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Educause has posted the top ten issues article for this year, and the article is here:

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/top-ten-it-issues-2012

I wonder if we might spend some time discussing one issue a week over this summer.  Thought we might start "bottom up."

The first issue is:
Issue #10: Establishing and Implementing IT Governance throughout
the Institution

Establishing an IT governance process is possibly the single most-effective step toward effective IT leadership because it will provide a framework for defining decision rights around IT priorities and resource allocation.

You can read the full post on the web site.


Does anyone have a strong governance model that they believe works will for their university?  What characterizes a strong and well-working model?  

Our model is somewhat different in that our university strongly supports edge decisions on technology, and centralizes decisions on policy.

--
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University
 
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Currently in the planning stages of implementing an IT Gov. at my current institution (a community college) and very interested in feedback related to Theresa's questions.  
Connie Schaffer, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer and
Assoc. Vice President of Technology
Owens Community College 
Toledo, OH 43699
>>> Theresa Rowe <rowe@OAKLAND.EDU> 6/19/2012 11:45 AM >>>
Educause has posted the top ten issues article for this year, and the article is here:

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/top-ten-it-issues-2012

I wonder if we might spend some time discussing one issue a week over this summer. Thought we might start "bottom up."

The first issue is:
Issue #10: Establishing and Implementing IT Governance throughout
the Institution

Establishing an IT governance process is possibly the single most-effective step toward effective IT leadership because it will provide a framework for defining decision rights around IT priorities and resource allocation.

You can read the full post on the web site.


Does anyone have a strong governance model that they believe works will for their university? What characterizes a strong and well-working model?

Our model is somewhat different in that our university strongly supports edge decisions on technology, and centralizes decisions on policy.

--
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Centralized IT governance at educational institutions appears to be a tough sell – at least during my lifetime. We confront reluctance to follow management guidelines assuming they are counterproductive to the academic process (let alone to the notion we "have always done it this way". Adoption of a successful governance model would simplify everyone's lives and would assure that priorities and goals could be aligned throughout the university, not just scattered through some departments. A governance structure that involves process and procedure and that is a tough sell in the academy (unless "we have always done it that way") because it is viewed as controlling and intrusive. It remains a priority for me and my staff, if only to preserve our sanity, in guiding the services and technologies we provide to the entire community. Like Connie, anyone with a successful model that can be copied or altered for the rest of us struggling to implement something that works in our respective environments would be appreciated. I handed a copy of the Educause list to my staff and asked them to consider whether the list was applicable to us and what we are facing. It will make an interesting discussion, particularly as well pare budgets and consider what we are asked to do against what we can afford to do. Tom Thomas H. Carnwath Vice President Technology and Information Services Hamilton Hall 320 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Tel: 215-717-6440 [cid:A03D5623-ECD2-473F-B475-FCB8B8E71D05] Need Assistance? Call Oops (215-717-6677) to get answers. OTIS will never ask for your personal information or password in an email. Never share this information with anyone. This message and any attachment may contain confidential or privileged information and is intended for the intended individual named as addressee. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete this message and all attachments from your system. Any unauthorized disclosure, use, distribution, or reproduction of this message or any attachments is prohibited and may be deemed unlawful. Please consider the environment before printing this email. From: Theresa Rowe > Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > Subject: [CIO] Top Ten Issues: #10 Educause has posted the top ten issues article for this year, and the article is here: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/top-ten-it-issues-2012 I wonder if we might spend some time discussing one issue a week over this summer. Thought we might start "bottom up." The first issue is: Issue #10: Establishing and Implementing IT Governance throughout the Institution Establishing an IT governance process is possibly the single most-effective step toward effective IT leadership because it will provide a framework for defining decision rights around IT priorities and resource allocation. You can read the full post on the web site. Does anyone have a strong governance model that they believe works will for their university? What characterizes a strong and well-working model? Our model is somewhat different in that our university strongly supports edge decisions on technology, and centralizes decisions on policy. -- Theresa Rowe Chief Information Officer Oakland University ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hey all,

 

I have had memos that are a solid inch high for the past year to get this started at my institution – I think it crucial given some legitimate (and not so legitimate) gripes IT gets about transparency.  General school politics have prevented us from moving forward and I decided to wait until our new president arrives in July to start our campaign again.  I’m noting this because as reasonable as IT by Gov may sound, it needs full institutional backing to work otherwise you get another ‘driven and operated by IT’ council that [in my mind at least] defeats the purpose of the model.

 

Having done IT by Gov before at other institutions with relative success, I believe in subcommittees (or the main governing committee) being ready and willing to disband/go-on-hiatus as soon as their use is done, and while I don’t want us to be mired in tactics, I’ll be wanting to focus less on strategy than I used to when I first started messing around with the model.   

 

Also: if there is a main committee, no more than one or two IT people on it, including myself, is what I’d be aiming for.

 

All the best,

  Greg

 

Assistant Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Cape Cod Community College

240 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668

Phone: 508-362-2131 x 4701

 

 

 

Message from bauer.rick@gmail.com

Good discussion, and one well worth pondering. A few thoughts....

