Staff & Membership FAQs
- How soon will I get what I asked for?
- Is the service any good?
- Is the team any good?
- How do I change the service or ask for something new?
- What are you planning for the future?
- Who do I talk to if I want to know more?
What is the Staff & Membership Application Management Service?
The service has two major components (with a proposal for a third):
- The application management service provides suitable software applications to support the business processes associated with the administration of staff and membership of the University. In addition some IT Services, Finance, and Retail processes are also supported by the service.
- The Business Process Management (BPM) service provides a development environment and on-going support for the automation of processes across services.
- Facilitation of rapid improvement workshops to help drive operational excellence.
How does (or can) the service affect me?
Having analysed your processes and identified a need for ‘IT’, we will help you to identify and get the best from the software applications that suit your needs. This may involve more or better use of existing applications, procurement of new applications from third parties, or we may develop new applications for you.
Once in place, we will maintain the application so that it performs as we have agreed with you, and ensure it remains current and relevant. We will also help you to decide when an application should be replaced or retired.
The aim of our service is to support you in achieving continuous improvement in your processes. This can often be achieved without the use of software and we will be happy to talk to you about how these improvements can be achieved too.
How do I use the service?
We will provide you with or facilitate access to the applications we manage for you, and support your day to day use of these applications via the IT Services Helpdesk.
Will it cost me anything?
That depends. Some core applications are funded centrally, and others that are more specific to particular areas of the University are not. We will agree with you for which applications our service is chargeable. Where charges are made they will cover the payments we have to make to third party suppliers for licences and their support/upgrades as well as our staff costs. A charge may also be made by the application server hosting service.
The cost of introducing new applications or improvements to existing applications, to which the service will be applied, will be included in the business case, which will be reviewed and agreed by the Service Board prior to commencement.
How soon will I get what I asked for?
We will agree service levels with you for the applications we manage. The Service Owner and Service Team will always be happy to talk to you about the service. If you have a problem with an application we would ask that you also make the Helpdesk aware so that our own internal procedures for resolution can be followed and the service levels monitored.
Is the service any good?
We always aim to provide a good service now, and will strive to continually improve the service in the future. We will agree with Service Board what constitutes a good service and incorporate that into our service level agreements. We will then monitor the service against the agreed criteria and take action when necessary to ensure the service does not degrade.
The sorts of things we think would be good indicators are:
Is the application available when it is supposed to be?
Is the application available when I need it to be?
How often is the system unavailable due to planned outages?
How often is the system unavailable unexpectedly?
How quickly does the application deal with the transactions associated with my processes?
How busy is the application?
Are we getting close to 100 percent utilization?
How can we prevent this from happening?
What does it cost in time and resources to have the application available versus the benefits it provides?
How many requests are satisfied within the service level agreement?
How much time is spent on supporting the application?
How much time is spent on improving the application?
How many projects are completed on time, within budget and deliver the expected benefits?
The criteria we agree upon must be meaningful to Service Board and the processes these applications support. We will also need to agree the range over which the service may be allowed to operate before remedial action is expected or required. We will continually monitor and review the criteria with Service Board and we can change them if they prove to be of less use than we originally thought, or add new ones as we identify them.
Is the team any good?
The Service Team are all highly skilled and experienced, and are focussed on delivering a high quality service. We will strive to meet the service levels we agree with you and will always try to be flexible when you need something that is not covered by, or exceeds the service level we have agreed. Be assured that we won’t quote service level agreements at you when you need us most.
How do I change the service or ask for something new?
The Service Board will be the forum for agreeing how the resources allocated to the service are utilised. In the meantime please speak to the Service Owner, a member of the Service Team or an IT Service Analyst about your requirements and we will provide assistance in creating a proposal for consideration by the Board
It’s important to note that the Service Board (i.e. the representatives of the consumers of the service) will make the decisions. IT Services are not best placed to decide University priorities.
What are you planning for the future?
There are three main components of the service:
This is the work that we need to undertake to ensure the service we provide performs within the range of criteria we have agreed with you. For example, this may include upgrades of the software application and/or the underlying database to reverse degradation in availability or performance.
In order to improve your processes we may need to agree an improvement in the service we provide. Following a review of your process you may identify a requirement for additional or improved functionality within an existing application e.g. removing manual intervention in an otherwise automated process.
We may also suggest improvements that we would like to make to our service that we believe will positively influence your processes. This may be to improve your customers’ experience or reduce the amount of support we need to do, freeing up time to work on your improvements.
Details of planned improvements can be found [here...]
If you would like us to apply the service to a new application, this will generally be dealt with as a project. If we can resource the project from within the service team we will, but if not we may need to create a project team that incorporates members of other service teams and/or third parties. We may also be asked to provide resources from our team to assist in projects initiated by other services. The Service Board will always be consulted first if this happens.
Who do I talk to if I want to know more?
Dave Hall is the Staff and Membership Application Management Service Owner.