Getting Buy-in and Planning for a Campus Intranet


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Speaker: T. Kim Nguyen

Abstract: In the fall of 2008, UW Oshkosh embarked on a campus-wide migration to Plone for all of its ~300 public web sites; that deployment project is now well under way.

Early last year, however, it became clear that while our external audiences (prospective students, faculty, staff, donors, alumni, members of the local community) were being served, our internal audiences (current students, faculty, and staff) were not. We needed an internal, collaborative information sharing platform that would allow the university to streamline its mostly paper-based processes and to make it easy for faculty and staff to locate information they need to get their work done and make better use of their collective knowledge.

In the spring of 2009, we formed an Intranet Task Force that met with and listened to constituency groups across campus to understand their frustrations and learn what they would most like to have in a campus-wide intranet. The task force ultimately presented the Vice Chancellors with a final report, including recommendations for funding and staffing, short term goals, and a governance model that would ensure a voice for all campus groups in the ongoing development of our intranet.

This talk will cover the motivation for the creation of the task force, the segmentation between external and internal content, the process of gathering and formulating a vision for an information sharing system that will bring sweeping change to the campus, the use of highly focused pilot projects to obtain approval and funding, and how we will be targeting cross-unit business processes and move paper-based processes online with our uwosh.northstar Plone workflow application generator.

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  • Getting Buy-in and Planning for a Campus Intranet

    1. 1. Getting Buy-in and Planning for a Campus Intranet T. Kim Nguyen University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
    2. 2. Overview Why an intranet? Our intranet task force at UW Oshkosh: formation, process, outcomes What should be in an intranet? What will it look like?
    3. 3. UW Oshkosh 13,000 students & 1,900 faculty & staff Plone for ~200 external web sites (expect 300) External sites driven by marketing & branding Plone migration project started late Fall 2008 Result: a transformed web presence… for outsiders
    4. 4. Why an Intranet? External-facing web sites: targeted to prospective students/staff/faculty, donors, alumni, local community constraints on imagery, site organization, page layout What about internal users (current students, faculty, staff), e-business? Fer cryin’ out loud, people, it's the 21st century
    5. 5. An Intranet: What for? collaboration, information sharing e-business: forms, workflow, procedures, checklists information at your fingertips, “one stop shop” make the intranet site the default home page for faculty, staff, possibly students accelerating day to day business
    6. 6. What is it Not? Not a MS Word/Excel document repository Not a static web site Content is not centrally controlled Appearance is important but not primary
    7. 7. Intranets Today at UWO Two major colleges have their own separate Plone intranet sites (College of Business, College of Education and Human Services) Many other Plone sites have an “Intranet” folder
    8. 8. Intranet Task Force Timeline: April 2009 - May 2010, ~15-20 meetings Charge Members Process Outcomes
    9. 9. ITF Charge Authorizing authority Chair Purpose Membership Goals Decision-making process Deliverables Communication Stakeholders Milestones & Timeline Executive Sponsors
    10. 10. ITF Purpose “Research (other campus’s solutions, obtain information about faculty, staff and administrator needs, best business practices) and recommend [...] the various ways intranets might be implemented to serve the academic missions and internal business of the institution. This will include use of the intranet in more efficient work flow and reduced use of paper.”
    11. 11. ITF Members Chair: Director of Polk Library Staff from: Integrated Marketing, Community Engagement, Admin. Services, office of the Dean of the College of Education, Dir. of Academic Computing, Registrar, Dir. of Human Resources, Asst. Dir. of Residence Life, Admin. Computing
    12. 12. ITF Members cont’d Faculty: Information Systems (Dir. of Technology for College of Business) Chemistry College of Business (former interim Provost & Vice Chancellor) ...and one rep from Oshkosh Students Assoc.
    13. 13. Process: Research intranet “best practices” web vs. intranet: goal, audience, efficiency, content structure, update frequency, presentation, authoring model, integration stages: communication & info sharing; self- service; collaboration-driven; enterprise portal governance model: monolith vs satellite vs federated
    14. 14. Process: Focus Groups “What UW Oshkosh web Faculty Senate sites or web information do you use most often in Senate of Academic your work?” Staff Administrative Support Oshkosh Students (small & large groups) Association (assembly & senate) Classified Staff Advisory Council Academic Computing Users Group
    15. 15. Needs Expressed Better way to find Notification of internal info changes to forms & processes Convenient access to forms, work orders; All groups appreciated workflow for forms being listened to Better way to track uni deadlines, important messages (not email)
    16. 16. ITF Outcomes Report Executive Summary Presentation to the Vice Chancellors Pilot project proposal: approved in principle, money pending
    17. 17. ITF Recommendations A long term university commitment Governance model Funding Staffing A phased implementation approach, ongoing development
    18. 18. Governance Campus-wide representation, collaborative, not owned by any one unit, actively seeking feedback Sponsored by the Provost & Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Create a formal communication structure between units Identify a project manager Include the intranet project with the Project Prioritization process
    19. 19. Phased Approach Phase 1: “Communication & Info Sharing” Phase 2: “Increased Self-Service & Collaboration” Phase 3: “Role-Based Enterprise Information”
    20. 20. Phase 1: Communication & Info Sharing Deliverables: hiring, systems prep, site creation, content creation & organization, templates, guidelines, training, support Staffing: 0.5 project mgr, 0.5 programmer, 0.25 systems, 0.5 trainer, 0.25 support: 2.0 total, or ~ $160,000/year * Other costs: server, consulting: ~$22,000 Timeline: 9 months
    21. 21. Phase 2: Increased Self- Service & Collaboration Staffing increase: +0.5 -> 1.0 programmer: total staffing cost ~$200,000/year Other costs: +1 server (total of 2): +$7,000 No specific timeline; Phase 1 will inform Phases 2 and 3
    22. 22. Pilot Projects Why pilot projects? Specific shorter term deliverables Less risk; learn as we do Easier to sell Cross-unit Plone workflow apps to showcase their power: HR, curriculum changes, tenure and renewal
    23. 23. Production Workflows Office of International Education “Study Abroad” College of Business internship program Faculty-undergrad/graduate collaborative research grants Project Success “tests with accommodations” “Where are the cost savings?”
    24. 24. Status Awaiting final approval & budget for pilot project ** Planning for feature set, deployment strategy Software to support rollout of e-business workflow apps
    25. 25. Features information architecture: multi-dimensional organization (by college/unit/department, by role) procedures, checklists, forms (PloneFormGen) searchable directories (phone, email, Faculty/Staff Directory) portlets & dashboard Cynapse KARL? e-business processes (workflow apps)
    26. 26. Project NorthStar Plone workflow apps: custom content type & custom workflow uwosh.northstar provides through-the-web (TTW) workflow design with streamlined UI Use Dexterity to create live custom content types, or ...point NorthStar to your PloneFormGen form to generate a file system product
    27. 27. Open Questions Ideal: a single intranet Plone site for all of campus; Federated: many separate intranet Plone sites, with shared authentication (WebAuth? SSO?) Authorization: LDAP groups vs. local groups Where to put content (intranet vs internet) Other systems’ workflow capabilities Integration of current intranets, student portal, other systems with campus intranet
    28. 28. Your Questions? Watch for PloneEdu