Higher ed is really good at doing things the way we’ve always done them, yet most can’t answer the question as to why that is. We fell that every college has room to dust off their customary processes and resources. The starting point is to focus on a different question: “How?” It takes some housekeeping, but the key to improve services and resources so that the purpose for which they were originally created is again clear or improved is to impose review with fresh eyes.
Shifts in budget management are especially challenging. A new budget manager may not be familiar with all the expenses for which they’ve been asked to pay, and often reorganizations within the college structure can leave some expenses lost in transition, with budget managers unintentionally renewing software or services that might be obsolete or underused. So, what are you paying for?
The concept that System A integrates with System B (new or existing) requires much more internal coordination than simply tying interfaces together logically. Even if one system can generate the necessary data elements and a second system consume the data, how does one make the determination that the two systems are "integrated?"
Colleges are hard to maneuver, and the internal processes that may seem obvious and logical to those involved with their designs often end up abandoned for reasons beyond anyone’s control. By paying close attention to the processes and the impact that each has on your students, you can save your institution from missing bigger opportunities.
Campus leadership often asks, how do we encourage more students to complete a set of measurable tasks? With the rise of mobile devices in the hands of its students in recent years, that answer has been to make it into a game! Gamification has risen in popularity in education today because of its perceived viral appeal, but it has an archenemy.
Your capability to deliver with speed and quality depends on your momentum. If you want to excel, then you must have the discipline to start building momentum towards productivity now.
I often read documents that preach how IT operations should push the business structure to minimize customizations. I understand their motivation and the conventional wisdom related to the reduction of cost. However, I do disagree wholeheartedly with the conclusion. There is a lot of talk about how IT has finally reached its position as a strategic partner with the business it serves because of a new focus on analytics. Analytics will allow businesses to make smart decisions, and it is very, very important. But so is the customization of software offerings.