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Information Technology Strategic Plan


Academic year: 2021

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Information Technology Strategic Plan


Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Planning Process


PVAMU Planning Assumptions


IT Mission Statement


IT Values


IT Vision Statement


Landscape Analysis


IT Strategic Goals


Overview of Goals and Objectives


Goal Alignment



Executive Summary

Prairie View A&M University leaders participated in the IT Strategic Planning Workshop in the spring of 2013 with the goal of establishing a comprehensive campus technology plan. The Strategic Planning Team discussed how this plan would be a comprehensive campus technology plan, with general leadership for implementation provided by Information Resource Management (IRM) and Information Technology Services (ITS). This report reviews the workshop process and objectives, working session overviews, and general strategic plan.

The Strategic Planning Team defined strategic planning as the process which seeks to clarify what an organization is, what it wants to be, and how, specifically, the organization can successfully make the transition from current to future state. We also outlined the basic components of a strategic plan, including:  Planning Assumptions  Mission  Values  Vision  Landscape Analysis  Strategic Goals

 General Objectives to support the Goals  Measurement of Success

The findings and recommendations outlined in this IT Strategic Plan Report serve as a complement to the delivered IT Strategic Roadmap PowerPoint resource. The consultant remains available to provide objective advisement and input as the IT Strategic Planning Team continues to implement out their plan.

Planning Process

Workshop Objectives

The IT Strategic Planning Workshop supports Prairie View A&M University in establishing a

comprehensive IT plan grounded by mission, values, and vision; driven by strategic goals; and aligned to objectives and measures. The workshops are designed to facilitate collaboration by administrative and academic leaders to develop a technology plan that focuses on the needs of the entire institution. Through this participative process, we:

 Defined and established an IT mission statement that articulates the values governing the university’s actions

 Developed a future state vision for how technology can support the institution’s vision, mission, and goals

 Analyzed the environment by performing a landscape SWOT analysis and developing planning assumptions

 Developed IT strategic goals and objectives aligned with the desired future state  Provided a process to review and adjust plan elements as needed

The ultimate goal of this integrated approach is to provide Prairie View A&M University’s leadership with a strategic roadmap to advance information technology as a major success factor in achieving the university’s mission for teaching and learning, research, and service.

We consider the strategic plan to consist of the analyses, mission statement, values statement, and vision statement, along with the strategic goals, initial ideas for general objectives, and the strategic

measurement approach. Our method utilizes Tactical Teams to give more insight to the objectives and measures of success for each particular strategic goal. The implementation of these ideas into action is an ongoing process. Other plans, perhaps called action plans or implementation plans, would focus on more details about:


 Additional and timely initiatives

 Steps and timelines for executing specific initiatives  Measuring success for specific initiatives

Workshop Agenda

The general agenda for the onsite workshops was:  March 11 – 12, 2013

 These sessions addressed such topics as the planning process, relevant trends and issues,

developing the IT mission, values, and vision statements.  April 23 – 24, 2013

 These sessions focused on confirmation of principles, a SWOT analysis to further define external

and internal factors, developing the strategic goals for IT, and developing a general performance plan to define and measure success.

 June 5 – 6, 2013

 These sessions focused on taking the goals developed previously and drafting the respective

objectives and priorities for measurement.

Workshop Participants

The workshop was facilitated by Tim Coley, Senior Strategic Consultant with Ellucian. The Prairie View A&M University participants included:

 Hussain Abbasi, Enrollment Management

 Midhat Asghar, Assistant Vice President for Information Resource Management  Corey Bradford, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs

 Noel Estwick, Research and Graduate School

 Michael Martinez, Information Resources Management

 Rodney Moore, Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Services  Louis Morgan, Information Security Officer

 Felecia Nave, Academic Affairs

 Kay Peavy, Financial Administration / Procurement and Contracts  Larry Watson, Physical Plant

 John Williams, Academic Affairs / Chemistry  Dean Williamson, Institutional Research

 Yonggao Yang, Computer Science / Engineering

PVAMU Planning Assumptions and Priorities

The Strategic Planning Team considered what factors contributed to the context for improving IT at the university. We discussed aspects relating to the general environment and culture; faculty, administration, and staff; student expectations; the community and external factors; and with respect to financial factors. The team described compelling points which are basic truths about PVAMU and may have an impact upon the strategy.

