Meet Interim COO – Mike Lehman

Mike-Lehman-ITLC-Conference-900x400-News-ImageIf you haven’t seen Mike Lehman’s articles that Brian Rust sent out, I encourage you all to check them out:

About the Interim COO (DoIT Net)

CIO Winter Update (UW IT)

As Mike Lehman takes inventory of campus’s ~1500 IT services, he says that he’s committed to ensuring that we move toward increased IT efficiency. His article elaborates on this.

He also highlights his two major areas of focus:

  • To oversee the day to day operations of the groups and ensure those operate as smoothly and effectively as possible.
  • To learn more about the operations, how we work, how the organization is funded and managed, so that he can help bring a new CIO up to speed as quickly as possible.

Read the articles linked above to learn more about his perspective and vision.



Coming Soon! The US Newsletter Gets A New Look and Feel


march14Dear Readers:

The US Newsletter team is looking forward to the March 14th issue as it premieres a whole new look and feel! The Newsletter will move to a service provided by the DoIT WiscWeb WordPress which employs the UW Theme.

The WiscWeb team has singled out a number of Live Sites on their web site. Over the next month, we invite you to peruse these sites. Let us know if you see any cool features you’d like to see employed in the US Newsletter.

New USN Site Features Include

An Events Calendar
Content Submission via Web Form
A Place to Share Your Favorite Photographs

As always, we will look to you for input on the flow of the new site and invite you to contribute content of any kind.

Taking Design Thinking to the Next Level

Service Design Role PlayOn Monday, December 18, numerous staff from User Services attended a full-day workshop on Design Thinking in an ongoing effort to become subject matter experts for their groups.

Jaclyn Zavoral, who organized the event, said that this workshop built on the foundation of design thinking to explore service design. According to Design Concepts, service design is a “human-centered design approach that places equal value on the customer experience and the business process, aiming to create quality customer experiences and seamless service delivery.”

Jaclyn went on to say that during the training they “used a service blueprint to explore the visible and invisible steps involved in service delivery of a few real life scenarios [in User Services]. Then they analyzed these steps for potential pain points or unknowns and brainstormed ideas for how they might improve the process.”

Jaclyn particularly liked that the activities helped them see the world as the customers do and encouraged them to consider the entire customer experience rather than their single point of interaction within the service delivery.

Another point Jaclyn commented on was the value in prototyping  an experience prior to full implementation. She pointed out that one thing that can be challenging with design thinking is making the process tangible. The facilitators at Design Concepts helped everyone understand that role-playing helps makes complex services more understandable. Role-playing also allowed for everyone to practice empathizing with the customers, as well as assessing the feasibility of the proposed solutions.

Providing trainings like this helps to ensure that User Services continues to provide user-focused solutions that are desirable, feasible, and viable.

Take a look at what those who participated had to say about the workshop:

Leah Scheide:

1) It’s easy to try to come up with solutions right away, but before doing so, you need to make sure you understand the heart of the problem—define, then redefine, until everyone on your team is speaking the same language. Even then, you still need to ask “how might we” until you have not only looked at the problem from the obvious angles, but you have also questioned your initial assumptions about the nature of the problem itself.
2) Just like in customer service, you need to make sure that you are considering every one of your users. The “front stage” end users are easy to keep in mind, but every single person who interacts with your service—whether they build it, support it, or fix it—are your users, too.

I also learned that pretty much everyone loves their Contigo coffee thermos

Sean Bossinger:

Service Design (which was the topic of the class) is somewhat different from Design Thinking, in that it is the application of Design Thinking principles to the improvement of specific services.

Service Design offers us a set of specific tools (Customer Journey Mapping, Service Blueprints, Service Prototyping, Experience Prototyping, etc.) that we can use to help improve the services we offer from the customer perspective.

We will apply many of these tools to the development of our Help Desk and User Services initiatives over the course of the next year.

Design Concepts (the company that provided our training) has an impossibly beautiful new space on East Washington Avenue

Chris Poser:

I really enjoyed how Design Concepts was able to reduce the concept of “Service Design” to a blueprint with a handful of straightforward steps.  It reduced the perceived complexity of the process, while still emphasizing the importance of human-centered design.  Also, their space was amazing (and inspiring)!

