As we designed the campus event form process within STABLE, our goal was to eliminate the need for individuals to submit multiple forms for an event. On August 13, we implemented a few changes to the existing form and process to incorporate the approval process for serving alcohol at an event, as well as engaging vendors that are not part of our SMU preferred vendors list. A requestor will no longer have to complete a separate form for alcohol approval and SMU Purchasing will now automatically be included in the request process to review vendors for compliance. In addition, a few new internal templates were built and implemented to for special events. While these forms are not available to the campus at large, individuals who are responsible for coordinating services for large events such as athletic games, boulevard events, etc. will use these to ensure the appropriate support and details are captured.
Please remember that many different departments are involved in delivering services for events or verifying that vendors and event plans are in compliance with our policies. In order to plan and support your event appropriately, submit your request with as much advance notice and detail as possible. Failure to do so may impact our ability to support your event!
If you have questions about event processes on campus, visit smu.edu/events
The following is the project timeline for the Event and Room Reservation implementation. We will continue to post updates to the blog as work progresses.
Work has continued on the event management and room reservation functionality of STABLE. Devonne Washington has held numerous meetings with the individuals across campus who are involved in either room approvals and/or event coordination. The focus has been to confirm the event spaces and various rules and attributes of each space. With nearly 100 people involved in this process across campus, this has been quite a large effort!
One of the major pain points for outdoor events is the management of the outdoor request approval process. The current process is facilitated in DocuSign. Event requests are submitted months in advance to reserve the space. However, often these requests do not have all the details of the event, which is critical for approval. Requestors do not have visibility into the status of their event request as the form circulates to multiple areas for review. In order to enhance this process, the reservation of an outdoor space can occur separately from the actual event request process. A space can be reserved but will not be confirmed until the event request has been approved. We’ve also greatly simplified the approval process—narrowing it down to only 3-4 approvals. Requestors will be able to view the status of their request as it moves through the different approvals. Finally, we have revamped the questionnaire to include additional details that are important for campus safety.
Work is also underway for an enhanced event website. There are many different rules and processes that must be followed for compliance, risk and safety issues. However, these are currently distributed across the SMU website in various locations. In order to help guide requestors through the event process, it is critical we have a single portal that helps guide them through the process. This is a highly collaborative effort to gather the location information, pictures, rules, forms and more.
For indoor locations, we are building out the room request process to provide additional information about each space as well as images that give you various viewpoints of the room. Each space will have all of the technology components listed. These components will also serve as a filter to assist you in locating a space that meets your needs. Room reservations will be quick and easy and can be managed within the STABLE portal. Indoor events, similar to the outdoor event process, will have a secondary form to be completed that will capture the required details to ensure better coordination and safety of your event.
For both the indoor and outdoor event process, requestors can select the various services required for the event. this will generate a work order for each service provider but all work orders will be linked to the primary event request. This means better coordination across multiple service providers regarding each event. If your event is canceled or rescheduled, the various suborders will be updated- all in one location.
We will be completing the configuration of STABLE by the beginning of November. At that time, we will conduct some initial reviews from our stakeholders and make any additional adjustments. Training sessions will be scheduled and offered in December and early January. We will go live with the new processes on January 10. We appreciate all of the collaboration and patience as we launch this new event and room management platform.
Space can be a finite resource. The strategy around space usage changes over time based on the goals of the university. The desire to better understand how we utilize and optimize space at SMU inspired the search for an IWMS solution and brought us ultimately to the creation of STABLE. Although there has always been a document repository with building information, the data sources and consistency of across these sources has been disjointed. With the introduction of STABLE, we hope to provide the single source of record for reporting and planning purposes on how we use and care for our spaces.
We populated the initial space management module with our existing floor plans and data from several sources. However, to ensure our data is accurate, a review of the data is currently underway. This review includes elements such as room numbers, space categories (FICM), department assignments, workspace assignments, and more. We will then review the data to ensure there is a consistency of categorization of space across buildings. For example, a kitchen in one space may be listed as a breakroom in another. This verification is being facilitated in part through building walks by our team, surveying our operational counterparts on campus, and collaborating with partners such as event managers, class schedulers, and Human Resources. Focusing on the accuracy of the space data creates a strong foundation for all of the other modules in the software.
With the centralization and validation of how we use our space today in partnership with streamlined processes to track its use going forward, we create real-time data that can inform strategy and assist in making sure the university space reflects its priorities. The accuracy of instructional and research space is used in the accreditation process for the campus. The centralization of events and meetings not only creates an improved request process for the campus but provides a useful resource for Risk Management and SMU PD. As new buildings or renovations are considered, there can be more accurate assessment of how spaces are utilized or under-utilized in existing buildings. This information can drive strategic and more efficient design of new space. These are just a few of the benefits STABLE will bring to SMU.