General Environment Factors

 We have a long history and a strong sense of heritage.

 We have a diverse group of students, and we serve students with varying degrees of academic preparation.

 Our campus has high degree of physical beauty, and we take care of our campus.  We have a tight community and feeling of being part of a healthy family.

 Our mission is to serve students who may have disadvantages, and we commit to helping them be successful.

 We follow our core values: access and quality, diversity, leadership, relevance, and social responsibility.

 We have some processes which are cumbersome, time-consuming, and dated.  We can be “late” with getting some things accomplished.


 Our student residential presence and culture is strong and positive.  We do not provide a “one-stop” convenient process for student admission.  We have grown into a more global and international campus.

 We have strong ties to the city; the city is like an extension of the university.  We anticipate growth, as Houston suburbs continue to expand our way.  Priorities from the TAMU System Internal Audit:

 IT procedures

 IT risk assessments

 Data security

 Disaster Recovery plan testing

 Governance, particularly for decentralized IT services

 Communication

Faculty, Staff, and Administration Factors

 Like many, we are “overworked and underpaid.”  We generally have staff with a high degree of longevity.

 We have a diverse staff: Texans, non-natives, a variety of leadership styles and personalities.  We recognize there is room for improvement in using technology.

 In some ways we are more “consumers” rather than “innovators” with technology.  We introduce new solutions, yet we continue with old processes and procedures.  We introduce new solutions which may not match up with our existing systems.  Some have a general resistance to change: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

 Our processes can seem cumbersome, require too many people’s participation, and take more time than necessary.

Student Expectation Factors

 Our first year students live on campus in highly engaging communities, and request that these initiatives be expanded for subsequent years.

 Our students have a strong sense of advocacy, and actively get behind issues in the community.  We have solid student leadership, and the student leaders work well with the administration.

Students propose good ideas and lead the processes, and the administration is generally responsive.

 Our students may want to work for the university upon graduation. We recognize this reflects a positive perspective, yet we appreciate the need for diverse experiences.

 The College of Nursing serves very diverse students, relevant to age and culture. They are very active with student organizations on and off campus.

 We have a growing number of international students.  We sense students’ expectations are generally increasing.

 Our students express a genuine connection and love for PV. There is a strong sense of spirit: “PV or Die”

Community and External Factors

 Technology is underdeveloped in the community, our students cannot get access.  The community is steeped in tradition, generally likes the status quo.

 The community generally embraces PVAMU and looks to the University for leadership.  Newer communities in the area have more to attract students.

 The university is highly regarded, and our graduates are prominent.  Our Nursing program serves the surrounding area with distinction.  Many of our students are working in the local community.

 The University was actually established before the city, and the university provides many basic services (e.g., fire department).

Financial Factors


 We will be affected by the state’s transition to performance-based funding.  The state has mandated that we freeze tuition and fees.

 There are fewer opportunities for research grants.  Our university has to continue to grow.

 We receive approximately 27% of our resources from the state.

 We actively seek ways to lower our operating costs, finding efficiencies, eliminating duplication, etc.

IT Mission Statement

Early in the planning process, the Strategic Planning Team developed the IT Mission Statement for PVAMU. We defined the mission as clarifying the reasons technology is important and identifying what the needs are that technology fulfills. The mission statement defines the core purpose of information technology, and should be clearly worded and easy to communicate.

The mission should inspire growth and serve as a compass providing direction for future initiatives. The IT Mission Statement is:

IT at Prairie View A&M University is committed to providing quality, current, and secure

solutions to support and enhance teaching and learning, research, and service.

