As one of the largest public research universities in the U.S., Arizona State University serves 78,000 students on campus and 58,000 online. A complex organization, ASU needs powerful solutions to serve these thousands of students, plus faculty and staff.
ASU’s University Technology Office (UTO) provides the digital ecosystem that supports the entire institution – and it faces the same challenges as any enterprise product development organization. Multiple teams have to collaborate on interconnected initiatives. The organization delves into complex product development and must navigate intricate planning, collaboration, and resource management needs.
Three Tempo products – Roadmunk, Planner, and Timesheets – have allowed ASU to solve some of its toughest challenges, facilitating the efforts of the technology teams as well as the university as a whole.
Roadmapping and setting priorities with Roadmunk
ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College launched a product development initiative to explore new offerings to support educators and others in the community.
The college needed a dedicated roadmapping tool to guide strategy and efforts – and settled on Roadmunk to help determine what products to build, and in what sequence. ASU Product Manager Paul Strong says Roadmunk made it easier for the team to coalesce around a single roadmap that was always up to date.
Roadmunk helps keep teams and projects from breaking off into silos – a common hazard of product development at a large organization. With their roadmap, the product team has one place to track goals, requests, and features as they progress on the work.
Roadmunk’s features turn these roadmaps into powerful communication tools for product teams and other stakeholders: For example, its filtering capabilities let the product team share a roadmap that can be customized to show only relevant details depending on the role of the viewer. “Roadmunk lets you tailor your communications to different teams,” Strong said.
In addition, Roadmunk’s ideas and prioritization feature can help teams create a guideline to keep their priorities focused as they determine what to build and how to build it.
Optimal resource planning and allocation with Tempo Planner
Once projects are roadmapped, allocating resources is the next step for delivering products and meeting initiatives. With Tempo Planner, the UTO has the data necessary to distribute critical resources to different teams and products as needed, explained Edwin Amador, system analyst with the office.
Tempo Planner features such as the Resource Planning Page make it easy to resolve resource and capacity challenges as they arise, Amador said. Planner features such as skills and experiences add additional insights as UTO decides how to allocate resources.
Resolving critical data issues and gaps with Timesheets
Once projects are in flight, monitoring time and gaining insights from time data is crucial for effective resource allocation. The UTO uses Tempo Timesheets to solve problematic data gaps, using it for detailed insights on how much time UTO team members are spending on specific projects.
“We’ve worked extensively with Tempo to resolve these data challenges related to time tracking,” Amador noted. That means ASU has the data it needs to make informed budget decisions, he added, which has been instrumental to both the UTO and the university as a whole.
With Tempo, it’s easier for the UTO to make adjustments to teams and resources as needed, based on project and production results. The UTO also finds it easier to show each team member's work in context.
“Tempo has helped us identify gaps and identify our stars,” Amador said. “Ultimately, our teams are a lot happier when it comes to showcasing their work. They feel like their work is visible and taken into account.”
Amador’s team has been able to rely on the Tempo customer team to get more use out of Planner and easily access the metrics it needs for better decision-making.
“The relationship with the people at Tempo is almost as important as the tool itself,” Amador said. “There’s a successful customer service team to guide you and make sure you get what you need to succeed.”