One of the megatrends that is happening in corporate IT is the phenomenon of "shadow IT", and even in my earlier days as a CIO in academe, I saw a lot of it. What is also happening is the "consumerization if IT", which CIO's can freak out about, or can try to embrace and leverage. With the business units of companies (translated, department heads, professors and schools) having more of the purchasing power in IT, and having that % of purchasing power grow (and I think that's a good thing), how can corporate/campus IT provide the KTLA services with utility-like reliability, leverage economies of scale, manage the regulatory compliance issues, all the while supporting the innovation, choice, brilliance, and in some cases, just plain crazy initiatives that are cropping up all over creation? It's a tough challenge, and it won't be going away. The % of the IT spend by central IT will decline over time, and the % of the IT spend by departments and individuals will continue to rise--I don't see much happening to change this trend, either.

A governance model (or models, and I do not think one model applies to all IT in any organization; and I am not sure the term "governance" reflects what at best is more of an acceptable level of lack of control) has to stop thinking about "shadow IT" and start thinking in terms of the growing sophistication of the end user knowledge workers in our organizations. Providing some looser coupling on expectations might keep even worse things from happening, and I think the expectations of what IT will be able to provide, what IT can mandate, and what end users will have to agree upon as part of their growing responsibility...all these issues are very much in the discussion.

Mobility and Cloud are not causing the phenomenon, but they are enabling "corporate/campus" IT to be bypassed in some significant ways that are positive and negative. I spoke about this in the context of mobility at the recent CITE conference in San Francisco, and would glad to share my slide deck to anyone interested.

Thanks for good insights, as always, from this esteemed group.

Rick Bauer, CompTIA (former CIO, not selling anything)

On , "Banwarth, Gregory" <gbanwarth@capecod.edu> wrote:
> Hey all, I have had memos that are a solid inch high for the past year to get this started at my institution – I think it crucial given some legitimate (and not so legitimate) gripes IT gets about transparency.  General school politics have prevented us from moving forward and I decided to wait until our new president arrives in July to start our campaign again.  I’m noting this because as reasonable as IT by Gov may sound, it needs full institutional backing to work otherwise you get another ‘driven and operated by IT’ council that [in my mind at least] defeats the purpose of the model. Having done IT by Gov before at other institutions with relative success, I believe in subcommittees (or the main governing committee) being ready and willing to disband/go-on-hiatus as soon as their use is done, and while I don’t want us to be mired in tactics, I’ll be wanting to focus less on strategy than I used to when I first started messing around with the model.    Also: if there is a main committee, no more than one or two IT people on it, including myself, is what I’d be aiming for. All the best,  Greg Assistant Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information OfficerCape Cod Community College240 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668Phone: 508-362-2131 x 4701   
Key to me in making sure that we are all talking about the same thing is the definition of governance:
"defining decision rights around IT priorities and resource allocation."

Around 10 years ago, I worked with several leadership groups on campus to come up with a standing list of priorities, and the list is posted here:
http://www.oakland.edu/uts/policies#priorities

We don't have standing committees that evaluate priorities.  We just apply the standard as described on that web site.  It has a built in default; the executives can override.    Resources are allocated by priorities.

If there are issues that require discussion, then we go through a defined governance process.  This is most commonly occurring when we update policies.  The governance process is defined here:  http://www.oakland.edu/uts/policies#governance
It is really a process of moving things through any of several committees.  It takes me about a full academic year to update a policy.

I've tried a couple times to have an "IT Council" but it hasn't worked in our culture, which is quite distributed.  The executive council seems to fill the role, and is involved only as needed.  There's a strong expectation that I should work with existing committees, particularly the University Senate and the University Senate Academic Computing Committee for academic issues.

Theresa





In the past four years, Wake Forest has developed an IT governance structure that is serving us well.

Brief history:
  • In 1995, we established the Committee on Information Technology (CIT) charged with providing guidance around academic technology.  For 13 years, that was the only advisory group.
  • In February 2008, the IT Partners Council (ITPC) was formed to advise on priorities for administrative computing. Its membership is mostly associate vice presidents from the administrative areas (Finance, Advancement, HR, Facilities, Provost Office, Student Life, etc., plus IT).
  • In August, 2009, the IT Executive Committee was formed, and charged by the Provost and CFO with overarching responsibility for IT governance. It is advisory to the Provost and CFO.  Membership is mostly vice presidents and deans. One of ITEC's first actions was to negotiate formal charters for the CIT and ITPC, which are now advisory to ITEC.
  • We recently added the Banner Steering Committee, charged by the ITPC, to define and maintain data definitions and standards, and to help inform information architecture decisions.
All the groups have cross-representation.

These groups have proven invaluable, not only for setting priorities and policies, but also for giving visibility to what central IT does and the challenges we face.  They have been instrumental in fostering an understanding that most technology issues cannot be solved by the IT department alone. As we have faced major decisions around directions in technology, they have been able to engage the entire campus in ways the IT department alone could not.

