Posted by Charles McIntyre, UCSC. As our collaboration survey contest winds down, we picked three entries at random to get the remaining free UCCSC tickets. The winners are:
- Patrick Windmiller (UCSB)
- Glenn Blackler (UCSC)
- Jessica Hilt (UCSD)
See you at UC Riverside in August! HUGE THANKS to Tom Andriola, UC CIO at UCOP, for sponsoring the six IT staffers across the system to go to UCCSC!
We received a ton of responses during the last two weeks of the survey, and there were excellent examples of successful collaboration and innovation across the system. From virtualizing and consolidating physical servers, to integrating PPS with ServiceNow, to migrating local divisional innovations to “Central IT,” to the use of cloud services (Google, Box, etc).
One idea in particular stood out for breaking through common barriers to collaboration – the concept of a “collaborative grant,” proposed by Shawn DeArmond, web development manager at UC Davis. There is often lots of initial good will about collaborating on projects that other campuses could benefit from. But when collaborations eats into other deadlines or exacerbates opportunity costs, we often drop the lofty goals and local priorities become the beat we march to.
Shawn suggests having a systemwide grant in the form of staff time or money that could offset the additional resources and time that are sometimes needed to develop something collaboratively. The benefits would be (1) other departments, units, or campuses wouldn’t have to build from scratch and (2) novel solutions would actually get off the ground instead of dying after a short life because of lack of funding.
Another significant barrier to collaboration are the diverse business processes and requirements across various departments and/or campuses. It’s time-consuming and nigh to impossible to do proper business analysis, functional specs, and coding to make sure an application can handle multiple and divergent forms, workflows, and reports. What would be involved with incentivizing business process standardization and simplification before we do the work to automate?