Published April 17, 2012
By Rick Lesniak, firstname.lastname@example.org
How do we know when we're doing a good job? How can we measure it? Your speedometer tells you how fast you're going, but not if your engine is running well! IT has lots of "speedometers" to measure traffic and service access, but it's far more difficult to figure out if faculty, staff and students are receiving the right kind of services. The Office of the CIO is preparing to pilot TechQual+ before the end of the semester to gain insight on how faculty, staff and students perceive the quality of UBIT Services.
Dr. Tim Chester, CIO from University at Georgia, spoke at UB
this past November about the perception vs. reality of service
effectiveness in large university IT organizations. "Very often,
good IT service delivery goes unrecognized because it's transparent
and rightly assumed - while occasional service problems get
amplified due to a variety of issues often unrelated to the
technology itself," he said. "Use of specific outcomes-based
assessments can really help to guide service planning,
prioritization and project execution."
Dr. Chester was inspired by the very successful use of the LibQUAL+ survey used by over a thousand research libraries, so he adapted and developed a similar tool for use by IT providers. The key to this survey tool is that it's web-based, contains over 20 standard IT measures, can be tailored to faculty, staff, IT staff and student roles, and provides very quick analysis. TechQual+ also offers a peer institution database for service comparisons that will help with long-term benchmarking. The current plan is to pilot and learn about TechQual+ by first surveying UB IT staff, then begin offering it to faculty and students.
Invitations will be issued to a sample population, but the responses will be anonymous in order to promote candor. Over time, a significant portion of UB faculty, staff, administration and IT staff will receive an invitation to participate in TechQual+. "UB has a long history of surveying students, faculty and researchers regarding IT service needs, and we look forward to piloting this tool to learn more about how we can continuously improve IT services, communication and collaboration" said interim CIO Tom Furlani. You can learn more about TechQual+ by visiting the EDUCAUSE ECAR report.