Gathering and Validating IT Service Information

Transform IT is nearing its next public-facing step, which will focus on gathering and validating information on the IT services offered to students and employees of the University of Oregon.

The university has already collected some of this information through consulting reports commissioned over the last 5 years and during work done in summer of 2017 to start building a service catalog for the UO Service Portal (service.uoregon.edu).

The Transform IT program managers, Guy Eckelburger and Gary Sullivan, in conjunction with Tony Saxman and Garron Hale, are currently gathering all of the information collected through consulting reports. Once that information is assembled and business analysis templates have been completed, staff will begin meeting with university departments to validate that information and document new services that aren’t included in existing consulting reports.

Business analysts will collect and validate details about each service, including customers served, scope of service, employees required to provide the service, and cost.

Gathering and validating this information is a critical step in the Transform IT program, which will rationalize the University of Oregon’s IT structure and services.

The Relationship Between Strategic Initiatives and Transform IT

In 2015, the university launched a strategic planning engagement that yielded a set of projects known as the strategic initiatives. That list of projects included Transform IT itself. (See the list of strategic initiatives launched by that 2015 strategic planning engagement).

It’s easy to think of these projects as part of Transform IT because they were initiated at the same time as Transform IT and through the same process. These projects, however, are different and separate from Transform IT. Many of the strategic initiatives focus on launching new services, technologies, or tools, while Transform IT focuses more broadly on all IT services offered across the institution, including those which are existing and those newly implemented.

Since Transform IT focuses on rationalizing services, and because some of the strategic initiatives have resulted in new IT services, the new strategic initiative-based services will themselves be cataloged and reviewed by Transform IT.

Many of these strategic initiatives are under way. For information about DuckDocs (workflow and document imaging), see the DuckDocs website. Other projects under way include Transform IT, the UO Service Portal (service.uoregon.edu; once known as the ITSM tool), Duo Two-Factor Authentication, Banner 9, Network Infrastructure, and Security Awareness Training. Security Information and Event Management has been implemented. Content Delivery Network and Data API have not been started.

Team Developing Business Analysis Templates

As noted in the Transform IT Project Manager and Business Analyst Team post, Information Services is currently hiring project managers and business analysts. While that search committee focuses on that work, a second team is working in parallel on two key tasks:

  • assemble all information gathered by consultants over the last 5 years about IT at the University of Oregon so that it can be validated and used as part of Transform IT, and
  • develop business analysis templates (in conjunction with the UO Service Portal project) for use in gathering information and reporting out about services in a consistent way.

This work should be completed in advance of our project manager and business analyst hires.

Transform IT Project Manager and Business Analyst Team

Transform IT is now using a service-based approach to rationalizing the IT structure and services at the university. (For more details of this announcement, see Important change to Transform IT.

To effectively analyze information about the university’s IT services and structures, and to plan and execute Transform IT, Information Services will utilize two project managers and two business analysts. The business analysts will gather and analyze information on IT services and the project managers will plan for and guide the university through the service transitions.

Guy Eckelberger and Gary Sullivan will continue to provide program-level oversight for Transform IT. Information Services has launched a job search to hire project managers and business analysts. In the meantime, Garron Hale and Tony Saxman will start working as project manager/business analyst team.

The project managers and business analysts will work in coordination with Guy and Gary.

The search for Enterprise IT Project Manager and IT Business Analyst staff began on October 2, when the job openings were posted. Application review begins the week of October 16.

The new project managers and business analysts will work in conjunction with Guy, Gary, Garron, and Tony. They will report to the Director of Programs and Projects in Information Services’ Customer Experience team.

Transform IT to Utilize IT Governance

At the IT Steering Committee meeting on Thursday, September 28, Jessie Minton, CIO, received support for her IT governance development plan. The IT governance plan is important to Transform IT because it answers the question, “Who will advise the provost, CIO, and project teams on decisions generated by Transform IT?”

IT governance provides user and domain input and guidance on campus IT services, and it also identifies the groups of stakeholders responsible for advising the CIO and IT Steering Committee on different topics. For a high-level overview of the IT governance structure and more, see IT Governance on the Information Services website.

Transform IT, as a program, will require input, guidance, and recommendations on a range of IT-related topics. Rather than creating a separate advisory system for Transform IT, it will use this new governance structure.

Transform IT will leverage UO's IT Governance

Projects that are part of the Transform IT program will engage with service advisory boards and domain subcommittees as work on Transform IT progresses.

In addition to the IT governance roles noted in the diagram, Transform IT will also use roles from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to plan and execute the set of projects that comprise the Transform IT program:

  • Executive Sponsor: source of funding and authorization for the project
  • Stakeholder: May be actively involved in the project, or interests positively or negatively impacted by execution
  • Project Manager: The person assigned to achieve the project’s objectives
  • Project Steering Committee: Consists of executive level representation from the various stakeholder groups.

