Mapping the student journey with LB Robbins
As part of information and requirements gathering for COMPASS-SIS, the new student information system, the team has been mapping the “student journey” for UF students: undergraduate, graduate and professional paths. What is the student journey? All the steps a student takes—and the interactions UF makes with that student—prior to application; through admission, acceptance and matriculation; during enrollment; and through graduation.
Laura Beth (LB) Robbins of Sierra-Cedar, UF’s consulting partner in the COMPASS-SIS implementation, and Joyce Kosak of UFIT, the testing lead for COMPASS-SIS, are overseeing the student journey mapping effort. This effort builds upon and aligns with business process analysis sessions Kosak began conducting with certain colleges and business units in fall 2015.
Update spoke with LB Robbins to learn more about the student journey mapping process that began in March and is expected to continue through August/September.
Who participates in the student journey mapping sessions?
We pull in people from individual colleges who are familiar with the business processes needed to recruit applicants to apply for admission, enroll students, and track and assist these students up to graduation from the University of Florida. Ideally, this group includes people like admission staff, advisers, operations staff and data managers.
What steps are involved in the journey mapping process?
Sierra-Cedar adopted a methodology called Picture Card Design Method (PCDM), which is a simplified approach for business process mapping and redesign. We hang white butcher paper on a wall and use five different color Post-it notes to identify the following components: 1) Activity (business process necessary to complete a transaction); 2) Role (the individual or role responsible for completing the activity); 3) Contact (any personal contact related to the activity); 4) Hard Copy (any documentation or paper trail); and 5) Computer (any communication, storage or access systems that enable the flow of information and execution of the transactions).
In our sessions, we follow the student life cycle so we begin with pre-applicant activities (prospects) and work our way through graduation. The paper is filled with color by the end.
How will this process benefit COMPASS?
This effort reveals what business processes are currently happening today in UF’s central units and 16 colleges. This revelation can help us better utilize the tools within COMPASS. This approach can ultimately better integrate business processes with a limited number of modern and unified systems.
What benefit might colleges and academic units expect from this mapping?
It will help them identify if their current business processes could be redesigned or streamlined through one of the new tools which are being modernized within the COMPASS program, such as SIS, CRM or the Student Data Warehouse. We often hear colleges say, “Wow,” when they learn what’s possible with these tools.
What brought you to your current consulting role with COMPASS-SIS?
I began working in higher education in 1993 as an university admission officer with Emory University in Atlanta. At Emory in 2000 is when I started working with the PeopleSoft Student Administration/Campus Solutions product, specifically with the Admissions and Campus Community modules within the software.
I started consulting in 2007 and have worked on student systems implementation and upgrade projects at six institutions, including Cornell and University of Miami. One of the best parts of my job is bringing people together to collaborate about streamlining business processes (in the best delivered way).