. So if anyone from there is reading this – we will be in touch soon!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Long time no blog?

The project went a bit quiet in the last few weeks of December. We had reached a point where all we needed was the data from our survey but we had to wait to collect it, therefore I was mostly busy finalising the reports and helping my colleague with his exciting project (a good chunk of web programming can never hurt!).

By the time we had collected all the necessary data from our survey it was Christmas and I went off on my holiday which ended up with an awful flu that kicked me out of action for another week so I only got back at work yesterday! Two weeks behind the schedule now - every minute counts now!

It looks like we are approaching our final sprint as all of the research needs to be finished by mid March with draft reports ready to go to the JISC, and that is only 8 weeks from now. We are starting off with the CRM User Requirements survey results analysis – we received 54 replies in total with the large portion being from academics. I guess I'll see you in February - wish me luck!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Visiting Salford

One of the most important events in the past few weeks was our visit to Manchester to attend the Employer Engagement dissemination event held by the University of Salford (UoS). Although we had quite high expectations going to this event, UoS managed to meet them in full. It was very encouraging to see that it is possible for an institution to improve its focus on the Employer Engagement and actually receive very positive results. It was also an excellent opportunity to meet other institutions interested in the same topic as us.

In regards to our project – the User Requirement Survey is now out and we are collecting the results. Although the Survey has been up for a week and a half, so far we have only 21 respondents, therefore we are considering other ways of distributing the survey and encouraging people to fill it in.

We have now completed a draft of the Customer Satisfaction Survey. After consulting with our Business Analyst we are now presenting the survey to the Business School Communication Department, as it was them who proposed assisting us with facilitating and distributing the Survey. This meeting should take place on Wednesday but I am already very excited about it!

Tomorrow I am going to Birmingham to attend the Modelling Workshop. This should be quite useful as I don’t know much about process mapping...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Project Update

Friday is definitely the best time to blog, especially as the last week was packed with events and experience!

Vicky and I had a very useful phone conversation with Philip Holifield and Ann Wardley from the UCLAN Partner View project. It was very interesting to find out about another approach to somewhat similar project and exchange opinions and ideas. We have picked up several interesting suggestions from the conversation and it was nice to speak with a ‘fellow’ project.

We have also hosted a CRM Networking Event for our colleagues this week. The event was a success! We had excellent attendance and interest to the event and all our guests were very open, positive and pro-active! The discussion regarding CRM was going so actively that the only thing that stopped us was the end of the time slot we booked the room for! We have already received a lot of positive feedback about the event and we are already planning the next one.

There was a lot of interesting discussion going on but we were particularly excited about 3 topics:

1) We have had a confirmation that one of the senior managers of the University is interested in implementing a successful CRM system;
2) A representative from the PR & Marketing department has volunteered to do some CRM promotion on our behalf;
3) We were offered some help in the development of a Customer Satisfaction Survey, which we are hoping to focus in the nearest future.

I will post an update once we have any more development in one of those areas.

Friday, 6 November 2009

User Requirement Survey

I don’t even know where to start – so many things to write about!

First of all – finally, ‘it’ is ready! It took us some time to identify what information we were hoping to get from our CRM User Requirement Survey and even more time to produce the questions matching our aims and objectives. Endless hours of deliberation produced 17 more or less balanced questions, which were piloted among a few of our colleagues. The feedback we collected was so useful that nearly all the questions were altered slightly, producing a final version of the survey. If you are interested, please follow the link below to see what the survey looks like. You can input data into the survey as this copy is specifically prepared for dissemination and will not affect our internal data collection.

We are going to launch the survey on the 18th of November, during our CRM Networking Event (formally known as CRM Workshop) that we are hosting for stakeholders. The preparation for the event is well on its way and we have managed to identify some new stakeholders, which is always very useful. The event has attracted a lot of attention and we already have more attendees than initially anticipated.

In addition, I am now attending a Staff Development course on SPSS which we are hoping to use for the analysis of the User Requirement Survey. SPSS seems to be quite complicated software, but still, even for basic statistical analysis, it seems to be much better than Excel.

Finally, we have just submitted the JISC RM Progress Report survey. Our main thought on this was that the survey was well constructed and helped us to reflect on some of our project activities. Especially challenging but interesting was the question about additional opportunities for CRM benefits.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

First Results

Last week we shared our preliminary baseline assessment findings with one of our key stakeholders who is also the director of a major Business Development Unit (BDU) within the institution. We were not expecting to see any impact from this report so quickly, but it seems like CRM is gaining support and interest is snowballing!

An email circulated yesterday across several other BDUs raised the importance of CRM and requested people use the CRM system for recording their BCE activities in the future. This has already resulted in enquiries regarding CRM system training and licence purchasing. A combination of awareness raising and support from management seems to have caused a major shift from months of discussing and debating CRM to proactive engagement.

In addition, we are going ahead with an initial idea sparked by our conversation with Sharon to host a networking workshop for our colleagues within the institution in order to raise the awareness of CRM. Has anyone done anything similar? Could you possibly advise us on anything you have found useful when hosting/promoting such an event? For example, how to raise interest in the event, especially with academic colleagues?