Work Continued Through December

Behind-the-scenes work on Transform IT continued through winter break on charters, information gathering and staff searches.  

Program and project charters 

A draft version of the Transform IT program charter has been completed. After review by Jessie Minton, it has gone back to Transform IT and IS staff for revisions. 

Staff completed a draft charter for the new Information Gathering project, the first project to be spawned under the Transform IT program. The draft charter will be reviewed and revised as needed.  

Information Gathering project 

The co-program managers and IS staff have finished gathering data from past consulting engagements, including Baker Tilly, Moran Consulting, and Harvey Blustain. They have also developed a draft template that will align collected data with the service catalog framework developed and implemented as part of the Service Portal project. This template will be used to by departments to validate the aforementioned data and gather any missing data. Work on the template continues. The School of Music and Dance will take the template for a trial run and use the outcome to improve the tool. Once revisions are complete, the template will be populated with each unit’s data and then distributed to campus units to update, validate, and augment the data collected to date.  

Project manager and business analyst searches 

The search for business analysts continues, with on-campus interviews this week for several candidates. 

On-campus interviews for project managers concluded in mid-December, and staff conducted reference checks during the second half of the month. We will provide another update on these searches with the next Transform IT post the week of January 22, 2018.  

The Search for Project Managers and Business Analysts

The search for project managers and business analysts is well under-way. As announced in the post Transform IT Project Manager and Business Analyst Team, 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.

The on-campus interviews for the project managers have concluded, and we expect to have those new employees join the university very early in 2018.

The business analyst search is several weeks behind the project manager search (by design). On-campus interviews for the business analysts will be scheduled for January.

For more information about how the project managers and business analysts will engage with Transform IT, see the aforementioned post Transform IT Project Manager and Business Analyst Team.

CRM Initiative, Part of Transform IT, Moves Toward Request for Proposal

By the start of 2017, staff at the University of Oregon were using no less than 17 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to communicate with past, current, and prospective constituents. While that is functionally effective from a email list perspective, a CRM’s strategic value comes from gathering and using data on all interactions with past, current, and future constituents. To accomplish that effectively, CRM data needs to be accessible to all authorized users, but with data stored in at least 17 different systems, that goal is out of reach. In addition, the 17 CRMs each carry their own software and support costs, and they have not been integrated with one another.

Transform IT rationalizes the use of IT resources in support the university’s strategic academic and research missions. With so many CRMs creating silos of similar data, this area was ready for rationalization, so in spring 2017 we established a CRM initiative. We have since considered how the CRM initiative relates to Transform IT, and since this initiative has the same high-level goal as Transform IT, we have made the CRM initiative a project under Transform IT.

The CRM Initiative, a project that is part of the Transform IT program of work, is realigning the university’s use of CRMs through the adoption of a campus-wide CRM so that all data, from recruitment, student success, and advancement, is located in one place. A centralized, enterprise-wide approach has several strategic advantages: improved outreach efforts through coordination that avoids excessive messaging, improved recruitment and retention for students, and improved decision-making through enhanced reporting and data analytics.

       Visit the project website for more information on the CRM Initiative

In 2017, the initiative’s committee has examined financial data and identified trends on campus for CRM use and spending. It has also interviewed stakeholders, conducted a needs assessment, and generated a report, which, based on its findings, recommended CRM consolidation.

Since then, the committee has conducted detailed requirements gathering with current and prospective CRM users. In conjunction with Purchasing and Contracting Services (PCS), the committee has drafted an RFP, which has been reviewed and approved by the new Strategic Purchasing Advisory Committee (SPAC).

Currently, the RFP is awaiting final review and approval before it is posted publicly for responses.

After the university receives those responses, it will schedule demonstrations with vendors and select a finalist. This selection process is a great opportunity for the university community to continue providing input on which CRM option fits the best, as the final selection will be based on how selected vendors match up with the university’s requirements.

An enterprise CRM is a large project, so after the selection phase, staff will develop an implementation plan, which will include purchasing licenses for the selected vendor, transitioning existing CRM users to the new software, and brining on new users as well.

Throughout this process, committee members have been asked if one CRM is a sensible goal. The initiative’s goal is to ensure that the university’s CRM needs are met, and whether that results in one CRM remains to be seen. Corner case uses of CRMs may require different solutions, and ultimately, the university needs to make sure it finds the right fit, and 17 CRMs is too many.

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.