IT Values

The Strategic Planning Team discussed the values and principles which form the foundation for information technology. These principles guide the IT organization and help leaders make consistent decisions. Values should be inspirational and help staff members align their day-to-day work with the organization’s priorities. The Team discussed these values more in a sense that this would be an informal and internal document; yet this could also be adapted for a more public statement to communicate to the campus community. A dominant theme in the session was addressing potential issues related to decentralized operations. The values identified are:

 Balancing access and security of data and information  Having relevance with university mission and goals  Improving our key functions and operations

 Providing accountability, holding decentralized units responsible for complying with procedures  Increasing efficiency

 Streamlining our processes  Enhancing our performance  Being resourceful with training

 Presenting the rationale and benefits for training, in order to motivate staff  Taking responsibility for our service efforts

 Responding to needs of the campus community  Providing impeccable customer service

 Maintaining the appropriate staff and resources to deliver our standard of service  Communicating realistic expectations about IT to the campus community

 Balancing and optimizing centralized and decentralized operations  Assessing the IT assets and needs, particularly decentralized operations

IT Vision Statement

The Strategic Planning Team defined the IT vision as the verbal portrait of what information technology can ultimately become at PVAMU. The vision statement is generally more concrete and tangible than the


mission and values, and it provides a basis for designing strategies and goals. We focused on creating a statement that is concise yet appealing, and inspirational yet feasible. The vision addresses the basic question of what information technology will be like as we achieve success. The IT Vision Statement is:

IT at Prairie View A&M University will empower our university community by serving as

a catalyst to provide innovative solutions and impeccable customer service to maximize

the university’s goals of teaching and learning, research, and service.

Landscape Analysis

The Strategic Planning Team analyzed the external and internal factors which influence IT at PVAMU. We looked at strengths, focusing internally, and considered how to capitalize and build upon them. We also discussed weaknesses and examined how to resolve or minimize them. We reviewed external opportunities related to social, economic, and political factors, and considered how to capitalize on them. We also analyzed potential threats and challenges, focusing externally, and discussed how to avoid or minimize them. We deliberated on how to match internal strengths with external opportunities, and how to convert internal weaknesses to strengths or opportunities. This activity was helpful to transition our focus from the ideas of mission, values, and vision to the more practical tone of strategic goals.


 Connectivity of various systems

 Solid and reliable network and infrastructure  Identifying and implementing new technology

 Outsourcing brings in new ideas from other campuses  Providing IT resources to students

 Good relationships with University units  Strong foundation to build upon

 Driven more by administrative expectations rather than academic expectations


 Training users for new technology and solutions  Lack of opportunity for faculty and staff

 Lack of departmental funds; perhaps somecentral funds

 Receiving input about user needs and preferences  Communicating IT initiatives and projects

 Lack of intranet

 We have silos of decentralized units

 Lack of consistent governance over decentralized units  Lack of Project Management

 Disconnect between user expectations and IT capabilities  Digital Divide and disparity among University units  Lack of strategic plan

 Lack of 5-year plan with outline of major initiatives and solutions  Lack of standard procedures and policies

 Decentralized hardware, software, and services:  Duplication, not purposeful redundancy

 Personality driven

 Lack of central repository, common knowledge for what others have

 Reluctance to share


 Mobile technology  Cloud-based computing


 Implement consistent IT operational framework and practice standards, such as ITIL  Have IT involved earlier with projects, in the feasibility and procurement stages  Take better advantage of economies of scale; for example, with licensing software  Online courses and academic programs

 Better collaboration between administrative and academic sides


 Security issues  Hacking  Financial  General economy  State policies  Rising costs

 New projects, such as residences

 Personnel, maintaining an appropriate bench for key functions  Providing connections for the BYOD explosion of personal devices  Potential competition from online programs

 Lack of back-up data center

 Security for personal devices, the “complacency factor”

IT Strategic Goals

The Strategic Planning Team deliberated over the key strategic goals which would guide leaders in accomplishing the IT vision. We defined strategic goals as statements of what we need to do to get to where we want to be. The strategic goals are the links between strategy and execution, and the focal point for more tactical planning and measurement of success.

