To support this vision, IT Services is focusing on improving leadership, investing in people, strengthening customer service, implementing the new stewardship process, enhancing project management processes, creating a planning framework, improving our operational processes, creating an enterprise architecture, and measuring our performance.
To support the evolving needs of the University, leadership skills in information systems need continuous improvement. IT Services is moving forward as a synchronized unit by strengthening our core and building bridges between the groups within our department to achieve the vision of One I.S.
Information technology constantly changes, requiring information systems staff to constantly upgrade their skills. We are investing in people and leveraging the vast educational resources of the University to maintain pace with new information systems innovations.
To improve our customers’ understanding of what we do and why we do it, we are enhancing our customer service by focusing on relationship management throughout the University. Spending more time with our customers socializing ideas will increase understanding of what we do, which ultimately increases trust in information systems and our organization. Better relationships lead to better communication, which naturally allows us to understand our customers better and allows us to improve the quality of service we deliver. It becomes a virtuous cycle.
A new stewardship process has been designed to engage our customers in making informed decisions about information systems. These decisions include setting priorities, approving all projects, ranking initiatives, reviewing process performance, assessing risk, and providing strategic planning guidance. The project management process is essential in supporting and informing the project decisions made by this stewardship process.
To ensure the University’s investments in new initiatives are managed prudently, consistent project management processes are necessary throughout our department. We need to be rigorous about managing project schedules, budgets, and scope while balancing the risks and quality expectations of our customers. Every project will include a business case to explain why we need it, a project plan to define how we are going to implement it, regular reporting to monitor progress, change control to manage schedule, scope, budget updates, and formal closure processes.
The stewardship model provides the guidance to develop a planning process. The purpose of a formal planning process is to develop a long term strategic plan creating a set of goals aligned with the strategic mission of the University. This strategic plan includes measurable objectives needed to achieve those goals. The next step is implementing an annual planning process to define and measure our yearly initiatives and how these initiatives are linked into our strategic goals.
To continuously improve our operations, we need to continuously improve our operational processes. We are applying information systems best practices, particularly ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), to create well-documented industry-standard processes. Initiatives such as a change advisory board will be implemented to reduce our risk, improve our service, and increase our value to our customers.
Development of formal enterprise architecture will help advise planning and future decision making for information systems. It will also inform development of key information systems initiatives by defining data models, applications systems, and computing platforms. Stewardship of information systems needs this roadmap to help leaders understand how all the components fit together and how they will work together in the future. Planning processes need the enterprise architecture as a baseline for understanding what has to be done.
We are introducing monthly status reports with the intention of delivering on two key benefits. First, we will share what we do with the University. Everyone will be aware of what everyone else is doing, which will improve cooperation and coordination across the organization. Second, these reports will begin to report on performance metrics. By measuring what we do for the University, we help the rest of the University understand where we are spending their money.
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