Digital transformation: Satisfaction if users are heard
In digital transformation, it is common that only one-fifth of the resources required are spent on the actual digital solutions. The remaining four-fifths go to cultural and process changes. Successful transformation therefore demands sharp focus on regularly involving the users. This was very clear to AU Finance and Estates Projects and Development when they recently launched AU’s new webshop.
What does a dental student at AU who buys a toolbox have in common with a parent who buys an Astro takeaway kit for her children on the Science Museum webshop and a Neplese student who pays the application fee for a Master’s degree programme via the AU website?
The answer is that all three have been customers of AU’s new webshop launched in May 2020.
Merete Foged is a systems consultant at AU Finance and Estates Projects and Development, and she was the project manager for implementation of the new webshop. She talks about the work to regularly involve the users of the new system behind the webshop so as to ensure a smooth transition from the old webshop system.
"From the outset, we treated the project as a digital transformation: in other words a project in which the culture and processes would be significantly more prominent than actual technical implementation of the new system. Therefore, we had a great deal of focus on involving the more than 60 editors at the various schools and departments who were to use the new system behind the webshop," says Merete Foged.
Among other things, she stresses that, at an early stage, the project group invited some of the future users of the system – i.e. the editors – into the process to identify needs and evaluate possible systems. Later in the process, a pilot group was set up with editors who could regularly test the system.
"In a project like this, there’s often big differences in users' skills and needs. For this reason, from the outset we had high priority on ongoing dialogue about the system with the editors at the departments and schools. Among other things, this meant that we could assess the various needs, and that we could adapt the training on the system we later offered them," explains Merete Foged.
Corona was a small spanner in the works
In March 2020, the project team was ready to begin training the editors about the system; an important part of the digital transformation. But then came the corona lockdown.
“That was a small spanner in the works. But fortunately, we were able to reorganise the training to online Teams courses relatively quickly, and all the editors were able to get through the process before the system was launched in May," says Merete Foged.
In addition to the training, user manuals and video guides were developed, and there was close follow-up in the first few days after the system was launched. The editors also had, and still have, access to support whenever they have any questions.
High level of satisfaction among the editors
The new webshop passed its first major test at the commencement of studies, when study materials were sold to students for more than DKK 1 million. Everything was practically trouble-free, says Merete Foged, who is also pleased that the project evaluation has confirmed that editors were very satisfied.
"We had to tighten up a few things at the start. For example, we hadn’t thought about being able to shop on the webshop from all over the world. So when a Nepalese student tried to pay an application fee, it was rejected. Fortunately, this was quick to fix. Generally, the transition to the new platform has progressed very satisfactorily for our editors. This was clear from our evaluation. In my opinion, this is because we prioritised involving them throughout the process," she says.
In the autumn, the Science Museums’ webshop was also moved onto the new system. From April 2021, it will be joined by the faculties’ webshops and the central administration’s webshop.
FACT BOX: About the webshop project:
- In May 2020, the new webshop replaced the old webshop, which was based on an outdated IT system.
- The new webshop was implemented by AU Finance and Estates Projects and Development in collaboration with the User Experience department at AU IT, which focused on the user journey and the user interface on the customer side.
- The new webshop has streamlined several processes, among other things because it can be integrated with other systems at AU, it supports and complies with VAT legislation, consumer protection legislation and the GDPR, and it is generally more user-friendly than the old system.
- The webshop is a standard system that AU purchased externally. Therefore, AU does not have to maintain the system itself.
- Read more about the new webshop
- What does it take to create digital transformation? (article from January about the new digital IT support platform)