CSG Spring 2017 – Challenges of Shifting IT to a Trusted Business Transformation Partner

Jim Phelps (Washington) is setting the tone for the workshop on shifting IT to a business partner.

Crisis in retail – new Nordstrom building in Seattle with the network density of a data center and the reconfigurability of a maker space. User-centered design and hyper-personalization. Built on internet of things, machine learning and AI, all designed for end user on mobile devices. Driven by big data analysis in close to real time. Incredibly tight link between IT and business. Autonomous systems like Amazon Echo.

Not just retail – example of Pacific Northwest National Labs personalized app.

Technical Drivers and Cultural Drivers lead to Business Transformation

Comparing our crisis to their crisis – Google crisis in retail – 266 k results, crisis in higher education has 385k results. We have 147% more crisis!

What does digital mean for higher education? What can we do with AI, IOT, hyper-personalization to be user-centric and personalized? What help do our business partners want with this transition?

HBR Analytics asked business leaders what will be IT’s most important contribution to the business over the next three years?

Lowest ranked: Lead and implement most IT projects. What they really want is IT to drive business innovation, manage security and risk, support business-led IT initiatives and establish architectures to support digital. Looking for a different engagement model with evangelizing, consulting, brokering, coaching and (last) delivering.

Impacts of the distributed university – fragmentation in leadership and mission, as well as IT  and the business. IT’s leadership challenge: Working across IT teams to better align, work to overcome barriers between IT and the business; working upward to enable better informed more unified leadership; working across units to create shared language and definitions.

Tom Lewis (Washington) – A UCD Approach to the Five Methods of Engagement

Evangelizing – keep abreast of emerging digital trends and educate business partners on opportunities – know campus needs to identify emerging trends to pinpoint the right ones, and work with campus educate partners.

Consulting – Offer advice and frameworks to enable successful business leadership of technology investments. They offer a User Centered Design framework to help people focus on their users. Example of customer journey mapping. Points of engagement: project planning by helping draft project charter and scope; research design; data analysis. Helped team identify research questions, define scope, redirect focus from artifact to gathering insights, provide step-by-step advice.

Brokering – know campus need to provide internal connections; work with vendors to provide external connections; work with campus to provide leadership of SaaS investments. Example of Canvas selection and implementation. Identify opportunities through knowledge of campus needs. Validate campus needs and understand priorities.  Work intensively with the vendor.

Coaching – develop employee skills and share expertise with others.

Takeaways: Know campus needs, work campus, work with service owners (internal or vendors).

Harvard IT Academy – Trusted Advisor, Facilitated by Deirdre O’Shea

IT Academy – Reskilling our IT professionals for a changing IT landscape, started summer 2015.  Skills identified – having a service mindset, being a trusted advisor, foundational knowledge of agile, ITIL, security, and project management. This year will start to identify technical skills by job families. Four levels in each competency – create common language, take foundational knowledge to think through how to apply it, take concepts and implement them for your team, expert, where you teach others. 52 IT facilitators across Harvard, 135 level 1 classes as of 4/30/17, 2,918 participant completions in Level 1.

Methods – co-facilitation, interactive dialog & exercises, challenge & support, materials, action plan. 3 year investment $1.5 million. Majority is for content licensing and bringing a vendor for ITIL certification. Two full-time staff.

Service Mindset – first class they rolled out. Trusted Advisor starts here. Three competencies: Accountability, Collaborative Partnerships, and Empathy. If you aren’t putting users at the center, you can’t become a trusted advisor.

Trusted Advisor – three competencies: effective communication, connecting, proactive problem solving. Introduction activity – who do you consider a trusted advisor? What characteristics did they demonstrate? (table exercise). Effective communication: factors that influence communication, active listening, miscommunication/ladder of inference, information exchange, questioning, exploring differences.

Active listening – create the right environment, listen until you no longer exist, paraphrase, perception check.

Connecting – partnership spiral, positioning ourselves as a value added partner, trust & credibility, developing & improving relationships.

View building trust as a Marathon of Sprints – good work sustained over time.

Proactive problem solving – identify future needs, influence strategies, motivate users to problem solve, benefits vs. features. Feature describes “what”; benefit describes “so what?”. A feature is what something is, a benefit is what something does.

Bring it together with a case study. Interview stakeholders, build advice, etc.

Christina Tenerowicz  (Colorado) – Business Analysis Relationship at CU

Business Analysis & Solution Architecture – started in Research Administration, now moved to central IT.

21 people in the group.

What’s successful? Business partnership, leadership, and technology. Everyone is accountable for successful delivery of a project. Program manager for each vertical – Research Admin, HR, Student Services, Academic Admin, Advancement and Athletics, Finance. Meet monthly with directors, do a multi-year roadmap showing business benefits along with costs and resources. They offer Business Needs Discovery and Requirements as a service. After a go-live you need to be there for post-implementation support and adoption.

Challenges – Relationship management; continual care and feeding; communication; educating and coaching leadership on business analysis.

Paul Erickson “IT as either an adoption agency or a hospice”

Louis King – we don’t look where we can divest.

Mojgan Amini – Started putting all IT staff through Lean Six Sigma training, and invited business partners which really helped the conversation.


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