The University of Adelaide Major Review

Adelaide's oldest university partnered with Katalyst to reduce administration and improve the student experience

Katalyst Interactive was selected by the University of Adelaide as a development partner to work together with the university’s own internal development team. The university moved their major review submission process to a paperless online workflow with integrated approvals across many stakeholders and with monitoring through real time dashboards. The solution provided a vastly improved student experience and reduced the end to end processing time 

The Challenge 

The challenge was to take the manual major review process and develop this into an online submission system that includes the end to end workflow of stakeholder approvals. To manage the process efficiently it would also provide service level monitoring dashboards. 

Each tertiary student that is doing a postgrad will go through the major review process, which  requires a submission of information from a student, principal supervisor, as well as other nominated stakeholders such as board members. Each touchpoint in the manual process had to be reimagined as a digital system and utilise automation to reduce the handling time of each submission.

The Solution 

Katalyst worked closely with the university's business analysts, project managers, and senior developers to develop the Major Review system using an Agile process. Software was delivered in two week Sprints (Agile term for blocks of time) with work outcomes demonstrated in Showcases at the end of each sprint. Daily communications through Slack (instant messaging system) provided the university with convenient access to Katalyst’s development team. 

The university has its own internal development team who set guidelines and standards for the development of software at the university. Katalyst’s team had to understand and follow these standards strictly to ensure the software be approved for deployment on the university’s internal IT infrastructure. The system also had to meet the university’s strict information security requirements, in place to protect the privacy and security of staff and students.

Reduced administration time

The new Major Review system has significantly reduced the administration time taken to complete the end to end review. As well as the time savings achieved by automating the end to end process, a great user experience design that focused on simplicity has resulted in the system being effortless and easy for users to complete each part of the review process.

Service performance dashboard

The service performance of the entire system is displayed in a simple dashboard that provides metrics at each stage of the process. Administrators can quickly identify slow points that are increasing the handling time of each request. As well as day-to-day management, the dashboard will assist the university to identify areas for improvement in the major review process.

Contemporary student experience

Today's higher education student has a greater expectation that the university systems are modern and simple to use. Smart connected systems offer automation process and reduce unnecessary administration time in comparison to handing out disconnected PDFs and paper forms. The new Major Review system provides a simple experience for the students so they can focus on their education rather than navigating outdated manual processes.

Efficient and secure identity management

One of the digital transformation challenges faced by large organisations is the integration of user identities who fall outside the existing organisational IT systems. The new Major Review system implemented Keycloak integration to allow new uses, who are not internal staff or students, to login to the system to complete the process without the need to modify the universities identify management system. Administration of new users is a lengthy process and the development of this integration dramatically reduced administration time of the major review process.

The Outcome 

University of Adelaide, supported by Katalyst Interactive, has delivered a significant improvement to the major review process. This provided a dramatic reduction in administration time, transparency of process performance, and an improved student experience.

Following the successful implementation of the Major Review system, the University of Adelaide has selected Katalyst Interactive to develop a system to automate more student processes, as well as inviting Katalyst to apply to join their supplier panel.