A Bird's Eye View - Moving from the Technical to the Strategic

Griffin Tedeschini, Simon Fraser University

Importance – When technical resources are tasked with producing strategic documents (i.e. Project Charter, Business Case), it requires a shift in focus, and the ability to move from a technical to a strategic perspective. Technical resources are the ones on the project tasked with figuring out the “how”, however project proposal artifacts are focused on the “why” and the “what” – Why are we looking at this project? What problem are we trying to solve for the business partners? What are the benefits of implementing this project? 

Relevance – given the rise of technical resources being asked to provide input, and in some cases draft project document (i.e. Project Charter, Business Case), this presentation will provide tips and skills to enable them to move from technical to strategic thinking – skills imperative to create successful strategic documents. As well, these skills could ensure a quicker turn around on the creation, submission, and eventual approval of these documents.  

Value/Interest to Canadian Higher Ed IT Community – this presentation will provide ways to shift thinking from a technical to a strategic perspective. This not only improves the viability of project proposal documents, but also provides opportunities to expand our project view, moving from a technical to a strategic focus. Strategic thinking also enables people to shift from a reactive to a proactive perspective – beneficial for both operational and project work.  

Participant Interaction – The presentation will be interactive, with feedback solicited from attendees. The presentation will include tips, information, and reference they are able to take back to their workplace. As well, real-world examples will be used to provide relevance and interest with attendees.

Learning Outcomes include:  

  • Tips on moving from a technical focus to a more strategic vision  
  • What kind of language to use when putting together strategic documents 
  • What kinds of questions to explore when trying to discern the audience is for such artifacts  
  • What kind of details/information is important when structuring strategic documents

Adventures in using O365 for Project Team Collaboration

Tracy Allen, University of New Brunswick

Join Tracy Allen as she takes you along on UNB Information Technology Services’ journey in exploring the amazing (and overwhelming) world of Office 365 (O365) in hopes of solving some very real project management challenges.  With the focus on improving project team collaboration, ITS peeled back the O365 covers to reveal tools like Project Online, Teams, Planner, SharePoint & OneNote.  The first portion of the presentation will highlight what UNB discovered and then the fun will begin with an open discussion of your experiences with making the most of O365 to get stuff done.

CUCCIO Professional Development Program for Aspiring IT Leaders

Gayleen Gray, McMaster University

A few years ago, CUCCIO members discussed the potential for delivering a professional development program developed by CIOs and offered to individuals in our organizations who are seen at potential future IT Leaders, and also have aspirations towards being IT Leaders. There was a strong sentiment that having the opportunity to give these individuals a deeper look into what is involved in the CIO role within our institutions would provide them with more clarity on the It was felt opportunity is to seed our pipeline of Canadian Higher Ed IT leaders This past year, we made magic happen and developed.

Emerging from the Cocoon – A Tale of Two IT Managers and a Six-Month Job Swap

Blair Sawler, University of New Brunswick

Just like a caterpillar, no matter how reluctant they might be to leave that nice warm cozy cocoon, one day they must break out to experience a whole new world. Our presentation will discuss the experiences of two managers (technical and service) in our IT department who did get out of their cozy cocoons and swapped roles for a six-month period. 

Starting out, our expectations for the six-month job-swap were varied; we hoped to sharpen different managerial skills, gain a new perspective for each other’s roles, expand our networks, break down silos among departmental staff, and immerse ourselves in the daily operations of our new division to gain a new perspective. 

We’ll discuss both the challenges and the benefits we experienced during the six-month “job swap.” Topics we’ll cover are: what we learned about each other’s teams (i.e., the “other” side of the business), preconceived notions that may or may not have been dispelled, and how taking everything that we learned will, in the long-run, benefit both of our teams and help each division work better together.  

Importance of Client Engagement for Attaining Organizational Goals

Aarti Paul, University of British Columbia

Engagement is the glue that binds the organization’s goals of governance, service improvement and strategic priorities. The goal of client engagement for UBC IT is to understand how technology, people and process can enable the goals and objectives of the institution.   

Organizations that focus on client engagement are focused on value creation, not just revenue extraction or service charge back to satisfy their budget agendas. They give people something meaningful beyond a sales pitch: a brilliant end-to-end customer experience, great support, or interactive, real-time customer support.  

In a diverse and somewhat devolved environment such as UBC, there is an equally diverse array of IT groups supporting faculties, departments, researchers and core enterprise services.  With a number of significant transformational projects now moving forward, including the replacement of the student, HR and finance systems, the creation of a universal data model and data interchange, as well as a marked increase in the focus on governance, it has never been more important to foster collaboration and cooperation across IT units to leverage the collective skills and experience to help support the goals of the University.   

UBC IT consciously and actively makes sustained effort to remain engaged and connected with the university community as well as other IT partners within and outside the institution. Fostering partnerships across the community helps UBC to pool our IT expertise and capacity to achieve greater outcomes.   This presentation is intended to spark discussion around why higher educational institutions should invest dedicated resources to engagement activities through the sharing of UBC’s journey.

