Western Sydney University

Adopting and adapting to improve efficiency

Challenge

Implement a new student information system that will dramatically improve the student experience.

Results
  • Streamlined university processes
  • Simplified administration for staff and students
  • Provided a clearer understanding of course progression

Western Sydney University maximises technology investments by focusing on change management.

So one of the things that we're very focused on for any of our projects is change management. Within the internal project team that I have, which involves 26 people, 5 of them are actually focused on change management. So that demonstrates how important it is to the success of the project to focus on those aspects of the program, which are often overlooked in many areas. We have many guiding principles associated with the program of work, but two of them which really tie in to change management is the adopt and adapt. That is, we want to adopt the Ellucian product suite out of the box to the maximum extent possible and adapt our processes to fit what the product will support. And the second thing is to actively simplify. We really need to take an end-to-end view of the processes that we have in place, which the system needs to support and make sure that we actually simplify that as much as possible. That requires a lot of change management because you're ultimately affecting the way that people and students within the university work every single day.

If you're selecting a new system, I think there are two things I would say. Firstly, you need to be really clear about what your objectives are. Why are you doing it in the first place? And are you putting in place an approach that will allow you to get to that end result? The second thing is I can't underestimate the need for planning. It's very important to make sure that as you go through the decision-making process, you're keeping your objectives in mind but it's done in a planned way.

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