Core Value: Measurable
Curt Carver's thoughts on Measurable
As the old saying goes, everyone has an opinion and some of them smell more than others. I believe that the measurable core value attempts to remove some of the odor associated with decisions. It suggests that a culture of evidence and objectivity should underlie our decisions.
What we measure conveys what we believe is important to ITS. If we measure nothing, chaos is important. If we measure everything, control is important. If we measure only what is needed to meet our strategic plan and delight our customers, then we create an agile, objective, and customer-focused organization.
We have implemented some changes in ITS to build this culture of evidence and measurability within the organization. The first change was incorporating a mission analysis into our project creation process. Providing clear definitions of “facts” and “assumptions” within the mission analysis process supports measurability. For the most part, the remainder of the mission analysis process is predictable and data driven. The follow-up steps after measurability are service-level agreements and strategic roadmaps. They accomplish the same goal: to make explicit who will do what to whom and when. These processes allow us to monitor and measure our services over time and improve them.
The second change we have introduced involving measurability is our project prioritization efforts. The project prioritization list, which has been vetted with every vice chancellor in the System office, prioritizes everything ITS is doing according to a priority scale of 0 to 10. This process of vetting 88 projects, 66 major change requests, and 70 tasks defeats the notion that ITS has a money tree and a people tree. We are sending a message: changing your projects and priority requirements impacts other projects and priorities and cannot be unilaterally decided.
Finally, progress and performance are measurable. Just as the organization is setting high goals and metrics to measure progress towards the achievement of those goals, I ask you to examine your role in ITS and nest your goals and metrics of progress within our strategic plan so that we build a common language and culture of measurability. In doing so, ITS maintains a balance between chaos (no measurability) and absolute control (so much measurability that we lose agility). Measurability is our core value because it removes the odor associated with our decisions; consequently, it underlies everything we do.
“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.”
“The more specific and measurable your goal, the more quickly you will be able to identify, locate, create, and implement the use of the necessary resources for its achievement.”
Charles J. Givens
The USO Exchange Project: A Measurable Achievement
In terms of sheer numbers, the University System Office (USO) Exchange project has been an impressive feat. In March 2009, Systems Office Technology Support (SOTS) in Atlanta and Workstation Support Services (WSS) in Athens migrated all staff e-mail accounts and calendars to Microsoft Exchange. In addition, Ginger Durham of Instructional Design and Development, provided training to email users in both locations. By the end of March 2010, SOTS and WSS will complete the second phase of the project to migrate all workstations to the USO domain. This means that all staff members can log into VPN and the wireless network with their USO credentials.
The USO Exchange project came about when USO leaders decided that staff in both offices would benefit from a common e-mail and calendaring system. Through the efforts of the project team, USO personnel communicate more efficiently through shared e-mail, collaborate more effectively through shared calendars, and can access e-mail and calendars on mobile devices. Implementing Microsoft exchange across the USO required a huge effort. The numbers below speak for themselves. Thanks to the project team and to SOTS, WSS, and Ginger Durham in particular, for a job well done.
- 567 user mailboxes
- 62 mobile devices
- 82 equipment mailboxes
- 60 schedulable rooms
- 25 shared mailboxes
- 200 distribution groups
- Atlanta – 2 training sessions per day for 10 days
- Athens – 2 training session per day for 5 days
Approximately 300 people trained