Mapping the journey of Michigan philanthropic tours towards a better experience for students and alumni.


The Office of University Development (OUD) focuses on raising awareness of philanthropy and increasing private support for the University of Michigan, through collaboration with external development programs within schools, colleges, and other units. In Fall 2010, my team was paired with the Office of University Development (OUD) to analyze their pilot philanthropic campus tour program.

Our team was tasked with interviewing professional staff, modeling the data gathered in these interviews, turning that data into affinity walls for the purpose of finding trends, and composing report and presentation. In that process I scheduled and hosted a great number of these interviews, and worked with the team to map and organize that data, culminating in a presentation to key University stakeholders.

Interviewing and data collection

To investigate this problem, our team interviewed members from the OUD and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA), the latter office running a campus tours program with similar processes and problems.

From these interviews, we developed extensive notes which we later culled into affinity wall note format in hour-long team debrief sessions. These notes were used to make diagrams of information processes, including individual physical, cultural, sequence, work flow and cultural assessment models. All of these models were developed collaboratively with Google Documents.

Breaking it all down

After parsing down our interview notes and finishing our consolidated data models, we began to develop our affinity wall. Our team collaborated on a  report for the OUD, addressing the issues within the scope of our project and giving a presentation to professional staff from the OUD and OUA on these issues.