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Technology Strategic Planning: Mission Impossible or Mastering Our Fate? Scott Garrison, Head Information Technology Services Wallace McLendon, Associate.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology Strategic Planning: Mission Impossible or Mastering Our Fate? Scott Garrison, Head Information Technology Services Wallace McLendon, Associate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology Strategic Planning: Mission Impossible or Mastering Our Fate? Scott Garrison, Head Information Technology Services Wallace McLendon, Associate Director Library Services University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library Mid-Atlantic Chapter/ Medical Library Association 2002 Annual Meeting October 18, 2002

2 Technology planning Mission impossible? no, it can be done Mastering our fate? the library will increasingly depend on technology planning for direction

3 Evolution of technology planning We will use the evolution of technology planning to introduce New technology planning concepts Uses of existing planning models to plan technology

4 How can we go where no woman or man has ever gone before? Reason # 1 Libraries and librarians involved in information technology have a unique perspective due to the interconnectedness between technology and the delivery of information; we will see trends and implications early.

5 How can we go where no woman or man has ever gone been before? Reason # 2 Sometimes it is more important to be provocative than right.

6 Typical strategic planning Vision Mission Goals Objectives Activities Inputs or resources needed Outputs or products Measurable outcomes

7 Typical technology planning management creates organizational plan IT reviews strategic direction IT identifies capabilities that meet needs review existing IT resources summarize IT needs identify system alternatives determine implementation plan develop resource/timetable steps review/present recommended plan John P. Glaser, The Strategic Application of Information Technology in Healthcare Organizations. McGraw-Hill: New York, 1999, p. 20.

8 Technology planning today Reactive Supportive Aligned

9 Reactive technology planning? IT not at planning table Strategic planning done without considering technology support IT given a copy of strategic plan IT manager scurries for resources

10 Supportive technology planning IT may be invited to planning table to hear first-hand library direction Strategic plan completed first Followed by a technology support plan IT manager keeps his/her staff informed about direction of library IT staff raise red flags if organization is disregarding technology implications

11 Aligned technology planning IT represented at planning table IT plans resources & activities to align with internal & external goals & forces

12 Health Sciences Library Plan HSL Dept Plans Health Affairs School Plans HSL IT Dept Plan HSL IT Staff Annual Performance Plan University Plan Univ IT Plan Med School IT Plan Nursing School IT Plan Dental School IT Plan Pharm School IT Plan School of Public Health IT Plan Hardware development Software development Telecomm development Vendor/provider relationships Tech market IT personnel market Challenge of aligned planning

13 The future of technology planning  Reactive  Supportive  Aligned Symbiotic Integrated Convergent Directive Emergent Envisioned

14 Symbiotic technology planning Library services and IT capacity are co- dependent IT plan & strategic plan done in unison Sometimes the service drives the plan Sometimes IT capability drives the plan

15 Integrated technology planning IT capabilities determine library service capabilities IT begins to become inextricably intertwined with planned activities IT begins to determine the existence of some services

16 Convergent technology planning Occurs when innovative technology aggressively determines information delivery direction (e.g., end-user searching, the Internet) Library strategic plan attempts to converge on or “intercept” the advancing technology The library is now reacting to the technology rather than the technology reacting to the library

17 Directive technology planning Technology moves in new direction (e.g., PDAs, mobile handhelds) Technology is the library service Technology transforms or revitalizes an old service into a new service Without technology some strategic goals could not have been conceived

18 Emergent planning Technology planning no longer distinguishable from library strategic plan due to impact of emerging technology on library services The library no longer reacts to technology, it is indistinguishable from the technology Technology begins to reshape library mission (e.g., institutional repositories)

19 Envisioned planning Library vision recast due to envisioned technology Library technologists envision capabilities that do not exist, that require re-design of existing hardware/software/telecommunications Libraries collaborate with software & hardware developers/designers to create tools that do not exist to provide new services & programs

20 Evolution of technology planning  Reactive  Support  Aligned Symbiotic Integrated Convergent Directive Emergent Envisioned

21 Hospital libraries Hospital librarians are often dependent on hospital IT department with competing demands 1 st step: hospital IT manager has to become your best friend; integrate with him/her 2 nd step: wrangle seat at IT department planning table Take component of IT service provision off shoulders of IT department

22 How to get in the door? Read what our IT counterparts are reading eWeek (http://www.eweek.com/)http://www.eweek.com/ Gartner Group (http://www.gartner.com/)http://www.gartner.com/ CIO magazine (http://www.cio.com/)http://www.cio.com/ Learn how they do their planning, and manage projects, standards, and platforms If we speak their language, we connect better with them If we use their standards or even negotiate new ones, our stuff works on their systems ColdFusion/SQL vs. Java servlets, XML, and federated systems

23 How to get in the door? Gain credibility by doing something with technology for ourselves Balance searching databases with creating them! Or get tricky with spreadsheets, at the least Get some IR devices and push data to PDAs Use PDAs with barcode readers for shelflists, use tracking, roving record maintenance Leverage technology to make work more efficient Go beyond just searching databases: develop them Start with small, demonstrable successes, and build from there Build a Web view of our content Then add value by adding context sensitivity

24 All of us should… Be more provocative and aggressive, less right and safe Unlearn what we have learned Forecasting is NOT the same thing as needs assessment Get out there and find out what our users want to do Relate what they want to do to how we could be slightly ahead based on where industry is/state of the art The best way to predict the future is to invent it Create programs that watch where users are going/lay the track ahead of the train

25 How to actually plan? For a huge plan, use existing techniques to break it down: iterative project management Use PM as an approach to planning in general Challenges to the project management approach: It takes a lot of time

26 How to actually plan? Benefits of the project management approach: We are detail people, after all, and so are IT staff! Ticket mentality We have control Version control Expectation management Accountability Documentation is built into the process Great at annual report time Bosses like documentation You can spread the work across many staff who all use a common approach, and concatenate all parts of the plan

27 An IT view of HSL’s environment Linux and OSS Relationship bldg State budget cuts Ejournal access databasesR&D ILS selectionJoint projects Clinical apps/opps Next-gen dig lib teleconferencing Adv Tech Ctr renovation purchasing Server shuffle Software testing Explore tablets PDA utilization Desktops laptops Disk images ? ? ? ? ?

