Royal College of Music “We Serve Musicians”
Project Report, February 2014 Contributors: Nawar Al-Mutlaq, Patamawadee Ngamkajonviwat, Ed Tam
Table of Content
3. Executive Summary 4. Acknowledgement 5. Introduction 6. Understanding The Brief 7. Research 14. Problem Definition & First Solution 16. First Response 17. Tweak and Refine 18. Co-Creation Workshop 20. Finding the right altitude 21. The Logo Story 24. Learning and Conclusion 25. Appendix
Executive Summary Working with the Royal College of Music has been a wonderful learning experience. The scope of the project was just large enough for a team of six (which was later subdivided into two teams of three) to sink into, but small just enough to manage within the timeline set. This project has evolved dramatically over the period of four months. Much of the creative tension had come from the different interpretation of the brief, which will be outlined in the body of this report. This report has been written to aid the learning of all team members involved in the project. It has been deliberately written chronologically to capture the achievements, challenges and learnings at each stage. The content within may be sensitive to the project sponsor. Disseminate with care.
Acknowledgement We would like to thank the Royal College of Music for providing time and access to their student and staff in supporting the development of our project. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the project tutors who have provided their invaluable advice and perspectives on our project, albeit sometimes contradictory. It was a amazing learning experience for the team.
the timeline set. This project has evolved dramatically over the period of four months. Much of the creative tension had come from the different interpretations of the brief which will be outlined in the body of this report.
Last but not least, to the colleagues from Samsung: MinKyung Kim, Kyunghwa Kim and Wonyoung Chang who werenâ€™t able to see to the end of this project due to other professional commitments. Introduction Working with the Royal College of Music has been a wonderful learning experience. The scope of the project was just large enough for a team of six(which was later subdivided into two teams of three) to sink into, but small just enough to manage within
Working with the Royal College of Music has been a wonderful learning experience. The scope of the project was just large enough for a team of six (which was later subdivided into two teams of three) to sink into, but small just enough to manage within the timeline set. This project has evolved dramatically over the period of four months. Much of the creative tension had come from the different interpretations of the brief which will be outlined in the body of this report.
Understanding the Brief The thrust of the written brief is around the general service enhancement of student services. Coupled with the written brief, was an initial discussion with Professor Nick Leon who is the lead client manager on the project. In this particular discussion Prof. Leon shared the context of which the brief was written. It was said in this meeting that whilst aca-
demic performance at the RCM was at an all time high, student satisfaction has been deteriorating year-on-year. It was hoped that through our research we would be able to identify the root cause and create a series of interventions that would turnaround this downward trend. A copy of the original brief can be found in Appendix 1.1
Research The month of Oct 2013 was spent orientating ourselves around the brief and being divergent with our thinking. This helped the team get a really good perspective of the actors inside the organisation, the touch points involved, as well as getting some best in class examples within the educational sector and beyond.
Research Framework We had the luxury of having a large team at the beginning of the Autumn term so we took advantage f it and explored: 1) the Student and Staff administrative interaction at the core 2) digital and non-digital platform that underpin those said interactions and 3) more divergent service examples to act as a point of inspiration for the project.
OTHER ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS Learn from benchmark cases
Draw inspiration from best-in-class providers
STUDENTS (Past, Present, Prospective)
1. Discover studentsâ€™ relationships and interactions with the Student Servicesâ€™ staff, platform, process and each other 2. Discover their dreams, fears and frustrations at the RCM.
OUT OF THE BOX
STAFF (Admin, SA)
1. Identify the key actors in delivering the Student Services. 2. Discover their relationships and interactions with students and with each other.
Explore the electronic systems that connects staff with students.
Student Research Harry Trimble, Sheng Hui Hsu and Sherry Dong led student Research. The team focused on finding out about the students’ dreams, hopes and aspirations, as well as the challenges they face day to day. They used a combination of ethnographic study spending time with the students on campus and in residence. They later added a layer of design provocation to determine student perception and experiences of different
administrative departments. There were two key sets of insights that came up from the student research: 1) From an administrative perspective the students recognized that administrative tasks were a “necessary evil” so they can get on with their musical development. But their raison d’être was all about the music. This made us realize the need to edit and simplify all administrative tasks for students. 2) From a more emotional perspective, we discovered that much of the student dissatisfaction was borne out of the expectation Vs reality gap of becoming a world-class musician. The harsh reality is that very few students make it to become professional musician playing in a reputable orchestra. Both sets of insights heavily influenced the problem statements that the two separate teams went on to solve A sample of the student research can be found in Appendix 2.1
Staff Research Ed Tam and Nawar Al-Mutlaq led the staff research component. This piece of research was to establish the types of work carried out by the different administrative departments. Information was gathered from a series of one to one interviews as well as a number of job shadowing sessions. The team covered all of the seven key student administrative offices, as well as several complementary departments. The key take away from this piece of research were:
1) Whilst staff recognizes the need to collaborate more, they simply donâ€™t have the time or bandwidth to find their administrative counterparts. 2) Thereâ€™s a real need for privacy in certain departments use to the nature of their work eg. Finance and Student Services. 3) There was a massive opportunity to automate high frequency, low touch tasks such as the generation council tax letters, and bi-weekly Visa check-ins A sample of the research can be found in Appendix 2.2
The student research team gathered from the students that one of the causes of student grievances comes from the lack of practice rooms. The system responsible for student to room allocation is called Asimut. A platform team was establish to explore whether there might be any efficiency gains in improving the room allocation. The team discovered that the Asimut system is actually extremely robust and that the only inefficiency is borne out of the fact that select staff were over booking rooms and not utilizing them. This helped the team to focus on what is solvable and whatâ€™s not.
