Spring 2016 review cycle is closed; Fall 2016 review & submission cycle is open (6/1-7/15)

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In partnership with CSU Channel Islands IT Policy and Planning Committee (ITPPC) and CI's Division Project Coordinators (DPCs), we are pleased to announce that the spring 2016 major IT project & procurement review cycle successfully closed.

On Monday, June 6, CI's IT Policy & Planning Committee met to review the outcomes of the inaugural spring 2016 major project & procurement review cycle. Michael Berman presented the final approved project request list to the President's Cabinet on 6/6, and received positive feedback.

66 project requests were received and reviewed during the spring 2016 cycle. Of the 66 requests, 32 (48%) were approved to continue (or to begin). The remainder were postponed until additional IT resources become available. Postponed project requests may be re-submitted by each division for review during the next cycle. You may view the final spring 2016 approved project list here.

We are also pleased to announce that the fall 2016 project review cycle is now open, and the submission period runs from June 1 - July 15.  Major projects & procurements submitted for this cycle are expected to kick-off in early spring 2016. 

One significant change we've made for the fall cycle is that the project request will be submitted electronically (via TeamDynamix), in replacement of the MS Word form used previously. This update should help streamline electronic collaboration on new project requests and facilitate the submission process. Melissa Bergem, T&C Project Coordinator, has been meeting one-on-one with the DPCs to review the new submissions process.  

The deadline for DPCs to submit their draft project list to T&C for review during this cycle is 5:00PM on July 15. Requests received after July 15 shall not be evaluated by T&C during this cycle. More importantly, major projects or procurements which fail to be submitted during this cycle are not likely to be completed during the 2016-17 fiscal year. 

Please contact Peter Mosinskis at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu with any questions. 

Changes to our IT project & procurement processes

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I'm excited to announce some significant changes that the Division of Technology & Communication is implementing for the processes surrounding IT project & procurement management.

Our division is initiating these changes because our current processes aren't sustainable, mostly because we don't have strategic alignment at the campus level for our largest, most complex project & procurement requests. This means that as an organization, T&C is getting bogged down by uncoordinated requests from campus organizations for same small, finite set of information technology resources. These resources are being affected by inefficiencies, waste, conflict and delays related to constantly shifting priorities, so we are taking steps to improve the way we manage these processes.

Stephen Covey provided a great analogy about prioritization called "The Big Rocks of Life" which is illustrated here. This principle underlies the goal of our changes: to focus on the high-value, high-impact activities that must be done first.

We met this Thursday with project requestors, sponsors and stakeholders to discuss these changes. You can watch a video presentation about the forthcoming changes, or plan to attend an upcoming information sessions (dates TBD).

At the meeting, we shared a one-pager (in PDF format) summarizing these changes with the attendees.

We also launched an updated T&C procurement web site, which describes a 7-step process to successfully complete procurement of IT-related products and services. 

Finally, today we published an updated business practice on IT project and procurement governance, which goes into a lot of detail about how our new project & procurement request process is supposed to work. 

This is a big change, and we don't expect the first iteration to work perfectly. In fact, we expect there to be some problems that we have to work around. If you have any questions, or can think of any ways in which we can improve the speed, quality or efficiency of our process, please contact me at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu.  

On behalf of Michael Berman and all of the staff in the Division of Technology & Communication, I  appreciate your patience, feedback and ongoing support as we transition to this new process, and thank you for being our valued partners in creating an exceptional University. 

TeamDynamix is live at CI

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We are pleased to announce that the TeamDynamix project and portfolio system is now live at CSU Channel Islands.

This system enables the Division of Technology & Communication to more efficiently communicate with customers about their project requests and projects, and provides T&C and campus leadership with insight into the value of IT projects for the University.

Customers can use TeamDynamix to submit requests for new IT projects, as well as view the status of both their requests and active approved projects. TeamDynamix can be accessed using the "T&C Projects" link within myCI, or by visiting the T&C Projects page

T&C's Project Management group has produced a set of video tutorials which demonstrate the system's functionality for our customers as well as T&C staff. These videos are available at http://go.csuci.edu/tdhelp

Effective March 2, 2015, TeamDynamix replaces Freshbooks as the Division's official repository for tracking time spent on all project and cost recovery activities, in accordance with the T&C Business Practice for Tracking Time on Task (BP-00-009).

Please contact Melissa Bergem at melissa.bergem@csuci.edu with any questions or issues related to TeamDynamix.

New project management tools are coming!

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We're really pleased to announce that we will be updating our project management tools (and process) for CI organizations and employees that request minor and major projects from the Division of Technology & Communication (T&C).

