OIT Services in the Spotlight: Planning, Strategy and Analysis (PSA)Jul 28, 2020
The Planning, Strategy and Analysis (PSA) division within the Office of Information Technology (OIT) officially launched July, 2018. The goal of the PSA is to serve all of OIT and our university constituents by providing services that enhance efficiency and support effective and timely delivery of OIT’s services and technology. Team members collaborate within OIT and with our business partners to ensure understanding, engagement and coordination through the application of standards and processes, and a focus on relationships. The PSA’s vision is to facilitate and promote an environment of collaboration within OIT and with our external partners to promote innovation and engagement with business and academic units.
“The PSA Division is critical to meeting the overall vision of OIT by providing those business-focused services such as project management, change management, and business analysis, which completes the OIT service offering,” says Russ Poole, associate vice chancellor and chief information technology officer. Poole feels that “an IT organization cannot be the primary strategic business partner to an organization if it is not aligned with the strategic objectives and business priorities of the organization. PSA's primary focus is to align OIT with those objectives and priorities. In short, PSA is the steering mechanism for OIT and works to bring the appropriate services to bear to address those business challenges faced by the university.”
The PSA team is supported by director David Lowry and includes Accessibility and Usability (A & U), Business Analysis and Process Improvement (BAPI), Construction Services (CS), Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management Office (PMO) and Service Management and Strategic Planning (SMSP).
The PSA has worked on many projects that your department participated in, but may not have known that a team member was there supporting the process. Currently, there are 26 active projects managed by the PMO, and additional campus and universitywide projects that are not managed through our PMO process. 22 projects involve the BAPI team, and 9 projects include OCM. When a new or upgraded technology or service is involved, A & U and SMSP are included on the project team.
Here are some of the projects the PSA supported in the last 12 months:
- OIT Strategic Plan: A collaborative new OIT strategic planning process was implemented in 2019 and both campuses participated in providing feedback into how OIT can support schools, colleges and departments moving forward. As outcomes of this process, OIT aligned our annual plans for 2020 to our Strategic Directions to provide better value and allow for increased collaboration and partnership going forward.
- The Student Journey: The new Student Journey Web Experience project was a collaboration with University Communications, Student Success and OIT, working with Cactus Communications as consultant to redesign our website to facilitate the future and current student journeys via direct and easy access to the exact information needed. There is an Analytics and Search Engine Optimization project currently underway that is a continuation of this work. Leveraging, maintaining and maturing this new web structure will generate future projects.
- Inclusion and Equity: The U & A founded the Belonging Committee within OIT, which is made up of OIT team members from across the divisions. The committee's intent is to promote a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment for all OIT team members, including those from underrepresented communities, and equip them with the skills to develop cultural competence and the ability to mitigate individual and systemic bias in the technology profession. This knowledge and understanding helps OIT team members better partner with our customers.
- COVID-19 support: The PSA is actively supporting campus COVID-19 response efforts, working closely with members of OIT’s Research and Shared Services (RSS) and Data Operations and Data Architecture (DODA) teams on several initiatives. These include the campus attestation process and forms (helps safely bring invited people back on campus, and supports contact-tracing, if needed), the Reconstitution Dashboard (which will be a single source of reporting that can be used to answer questions like who is on campus, where they may be, potential COVID hot spots, and forecasts of environmental health and sanitation needs), a contact-tracing initiative, and other return-to-campus initiatives.
- CRM/ Salesforce: The BAPI team is currently working with the CU Denver Business School, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and campus communications teams to process map current state and future state workflows. This work will identify gaps and outline business requirements for a Salesforce Constituent Resource Management (CRM) implementation. The three different groups are represented by subgroups, which are working together in an effort to align processes and streamline tools/applications.
- OIT Service Center: In partnership with OIT’s Constituent Services team and several teams across the organization, SMSP launched the new OIT Service Center, OIT’s ticketing and service management tool. This tool improves service request intake through our Service Desk and support workflow to teams across OIT, and also enables measurement of how we are doing against established metrics. You can now easily submit and track your tickets through the new self-service portal or from the OIT website.
- Equal Access and Experience for all: Working with Diversity and Inclusion teams across our campuses and with the President’s Office, U & A helped to get captionists and interpreters into Canvas courses to assist students with accommodation needs and also helped turn the captioning feature on within Zoom to ensure everyone was successful in our new remote environment. Additionally, U & A developed a "captioning best practices" guide to aid faculty with developing inclusive courses for all student. In addition, the OIT accessibility website was conceptualized and launched.
- Universitywide Administrative Application Upgrades: In partnership with Office of Advancement, Central Human Resources (HR), Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) and Regulatory Compliance Office, OCM assists with the people side of technology upgrades and implementations. This includes meetings with individuals and teams to ensure their voices are known when making project decisions, assisting with communication and training development, helping break down barriers to successful adoption, and helping with metrics after go-live to aid business owners with on-going support.
- Construction Services is working on a number of campus projects, including the City Heights dormitory on the CU Denver campus and the CU Anschutz Health Sciences Building with a designed data center. Updates to the construction services standards is underway and the team is also working closely with the BA team on mapping, defining and documenting all construction services processes.
In addition to these campus-level and universitywide projects that impact all faculty, students and staff, the PSA also supports projects within OIT that strengthen our campuses’ technology, services, cybersecurity, culture and processes, resulting in new and improved ways we support our customers and each other. These include projects like CU Secure, data center management, Microsoft desktop and server compliance, work on integrating accessibility and usability checks into our project flow, and finding ways to better engage our constituents to help OIT achieve our vision of becoming the primary strategic business partner at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.
Services in the Spotlight is a series of articles highlighting teams within the Office of Information Technology. OIT has been instrumental in helping move exciting initiatives forward and impacting success for the university. For an overview of more services offered by the department, watch the CU Productions video on our YouTube channel or visit our website: oit.ucdenver.edu.