In my travels around the UC system and outside California, many conversations lead to the topic of significant changes happening in higher education, research, and healthcare. I consider the role our IT teams across the system play in support of the UC mission, and I see positive impact. But as a former business and transformation leader, I also see opportunities for us to do much more, especially when you consider the major role technology plays in how our industries are being redefined.
So how can we do more as an IT community?
- By understanding the pressing needs of our customers. We are good at that.
- By understanding the new, best, innovative practices in your area, both inside and outside UC, and sharing those examples with our customers. We should do more of that.
- By being collaborative with our IT colleagues across the system, when it means we can leverage something that has already been done and use it to get to value more quickly. We don’t do nearly enough of this.
- And finally, by using our collective talent, experience, and ambition to build a repository of skills, knowledge, and digital assets so we can create value more quickly and in ways we haven’t done before. Everyone should think about that.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your ideas about how we can organize and collaborate to better support and shape how UC benefits from change. Either respond to this blog post or email me directly. How we adapt to the future depends on all of us, not just those at the top. The University’s leadership needs your input.
I’ve been asked by managers to elaborate and provide more context to my blog entry and talk about the specific approach to performance management.
I am a strong proponent of performance management that is fair but, at the same time, differentiates above, meets, and below standard performance. UC as a whole believes in this approach, however, it has been my view that we have not been applying the right amount of rigor to our process at ITS.
Therefore, HR and I are working with all managers and supervisors this year to strengthen the understanding of the performance management system and conduct a more thorough process with all employees. This improved process will touch evaluation of performance and contribution, application of competencies for how work gets done, and the dialog for employee development. All managers have been required to attend a refresher training and also had the opportunity to discuss how we expect the process to be conducted. We will also be instituting a calibration review as part of our process to ensure we have visibility and discussion around an appropriate distribution around performance.
Granted, this will be different for everyone. Some may even find it uncomfortable. But any high performing organization should address performance in a professional way and have a process that provides for differentiation. This is where UC is going, and what employees via the engagement survey have asked for. IT is looking to lead the way rather than waiting for this cultural change to be thrust upon us.
I hope this helps people understand what we are looking for in the process. As I have said, it takes work. But this is what organizations do to ensure there is alignment to objectives and effective execution behind it. It is also where we define the investment we need to make in people. This is important, which is why it has my attention. I thank you for your support and participation in this process, and if questions, you can reach out to me.
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Happy summer everyone!
I am going to devote this entry to just one topic – the performance appraisal process. Let me explain why. Across the course of my career, I’ve learned that we can’t do everything and time is our biggest constraint. So I have to think carefully about what is most important, and dedicate larger chunks of my attention to those topics. I have learned (with much, much coaching) that my attention needs to be on strategic alignment, our operating model, and talent development.
So for me, the performance appraisal process is not an administrative exercise; it is a process that determines our organizational effectiveness and performance. It helps us to talk about the prior year’s objectives, successes, struggles, and contribution. It gives us the opportunity to formally sit down with each and every employee and discuss that person’s goals and career aspirations, and align them to what we are doing with our whole team.
This is not always easy, and it does require a time commitment. This commitment is well worth the effort and builds a level of trust in our efforts to improve our performance as an organization. I am asking all employees, both individuals and managers, to make a concerted effort to bring more energy and focus to these tasks over the next few months – to have real dialog; to think about, discuss, and set objectives that relate to our Guiding Statement and 5-point Strategy; and to help every employee make development goals that connect to their career aspirations.
We have timed manager refresher training, as well as a webinar on professional development for everyone, to prepare the entire organization for these dialogs. Please take them seriously and schedule the time you need to fully engage in the performance management process.
A lot has been going on in the IT sphere at UC. Here’s a quick update to keep you in the know. Also, I list a few events you should attend yourself.
• Oracle Day. On May 6, we held an Oracle-UC Day. Twelve UC locations were represented. I’ll provide more detail soon in the Calendar Highlights.
