Email, Box, Sharepoint, my.SMU, Network drives… these are just a sampling of the IT services provided to SMU community.
Although many of these services are automatically provisioned for faculty, staff, and students, several are assigned by request only. These requests are generated by forms on help.smu.edu which are then processed by a number of teams within OIT as well as departments outside of OIT. The complexity of the process along with the length of time to complete these requests has been a source of frustration for many on campus. Therefore, an Operational Excellence initiative was launched to streamline and shorten the process to assign employee permissions to the various services required to do their job.
On Friday evening, August 11, 2017, a series of new request forms will be available in help.smu.edu. The forms have been redesigned to ensure the required information is obtained at the time of submission which will lessen delays due to incomplete forms. In addition, we’ve built out numerous help guides to assist managers in completing the appropriate forms. Although many of the forms themselves will not appear drastically different for the requester, the process once submitted has been completely revamped. In many cases, a single request would involve multiple teams. This, of course, requires more time to complete as the request moves from team to team through the workflow. With the new processes, we’ve minimized the number of teams needed for approval or interaction with the request. In some cases, we have been able to eliminate any need to involve other external teams at all!
Our goal is to fulfill these service requests in one full business week after a request is submitted. For those processes requiring training prior to any permissions being assigned, we have enhanced the communication to both the manager and the employee, enabling them to assist us in completing the permissions in a timely manner. As we launch, we will be closely monitoring the improved process and working on completing the request within the timeframe outlined by the established service level agreement. In an effort to provide the University with information and useful data, we will provide updates and metrics for the new processes on our IT Connect blog within the next several months.
During the planning and discovery phase of this project, we also identified several long-term goals to continue to automate the permissions assignment based on job roles. We recognize there is a significant amount of work to be completed before we can realize that goal. However, we will continue to refine the processes to ensure all employees have the access and training required to fulfill their job responsibilities at SMU.