UNSW was a very decentralised organisation with strong subcultures and a broad variety of ‘ways of doing things’. Overall, this results in inefficiencies that impact both the bottom line and the customer’s – in that case the student’s – experience.
The university as a whole was undergoing a transformation and had set some ambitious transformational 10-year goals. This ambition has been translated into strategies and one of the key initiatives revolves around the implementation of a university-wide CRM system that will not only drive efficiencies but also significantly enhance the student’s experience.
Beyond the ability to deliver a piece of software on time and on budget, there is a strong sense that success will rely on the ability to create effective articulations with the other 2025 initiatives and to start shifting the university’s culture towards student’s centricity. The project lead and the Vice Chancellor in charge of the transformation decided to adopt a collaborative design approach and engage simultaneously with a number of key stakeholders from each faculty.
With them we co-designed a 2-day collaborative workshop with over 50 key stakeholders of the project’s ecosystem, including two different vendors, in order to set the patterns right for the coming 12 months of delivery. The entire session was designed to revolved around the student experience and every other consideration was tested against it.
By the end of the session, the participants had developed a common vision, common language and common set of working principles to further the system design work. According the project lead, the level of alignment and shared ambition we established upfront, and that was maintained through several smaller gatherings along the way, was the main reason why she delivered the project on time and on budget.