A Busy First Year

For all my good intentions, I was unable to restart my blog posts in the last year. My new role as the Senior Manager, Technology planning is not new anymore!  The demand of my new job is significant and I worked very hard in this past year.

In the span of a year, I have been exposed to so much diversity. I did not fully appreciate the very difficult job that municipal governments and their staff have. Imagine, going from one meeting about Library IT infrastructure to another about Parking payment systems and yet a third about how to manage the urban forest that is part of our city all in one day!

We applied a series of disciplines including enterprise architecture to help us manage the complexity of IT demands and technology.  We are calling this process the IT Reboot.  In many ways, we are “changing the engine of our plan in mid-flight” – exciting and stressful all at the same time.

We started by capturing the demand for IT work for the remainder of the year.   We matched the work demand to our supply of IT workforce.  The analysis of the outputs allowed us to create a list of programs and products that IT provides to the City.   Not surprisingly, we found that 75% of our teams’ efforts are spent on Business as Usual/IT Operations; leaving only 25% of our resources to work on projects.

We created a prioritization scheme as we found we had twice as much work demand as we had people to do the work.   We used the following categories:

  • Business as Usual (IT Operations)
  • Flagship Priority Projects – top ranked projects
  • Change the City Projects – ranked in priority 1 and 2 (with 1 being the highest)
  • Run the City Projects – ranked priority 1 and 2 (with 1 being the highest)

With our work categorized, we needed to build an IT capital project plan for the Flagship, Change the City and Run the City projects.  In previous years, we would treat each project as a stand alone item in the budget and did not look at the IT resource impacts across the entire plan.  This year we took a program and product management approach to allow us to better group the work.  This approach allows us to group projects that require the same IT resources into programs making it much easier to look for resource conflicts.  Now we will have a budget and a resource view of our projects.

Our final work is to build roadmaps for products and statements of work for projects.  We will compile this all into an Annual Technology Plan.   This will be the plan that we use manage IT service delivery for 2017.  Exciting times and definitely more hard work ahead.  I am sure my second year at the City will continue to be full of hard work and rewarding outcomes.  I will try to share our journey more frequently going forward.

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by Leo de Sousa