The team discussed the differences between strategic goals and objectives. Goals are relatively more general statements about what we want to achieve; objectives are relatively more specific statements about the steps we need to take to fulfill the goal. Goals are broader, more long-term, and more abstract; objectives are narrower, more short-term, and more concrete.

Our planning process encourages a structured approach for crafting either goal or objective statements. We attempt to write succinct statements, focusing on the action verb which fits what we must do to implement the plan. Both goals and objectives can be written with an emphasis on being measurable, attainable, and relevant. We think of goals as public statements that should be understood by a broad range of stakeholders.

The team considered the scope and breadth of goals and objectives. We recognized that everything that happens around information technology is not stated in the strategic plan, and that we needed to narrow our focus to a few priorities. The process for clarifying the goals emphasized discerning a relatively smaller number of key concepts.

The Strategic Planning Team also recognized that the mission statement and values are durable and lasting; the vision statement is enduring yet changes over regular intervals; and the goals and objectives are intentional yet flexible.

We reviewed the set of goals and objectives within the framework of the Balanced Scorecard

methodology. This approach considers four different perspectives for success: multiple constituents, internal processes, employee skills and learning, and a healthy organization. The Strategic Planning Team developed goals and objectives which are consistent with this balanced approach.

The six strategic goals are:


2) Optimize IT operations and efficiency

3) Improve services to our campus community

4) Optimize current and relevant technology solutions

5) Enhance communication and collaboration

6) Support and encourage research initiatives

Considerations for Objectives

As we develop the general objectives for each strategic goal, there are additional factors to consider. We clarify any dependencies, which are those events or environments that must take place or be in existence before implementation of an objective can begin. We also discuss the role of contingencies, which are those potential initiatives or actions to be considered at a later date in the timeline if the performance targets are not being met. Ownership identifies the individual, department, or council that has functional responsibility for each of the objectives; typically it will be the responsibility of these individuals or groups to develop the more detailed implementation plans and budget requests for each of the assigned

objectives. Finally, sponsorship confirms the department or leadership role which provides the financial and human resources necessary to achieve the objectives; the sponsoring agent also provides



Our planning methodology promotes a performance-based measuring approach, as contrasted with an assessment approach. Simply put, performance measures are focused on getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time so that we may improve our performance. Where assessment measures are collected less frequently (often at the end of the academic year), reactive, and backward-facing, performance measures are collected more frequently, proactive, and looking toward the future. This type of measurement is part of the broader system of performance management.

A central concept is the key performance indicator, or KPI. Key performance indicators are selected based on the criteria of being clearly aligned with the vision and strategic goals, highly accessible, and easy to understand. KPIs should demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between our efforts and our outcomes, and ideally should connect with the work of many in the organization. Campus leaders often indicate that their concern is not the lack of data, but rather the abundance of data to the point that it is hard to discern what information is relevant or important, as in “drowning in data but starving for

information.” KPIs are not the only things you measure, and it is recommended that the set of KPIs be relatively few in number.

Key performance indicators consist of typical components, including the unit of measure, the timeline for measurement, the target, and the actual data point. We emphasize the importance of identifying the target amount, which is another form of stating the expected outcome for the goal. Clarifying the target quantities requires the insight and wisdom of campus leadership, and is a material and meaningful way to define success.

We review the set of performance indicators and look for overall balance with respect to certain characteristics. Some measures are referred to as lagging indicators because they are obtained at the end of a process or cycle; others are classified as leading indicators because they are obtained much earlier the process and can lead to process enhancements which would change the eventual lagging indicator. Other measures may be designated as pertaining to a process, an outcome, or stakeholder satisfaction. Similar to strategic goal statements, we may consider measures along the Balanced Scorecard perspectives of multiple constituents, internal processes, employee skills and learning, and a healthy organization.