Abrianna Barca:

I don’t have a single biggest take-away instead I would sum up my experience by saying – Time spent designing our services to meet our ever-changing customer needs, is time well spent. It was great to take a day to really focus on how we can use design thinking as a tool for our services.

What a Great Day for the Tech Store!

We would like to extend a giant THANK YOU to all the staff and students in all the departments who contributed to making our Customer Appreciation Day Sale on 11/16/2017 a tremendous success. Positivity and can-do spirit was out and on display everywhere; it is days like these that help reinforce what a terrific place to work we have here. The level of service we were able to deliver in helping customers, in the face of the sheer magnitude of orders and sales, was inspiring.

From a process/logistics standpoint, the new ecommerce reservation system, the day-before product staging at our 3 locations, using the pickup tally sheet at the registers, and our ratio of sales staff to help staff all seemed to be a winning strategy. We were able to send out a string of emails to reservation holders reminding them to complete their purchases, which was effective throughout the day. The extended hours helped spread the load out fairly well. From what we observed, we are guessing that our customer satisfaction scores will be the highest they have ever been for any of our One-Day sales.

We’re a learning organization and we’re getting better at this every time.

Besides Customer Satisfaction, another important measure of our success is our sales numbers. It may come as no surprise that yesterday was our highest grossing sales day, ever.

Here are some comparisons to illustrate the magnitude of yesterday’s workload:

Order Categories Percent change from last May’s Customer Appreciation Day Event (# of orders):
Personal Sales on the day +12.8%
Personal Orders on the day +24.7%
Apple devices sold w/Promo discount +29.1%
Payroll deductions +24.0%
Safeware+AppleCare sales -17.9%
Total sales on the day +16.8%

As another point of reference, here are our Top 5 One-Day Sales stats:

Dollar Sales percent of 5/2015 sales Personal (# of Orders) Apple Promo (# of Orders) Payroll Deduction (# of Orders) Safeware/
Applecare (# of Orders)
11/16/2017 512% 455 346 124 94
5/18/2017 454% 365 268 100 105
11/11/2015 208% 250 140 n/a 34
5/13/2016 197% 268 160 n/a 39
5/14/2015 100% 196 99 n/a 28

Having those measures in perspective further illustrates how tremendous 11/16 was when compared to our busiest sales and service days overall. We saw lots of smiles on both sides of the registers, a true testament to the fantastic level of service and value you all were providing to our customers and to each other. Awesome.

Great work, everyone!


contributed by Brian Kishter and Chris Hopp






Nominations Requested for December All-Staff Recognition

We are excited to offer two recognition awards at our December All-Staff Lunch! Consider nominating your colleagues to show your appreciation for their contributions to our team, below you will find additional details.


Nominations may be made for superior performance and/or contribution by a teammate involving activities such as: internal or external customer service, cost savings, productivity/work processes, or outstanding commitment to DoIT’s Foundational Principles.

How to Nominate:

Complete the following form by Wednesday, December 13th: Note that you are not required to list your name if you would prefer not to enter into the raffle.

The Reward:

Two $25 gift cards will be randomly awarded at the December 14th All Staff Meeting. You are eligible for the award if you are nominated by a colleague or if you take the time to nominate someone.

This is our third month offering this program; please share your feedback directly with Brandon and me so we can continue to improve!


contributed by Jaclyn Zavoral

Laughing, Learning and Volunteering: 2017 EYH STEM Conference for Middle School Girls

The Big Day


Looking under the hood.

