Voice of the User Guiding Continual Improvement of Managed IT Services

With more university partners receiving Managed IT Services (MITS), the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is enhancing its focus on service improvement through user feedback. Understanding the goals and challenges of end users drives day-to-day operations and provides the opportunity for big-picture analysis of the processes and services users are interacting with every day. Going beyond data collection, user feedback drives actionable roadmaps to continually improve OCIO services and processes.

Collecting Feedback

The OCIO has been collecting user feedback for decades. With the growth of MITS, new surveys have been put in place as an official way to gather feedback regarding the experience users are having as MITS partners. One of those surveys, conducted on an annual basis, asks all end users to rate their IT experience based on a variety of criteria. The initial round of these annual surveys was implemented from 2018 through 2019 and will continue each year to provide trends that can be tracked.

Outside of surveying users, OCIO team members regularly meet with MITS partners to discuss the feedback they are hearing about the transition and bringing that feedback back to the entire team. Project managers, relationship managers, IT Service Desk team members, Infrastructure and Applications team members and many others throughout the OCIO meet with a variety of groups at partner departments. From faculty researchers to staff to large leadership meetings, the face-to-face conversations are just as important as the surveys in determining areas of focus for improvement.

Changing While Managing Change

Whether it’s survey results that are being analyzed or face-to-face conversations that provide invaluable feedback, the OCIO team works together with our partners to determine priorities on the processes that need to change and, just as important, what is working and should continue.

In the spring of 2019, the second annual MITS satisfaction survey was collected for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). CFAES users are in a crucial period of IT change as they transition to OCIO services and showed that they want their voices to be heard. Over 40% of CFAES employees responded to the survey and nearly 400 provided comments. Members of various OCIO teams combed through those comments, reading and analyzing each one to look for trends. Over half of the comments received reflected positive feelings regarding the IT transition as a whole (with a smaller portion being neutral); approximately one-third pointed out areas that could be improved.

Areas of improvement that were identified through this survey included speed of service, IT policies such as purchasing IT equipment and communications about the changes that were occurring. Since the survey results were reviewed, several actions have been taken to improve the user experience.

  • The IT Service Desk underwent additional training on entering and triaging tickets and speed of response.
  • The OCIO team partnered with the CFAES team to implement a new policy and process for purchasing IT equipment.
  • Additional communications were put together on how to get help.
  • The project team enhanced communications around the process of moving to OCIO services by reaching out to individuals with more specific information up front and following up with individual units and users through multiple channels in the weeks after they moved to OCIO services.

Building a Partnership

Following the surveys, conversations and changes in procedure, the service improvement process doesn’t end. The two-way street of communication between the OCIO and MITS partners continues every day. As with CFAES, some of the feedback requires both departments to make some changes in the way they are conducting IT business. Working together is essential to the success of moving the university IT strategy forward.

The Managed IT Services name encompasses a lot of services, but also a lot of people – from the teams who work long hours to the users they support. The voice of those users is the guiding force behind continual improvement of services and processes. Partner engagement is the foundation for enhancing the overall IT experience at the university.