More progressive higher education institutions are starting to implement community demand-sensing to better serve end-users. It's a digital platform for crowdsourcing ideas for IT projects. Any member of the campus community can submit ideas, vote ideas up or down, or leave comments. Every proposal receives a response from IT, regardless of feasibility or desirability, to encourage broad participation.
As a result, IT more clearly understands the technology needs of campus and can proactively allocate resources. Users understand what steps are being taken to address their needs, and discussion often reveals an existing solution or a workaround.
IT groups who have centralized processes for understanding campus technology needs report mutually reinforcing benefits, such as improved awareness within IT of campus technology needs and improved ability to forecast IT resource and budget needs. This practice implementation intensive details how campuses can create a single online platform that centralizes conversations about technology needs.
This practice implementation intensive provides a template to help IT Forum members accelerate adoption of more sophisticated and repeatable processes, including:
- Platform Design Specifications: Key features of the platform to drive community participation
- Pump-Priming Toolkit: Three tactics to generate and maintain a critical mass of submissions
- Community Engagement Strategy Guide: Channels to increase community involvement
- IT Rules of Engagement: Activities to ensure users find value in participating
- Submission Processing Flowchart: Steps to ensure a rapid, transparent resolution of users’ ideas
- Demand-Sensing Platform Value Scorecard: Questions to gauge your success
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