On September 5, I attended the first Information Technology Systems Design implementation (ITSD) team meeting for Charting the Future as the MAPE representative. The first meeting was much like the first day of a new job or a new class. We took attendance, talked about housekeeping details, reviewed the agenda, and participated in a group ice breaker.
To be candid, I’m generally not a huge fan of ice breakers. But this one actually was good and relevant to the conversation. The ice breaker was based on the book Zoom. The basic takeaway was that different people have different vantage points and that in order to communicate effectively understanding that is key. More on the ice breaker here and here.
After the ice breaker was over we moved on to define the team’s charter. As background we were provided a handout that emphasized the importance of stepping “out of the muck and weeds” (ex: attempting to “fix” ISRS) and instead to focus on high level strategies for effective IT System Design. We also noted that there is an implementation team dedicated to educational technology working alongside us, so our team would focus on the administrative technologies. We agreed that the best place to focus our efforts was on MNSCU policies that if modified would provide a better opportunity for IT System Design. Those thoughts framed our conversation for the wording of our charter, but we also acknowledged that our team would be weighing in on many technology recommendations from the other implementation teams.
We did not walk away with a written charter at the end of the meeting. We did discuss that there are 30+ institutions following unique workflows, business processes, and using disparate systems. We want to look at ways to streamline and standardize business processes, primarily via policy changes, to allow us to deal with the complexity of the system. Hopefully we’ll have a charter solidified by the end of the next meeting.
For those who were really hoping this team would take on ISRS, don’t fret! Addressing the many concerns with ISRS has been identified as a strategic priority by the MNSCU CIO (Ramon Padilla). Here is an excerpt from the presentation made to the MNSCU Board of Trustees:
“Begin preparation of an ISRS upgrade/replacement business case (Fall 2016) in order to be included in the FY18/19 biennial budget request.”
Prior to the meeting we had the following shared readings:
Gartner: Enterprise IT Maturity-2014-CIOs Are Seen but Not Heard
Battle Test Your Innovation Strategy
Business Process Re-engineering
Business process reengineering: critical success factors in higher education
Innovation and Commercialization-2010
The Eight Essentials of Innovation and Performance