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Why are we making these changes to the way that we book rooms at the University?

At present, the University’s teaching space utilisation appears poor by national standards, and amongst the lowest of the Russell Group universities. It is generally agreed that the current decentralised approach to room booking with numerous systems, each of varying complexity, has made sharing and optimisation of space difficult. Over the next 20 years, the University will be engaged in a significant building program which includes the creation of shared space at the New Museum site, as well as a large development at the West Cambridge Site. It is for this reason that more information about the current use of teaching space is being sought. Data about the size of classes in relation to the size of teaching rooms will enable more appropriate and efficient spaces to be designed. Information on the desired location of classes of different sizes in relation to the teaching department will enable the location of more spaces of appropriate size being located in or adjacent to the department.

How can we find out more about the project?

Training material, demonstrations, and roadshows of the new Room Booking solution will be provided to aid the adoption and use of the system into end users’ business processes.

What are the benefits of the project?

Anyone wishing to make a room booking will benefit from time saving efficiencies through having instant access to information about room availability, attributes, facilities, location etc. This is particularly useful for external locations (such as other departments and faculties) which are unfamiliar.

Room managers will benefit from a common process for servicing room booking requests and will be more responsive to changes and crisis situations. Management and maintainability of one system should see cost savings through economies of scale by only having one system to support.

What approach is being taken to deliver the project?

The project will be delivered in a similar manner to the University Web Recruitment project. It will place the users’ needs at the forefront of the design of the solution where user experience, usability, high value capabilities and innovation will drive the compelling case for the adoption of the system. Further releases will build on the initial release to provide new or expanded features required by each capability. Development efforts will be prioritised based on business needs and value.

How will you capture user needs or requirements?

We have already performed 40 user experience tests with a cross-section of different users, which has helped to drive the design of the solution, particularly in the area of usability. A pilot deployment of the first release will be undertaken with an agreed user base to provide a further opportunity for feedback on the user experience and usability of the product. The approach of gathering feedback to be addressed in subsequent releases will ensure the solution meets the users' needs.

I am currently responsible for all room bookings in my department, will the new system make my job harder?

The system will cater for different user types, e.g. a casual room booker, professional user etc. We will then investigate what each user type will require from the system and cater for their differing business requirements. For example, a professional booker who is very familiar with their local rooms will be provided with an efficient interface to book rooms quickly.

How will I access the system?

We will authenticate the room booking system via Raven so there is no need to remember additional usernames and/or passwords. All University of Cambridge Raven users will be provided with basic access by default.

Contact us

If you have any further queries on the project then please contact either of the Project Managers:

Chris Thornhill
Tel: +44 (0)1223 766383

Rob Smith
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748021