uGovernIT

A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for October 2013

Tracking time spent by IT staff and consultants

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CIOs are often confounded by this issue.  How do we track our resource time?  First of all let us understand why CIOs need to have that information.  Understanding where time is spent not only improves efficiency and manage demand, but it improves effectiveness of IT to align it to the proper areas of focus that benefits the Enterprise.  However, from an employee point of view, it would appear that this is nothing short of policing the work.  Micro-management has never been a favorite with CIOs.  This leads to a conundrum:  how do you effectively manage IT resources without being a Big Brother?

Properly built Resource Management  should focus on high-level resource allocation and time tracking module.  It should not be a detailed time card or personnel time management system.  It should be configurable so as to change with the business needs and require only minimal overhead to maintain.  A good rule of thumb is that if it takes an IT staff or resource more than 15 minutes a week, then it is probably very onerous.    Resource Management will provide CIOs with the mechanism for allocating time against services, projects, tasks, and problems.  This will provide greater visibility and insight for positioning (as well as bolstering) IT efforts to best support the organization.    Effective utilization of resources will assist CIOs to improve and justify IT budgeting and staffing levels against company demand for IT related projects and services.

Written by Subbu Murthy

October 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

Posted in IT Governance

Do politicians understand IT Governance?

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The question may sound strange, but Gavin Newsom the Lieutenant Governor of California addressed this issue at the CIO Conference in San Francisco.  He was the key note speaker, and my first reaction looking at his handsome young face was one of skepticism.  Why did the event organizers bring a politician to deliver a key note to seasoned CIOs?  I am glad I listened, and I am equally glad I was wrong about Gavin.  He is not only knowledgeable about the trends and issues in IT as they apply to CIOs, he was deeply concerned about the lack of IT Governance in the state and county agencies.  He freely gave examples of the cost overruns and lack of transparency that has plagued our management infrastructure.  We were spell bound by this presentation where he prophesied that technology will change the way we govern leading to more collaborative bottom-up management as opposed to top-down bureaucracies that have plagued innovation.  His examples about the impact of social media, mobility, security, cloud, big-data and IT Governance were not from prepared speeches, but came from his heart.  I chatted with him and we discussed how our thoughts had common ground.  I offered to share my tools and ideas to help implement pragmatic IT Governance in the public sector.  Even conservatives in the room were taken in by the potential this young man holds for this country, including yours truly.  Good Luck Gavin.  If you stick to your ideals that you portrayed, I will support you.

Written by Subbu Murthy

October 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

Posted in IT Governance

The Three Facets of IT Governance

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Three seems to be a magical number when it comes to frameworks.  Many of these frameworks are built on the three tenets: people, process, and product.  However, when it comes to IT Governance, the current frameworks are extraordinarily complex.  Zachman, CoBIT, ITIL and even the Balanced Score Card provide the impression that IT Governance is complex.  Unfortunately, the tools also follow the frameworks leaving the CIO with several tools to manage the technology function.  Not only are these tools expensive, they fail to provide a 360-degree of view of technology.  Without this view, managing and aligning IT to business becomes extremely challenging.

 uGovernIT takes a different view.  Managing the business of IT and getting most of IT investments does not have to be that complicated.  If we look at management under a microscope, there are really three aspects that we have to contend with:  individuals who are assigned tasks, groups that collaborate and perform a task or a series of tasks, and measures to tell us where we are and where we are headed.

uGovernIT uses the essence of ITIL, CoBIT, and the Balanced Score Card, but implements them using the three building blocks (tasks, workflows and metrics) in a easy to use and adaptable platform.  These building blocks provide out of the box functionality for services (helpdesk), projects, resources, assets, and budgets.  Since all these are built on a common platform, uGovernIT provides the dashboards, reports, and analytics to manage the business of IT.

Written by Subbu Murthy

October 2, 2013 at 8:29 am

Posted in IT Governance