Monash University challenged 3wks to improve the human experience while creating a more efficient and digital solution to students across multiple processes. They wanted a true digital transformation across all business units within the university.

I think PharmMap is a game changer, fundamentally. It is a resource, and a tool but it is actually going to change the way we deliver our education here on this campus, and potentially has more far reaching impact internationally.
Marian Costelloe


Where it Began

Monash University had retained Student admin systems from the 80’s 90’s which left students and staff drowning in paper, and dealing with double handling, missing transactions and significant processing delays. These processes resulted in 100’s of staff focussing on administration instead of their primary role at the University and 1000’s of students feeling helpless, forgotten and less connected to the University.

Although much of Monash University fostered an innovative culture, and embraced new learning models, the Organisation had tried in the past to migrate infrastructure to the cloud but it was often seen as a mammoth task, with too many challenges to overcome and no clear path to success.

With a new CIO at Monash University, it was time to make a change, time to try something different. They needed results, and quickly. They wanted to deliver business outcomes more efficiently and economically, whilst preventing errors, loss of data, and duplication. This is where 3wks came in.

Where to start?

Admissions, enrolment, research, finance, HR and learning delivery all ran on legacy systems, many paper based. All needed attention.

You have to start somewhere, and the first step 3wks took was within graduate research. Students found it difficult to interact with the university, spending more and more time as part of the process rather than focussing on their studies. Because of this inefficiency, the administration teams tasked with the process had poor visibility of the end to end process. Paper forms would go missing, transactions were lost causing lengthy delays and frustration amongst students and staff. Student had become disenchanted and staff retention was becoming an issue.

There was a proposed solution that had not been initiated, and had been on the shelf for over 18 months. They needed a partner who could understand the problem, and execute an effective solution, working closely with the university at each stage.

Desired outcomes:

Monash wanted many of it’s process to become less admin heavy with a focus on automation, resulting in an improved student experience and higher staff retention. Monash wanted staff to be able to work on the job they were there for, instead of filling in paperwork and being held up by outdated administration processes.

Visibility and transparency of transactions was a high priority. Just knowing where a transaction is up to and having the ability to report on transaction would have a dramatic positive impact on their day to day operations.

They realised there was a competitive advantage in rolling out these changes. They would also improve staff retention and attract more students as they could be seen as a forward thinking institution that wants to make the whole process easy and transparent.

What we did

Strategy, we encouraged the university to think strategy first, having a purpose with a clear outcome. The systems 3wks created were around outcomes, with each step of the process seeking out real users to test and provide feedback on each feature and function being added. This ensured users and staff had a system that had everything they needed, where they needed it, and nothing they didn’t.

One example of the success our method produced with Monash is the reduction in time to process transactions. Previously, a single transaction could take up to 14 minutes to process. With our solution Monash University could now batch process hundreds of transactions in under 2 minutes, saving hundreds of hours each year. Our cloud based solutions have also allowed management to approve graduate student completion from anywhere at anytime, making a once a year formal process into a less structured one, where students get the result they need, when they need it. This made has given staff more control and flexibility, and given students confidence that the university is there for them, and that they are dedicated to each student as an individual.

In the end, the Monash build met its aim of saving time for students and staff who had previously spent over 10x the effort to achieve the same result.


Times faster to process


lost transactions