Above all, we strive to select key performance indicators which most people in the organization can connect to their efforts and readily see how their enhanced work will lead to the desired outcomes.


Summary of Strategic Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Cultivate a culture of compliance and risk management

1.1) Develop guidelines to ensure compliance and risk assessment 1.2) Implement benefits and consequences

1.3) Achieve Audit and Information Security Awareness, Assessment, and Compliance System (ISAAC) standards

Goal 2: Optimize IT operations and efficiency

2.1) Effectively manage and reduce IT cost 2.2) Increase technical proficiency and expertise 2.3) Establish the best IT management for PVAMU 2.4) Ensure Disaster Recovery planning for PVAMU

2.5) Identify and improve business processes working with departments / units and the University Administration

Goal 3: Improve services to our campus community

3.1) Reduce duplication of services among centralized and decentralized departments

3.2) Support faculty and departments who experiment with cutting-edge technologies in an effort to foster innovation

3.3) Elevate services for students 3.4) Expand services for administration

3.5) Improve distance education services to enhance teaching and learning 3.6) Develop partnerships with the academic community to improve services

Goal 4: Optimize current and relevant technology solutions

4.1) Review and improve solutions which enhance student services and student enrollment processes 4.2) Evaluate and optimize solutions which elevate the teaching and learning processes

4.3) Appraise and upgrade solutions which expand the appropriate access of information 4.4) Conduct an assessment of current systems, solutions, and products in use at PVAMU

4.5) Develop a roadmap document which provides an overview of ITS and IRM planned projects and implementations for PVAMU


Goal 5: Enhance communication and collaboration

5.1) Promote guidelines for compliance and risk management by disseminating information

5.2) Identify and communicate which information and technology resources, personnel, and initiatives are associated with Information Technology Services and which are not

5.3) Communicate general technology needs, regulations, and processes to Administrators within the campus community

Goal 6: Support and encourage research initiatives

6.1) Develop the PVAMU Research Network 6.2) Develop the PVAMU Research Cluster


Strategic Goal Alignment with University Strategic Imperatives

Imp er at ive I . Str e n g th e n th e Q ua lit y of A cad emi c P ro g ram s Imp er at ive I I. Imp ro ve t h e A ca d emi c In d ic a to rs o f t h e S tu d e n t B o d y Imp er at ive I II . In cr eas e A p p li ed an d B asi c R esear ch Imp er at ive I V . A ch ieve ( an d mai n tai n ) Fina nc ia l S ta bilit y Imp er at ive V . In cr eas e t h e E ff ici en cy o f U n iver si ty O p er at io n s Imp er at ive V I. S tr en g th en U n iver si ty A d van ce men t P ro g rams Imp er at ive V II . Str e n g th e n th e Q ua lit y of th e A th le ti c s Pr o g ra m 1) Cultivate a culture of compliance and risk management 2) Optimize IT operations and efficiency 3) Improve services to our campus community 4) Optimize current and relevant technology solutions 5) Enhance communication and collaboration 6) Support and encourage research initiatives


Conclusions and Next Steps

Strategy: Doing the Right Things

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

We intend for this strategic plan to be a leadership guide. “Doing the right things” in our context refers to focusing on organizational priorities. We all experience the syndrome where our time and energy is taken up by distractions and others’ crises that are not as relevant or important for our core organization. Having a strategy mapped out will help you and your fellow leaders focus on the core priorities for information technology at Prairie View A&M University. Most of our time in planning sessions was centered on establishing your priorities for the direction of Information Technology. Your IT mission, values, vision, and six strategic goals and their accompanying objectives are your right things.