• Community College Transfer Initiative. The final report on the President’s Community College Transfer Initiative was presented to the Regents Technology enablement is an important part of the recommendations. IT participation is expected from several locations, leveraging both current best practices and building enabling new applications.
• IT Collaboration. The IT leadership Council met in Oakland mid May to discuss collaboration across the system, including developing a Big Data Cyberinfrastructure and organizing a research computing summit in the fall. The meeting agenda is posted on SharePoint.
• Med Center Collaboration. The five UC medical centers share 12 million medical records and are starting to collaborate on combining patient record information and genetic sequencing. They also are discussing opportunities for IT shared services.
• Student Information Systems. Two campuses are preparing for major student system replacement projects – UC Irvine and UC Berkeley.
• UCPath Future. The 100 UCPath future state process designs (FSPD) are complete, with the final set approved this week by the UCPath Steering Committee. The next step is a three-week review of the functional solution designs, showing how each of the 100 FSPDs will look in the PeopleSoft environment. The focus of the review will be on bringing UCPath live for UCOP.
Things for you to do:
• Join the upcoming ITS webinars or schedule time to hear the recordings later.
• Talk to your manager about attending the UC Computing Services Conference (UCCSC) in August in San Francisco.
• Attend at the ITS Town Hall on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in the Elihu Harris State Building. As an experiment, we’re web streamlining the session. So if you can’t attend in person, go to this webstream link to join via the web.
I invite all of you to use the CIO blog and follow me on Twitter. Feel free to share these links with others in broader UC IT community. The more we share, the more connections we make.
Here’s a quick note to get you caught up on my activities. As promised, I am sharing more about my trips to locations and activities supporting the mission for teaching, research and healthcare. See the “calendar highlights” in the CIO website. I continue to be amazed at the impact UC has on California, the world, and most importantly on people. I also see a tremendous opportunity for IT to play a stronger role in the University’s future. Many areas are being profoundly changed through the use of technology. I encourage you to be interested in not only technology but also how we as a University use it for teaching, assessing student success, and enabling ground-breaking research. Technology is just a tool – it’s the application that makes an impact.
There’s a lot happening on the communications front in ITS. We’re developing an agenda for the June 10 ITS Town Hall, which we’ll web stream from the Elihu Harris auditorium (thanks to the UCSF team). I encourage you to tell me or your director any topics you’d like to see addressed. Our webinar series is posted online: Save May 19 for the next webinar – an overview of our QA function. Also, send me feedback on how you’re living with the ITS objectives – see my question to you on this blog. Feel free to post other comments or questions, and to share these links with others in the broad IT community. The more we share, the more connections we make.
One last thing – Thursday is the 100th anniversary for our UC Cooperative Extension. Happy 100th . . . . !!!
We developed our ITS guiding statement, 5 point strategy, and objectives some months ago now. I’d like to understand if and how you’re using them. Are you finding them to be useful guides and reminders, or do they seem removed from your daily work?
I’d like to hear about topics that matter to you. Please use this blog to send me any questions, ideas, or comments you have.
With our department spread across three locations, and some individuals telecommuting or working remotely, it’s very important to me that we find new ways to communicate. And I believe that as an IT department we should use and experiment with technology to facilitate our communication. In this new blog, I intend to raise issues and pose questions for all of you to consider and respond to. I truly value your input and creativity. As President Napolitano has said, the best ideas often come from those on the ground. So here’s my first question to you: What communications tools have you had good experience with or would like to see us use in ITS? We may not be able to implement them all or even right away, but let’s get the conversation started. Change begins with ideas.
Our world continues to change before our eyes. IT is woven more and more into the fabric of our daily lives at home and at work. As IT professionals this means we have a great opportunity to shape the future of how we work and to help advance the UC mission (hint: our Guiding Statement). There is also a shift to a new paradigm – the so-called democratization of IT – with the help of companies like Google, Twitter, and Apple. IT people no longer have control over the technology and tools. Everyone does. So how do we adapt to these changes and also help our customers leverage the power and opportunity that comes with technology? What are your thoughts on how we as an IT group need to evolve? I invite you to brainstorm with me.