Case Study: American University
American University (AU) knew it needed to update its approach to information technology, to more quickly adopt new technologies in ways that adapted to shifting business models while improving the educational experience. Rather than attempt a wholesale transformation of the entire university, AU initially focused on growing its endowment and streamlining the online giving process.
An Agile Approach to Digital Transformation
AU adopted Higher Digital’s Simplified Enterprise Agile™ process, also known as (SEA)Change, which provided the training and team optimization to enable a more agile, product-focused approach that involved stakeholders throughout the organization. Higher Digital helped AU to create a new product management organization to manage stakeholder inputs and product roadmaps, and to adopt a more user-centric approach to developing application interfaces.
According to AU CIO David Swartz, “Higher Digital brought us up to speed at the university with how to do agile, which is a different approach to doing very significant projects on a rapid development cycle,” Swartz said. “We’re rolling out this capability virtually every month.”
Assess, Plan, Transform
AU was also an early adopter of (SEA)Results®, Higher Digital’s easy to use digital transformation assessment platform that enables higher education institutions to learn both how ready they are to face the challenges of technological and organizational change and where they need to improve. We then follow up this assessment by providing concrete steps and tailored advice to help them successfully meet these challenges today and into the future.
Added Swartz: “We believe that future higher education, particularly lifelong learning, is all going to be in the online space. While we’ve been in that space for seven years, there’s a lot that we need to do if we’re going to really become a market leader. Higher Digital is helping us to understand where we are and what we need to work on in this new and emerging area.”