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Action Project: Strategy for Consistent Deployment of Employee Technology

Institution: Iowa Western Community College
Submitted: May 12, 2006 Contact: Barb Vredeveld
Email: bvredeveld@iwcc.edu Telephone: 712-325-3400


Planned project kickoff date:   July 1, 2006
Target completion date: July 1, 2009
Actual completion date: January 7, 2008

A. Give this Action Project a short title in 10 words or fewer:

Strategy for Consistent Deployment of Employee Technology

B. Describe this Action Project's goal in 100 words or fewer:

Faculty and staff will be able to work unencumbered by inadequate technology enhancing the culture that everyone’s work affects the learning environment and technological innovation is encouraged and expected. This project will: -Provide employees with up-to-date, consistent technology to allow them to effectively perform their jobs. -Reduce the number of employee requests for repairs. -Provide a transparent plan to update employee technology on a regular basis. -Create an evaluative committee to oversee the future deployment of technology. -Establish a permanent funding source to sustain these efforts.

C. Identify the single AQIP Category which the Action Project will most affect or impact:

Planning Continuous Improvement

D. Describe briefly your institution's reasons for taking on this Action Project now -- why the project and its goals are high among your current priorities:

On the Constellation Survey, employees rated “technology is up-to-date and well-supported” as its number one statement of importance and among the top ten things the College does well. Iowa Western’s commitment to student learning remains unwavering, and while student technology needs are met extremely well, the process in place to meet the technology needs of employees is not working. This project is an effort to provide continuous improvement in technology that will affect all areas of the institution.

E. List the organizational areas - -institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units -- most affected by or involved in this Action Project:

Technological improvements will impact every organizational area within the institution. Instructional staff and classified employees will realize the most benefit from this Action Project.

F. Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve:

This Action Project will change or improve three key processes; -Budgeting – identify a permanent funding stream for technology improvements. -Resource allocation – create a transparent process for the allocation of technology equipment. -Information technology (IT) resource allocation – prioritize technology support.

G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion):

Completion of this project has significant budget implications. The length of time planned will encompass two fiscal cycles. By initiating this effort on July 1, 2006, some budgetary planning can be accomplished to allocate financial resources to the project. By continuing the project into FY08, additional resources can be allocated from the next fiscal year's budget. Through this budget process, consideration can be given to establishing a permanent source of funding that will continue this effort past December 31, 2007.

H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing:

The milestones for this Action Project have been established as follows: -An inventory of the current level of technology for all staff will be assembled using current software capabilities by September 1, 2006. Utilizing this inventory those faculty/staff with the oldest technology can be targeted to receive new technology. -Employee computer repair requests will be monitored through help desk records. -The plan will be in place and communicated to the staff by December 31, 2006. -A permanent source of funding will be established by December 31, 2007 -A status report of institutional technology will be presented to the Cabinet each quarter beginning September 2006. In addition, the information technology center will compile an annual report that will be posted to the AQIP website.

I. Describe the overall "outcome" measures or indicators that will tell you whether this Action Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals:

-The annual status report will indicate that faculty/staff technology is being updated on a regular basis and the number of employee technology repair requests has been reduced. -The development and funding of a permanent source of revenue to continue this technology renewal effort will have been established through the budgeting process. -The Technology Committee will meet regularly to evaluate and make recommendations on future technology requests.

J. Other information (e.g., publicity, sponsor or champion, etc.):

Vice President of Finance/Operations – funding. Director of Information Technology Center – procurement and deployment.


K. Project Leader and contact person :

Carol  S. Huffman
Dean - Fine Arts, Math, Engineering Technology and Computer Studies
Email: chuffman@iwcc.edu
Phone: 1-800-432-5852     Ext. 3320


Last Action Project Update:

A. Describe the past year's accomplishments and the current status of this Action Project.

 IT department conducted an inventory of current employee technology.  Results were used to prioritize staff groups for a four-year replacement cycle.  The plan was submitted to the Quality Council, Cabinet and Board of Trustees for approval and then communicated to employees.  Monies were appropriated to begin the replacement cycle while establishing a permanent source of revenue through the College budgeting process.  $50,000 was built into the budget for FY08 for employee technology.  A permanent Information Technology Committee tasked to provide strategic planning for and continuous improvement of College technology was established as part of the new College governance structure.  The first employee group in the cycle is received new computers fall 2007.

C. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.

 Complete the replacement of technology for year one of the cycle.  Convene the Information Technology Committee and establish as one of its responsibilities the oversight of the continuation of the replacement cycle and the project-required annual report to the Quality Council on the status of employee technology and help desk issues.  Provide a baseline report of the status of computer issues and help desk requests to the Quality Council in October 2007.  Add the final $50,000 to the line item for employee technology in the College budget during the budget process in February 2008. The Board agreed to this in 2007.

D. Describe any "effective practice(s)" that resulted from your work on this Action Project.

 Due to the replacement cycle, in the future there will only be 4 different computer hardware configurations on campus, one for each year in the replacement cycle. This should enhance the ease and facility of resolving help desk maintenance issues for the IT department.  All employees can expect their computer to be replaced every four years.  Classes of employees will have consistent technology.  There is a committee to filter and prioritize requests for future technology projects on campus.

E. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?

There are no challenges remaining; the campus community is on board with the progress made in this effort. There are just a few steps remaining to complete the project. These are listed above under next steps in question 3.

F. If you would like to discuss the possibility of AQIP providing you help to stimulate progress on this action project, explain your need(s) here and tell us who to contact and when?