In spring 2014, we entered into a partnership with TeamDynamix, a leader in project management and IT service management solutions for higher education, to begin implementation of a new project and portfolio management information system for T&C.

This new system will provide simpler, more streamlined approach for tracking, reporting, analyzing, editing, communicating, and archiving technology projects. The tool has some great features for project communication and collaboration: routing workflows for request approval, built-in chat and discussion forums, a knowledgebase, document repositories, and reporting dashboards, to name a few. In addition, users will be able to access TeamDynamix through single-sign-on via MyCI, or even add comments to project communications automatically via email. 

This week, TeamDynamix is on-site visiting with T&C managers and staff to provide initial system configuration and training. The implementation team is making great progress and learning the in's and outs of the system flow. 

Within the next several days we should have a draft of the start-to-finish project flow completed, from request to charter to planning/execution to closure, which is really exciting! There's so much to learn, and so many capabilities and options; in some ways it's been like drinking from a firehose. There’s still a lot of other detail to be finished, but it’s all coming together. We still need to tackle creation of our remaining user base (all CI employees), and migrating our open projects and requests to the system. 

We will begin to roll-out the system in August to T&C employees, followed by a wider roll-out for campus organizations and employees in fall 2014. 

Please contact Peter Mosinskis at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu with any further questions. 

Fall 2012 update

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Now that fall classes have begun, the campus is once again buzzing with activity. As the Division begins to tackle new project requests for the academic year, it's the perfect opportunity to review some of the accomplishments and recent changes to our project management program.

We're pleased to share a narrated video presentation (running time approx. 7 minutes) with some important updates about our program.

Project Management Update September 2012

Please contact Peter Mosinskis at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu with any questions.

Annual Report Part 2, and Lessons Learned

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A few weeks ago, we published and distributed Part 2 of our annual report to Division employees. Part 2 focuses on the employee perspective of our project & portfolio management program, and is available to University employees upon request; please contact Peter Mosinskis at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu to request a copy.

It's always a challenge to launch a new program. For our young IT organization, formal project and portfolio management practices represent a big cultural shift. While some IT operations are still starting up, on the whole our organization has matured significantly over the past 10 years. As we have matured, we have slowly moved from a reactive organization that constantly put out fires to one that is more measured, thoughtful, strategic and ultimately more proactive about how academic and information technology solutions are deployed to the campus community and supported by IT operations.

The results of our employee evaluation reflect how important it is to ensure that your IT project approach matches up with your level of organizational maturity. In our employee survey, we observed a moderate reception of the formal project processes and forms we implemented over the last year.  I believe these results reinforce the importance of low start-up cost and low barrier-of-entry to establishing formal project and portfolio management practices in a growing organization, as well as the challenges brought on by the resulting cultural shift.

One major area where we need to improve is how we get the word out about our projects and our project processes. Over the next year we will focus on improving visibility of these areas.

Annual report and finding

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We've recently completed and sent an annual report about the first year of our project and portfolio management program to Division staff and key campus stakeholders. 

The report is presented as a 14-minute narrated presentation. It discusses the goals, successes and challenges of the program from the perspective of our customers, and summarizes the feedback that campus stakeholders provided to us a questionnaire sent at the end of September.

Here are a few key finding from the report:
  1. Capacity is key. We opened 46 new projects during our first year, and completed 76 projects (66% of which were legacy projects). As of November 1, 2011, we have 42 open projects. On average, 86% of T&C staff time is spent on support of operations, leaving only 14% of time for projects. More importantly, over 80% of T&C staff spent less than 20% of their time on projects over the last year. The Division's ability to complete projects on time, on budget and to our customers' satisfaction is directly tied to our capacity to take on projects, and the division must take care to ensure that it has the capacity to take on new projects.
  2. While the tools could be improved, they have paid for themselves. Although staff reactions to using Freshbooks to track time for project and cost-recovery activity tasks has been mixed, the use of this tool has enabled us to fully recover the cost of the service. In addition, staff spent less than 100 hours total over the course of the year tracking time on project tasks.
  3. We met our initial goals. We are now able to make better strategic decisions because we have data; we have created a process that has enabled us to correct problems as we move along and stay flexible to adapt to projects of different sizes; and most importantly, we have created more predictable project outcomes for our customers. 77% of our completed projects were completed on time, and all were within 5% of their proposed budget. 
Members of the campus community that wish to view the narrated presentation may request a link to the presentation by contacting me via email at peter.mosinskis@csuci.edu.

In other news, we've recently reorganized and updated the T&C Projects web site to make it easier than ever for our customers to find project information and submit new project requests. 

We look forward to working with our customers and Division staff to continue to improve our project service over the next year, and we wish happy holidays to you and yours!