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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

IPF-level action plans address our highest priorities

June 5, 2017

At the recent IPF supervisors meeting, everyone there received update sheets on the IPF-level action plans. We all had a chance to walk around and listen to action plan champions talk about their projects. I thought both the update sheets and the “gallery walk” were really informative and helped me have a better understanding of each action plan project.

But as I listened and observed, it dawned on me that many in the room didn’t know what the IPF-level action plans were. It wasn’t just that they didn’t know details—they didn’t know what they were at all.

I decided I had to do something to change that, and not just for supervisors—for everyone at IPF. For the next few months, I’ll be using the Details as a way to get everybody more familiar with the IPF-level action plans, one by one. By the way, IPF-level action plans propose projects that affect multiple departments within IPF and have the potential for a big return on at least one of our IPF strategic objectives. Executive Leadership Team members worked with Business Leaders and many of you to develop up to three ideas last fall, and the highest priority plans were selected at the October strategy retreat. So here’s the list of the 2017 IPF-level action plans:

  • Customer requirements: Develop a systematic approach to identify, communicate and assess customer feedback and data
  • Project management toolkit: Establish a clear protocol for project management that supports the IPF capacity for change and innovation
  • Service level requirements and mobile applications for knowledge management: Equip IPF workers with mobile devices that provide access to IPF databases and applications that help them make decisions in the field
  • IPF website redesign: Create customer-/employee-centric sites that make it faster and easier for customers to request service and for IPF employees to get the information they need
  • Define key drivers of workforce engagement: Research and document workforce engagement best practices and propose solutions for trending areas of improvement
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy implementation: Organize IPF’s IT resources to better provide IT solutions to support IPF in being the most high-performing, leading-edge facilities organization in the nation

It’s not surprising that an action plan to improve our service and engagement with our customers is one of our IPF-level plans (customer requirements). If you read the plan, it doesn’t say anything about making customers happy. Instead, it talks about “customer feedback data,” but at its core, it’s about meeting customer needs which generally makes for happy customers. It’s about really listening to them with an open mind.

This plan was submitted by the Strategy Team’s customer committee. Jeff Bonk leads that committee so he’s the “champion” for this plan. That doesn’t mean he does all the work, but it does mean that he’s the one that makes sure it gets done. The committee is creating a voice of the customer program (VOC) that sorts customer feedback and interactions into different categories. That makes it easier to analyze the feedback because you’re not trying to compare apples and oranges.

This is great data—some of the most important data we have—and we need to make sense of it. We need to quantify it and share it so that everyone understands what it means. In the end, we have to decide how to respond to our customer feedback data, but that might be an action plan for next year!

If you want to know more about this plan (and maybe volunteer to work on it?), talk to Jeff Bonk. I’m sure he’ll be glad to tell you all about it!

Until next time,


P.S. I haven’t forgotten about my call for suggestions from everyone. I got a few last month (thank you if you were one of the people who submitted one), but please keep them coming! You can send them directly to me at