ITS Strategic Planning

Report to Administrative Computing Committee
Tuesday, March 02, 1999

This report gives the highlights of a brainstorming planning session of ITS managers in October, 1997, plus the results of several ongoing planning meetings since then.

1. Who are our customers?

We started the process by compiling a list of our clients or customers.

2. What do we do?

Next, we adapted a brainstorming technique that uses 6" pads of sticky hexagons for writing down ideas. But instead of using literal sticky hexagons, we used Microsoft Draw in a Word document, and displayed it in Full Screen mode using a video projector. The following diagram is the end result.

hexagons.gif (25425 bytes)

3. Grouping what we do

As the groups of hexagons on the previous page shows, the things we do can be collected together into 8 groups that can be clustered into 4 main types of activity. This grouping was used to define the thrust of our mission statement.

    Activity Type Things we do
    Customer Support Access to Technology
    Customer Support and Development
    Direct Services
    Infrastructure Support Infrastructure Support
    Information Needs Strategic Information Needs
    Operational Information Needs
    Technological Vision Strategic Directions
    Emerging Technologies

4. Values

The following alphabetical list of values considered to be important was put together during another brief brainstorming session.

A vote was taken to select the top 4 values from the list. These values are to be reflected in the mission statement.

5. ITS Mission Statement

The mission statement needs to encompass these broad areas: Customer Support, Infrastructure Support, Information Needs, Technological Vision, and to emphasize these values: Integrity, Meeting user needs, Communication, Reliability. It needs to make clear who our customers are, answer the why question, and state our relationship with the community.


    To be recognized as a professional, proactive service organization, providing reliable, leading edge, flexible, user friendly information technology services.


    It is the mission of Information Technology Services (ITS) to meet the information technology needs of Andrews University by providing reliable access, with responsive service and support, to the IT resources. In support of the University mission, ITS continually looks for ways to incorporate new technologies to improve processes associated with instruction, research, and administration. ITS provides information for strategic decision support and for tactical and operational needs. ITS also provides the information infrastructure (in terms of technology, training, and consulting) to empower people to make effective use of information resources.

6. Goals

The following list of goals has had little work done on it since the initial brainstorming session. Items need to be put into categories, and assigned priorities and given to teams to implement. This is the section we are working on now.

  1. Implement a web-based student-information system
  2. Be perceived as The Place to get excellent PC support
  3. Achieve Y2K compliance (see GC definition)
  4. Increase faculty utilization of technology in teaching
  5. To provide video conferencing capability
  6. Provide technology to support AU plan for distance learning
  7. To provide more cost-effective long distance telephone service for students
  8. To provide a management information system that gives improved decision support
  9. To realize the strategic potential of email and electronic calendaring
  10. Improve end-user access to information
  11. Improve remote access availability
  12. Achieve high levels of availability and reliability
  13. Develop a viable enterprise contingency plan
  14. To provide information access in a convenient and flexible as well as secure manner
  15. Improve time & attendance system
  16. Improve data integrity
  17. Increase educational utilization of cable TV system
  18. Provide improved training and consulting services
  19. Develop a user-friendly, robust intranet for account management, etc
  20. Develop the use of the intranet for internal communications
  21. Develop the use of the intranet for information delivery
  22. Develop management and billing models for offering new telecom services
  23. Centralize and standardize on personal computer hardware
  24. Centralize endorsement of all technology purchases, to ensure intercommunication
  25. Raise level of awareness of the impact on technology of equipment purchases, building and renovation plans
  26. Change the funding model for PC support
  27. Community services
  28. Communicate the ITS Mission and Strategic Plan
  29. Set up an effective annual strategic planning cycle in ITS
  30. Andrews web
  31. ITS home page
  32. Develop standards, policies and procedures
  33. Meet growing demands for disk storage
  34. Implement wireless voice & data networking
  35. Document imaging and workflow
  36. Address certification
  37. Develop a process for evaluating and monitoring ITS services
  38. Provide excellent training and development opportunities for ITS staff
  39. Meet requirements for Semester Conversion
  40. Telephone reception
  41. Web registration
  42. Enhance office productivity through appropriate use of technology

7. Planning Cycle

The IT Directors from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University have jointly developed an annual planning cycle, and ITS is attempting to learn from their experience.

PlanningCycle.jpg (40438 bytes)

Created: Tuesday, July 27, 1999, 12:20:16 PM
Last modified: Monday, January 6, 2003 12:12 PM