If you buy into “The First 90 Days” by M. Watkins, then you also buy into the fact that a new leader's success or failure is determined within the first 90 days on the job. Now that I have 90 days under my belt, I do feel a little anxiety to get on with it.
Many things have happened over the first 90 days. I have met many, many people on campus, and I still have more people to meet. There has been a lot of listening and sharing of ideas and philosophies. People have been incredibly welcoming and patient.
The top things I am working on today include the following:
Our legacy systems have served us very well and now it is time to move forward. Based on success in various departments on campus, the team in ITS is working on migration to a Microsoft Exchange email and calendaring environment for staff and faculty in the spring. Over the last few years we have built a strong foundational infrastructure for this and now it is time to leverage that. The plan is to have a cloud solution for students available this fall.
I am spending a lot of time learning about ITS, both as an organization and in terms of its people. It is an organization with significant pockets of strength and an organization where people are incredibly committed and want to be engaged. We are working on the culture of the organization, laying out foundational pieces around purpose, vision and values, and using that to develop such things as a strategic plan and a talent development program. I am hoping the community will start to see changes by this summer, but cultural change takes time.
Go live for Human Resources is fast approaching. A dedicated team of individuals across campus is working very hard to make sure we have a good transition. Change is always difficult, especially when you have a 20+ year old legacy system, and it is even harder when there have been bumps in the road. People are used to doing things a certain way, and it takes time to see the benefits. I really appreciate the community’s patience and support on this.
Work has already been done on governance and it is almost just a matter of ramping up the proposed structure. I have met with various IT directors across campus, and we are looking at establishing a new Advisory group consisting of these directors and some of the management team within ITS. This will be a great group to help define enterprise direction and ensure we make effective and efficient use of our limited resources. I hope to see that group meet by early spring and combine it with the other governance pieces.
One of my most pleasant surprises at Queen’s has been how engaged the students are here. I have had some incredible conversations at coffee shops around campus and on the train between Toronto and Kingston. I am really excited about the establishment of a new Student Advisory Committee around Information Technology and Services. We are working on the membership for this group and hope to get a few meetings in before the end of the term. The students will set the agenda and tell us what they think about today and where they want to go tomorrow. You can follow the activity of this committee online at: https://wiki.queensu.ca/display/itsac/.
That’s all for this edition. Shortly I will have a website and blog up, where I will let you know what is on my mind. I also tweet @bjuul .
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