Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The FY10 HMS IT Operating Plan

Every year I work with all the stakeholders at Harvard Medical School to develop an operating plan. Here are a few observations about the process:

-In an economic downturn, governance is very important to triage projects, set timelines, and allocate resources. Budgets define the supply of resources. Governance helps balance supply and demand. During my tenure as CIO, we've had workgroups for research, education, and administrative customers, but this year I'm formalizing governance by creating an overall IT Steering Committee comprised of research faculty, educational leadership, and administrative Deans. My educational, administrative and research workgroups will report to this overall IT Steering Committee.

-I have 5 direct reports at HMS who serve as the single point of accountability for Administration/Finance, Education, Research/Customer Service, Infrastructure, and Technology. Each is responsible for translating the strategic and business priorities of their customers into the tactics listed in the operating plan.

-Once the operating plan is complete, my role as CIO is to ensure appropriate capital budgets, operating budgets, and staffing are in place to execute the plan. 2010 will require especially close collaboration with the leaders at HMS to balance the necessary resources with the need to be frugal in a challenging economy.

-Major themes in the FY10 IT Operating Plan include enhanced enterprise infrastructure (especially storage), workflow applications to promote departmental efficiency, and web-based software as a service tools that reduce costs while improving service to all stakeholders.

-I summarize the yearly effort to develop the plan as

Strategy - document the goals and business strategy of all stakeholders, translating them into operating tactics.

Structure - ensure the IT organization is optimally configured to execute the tactics.

Staffing - populate the structure with the best people to do the work.

Budget - put the capital and operating budgets in place so that the necessary resources are available to execute the scope of work in the timeline needed.

Processes - Define the workflow and procedures that are needed to support project management, customer service, and continuous improvement.

Here's the initial version of the FY10 HMS IT Operating Plan. I look forward to a great year ahead.

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