The 2017 Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) STEM Conference was a total success! Saturday, November 4 was a very special day for 450 middle school girls from all over Wisconsin. Conference attendees selected three STEM Career Areas of interest. This year, attendees were also able to experience some of the cool happenings at the Wisconsin Science Festival held in the Discovery Center. Upon arrival, attendees were divided into groups of 10-11 girls. Each small group was assigned two volunteer Group Leaders (who, traditionally, are female undergraduates studying in a STEM field). Group Leaders spend the entire conference day with their group while sharing personal experiences and goals in their own STEM education and career endeavors.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 3.13.57 PM

Groups 18 is looking for the bus to Career Sessions at Veteran’s Hospital Labs

Each group attended three fifty-minute Career Sessions. Career Sessions are presented by volunteers (e.g. women in STEM fields), some of whose workplaces are off of the UW Campus (like Edgewood College, Strand Associates and Filament Games, to name a few). Conference attendees were bused to and from the off-site presentations. Volunteer Bus Monitors made sure things went smoothly (e.g. made sure all groups arrived at their presentations on time and that any belongings left on the bus found their owner, etc.).

EYH Volunteers from DoIT User Services


The weight of the average human brain is 1300g-1400g (about 3 pounds!)

A small army of volunteers makes all the EYH moving parts operate smoothly year after year. This year, Teresa Arauco,  who created and maintains the EYH website, also coordinated all the volunteers. Among some of the volunteer positions: morning greeters, registration table help, all day student nurse(s), photographer(s), bus monitors and event set up and tear down.

Veteran EYH Coordinating Staff (e.g. Madison women in various STEM fields who coordinate this event, many since the late 1980s) were especially in awe of a remarkable group of volunteers. Our own Abrianna Barca, who is earning her MBA, expressed an interest in volunteering early on. When she requested the link for the Volunteer Spreadsheet,  it turned out that she requested it for her whole MBA cohort of 8 women, all of whom are work various STEM fields! Veteran EYH Coordinating Staff said that their presence, engaging manner and camaraderie left a really wonderful impression on EYH attendees. Abrianna and her MBA cohort made marked improvements in the efficiency of registration and keeping the girls on task while on the buses and at their various Career Presentations. One among them volunteered as photographer, her images are included in this article.


A very special thanks to the women in this MBA cohort!

Quick Post-Conference Chat with Abrianna

Q1: What did you expect when you signed up to volunteer for 2017 EYH?

AB: I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up to volunteer. That said, it was a great way to give back, have fun, and learn new things!

Q2: What surprised you the most from this experience?

AB: It was so cool to get to attend the sessions out at Madison College (Truax Campus) – I learned a lot about different industries like electrical engineering and geology.

Q3: What would you say to someone who was interested in volunteering for the event or presenting to a group of attendees?

AB: If you are even remotely interested, I would really encourage you to sign up. It is a one day volunteer commitment which makes it easy to help out! It was a lot of fun to talk with the girls, attend the sessions, and volunteer. I was able to sign up with a group of women from my MBA cohort. This meant we were able to give back but also network with one another.
* * *

Check back here if you want to be a part of next year’s super-fun event.


Mass and Weight (Im)possibilities!

Article Photo Credit and a Very Special Thanks to: Jordan Lee


Wow, thanks to everyone for participating (both baking and eating) in this year’s Bake-Off! We had 23 unique submissions and over 30 judges. Below is a list of our winners. But, with the exception of the “durable brownies,” I was truly impressed with everyone’s submission either for their taste or creativity. Thanks for making this year a success!

Best Baker: Nathan Weber

Best Item:

  1. Mini Cheesecakes (Nathan)
  2. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  3. Oreo Truffles (Nathan)

Most Runner-Up votes:

  1. Twix Bars (Dawn)
  2. Candied Bacon-Tie for 2nd (Nathan)
  3. Honey Sriracha Chex-Mix-Tie for 2nd (David)

Most Unique:

  1. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  2. Honey Sriracha (David)
  3. Red Velvet Cupcakes—tie for 3rd (Amanda)
  4. Twix Bars—tie for 3rd (Dawn)

Allergy Friendly:

  1. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  2. Chocolate Popcorn-Tie for 2nd (Nathan)
  3. Honey Sriracha Chex-Mix-Tie for 2nd (David)

Most Bland:

  1. Day Old French Bread (Nathan)
  2. Dinner Rolls—noted as being delicious (David)
  3. Leftover Pasta (Jonathan)

*One additional note: both of our student submissions placed, despite it being finals week. Kudos to Amanda and Jonathan!

***Best Durable Brownies (Patrick)***


contributed by Patrick Johnson