I mean, we knew this was going to happen. Is it April, May? No idea. Days are melting together so taking this opportunity to get caught up. Yes, to confirm, this is for weeks 11 and 12.
Given I’ve been stressed out recently about several things – shockingly none really work-related – I’m going to give a quick update, then fill you in on the important stuff. The centering stuff. The non-work work that balances me out and eliminates stress. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ll realize you’ve been focusing on everything but you and it will be a nice reminder.
Last week’s entry noted our halfway point on this twenty week tech transformation.
Our primary projects are on autopilot currently. A bit of a working coast as we planned the projects and are now working the plans. Network is working on virtualization and wifi, the Student Planning portion of our ERP refresh starts tomorrow, and our support team kicks off the search for the best plan of attack for service management at TU. Given the current climate, our budgets are more restrained than we expected but we’re going to keep groovin’ and improvin’.
Let’s talk about fall for just a moment for, as you know, our whole world is topsy-turvy right now so we are digging in an 100%. A less-than-TU educational offering is not acceptable therefore the academic technology team is mapping classrooms, working to prioritize via capacity and need, and delivered last week a stellar recommendation for a truly interactive classroom, regardless of participation location – from one location or a dozen. We are planning for all sides.
On the #20WkTechTransformation, we are progressing.
Now the reflective stuff.
Over the past two weeks here is what I’ve learned:
- I’m happier, healthier. Admittedly the COVID19 silly comparison to the Freshman15, as in POUNDS, started to plant its roots deep in my soul. And my mouth. Almost two weeks ago I started watching my sugar intake and exercising near daily and, bam, feeling so much better and so less sloth-like. Sugar is literally not my friend and I hate sugar for it.
- Writing is my outlet. If I can’t have the beach, writing soothes me. I’m no Poe, but I love it and feel like that’s about all that matters. This week I tackled a legacy experience of mine, the crux of which is the fact that approximately half of our nation’s technology leaders report one-to-several layers beneath the CEO/President (across industries) and, frankly, executives with ownership of our business areas need to do better and be better engaged. So, I wrote a handy-dandy pocket guide, titled Demystifying IT: A Pocket Guide for the Non-Technical to introduce in normal (read: possibly quick and dirty) words what an IT department is, its typical team structure, what you should absolutely look for and expect from your direct report (CIO), and ended by hitting on a few current topics, including ERP replacements and data-driven decision-making. I can’t tell who’s ordering this book so, struggling CFOs, your secret is safe should you order. But for real, with technology omnipresent, everyone needs to be talking and feeling confused about technology is sooooo 2008.
- I’m accepting with gratitude. I’m accepting that current conditions are requiring me to decide between a beach vacation OR the kids going to camp, a Mother’s Day gift OR a grocery run, a weekend in Branson OR a camping trip to a state park. Many would be thrilled to have my super-difficult choices, right? Note: Those italics were sarcasm font. Today is the day and this time is the time to be grateful. Disclaimer, I will totally have my bratty moments for a bit, but I’ll come back and revisit this post.
Here is my hope. That all are using this time to reflect personally and professionally. We will not have these exact moments again. Is there work you need to do on your team? Now’s the time. Are there areas you know you need to learn about in a more intentional way? Get on it. When’s the last time you reviewed your IT strategic plan? Been a minute? Dust it off and revisit. I know I’ll still be remote when the fiscal year turns to 2021. NOW IS THE TIME. And you might not get this opportunity again.
Stay healthy, my friends!
Ten-ish weeks ago the department of Information Technology at the University of Tulsa embarked on a 20-week challenge aimed at driving not only institutional technology change, but supporting a larger effort of driving an irresistible culture of embracing change and modernization in general. Given much of what’s needed tomorrow (ok, likely ten years ago) relies on a complete overhaul of our foundational technology systems and solutions, we challenged ourselves. End of fiscal year is a big check-in point for accomplishment and remaining time to completion.
Because we can. We’ve discovered in this new-found remote environment we have the capacity for more of different.
- We know where we stand. (week 1)
- We know where we need to be. (week 2)
- We take some hits. (week 3)
- We face a significant, unexpected obstacle(s). (week 4)
- We’re making progress and celebrating every step. (week 5)
- We’re on the path and we are empowering MORE. (week 6)
- Reinforce your weak spots for complete understanding. (week 7)
- Ignore boundaries and make a difference. (week 8)
- Know your limits. Then add more. (week 9)
- Halfway there! (week 10)
- Behind and coasting (weeks 11 and 12)