Alignment with Enduring Principles

Our landscape is constantly changing, and the rate of change seems to be accelerating. Your IT mission statement, values and principles, vision statement, and strategic goals represent enduring stability even as your objectives and initiatives may evolve appropriately in response to changes. Your vision

statement and strategic goals help you create your future. We encourage you, as leaders for IT, to align your functional ongoing work with your strategic plan. Many of your Prairie View A&M University

colleagues who did not directly participate in the planning process may have a hard time connecting with the ideas unless you find ways to make this relevant for them. Formally, you can incorporate language from your mission, values, and vision into staff position descriptions, staff performance review resources, and individual goal setting. You can increase awareness and buy-in with more subtle efforts, such as putting your IT vision statement on the staff meeting agendas. Your informal language can also be influential helping your colleagues make connections: “That is a great idea, and it is a neat example of our vision and goal for innovation.”

The Planning Process

The strategic plan is not the only plan you have, and everything you do is not written in the strategic plan. Sometimes our instinct is to turn the strategic plan into a relatively large document with a thorough list of potential initiatives, in an attempt to document all that we do. However, a successful approach is to use the strategic plan as the foundation for future action plans or project implementation plans. In most cases, the team that has direct ownership will be the ones facilitating the execution and having the best understanding of the particular details involved. Planning is an ongoing process, and we believe the methodology used in developing the strategic plan will serve IT leaders as they formulate various action plans for the respective goals and objectives. Consider the completion of the initial strategic planning document as a new beginning, not an end.

Performance Measurement

Measuring success is also an ongoing process. We recommend the performance culture of measurement, with “performance” referring to both the positive outcomes we strive to achieve as a university, as well as an individual staff member’s contributions toward the achievement. The statements in the strategic plan allow team members to connect the quality of their work performance to the

successful completion of the strategic goal. Our measurements should help us make data-informed decisions about how we can improve our work efforts to best cause the desired outcomes for Prairie View A&M University. Setting and refining the performance targets is a significant way we define success.

Next Steps

 An initiative for the Strategic Planning Team should be to implement a focused communications campaign to present selected key statements from the IT Strategic Plan to the PVAMU


be that this is a new era for IT at Prairie View A&M University, and that communication and collaboration are key themes of the plan.

 The Strategic Planning Team will continue to edit and shape the plan, and is a type of living document. The Planning Team should consider the 25 objectives and determine the more immediate priorities. Part of this determination may relate to sequencing, timing, or scheduling factors. It is appropriate to consider that all 25 objectives may not need to begin at the same time.

 IT leaders should incorporate the key statements from the IT Strategic Plan into the team culture of the ITS department. This provides an opportunity to review position responsibilities, individual goals, or informal action plans and provide alignment with the strategic direction. A dominant theme during the values discussion was a focus on improving the quality and efficiency of IT services, for example; this could be a motivating topic to revisit with staff members.

 IT leaders should continue to focus on measuring success in the performance mode, determining the relevant performance indicators, and clarifying the appropriate targets. This is an ongoing process, and an important step in making the goals and objectives relatable and part of your day-to-day work.

 As some of the strategic goals require financial resources, IRM and ITS leaders should discuss priorities with key sponsors with the approach of defining what resources are needed and potentially available to accomplish our strategic goals.

 Similarly, some of the work involved with the strategic goals and objectives will require staff time and energy; yet we understand that most staff members have a full workload already. IRM and ITS leaders should consider if there are current initiatives which may be given less attention in order to shift the focus and energy toward some of the newer strategic initiatives.

 The Strategic Planning Team should determine which other PVAMU planning documents and timelines for which this plan should be synchronized; this could include the campus strategic plan, the facilities master plan, or academic plans.

 As the appropriate owners for strategic goals and objectives are identified and empowered to proceed, they will begin to develop an action plan and measurement plan to guide their efforts. Tim Coley, the planning consultant, remains available to advise teams in these more detailed planning processes.

 The Strategic Planning Team should schedule periodic high-level reviews of progress for the plan. This is also an opportunity to discuss potential contingency plans if needed. While the mission, values, vision, and strategic goals are relatively stable, the initiatives and implementation techniques are relatively flexible. Strategic plans are generally reviewed and updated on an annual basis.


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