Do not underestimate the value of an escalation path. Many work groups can resolve differences when they know that the alternative is escalation to AVPs or VPs for a decision.

I might add that before we built this structure, I visited another university for a nice briefing on their IT governance. I could not fathom why they had so many governance groups. What we ended up with is actually quite similar to theirs; every group plays a unique and critical role.

Critical to success is that the members of these groups get just how important this work is. The members care about the outcomes, and are willing to invest the time to make good decisions.

Rick
Associate Provost for Technology & Information Systems



I agree about having many advisory groups.  We have a list here:   Governance

A description of information technology governance is available in the document Governance Process.



Rick,

Nice summary.  I would be interested in a general framework for Governance.  I think most of us work with different committees and some of us have an executive committee.  In the end, it does come down to engagement with the campus community to set priorities, allocate resources and to align with a strategic plan. 

To create a framework, I would pose the following questions.

  1. When is a committee formed/needed?
  2. What is the committee's purpose and scope? (decision, feedback, recommendations)?
  3. Committee membership (community representation).
  4. What is the life span of the committee (on-going, project...)?
  5. Where are decisions made (executive committee)?
  6. When are decisions made (budget cycle, academic cycle...)?
  7. How frequently do committees meet (consider cycles)?

Having committees doesn't do very much if they can't either make decisions and allocate resources... or report to a decision making body... and ensure their recommendations align with the right decision making cycles.

While every campus and culture is a little different, I think there are some general best practices which could be developed to assist in creating a governance model.


Floyd Davenport CIO/Director Information Technology Services Washburn University floyd.davenport@washburn.edu http://blog.washburn.edu/technology 785-670-2066
On 6/19/2012 3:55 PM, Matthews, Rick wrote:
In the past four years, Wake Forest has developed an IT governance structure that is serving us well.

Brief history:
  • In 1995, we established the Committee on Information Technology (CIT) charged with providing guidance around academic technology.  For 13 years, that was the only advisory group.
  • In February 2008, the IT Partners Council (ITPC) was formed to advise on priorities for administrative computing. Its membership is mostly associate vice presidents from the administrative areas (Finance, Advancement, HR, Facilities, Provost Office, Student Life, etc., plus IT).
  • In August, 2009, the IT Executive Committee was formed, and charged by the Provost and CFO with overarching responsibility for IT governance. It is advisory to the Provost and CFO.  Membership is mostly vice presidents and deans. One of ITEC's first actions was to negotiate formal charters for the CIT and ITPC, which are now advisory to ITEC.
  • We recently added the Banner Steering Committee, charged by the ITPC, to define and maintain data definitions and standards, and to help inform information architecture decisions.
All the groups have cross-representation.

These groups have proven invaluable, not only for setting priorities and policies, but also for giving visibility to what central IT does and the challenges we face.  They have been instrumental in fostering an understanding that most technology issues cannot be solved by the IT department alone. As we have faced major decisions around directions in technology, they have been able to engage the entire campus in ways the IT department alone could not.

Do not underestimate the value of an escalation path. Many work groups can resolve differences when they know that the alternative is escalation to AVPs or VPs for a decision.

I might add that before we built this structure, I visited another university for a nice briefing on their IT governance. I could not fathom why they had so many governance groups. What we ended up with is actually quite similar to theirs; every group plays a unique and critical role.

Critical to success is that the members of these groups get just how important this work is. The members care about the outcomes, and are willing to invest the time to make good decisions.

Rick
Associate Provost for Technology & Information Systems



Hi,

 

I’ve been following this theme with interest. I think that Tackling IT Governance can be a bit like eating the elephant – best tackled in parts!  There are aspects relating to: business alignment; technology strategy; stakeholder engagement; IT service management; project governance and delivery etc.  

 

Here at Edinburgh University we’ve recently taken a closer look at IT project governance and come up with a toolkit for delivering major and strategic IT projects. The toolkit was originally developed by our CIO and Director of Corporate Services with input from a specialist external consultancy.  The toolkit  has been used on a few major projects so far - most importantly a three year project to implement a University wide Academic Timetabling solution. Early results are very encouraging. The toolkit has proved a good way of engaging project stakeholders and giving senior University management a better view of project progress and where action may be required.

 

The toolkit is described at:  http://www.projects.ed.ac.uk/methodologies/Full_Software_Project_Template/ProjectGovernanceToolkit.pdf

 

Other institutions are welcome to pick this up if it would be helpful with your own IT governance issues.

 

I hope this is helpful (and not too specific) for the discussion in hand.

 

Best wishes, Mark

 

Mark Ritchie
Deputy Director and Head of Project Services

Information Services Applications Division

University of Edinburgh

E: mark.ritchie@ed.ac.uk

T: +44 131 650 2103

M: +44 7917 587254

W: http:/www.ed.ac.uk/is/applications

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Theresa Rowe
Sent: 19 June 2012 22:08
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Top Ten Issues: #10

 

I agree about having many advisory groups.  We have a list here:   Governance

A description of information technology governance is available in the document Governance Process.

 

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