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2. A dynamic change-agent with skills in: ¬
(a) Planning and implementing change

2a2 The Strategic Planning process in ITS

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Initiate an annual Strategic Planning process in ITS. Include the ITS Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Strategic Plan, noting specific areas of alignment with Andrews University Strategic Plan.  Reflect on the process of developing the strategic plan and the annual planning cycle.
  1. The Process
  2. ITS Strategic Goals and Objectives
  3. ITS SWOT Analysis
  4. Strategic Information Technologies
  5. Voting Results For The Strategic IT Projects
  6. Budgeting For Strategic IT Projects
  7. AU Strategic Plan
  8. Draft IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan
  9. Revised IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan
  10. Third Draft IT Strategic Plan
  11. Third Party Comments on the Process
  12. Time Log

1. The Process

ITS managers constantly grapple with trying to balance priorities in a situation where demands far outstrip resources.  A longing has been developing for some overall guidance to help determine the relative importance of the many projects we had been asked to do.  So we decided to meet together to start the process of building an IT strategic plan, incorporating an annual review cycle.  The seven of us involved in this project were:
 
 
Lorena Bidwell Director of Instructional Technology and
Associate Information Officer
Dan Cress Director of Servers & Networks, and
Director of Emerging Technologies
Gary Dickerson Director of Administrative Systems
David Heise Chief Information Officer
James Massena Director of Institutional Technology
Vivien Oxley Telecommunications Manager
Dan Widner Director of Client Services

The annual planning and review cycle we want to put in place is depicted in the following diagram.

Planning Cycle

We followed a top-down approach to developing our strategic plan, as depicted in the following diagram.

Mission to Strategic Plan

Mission

What do we do, why are we here?

Vision

Where do we want to go, to become?

Goals

What do we want to achieve?

Objectives

Break goals into specifics

Strategic Plans

How are we going to get there, to accomplish those goals?
List objectives, as tasks under each objective, with dates.


Who should be involved in this process?
As we work through this process, make presentations to, and seek input/discussion from:
Committee Mission/Vision Goals Objectives Plans
Cabinet X X X X
Strategic Planning   X X X
Acad/Adm Comp X X X X
Deans' Council       X

The process we followed in framing our Vision Statement and Mission Statement is reported in ITS Strategic Planning Process.

ITS Vision Statement

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

ITS Mission Statement

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.

2. ITS Strategic Goals and Objectives

In hindsight, we recognize that we jumped too quickly into detailed objectives, and omitted thinking about the big picture.  We left out the strategic goals step.  We identified 39 objectives (which we later increased to 46).  In the process we followed, strategic goals were developed at a later time.  I designed a Microsoft Access database so that we could report goals and objectives by individual manager, as well as for the whole of ITS.  These are presented in Goals and Objectives.

3. ITS SWOT Analysis

In April 2000, Linda Wysong facilitated a planning session for all the ITS managers.  In this session, we completed questionnaires that helped us each determine our temperament types using the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.  We then brainstormed on our Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats, and used this analysis to highlight some key ideas.  Notes from this session are reported in ITS SWOT Analysis.

4. Strategic Information Technologies

We had been collecting requests for features and services over a period of time, and decided to write them up with brief summaries and present them to appropriate decision-making groups on campus.  Fifteen IT projects were identified, and are listed alphabetically in the following list.
1.  Customer Relationship Management
2.  Data Warehousing
3.  Disaster Recovery Planning
4.  E-commerce
5.  Emergency 911
6.  GroupWare & “white collar productivity”
7.  Helpdesk
8.  Imaging & Workflow in Banner
9.  Instructional Technology
10.  Integrating Voice & Data
11.  Intranet
12.  Mass Storage
13.  One Card Integration
14.  Streaming Audio/Video
15.  Time & Attendance

Brief summaries of each of the projects are presented in Strategic IT Summaries.

5. Voting Results For The Strategic IT Projects

From a list of 15 IT projects, ITS managers, the three university computing committees (Academic, Administrative and Web), and the Strategic Planning committee and the President's Cabinet were asked to vote for the 5 projects considered to have the highest strategic importance to Andrews University. The objective was to reduce the list from 15 to a smaller number of projects for further study, cost-benefit analysis, and prioritization.

Putting together all the votes, but counting only one vote per person, five projects have been identified for further study:

2.  Data Warehousing
8.  Imaging & Workflow in Banner
1.  Customer Relationship Management
4.  E-commerce
9.  Instructional Technology

In addition, the Cabinet chose three other projects for inclusion:

3.  Disaster Recovery Planning
5.  Emergency 911
15.  Time & Attendance

The number of votes received by each project is reported in Voting on the Strategic IT Projects.

6. Budgeting For Strategic IT Projects

Funding for IT capital projects was then allocated across the eight projects that were chosen, as well as caring for the ongoing support and maintenance of regular IT functions.  Activity codes were set up in the ledger to track expenditures on each of the projects.  Budgets approved for 1999-2000 are reported in Budgets for Strategic IT Projects.

7. AU Strategic Plan

The Andrews University Strategic Planning Committee had been meeting for two years, with much of its emphasis being placed on the undergraduate experience.  In late 2000, the President requested that summaries no longer than 5 pages each be written on each of 10 'planks' that had emerged from the discussions of the Strategic Planning Committee.  Managers in ITS worked on ways in which IT needs to be incorporated into the AU plan (see email).The fourth draft of the plan is in The Andrews Experience: Andrews University's Strategic Plan 2001-2006.

I have made notations (marked like this) throughout the document in places where I felt that IT would be necessary or helpful in achieving goals that were stated.  I book-marked these notations, and in IT Links to the AU Strategic Plan, I have assembled a table of cross-referenced links to these notations, organized by ITS department, and asked the ITS managers to review it for me (see email).  Here is the email I sent to my managers reporting on the offsite Cabinet meeting where I presented this document, showing the way IT underpins much of the Andrews strategic plan.

8. Draft IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan

Using ideas generated from the many discussions with ITS managers, I wrote an IT Strategic Plan in an attempt to capture the broad thrust of those discussions, and presented it in the format adopted for the Andrews University Strategic Plan.  While I had consciously tried to make the plan student-centric, and to eliminate the focus on technology that had been evident in the our previous work, I still fell short of where we want to be.

9. Revised IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan

I tried to incorporate the ideas shared with me by the ITS managers in response to my first draft.  This revised IT plan is virtually a complete rewrite, but is an attempt to create an atmosphere of compelling excitement at what is possible through appropriate use of information technology.

10. Third Draft IT Strategic Plan

Some sections were incomplete in the second draft and they have been amplified. In the third draft, we attempt to more thoroughly cover the areas of the Andrews Strategic Plan, and to acknowledge the potential (and the imperative) of IT for creating new value.

11. Third Party Comments on the Process

I have included three email messages that make reference to IT strategic planning at Andrews University.

  1. Email from Collegis: Exploring Opportunities...
  2. Report from Bill Greenley: Professor in Information Systems, School of Business Administration, Andrews University
  3. Report from David Rowe: IT Industry Consultant; Andrews University Trustee

12. Time Log

Time Log
 
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Created: Tuesday, February 20, 2000 04:59 PM
Last Modified: Monday, September 28, 2009 5:32 PM