In fall 2004, Auburn University was undertaking a reorganization initiative that entailed creating a new organization with responsibility for Space Management and integrating this department with the Campus Planning function which resided within the Facilities Department. Prior to this initiative, responsibility for space on the campus had been decentralized with many strategic decisions taking place at the school/department level. The objective for Auburn University was to implement a more integrated approach to facility planning and space management via the creation of the Office of Campus Planning & Space Management (CP&SM).
Auburn University engaged the services of Draper & Associates to assist in all aspects associated with the planning and implementation of the new office. A subset of the overall engagement was to assist in the communications and customer services aspect of the new department through the development of a CP&SM Website.
The Draper Approach
As this engagement involved the development of a website for a newly created department, Draper & Associates began with a blank piece of paper. This entailed defining what is it that the department does, how does the department want to communicate this to the customer and defining what needed to be include or excluded. Our consultants used proven project management tools and techniques to define the project, develop the schedule and oversee deliverables. Additionally, given the minimal staff for the new departments, our consultants were responsible for much of the content development of the new site.
Major tasks undertaken by Draper & Associates for this engagement included:
Conducting a peer review of similar departments at other Universities and defining key components that should be included in the Auburn University website.
Developing the overall architecture of the website to include how different functions are organized within the site.
Developing the "look & feel" of the site to ensure that it represented the department while aligning with the overall Auburn University website.
Developing the content to appear on all pages of the site.
Developing the forms to be included in the site including the form design, form process flows and approvals process.
Developing the processes, policies, standards and procedures to be included on the website.
Upon completion of the Campus Planning & Space Management engagement, Draper & Associates delivered a professional website that communicated to the department's customers how the organization conducts business and the most efficient/effective means for customers to request services of the Department.
The comprehensive website was critical to explaining to customers how the University planned to manage space and undergo capital projects. Customer feedback was positive on both the content and the functionality of the website. Additionally, the website reduced staff workload as many of the forms and procedures had been integrated into the new departments website.