28 Project Management 101? Enthusiasm Disillusionment Panic Search for the guilty Punishment of the innocent Praise and honors for the non- participants

29 Project Management 101 Define requirements Analyze stakeholders (360-view) Create a statement of work Create a work breakdown structure Analyze your risks Create your estimates Network analysis and scheduling Execution and control Evaluation, lessons learned, closeout

30 Making sense of requirements hardwaresoftwarestaff exp.programsbudget

31 IT plan requirements Must involve library-wide staff participation, at appropriate points Must be fundable, but more importantly, sustainable Must mesh with overall library strategic plan Must be flexible enough to accommodate a reasonable number of new things Must be settled enough not to get thrown off track

32 Stakeholders Persons who are impacted by what you do (or do not) execute and complete Different for different parts of the plan - reuse them Forces and factors revisited Need to be involved in various project stages, e.g. Analysis Design Construction Testing Implementation Maintenance

33 Health Sciences Library Plan HSL Dept Plans Health Affairs School Plans HSL IT Dept Plan HSL IT Staff Annual Performance Plan University Plan Univ IT Plan Med School IT Plan Nursing School IT Plan Dental School IT Plan Pharm School IT Plan School of Public Health IT Plan Hardware development Software development Telecomm development Vendor/provider relationships Tech market IT personnel market Stakeholders superset

34 Our plan statement of work Create a technology plan to get us through building renovation (goal) Should include each phase: planning, upfit, phase 1, phase 2, move-in (scope) Should incorporate supporting legacy work - in medias res Should be version 1.0 of the plan, amendable to 1.x versions as needs arise Be clear about what that means: expectation management

35 Genesis of work breakdown hardwaresoftwarestaff exp.programsbudget tech spaces telecommute digital library mobile tech intranet/KM moving-target infrastructure for it all! server workstation peripherals network furniture server workstation trial development production distributed existing turnover ed needed? stakeholders new tech, new staff needed! state funds soft money discretionary lines jointly funded collaborative ventures

36 WBS: server migration Domino effect: bring new servers in, cascading ‘demotion’ - old X server becomes Y server, old Y becomes Z, old Z gets retired What exact steps are needed to prepare each server for its part in the migration? Relates directly to budget, programs Include knowledge that staff will need to accomplish the work

37 WBS: next-generation DL We’ve evolved a special, streamlined project management process for ITS Development Project request Project functional specifications Project completion contract They work differently

38 WBS: next-generation DL Start with database backend and standards Wheel reinvention avoidance Start identity and interface storyboarding work simultaneously Establish separate task forces and liaisions to share the work Usability test those things with staff and other stakeholders Finalize prototype version for further testing Start next project to evolve prototype into ver 1.0 “Party like it’s 1999.” (Prince)

39 WBS: technology spaces Start with intensive stakeholder analysis Users who don’t work in the library Library staff Analyze the tech marketplace Analyze the enterprise infrastructure Coordinate with fund raising efforts Keep it flexible: wait until the last possible minute to actually buy stuff!

40 Risk analysis: server migration If we don’t do X with servers, Y could potentially happen If we don’t do X with servers, we won’t be able to take advantage of Y If we don’t do X with servers, users will be impacted in Y way Having to live with bad decisions, e.g. NOS If we don’t weigh all stakeholders and compromise between them, we’re in trouble!

41 Estimates: server migration How many/much requirements, resources, and time do we have? Case in point: sudden staff vacancy in ITS Support will impact remaining staff’s ability to get servers done on schedule Can ITS Development help? Hire temp help? What gets postponed? Estimates are constantly revisited, especially in IT

42 Network/scheduling: server mig Fortunately, work usually has a critical path - nowhere more true than IT Establishes task relationships Uses Gantt, milestone, and PERT charts Very useful for administrators to have a visual representation of the WBS Web servers first, then database cluster, then file/print server, then development server, then Linux!

43 Execution and control Staff intact? Unforeseen variables? NLM and XML for NCHI influenced server migration plan Today’s mantra: version control Avoid “creeping featuritis” (Morgan) Keep an issues log to track new issues for future iterations Have a communication plan

44 So, where is HSL in IT planning? SymbioticIntegrated HSL We’re in the middle of it as we speak. Where are we on Wallace’s continuum? My view:

45 Summary Planning is evolving from technology planning reacting to library planning to library planning reacting to technology planning Technology capabilities and library services will become indistinguishable for planning purposes Project management is critical Different for IT, but aligned (rapid pace) Provide resources to execute and sustain Take it a step at a time, and maintain buy-in

46 Contact us… Scott Garrison, Head of Information Technology Services Wallace McLendon, Associate Director for Library Services

47 Thank you!


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