TeamDynamix Drives Continuous Improvement at Drake University

Empowering people
to help themselves

Tracking KPI numbers
has really helped

In a highly competitive campus environment, it’s critical to have successful service delivery. Using TeamDynamix, the staff at Drake University are building a culture of service excellence and ensure students have a top-notch, 21st-century learning environment. 

TeamDynamix was a nice balance for an institution our size. It’s very powerful, but it doesn’t require a lot of overhead to maintain. We’re very happy with it.

Comprehensive IT platform helps leaders deliver stellar enterprise service.

Keeping students and faculty happy is critical in today’s highly competitive campus environment, and providing an exceptional student and faculty experience is essential to meeting this goal. 

Drake University, a mid-size private university in Des Moines, Iowa, understands this as well as anyone.  

“We’re a service organization,” says Chief Information Technology Officer Chris Gill, referring to the university’s Information Technology Services (ITS) division. “We can’t deliver on the promise of 21st-century learning environments without strong IT service and support. Making sure technology is working properly is fundamental to providing a high-quality student experience.” 

How does an organization ensure top-notch service? By measuring how well it’s meeting the needs of stakeholders — and using a continuous improvement plan.  

Drake’s ITS unit does this with the help of TeamDynamix, a comprehensive IT service, project, and resource management platform. 

“One of our key objectives is to build a culture of service excellence,” Gill says, “and TeamDynamix is at the heart of this effort.” 

More mature IT service 

When Gill arrived at Drake five years ago, the university had a new president, Marty Martin, who was looking to instill a culture of continuous improvement. That aligned well with Gill’s vision for ITS. 

Gill wanted to bring a more mature approach to IT service management by adopting best practices from the ITIL service framework. To do this, the university needed a new, more sophisticated platform for managing ITS functions.  

The new platform had to empower stakeholders to resolve their own technology issues, if possible, by giving ITS staff an easy way to create a knowledge base of articles and a self-service catalog. It had to allow end-users and technicians alike to initiate service tickets and manage workflows from a smartphone or other mobile device. It had to bring transparency to ITS operations by enabling users to see the full history of service requests. And, it had to track key metrics that ITS would use to measure the quality of its service in order to improve. 

After reviewing many systems, it was clear that TeamDynamix was the best solution for the university’s needs. 

“The ITIL framework can get overwhelming if you’re not careful,” Gill says. “TeamDynamix was a nice balance for an institution our size. It’s very powerful, but it doesn’t require a lot of overhead to maintain. We’re very happy with it.” 

Measuring performance over time 

With TeamDynamix, Drake University ITS streamlines the delivery of IT service, and also measure performance over time.  

“We spent a lot of time as a team coming up with key performance indicators we wanted to track,” Gill says. ITS maintains a scorecard with this information, and team members meet frequently to review the data and discuss how they can improve. 

The scorecard encompasses four broad categories: Teaching and Learning, Reflection, Execution, and Stewardship. 

One of the objectives under Teaching and Learning is building a culture of “technology self-empowerment,” in which students, faculty, and staff know how to find the information they need to resolve their own IT issues whenever possible. ITS measures progress toward this objective by tracking how many people indicate in surveys that they know how to do this — as well as how many times knowledge base articles are being used. 

From 2018 to 2019, the number of page views in Drake University’s ITS knowledge base increased from 55,000 to 75,000, suggesting that more people are taking advantage of self-service. 

ITS has also made several service commitments to stakeholders, such as ensuring that technicians meet promised response times and resolution timeframes, striving to understand the nature of service requests before beginning work, and completing requests to a user’s satisfaction.  

“Almost all of these indicators are measured within TeamDynamix,” Gill says. For instance, Gill and his colleagues can see the percentage of service tickets both responded to and completed within the target goals for these metrics, and they’re continually tracking their progress toward meeting these goals in an effort to improve. 

“Tracking our KPI numbers has really helped us step up our game,” says Assistant Chief Information Technology Officer Jerome Hilscher. 

Not just for IT 

TeamDynamix has worked so well for ITS that other divisions at Drake University have begun using the platform to improve service as well, making it a true enterprise service solution. 

“Our facilities department was using a paper-based system to track and manage facilities projects and service requests,” Hilscher says. “When we told them about the capabilities we have within TeamDynamix and how it could help them as well, they decided to jump in whole hog.” 

The facilities department has its own tenancy within TeamDynamix, but ITS oversees its administration and manages the rights of users. Other university departments — including Key Services, Student Card Services, and Drake Online — are looking at setting up similar arrangements. 

By empowering people to help themselves, streamlining and automating key workflows, and providing transparency and insight into each step of the service fulfillment process, TeamDynamix is helping Drake University serve its stakeholders more effectively, resulting in greater satisfaction. 

“Ultimately, what matters to me is customer satisfaction,” Gill concludes. “Our satisfaction rating as measured in student and faculty surveys is where we want it to be, which is at least a 4 on a 5-point Likert scale. We have been able to improve that score even with increasingly aging technology. That’s how we measure whether we’re fulfilling our mission as a department — and TeamDynamix has been instrumental in that.” 

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