The IT governance plan was developed in conjunction with a broad set of stakeholders during a September IT governance retreat. For more information on that process, see CIO leads discussion to develop IT governance.

CIO Leads Discussion to Develop IT Governance

Jessie Minton, vice provost for Information Services and chief information officer, facilitated a two-day IT governance development meeting on September 12 and 13, 2017. More than 50 people, representing academic, research, and administrative units as well as students, faculty, and UO Senate, participated in the workshop.

Governance helps create alignment of IT decisions with institutional mission and stakeholder needs, assurance of stakeholder buy-in for IT policies, budgets, and projects, integration of risk management into IT decision-making, and improved communication around IT across campus.

IT governance aims to be both strategic and flexible, enable community input and decisions, and guide UO’s management and use of technology.

Minton guided the group through discussions about campus-wide IT decision types, stakeholders, and structure. The group also deliberated on governance for Transform IT and how to strategically and transparently manage savings produced by that initiative.

Minton will develop a draft IT governance structure by Wednesday, September 20. Session participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on that document before it is presented to the IT Steering Committee the week of September 25.

Developing a complete IT governance structure was identified as a priority for the university during IT strategic planning work conducted in 2015. Currently, the university has a number of service-specific advisory groups as well as an IT Steering Committee that makes recommendations to the provost.

August Town Hall Focuses on Transform IT & IT Governance

At the Town Hall on IT on Thursday, August 31, Jessie Minton, vice provost of Information Services and chief information officer, gave updates and answered questions on a wide range of topics from the draft version of the Transform IT Guiding Principles document to next week’s retreat on IT governance.

Transform IT

A draft version of the Guiding Principles and Implementation (8.24.17) was posted for public comment on August 21. Minton summarized the feedback she has received to-date:

  • The emphasis on IT governance is encouraging
  • The shift in focus from people to services is positive
  • Gap analysis and requirements analysis belong in the Planning phase
  • In addition to discussing service levels, the document needs to include language about the quality of customer service, which is the counterpoint to service levels
  • The collaborative nature of our IT culture, the value of our IT staff, and the university’s commitment to inclusion need to be reflected in the document
  • IT purchasing will need to be better coordinated, and Duck Depot is a big and important step

Based on a question received in advance of the meeting, Minton emphasized that Transform IT will focus on providing a base level of IT support for every unit on campus while maintaining higher service levels that other units have worked hard to develop over the years.

Minton plans to get a success statement out for review and feedback for inclusion in the Guiding Principles document, and the current version of the Guiding Principles document will be revised and republished in upcoming weeks. If you would like to provide feedback on the document, please send your comments to cio@uoregon.edu by 5pm on Friday, September 8.

IT Governance

For next week’s IT governance retreat, Minton aims to work with the broad range of representatives to develop a working IT governance framework for UO. With that goal in mind, Minton explained her vision: “I see governance taking the shape of a pyramid. At the top, we already have the IT Steering Committee, which makes recommendations to the Provost on high level IT concerns. At the base of the pyramid are application-specific governance groups. We have some of these, such as the Banner Coordinating Group, but we need more guidance for our key, campus-wide applications. And we need to build out the middle layer of governance as well.”

IT governance will help the university better manage and prioritize the university’s many IT service requests. Given the university’s resource constraints, IT governance is an important building block that will help make the most of the resources we have.

During questions and answers on governance, an attendee about the scope of governance: would it, for example, dictate what software employees can install on their work computers? Minton indicated that to work effectively as one university, there will be situations where we need to all use the same enterprise-wide software for both process and price reasons but that does not extend to every software people may need.

IT Priorities

Minton attended her first Academic Leadership (ALT) Retreat last week, where she shared her top three priorities for IT at UO:

  1. Transform IT
  2. Upgrading the speed and reach of Oregon’s regional education network
  3. Developing an IT strategic plan

Minton spoke extensively about Transform IT, as noted earlier. Work on the regional education network is under way, and the IT strategic plan work will need to follow the development of IT governance.

More topics discussed: CISO search and the UO Service Portal

During the meeting, Minton provided an update on the Chief Information Security Officer search. After gathering an excellent pool of candidates, the committee has identified 12 candidates and have scheduled telephone interviews with each.

Minton also provided her thoughts on the launch of the UO Service Portal, which went live for Information Services, Student Life, School of Journalism and Communication, and College of Design on Monday, August 28. The roll-out went well, and the team has been making adjustments to the software as needed. The portal will give all of our users, whether student or employee, one place to learn more about or get help with UO’s IT services.