Building “One IT” at UC Berkeley

Posted by James Kent Dudek, Director of Organizational Strategy, UCB. UC Berkeley’s central IT division began work on an IT action plan, in 2013, under the leadership of a new CIO. One prominent issue arose, as it had for many years: IT staff were distributed across the campus in various academic, administrative, and research areas.

While we were all working with the best of intentions, we were not well-aligned or even coordinated in our vision for how we approached our daily work. This distribution of staff resulted in a complete lack of coordination and collaboration which was illuminated by different groups of staff working on similar projects but without any knowledge of each other’s efforts.

The separation of labor was not just political or organizational, it was also increasingly geographical. As the campus embraced consolidation efforts brought about by Operational Excellence and other local streamlining work, more and more IT staff were moved to offices on the periphery of campus. How could we begin to attack this problem?

Creating a Solution

Under the leadership of CIO Larry Conrad, Deputy CIO Lyle Nevels, and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff Liz Marsh, a working group was formed to investigate solutions and to carry out recommendations.

The solution is our “One IT” campaign, now in its third year. After interviewing scores of campus leaders both on the functional and technical side of IT, it became evident we needed to create and implement a comprehensive “One IT” engagement plan, which we kicked off in March 2014. With complete support from all IT leaders at Cal, several events are co-sponsored each year with the Office of the CIO and hosted by a different IT group.

The results have far exceeded our grandest visions. Initially we had hoped for 80 of our estimated 900 IT staff to attend. At our very first event, however, we counted in excess of 300 attendees. Since then we have had ten other events, many of which have gathered over 400 IT professionals.

We gather to promote education and awareness, build collaboration, and have fun!

“One IT” events have ranged from social mixers, community picnics and even scavenger hunts, to more formal opportunities for staff and IT units to share work and engage with IT leaders. The IT Summit is an annual event for IT staff to get together to hear the vision and direction from our campus leaders, share best practices, highlight accomplishments over the past year, and inform others about upcoming projects to help identify potential for collaboration.

We have already seen results after two years through increased participation in One IT events and in feedback from staff, who tell us their knowledge of the breadth of IT and work occurring around the campus has greatly increased.

Want to start a “One IT” movement on your campus?

If you are interested in learning about this project in greater detail, please feel free to reach out to me or any of my fellow One IT Committee members. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

UC Berkeley One IT Committee
James Dudek, Co-Chair, Director of Organizational Strategy – SAIT
Devin Jones, Co-Chair, Manager of Software Development – Law
Rita Rosenthal, Co-Chair, Communications Manager – IST/OCIO
April Irwin, Communications Specialist – ETS
Tanya Leigh Jansen, Technical Training & Communications – CSS IT

Related Links
Watch video of One IT presented at UCCSC
View list of upcoming and past One IT events
Learn about IT Summit 2015

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