Powering inclusion through diversity with ITSM

Mike Popoff, Concordia University
Lori Pelletier, University of Regina
Sue McKinlay, McMaster University
Diana Koyanagi, Simon Fraser University
Birds of  a Feather

Many Canadian Universities are leveraging IT Service Management to successfully deliver IT services. Without fully understanding the diversity within our institutions and working together as cohesive units, it is challenging to fully define the value we want to achieve from our services ensuring inclusiveness yet representing and meeting the needs of our ever-evolving communities. Please join us to discuss ITSM approaches used by our peers including the successes and challenges utilizing ITSM as our vehicle of powering inclusion through diversity.

This session will be hosted by the co-chairs of the CUCCIO ITSM Tools & Processes sub-group. Everyone is welcome to share, or even just come to listen to how others are leveraging ITSM in their institutions.

Strengthen Your Influence Muscle

Nav Bassi, University of Victoria

This session will answer three key questions, including:

  • Why does influence matter?
  • Where does power come from?
  • How can we get things done?

Successful projects with collaboration

Doris McGuire, McMaster University
Birds of a Feather

Many IT projects today are being staffed from members across the university. People that are working together to make one goal or one project happen, but we are working together and feeding off one another.  We are making decisions together and working jointly rather than separately in order to complete a task.  Although there is a great success, collaboration does present its challenges. The assignment of responsibility, the accountability of staff is just a few of the challenges.  Please join us to discuss the approaches used by our peers including the successes and challenges with collaboration across a university.  

Everyone is welcome to share, or even just come to listen to how others are leveraging successful project implementation with collaboration in their institutions.

    The first 90 days in a new leadership role

    Sandeep Sidhu, Simon Fraser University

    Talent development is at the core of every leadership capability in today’s world. As a true people developer, over the years I have found that people move from role to role and often the transition is lacks structure and appropriate support to ensure a successful transition.

    In this session, I would like to share my experiences as I moved from technical leadership to more people leadership roles. During this process I have found it extremely useful to have access to a mentor/coach, creating a 30-60-90 day plan, understanding organizational culture, breaking barriers, building alliances, key influencers, shifting elevated thinking, emotional intelligence and staff development plans.

    Every attendee will walk away with tools, techniques and templates I have found useful over the years, mostly passed on by my mentors.

      The Power of Storytelling

      Tessa Derksen, Compute Canada

      Long before the written word, ancient humans gathered around fires to share stories. We use stories to create community, spark collaboration, and humanize complex ideas — stories inspire, engage, connect and drive action.

      Regardless of what role you play in your organization — discover how you can benefit from harnessing the power of storytelling.

      We can use stories to make science and technology digestible for the average Canadian and further secure the importance of science in our collective consciousness. (Statistics indicate 79 percent of Canadians are concerned fake news is damaging public perception of science.) 

      We can use stories to build support for a project with funders. Stories can even be used within our organizations to solidify working relationships and strengthen teams.

      (Presentation will include oral storytelling, compelling videos, infographics, and short audience participation.)

      Translating the IT Story: The Role and Value of IT Communicators

      Stephanie Stewart, Simon Fraser University
      Allison Yanke, Wilfrid Laurier University
      Linda Ong, University of British Columbia
      Panel Discussion

      How do you define IT communication in your organization? Is it an email launching a new service, an in-person meeting about a service improvement, or notification on social media about an outage?

      IT communicators are required to pivot on a nanobyte at warp speed, and above all else, ensure that their organizations are providing timely and informative communiques to their audiences. Join lead communicators from Sir Wilfred Laurier University, Simon Fraser University, and University of British Columbia as we discuss our roles within our organizations, the challenges we face as IT communicators, how we support our CIOs and senior leadership team, and what’s next on the horizon for IT communications.

      Using the power of moments to reimagine employee onboarding

      Mark Humphries, University of Lethbridge
      Ashley Haughton, University of Lethbridge

      Think back to when you joined your organization, do you remember your first day? Was it all about reading the employee manual and signing paperwork, a blur of faces and names as you were given a whirlwind tour and introduced to everyone you ran into, and then you were left at your desk wondering where to begin? Did you feel connected to your new organization, appreciated for what you will bring as an individual, and genuinely welcomed into a new organization and new culture? They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. Are you making a good one with your staff? 

      Join Ashley Haughton, Records and Information Manager, and Mark Humphries, Chief Information Officer, from the University of Lethbridge as they share how their department has used the power of moments to reimagine the employee onboarding process. They will discuss how introducing a new employee into your culture starts before they even apply, and how connecting new employees with a buddy can help create a strong cultural connection right from the start. Approaching onboarding as a journey instead of a single event can reduce time to productivity, and improve performance, organizational commitment, and retention. With a small investment of time and money, you can turn a new employee’s first day into one of many memorable moments as they embark on their career journey with you.  

      Women in Science & IT

      Lesley Shannon, Simon Fraser University
      Panel Discussion

      The vision of Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST) is to establish a diverse and engaged community of individuals that respect each other and value collaborative and sustainable solutions resulting in scientific and engineering developments that better humanity and our world.

      This panel will be led by the 2015-202 Chairholder of  WWEST Dr. Lesley Shannon from SFU. It will include women in various stages and levels of their career within the fields of Science & Technology to share and discuss how they navigate the ongoing challenges and opportunities they’ve encountered. 

      CANHEIT-TECC 2018 : June 18-21