South Kensington Campus


The room booking system, Planon, is fully integrated with Outlook.  Both can be used to book meeting rooms.  

How it works is outlined in the following slides:

The etiquette for booking and use of shared meeting rooms is still in draft.  Feedback is welcome by emailing the project team.

Design Steps - How the design and etiquette were agreed

1. Design workshops

In the course of delivering phases one and two of the Room Booking Implementation Project, a series of three workshops took place, each exploring a particular area of the system; the User interface, the rules behind the system, and processes surrounding Room layout and set up. (See details and output below).  The results of the workshop defined the ideal system and processes, without a full understanding of the capability of Planon.

2. Meetings with Planon

The project team used the outputs from the design workshops in a series of meetings with Planon.  Planon worked out how to configure the system to meet our requirements where possible, and we agreed workarounds where the system didn't quite work the way we had anticipated. 

3. Follow up workshop

After our meetings with Planon, there were a few options that had to go back to the working group for decisions.   A workshop was held and a follow up poll of the wider working group was done to verify the results.  The proposed design was openly presented in March 2018.

Room Booking Update March 18

4. Planon specification

Finally, Planon wrote up a detailed specification document describing how the system would be configured, based on all of the above discussions.  During the process of agreeing the specification it became clear that one of our decisions would have to be ammended.  It will not be possible to automatically approve moderation requests if the moderator does not respond for several days.  This is because, in the event that the requestor changes the room, the clock does not restart and we could end up with requests being auto approved the day they are received by the moderator.

The final specification was approved and Planon started configuration of the system.

5. Etiquette 

A workshop was held 20 April 2018 with volunteers from across College to discuss and agree standard expected behaviours for the sharing of meeting rooms.  The notes were circulated for approval by the group.  Then the draft statements of etiquette were drawn up from those notes.  These are now out for review and feedback (see links at the top of this page).  The detailed notes from the workshop are available here with a login.

Room booking etiquette workshop notes


Initial design workshop notes and outputs

Below is a summary of the discussions topics that took place at each workshop. More detailed notes on the results of these workshops can be downloaded below:

December 2017/January 2018 Workshops Results Summary
Planon Interface Screenshots and Notes
Room Booking Process Maps

User Interface workshop

  • Different user types and how they book rooms
  • How would the room search work?
  • “Gadgets” on the homepage
  • What fields should appear on the booking screen?
  • What criteria should be available to search on?
  • What details should be displayed on the “More detail” pop up?

 Rules-based workshop

  • Will booking through Outlook be the recommended method?
  • How will Planon and Outlook bookings synchronise?
  • When is the booking made?
  • How will the priority of bookings be managed?
  • How far in advance can rooms be booked, and how is this determined?
  • What user groups will need to be maintained?
  • What moderation standards do we need?

 Room based workshop

  • Managing rooms that require room set up
  • How will room layout changes happen?
  • What will the process be?
  • Preventing double bookings in compound rooms (possible to book A, B, or A & B)

Decisions and Questions

Campus signage

Decisions Made

- Exam Board meetings can be booked in Planon

- Student drop-in meetings can be booked in Planon. Be aware that these will not go into the student’s online timetables.

- Seminars (Research) will not be booked in Planon – guidance will be provided informing people which system to use during this phase of the Room Booking project.

- There needs to be an expectation that someone can only be asked to move from an existing booking if there is no other room available that suits the requestor’s requirements.

-  A list of “acceptable reasons” for requesting people move from a room will not be created, with people instead relied upon to be sensible, and accept that the person who has booked the room can say no. It is suggested a request could only be made if the requestor could make an alternative room available.

- AV Support will be provided to the same high standard regardless of who is in the room.

- The list of facilities provided for each room will use the Imperial College Location Inventory System (ICLIS) as a starting point.

- Information will be included regarding what swipe access will be required to access rooms, as well as photos and directions.

- The system will record information regarding the suitable use of a room dependent on its location. 


Open Questions

- Legal/ regulatory requirements around capturing external participants  (A- The room booking system will not capture information about external participants.)

- Ownership and maintenance of collaborative spaces, eg White City 

- Ability of students to book spaces, and whether this could be differentiated by student status (e.g. can book if Post Graduate Research, but not Undergraduate or Post Graduate Taught) (A- Students will not be able to book rooms in the initial phase of the implementation.  This will be reviewed when we examine the feasibility of integration with Celcat.)

- Whether Planon Phase One is exclusively for meeting rooms, not rooms that have a dual purpose.  (A- Yes.  In Phase One we are only introducing rooms that are not used for teaching.)

- Whether certain people should be able to book an extended time period. (A- The system does not allow for some users to have different booking windows than the standard.)