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.



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.

Northwestern Mutual to Borrow from User Services Model

It’s great to see that well-known corporate business partners are looking to us as a model on how to do business.” – Sean Bossinger

On Wed, Nov 1, User Services hosted Northwestern Mutual (NM) to share best practices in walk-in help desk service & support. NM is a member of the UW E-business Consortium, and through this relationship they heard about the great services that the Help Desk and Tech Store provide to our customers. NM is considering implementing similar walk-in help desk services and wanted to see how User Services has shaped the customer experience.


Three members from Northwestern Mutual’s IT staff made the trip: Jim King (Director), Jeremy Lewandowski (Manager), and Daniel Casey (Experience Lead). They toured the Tech Stores at Dayton and East Campus Mall, as well as the Level 1 Help Desk. They took special note of our use of mounted displays and marketing materials for both internal and external purposes.

They engaged us in conversations covering everything from implementation, daily operations, modes of communication, ticketing, documentation, and the overall customer experience. They’re planning to adopt Cherwell 2018, and were excited to see how we’re using it. They even mentioned wanting to shift to hiring for customer service skills and training for tech skills.

Sean Bossinger, Abrianna Barca, Chris Grosspietsch, Leah Scheide, Bret Vlach, Karl Weirauch, and Patrick Johnson all participated in the conversations with NM. To round out the day, NM generously paid for lunch at Jordan’s Big 10 Pub.

The visit with NM went really well, and by the end of the visit, Jim, Jeremy, and Dan were extending an invitation to us to come and visit their operations after they’ve implemented their walk-in help desk solution in the spring.

“We will be [following up with] Northwestern Mutual to set up a time for us to visit with them at their new facilities in downtown Milwaukee.” – Sean Bossinger

Students’ beliefs about Social Media in the Workplace


College students are mass consumers of social media. A couple weeks ago some student staff in User Services posted a short video about the UWNet outage that campus was experiencing. So, I found myself curious about students’ beliefs regarding social media and the workplace. I interviewed six students in User Services to get their perspectives regarding posting work-related content on social media.  (Note: all quotes below were provided anonymously by the students who were interviewed.)

Continue reading “Students’ beliefs about Social Media in the Workplace”

Focus Groups – gaining insight into your customers’ needs

As part of our Voice of the Customer initiative, the Great Service Team (GST) piloted the use of focus groups for gathering customer data. Our initial focus groups with Departmental Support contract customers proved successful. Customers identified strengths of their desktop support team along with some specific areas for improvement. Based on this feedback, team leads have been able to set clear goals for process improvement as they continue to engage with the customers.

Continue reading “Focus Groups – gaining insight into your customers’ needs”

1,600+ Responses from Voice of the Customer efforts

Over the next few months, the Great Service Team (GST) will be providing a series of updates on how we are progressing with the three pillars of our program (Voice of the Customer, Great Service Philosophy, and Training). For this month’s update we wanted to focus on the Voice of the Customer and share with you some results from the standardized customer satisfaction survey which was implemented in late May (see original announcement here)

During the development of the standardized customer satisfaction survey we consulted with Josh Morrill who informed us of the importance of keeping the survey short and concise. Therefore, we created the new survey with fewer, strategically chosen questions. This has resulted in an average completion time of only 90 seconds.

Continue reading “1,600+ Responses from Voice of the Customer efforts”

Phas3 Update

The User Services Phas3 Space Planning team is pleased to announce that we have completed our proposal for updating the shared User Services spaces in room B213, 1150A, and 1150B and have submitted it to Brandon and the User Services Leadership Team for review!  The proposal is composed of three different sections which provide low, medium, and high cost estimates for improving the space.  We are now working with the Leadership Team to make a selection that is both fiscally responsible and provides the maximum value for User Services team members.

We were also happy to share our proposal with DoIT’s COO John Krogman last week!  John was provided an overview of the Phas3 team’s work, as well as a tour of our spaces.  He was impressed by the team’s efforts, and made a commitment to User Services that the larger organization will help support our improvement efforts!

We hope to have some additional updates for the department by our next User Services All Staff Lunch on August 24.  As always, be sure to let the Phas3 Space Planning Team know if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments.  A list of all team members as well as project updates is available on our landing paging:

contributed by: Chris Poser,