Other Academic Institutions Patamawadee Ngamkajonviwat and Sheng Hui Hsu led this section of the research. The method of investigation was to look at the top percentile of universities that have been awarded highly in student satisfaction from the National Student Surveys and discover if there was anything unique that was being done at their student services centre. It was difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from this particular research because there were so many factors affecting student satisfaction beyond the ways in which student services centres are run. A sample of this research can be found in Appendix 2.3
Service Parallels The Samsung delegate took control of this section of the research where they studied other service parallels to draw inspiration for the project. They visited concierge service to see how high touch space and processes are managed with VIPs. They visited museums and libraries to see how designers and architects have attempted to blend multi-functional spaces. The piece of research provided everyone with good food for thought for the design process to follow.
Problem Definition & First Solution The month of December was spent crafting our first response to the brief. We had a lot of challenges in articulating our problem statement and arriving at a solution combined elements of space, people and processes.
Problem Definition & First Response
Problem Definition From our research we derived at our problem statement of “Drive usage and satisfaction of the new student support centre by focusing on Efficiency and Efficacy of service.” The project tutors questioned whether the word “Efficiency” was the right one to use given that it puts staff in a bad light and the team was subsequently asked to look at the problem more from the perspective of staff. In hindsight we appreciate the sensitivity of the subject matter, but we stabd by our position. The reality is that there is a long list of tasks that can be make more efficient simply through automation. But we recognize that case was not sold in sufficiently.
Design Opportunity: Drive usage and satisfaction of the new student support centre by focusing on efficiency and efficacy of service
Design Principles Responsive
Our first response was a series design interventions demonstrated through three student scenarios. The team failed to communicate the rationale of interventions because the audience was distracted by the details of the narrative. The team also struggled to convey their understanding of the different types of tasks the staff handle on a regular basis.
Tweak and Refine The month of January was spent validating our design interventions as well as creating a branded environment.
Problem Definition & First Response
Tweak and Refine
Co-Creation Workshop Because the design intervention were not fully conveyed during the First Response session, we took advantage of a follow up workshop to communicate and validate our design executions. The session was a success in so far as getting direct feedback from the potential servce delivery agents i.e the staff. Concurrently the workshop provied an opportunity for the staff to be part of the design process making the sell in a little bit easier.
Complex Student trauma
Collaborative Careers Planning
Teaching hours and payment
Leave of Absence
High Touch Collaborative
High Touch Private Individual
Finding the Right Altitude Following the feedback from the first response the team recognize the need to retell the story. Taking the advice of one of the tutors, the team began to list down all of the tasks carried out by the various departments. These tasks were then overlaid onto two axis: Complex or Rudimentary, Individual or Collaborative. From this, categories of tasks began to emerge and the spatial requirements were apparent.
Low Touch High Frequency
Low Touch Process Driven Rudimentary
Finding the Right Altitude But the story still needed a wrapper. Throughout the research process the team was impressed by the dedication that the staff and students shared around the development of music and musicians. This inspired the eventual creative positioning and the branding of Student Services Centre. With the tasks categorised and a positioning to guide the operation, the design interventions fell in place.
WE SERVE MUSICIANS
The Logo Story
The diagram above represents the seven disparate departments across the old building.
The departments are brought together to form a heptagon
Each of the department is given a unique colour. which are borne out of the exisiting brand hues.
The WIP Show The Work in Progress show itself was a massive learning curve. Managing production, coping with last minute changes as well as evolving the design. Overall the team pulled together a solid immersive experience comprising of a fly through video, a automated 3D model and a dummy of the online platform. The feedbacks from the lead client have been extremely positive. The team has yet to receive feedback from the administrative staff.
To see a video of the service experience at The Hub please visit: https://vimeo.com/86339795. 23
Learning and Conclusion This project provided a great learning experience for the team in terms of following the design process from start to finish. There are three key learnings that the team wishes to highlight. Edit to Amplify. So often the reality is that 100 hours of work is distilled into a 5-minute presentation. Being ruthlessly brutal with the editing is the only way to get clarity of understanding and impact. Stick to the Programme. The team was somewhat let down by the lack of leadership and discipline of time and task management. People and resources must be planned well ahead of time. Showtime. Service design presentations are pretty full when standing next to a product demonstration. Every exhibition needs a â€œgrabberâ€?. Had we dedicated more resources to our 3D model, that could have been the grabber.
1.1 The Brief 25
2.1 Studentsâ€™ Shadowing 26
2.2 Staff Shadowing 27
3.1 First Round Presentation Deck 28
THANK YOU 38
Published on Feb 12, 2014
Working with the Royal College of Music has been a wonderful learning experience. The scope of the project was just large enough for a tea...