Friday, February 8, 2008

New Year's Resolutions 2008

For the past three years, we have been completely remodeling everything in Information Services and Informatics here at Northwestern. Like a home remodeling job, it has been brutally stressful and inconvenient at times, but now the remodeling is almost done and we are emerging-- from "Rennovation to Innovation." (Sorry for the cliche buzz phrase, but it works!)

In addition to our specific 2008 goals, we decided that we also wanted to list our cultural and behavioral goals for 2008, much like New Year's Resolutions, to reflect the end of an era in which Information Services and Informatics were more reactive than proactive, more servants than consultants. Here are those resolutions:

•Conduct our work with a sense of humor, laughter, and mischief…pull a prank on someone once in awhile

•Replace Renovation with Innovation
–We’re nearly done with major Renovation… now the real fun begins
–Be leaders, not followers…Ask less for permission, and more for advice
–Set the new benchmark for excellence in healthcare in each– IDX, Epic, Data warehousing, Infrastructure, Integration
–Action, dependability, and trust are preferred over conservative precaution, asking for permission, and seeking complete consensus

•Evolve towards proactive IS consultants and business partners
–Versus reactive IS servants and technologists
–Take upon an independent, entrepreneurial business mentality, serving the IT needs of NMFF

•Do not emplace nor allow for boundaries between the various campus IS organizations
–Provide seamless customer service and hand-off

•Provide early, rapid prototyping of everything-- requirements, plans, designs, applications, et al –Manage expectations, but give people something to react to, as soon as possible

•Practice lean communications and project coordination
–Conduct lean, frequent, efficient meetings as a method to better communicate and coordinate
–Make every meeting a working meeting, that gets something done

•Seek opportunities for firsthand observation
–Get out of the IS cubicle and into the customer’s work area
–Interact with customers, whenever and however possible

•Squeeze waste and inefficiency
–Eliminate minor IT inconveniences which have major cumulative effects on customers
–Challenge workarounds and anything else that doesn’t make sense
–Implement opportunities for open source technology and outsourcing

•We are now capable of being data-driven in IS and NMFF
–We’ve arrived: Analytics and metrics-driven process improvement are possible, so make it happen

•Look for opportunities to conduct true software development
–Customer-appreciated innovation will come from custom, services based web applications written on the boundaries of our core systems such as IDX, Epic, and Great Plains
–Develop applications which enable customer self-service
–Move from a Message Oriented Architecture towards a Services Oriented Architecture

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