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TIES: Implementing IT Best Practice

Editors note: Teachers-This post will not be as interesting to you!! Skip to the Social Networking post!
Tim Wilson, Director of Technology for Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools presented a case study of his district's IT.
Mission statement: The department exists to further the educational mission of the school district.
Mantra: Efficient and Effective-Guy Kawasaki
Problems: Missed deadlines, no data to know if you're improving, inconsistent proceedures, firefighting-not planning, islands of knowledge-getting hit by the bus, short term focus-create a list of projects that will happen in the next few days; months; years.
ITIL: IT Infrastructure Library

Minnesota industries have embraced this. Started in the 90's in England.
  • Service Support-Incident Management, Service Desk, Problem management, release management,configuration management, change management,
  • Service Delivery- Service level management/agreements, security management, financial management-TCO, Availability management, capacity management-how much bandwith, server space will be needed 2 years from now, IT service continuity mangagement

To implement these processes is a 5 year project at least. Look at things you can do right away.
When implementing something new, there is a certain level of lack of benefit initially. The critical point is when enthusiasm is at it's lowest but benefits are starting to be realized. This is true of educational initiatives as well.


Atributes of ITIL
  1. Service Desk is the single point of contact. They use "Request Tracker" for tickets from e-mail to the service desk. All tickets come to one que so that if all of a technicians tickets are done, they can look at others to assist. Customer service survey 2x's a year to generate data on effectiveness. They will then use a wiki to document progress and documentation. They use "Moinmoin" and include documentation on all of their installations and issues, such as installation of Windows Media Player 11-Just don't do it! One of his tech's will be the wiki master.
  2. Incident Management-Total cost to educate each kid per hour is $7.70. Incidents represent student learning and represent a "learning opportunity cost." Two hours of downtime in a 30 seat lab is $462!
  3. Change Management-Change Advisory Board (C.A.B.) look at requests for change and insure that they can be completed.
  4. Release Management-Read 180 issue last year-$15,000 Learning Opportunity Cost! Engage key stakeholders, release review meetings (include teachers, admin, techs and vendor), review success, improvement opportunities, release review draft, assign next actions and circulate.
  5. Availability Management-Zenoss to see status of equipment in real time. Just put in items that have to be up all the time. Shows graphs of data. How do you define "critical" infrastructure.
  6. Capacity ManagementUse zenoss to track capacity needs
  7. Configuration MangagementConfiguration management data base, RT Asset Tracker, Zenoss, Casper, and Zen Asset manager, what constitutes a configuration item, Asset tags.
  8. Problem Management-Not there yet
  9. Financial ManagementWhat is the actual TCO?
  10. Service Continuity Management-What's critical, and how soon do you need it back?-Answer: Everything, and it's needed back immediately!! Meet with stakeholders, Leverage High speed fiber, build partnerships to make our network more robust. (Link with other districts/government organizations to assist each other in the event of disasters)

Aligning IT vision with constituents needs-TOSA meetings, TAT meetings, focus on the education piece-avoid the geek stuff!

Comments

Tim Wilson said…
Michael,

Thanks for coming to the session. I'm impressed with your rapid typing! :-)

I'm really hoping to use ITIL as the framework for all of our major process improvements over the next few years. Already I've found that focusing on one process at a time makes things a lot easier than trying to adopt all of ITIL at once. I didn't get a chance to talk about it in the session, but you'll find that ITIL is very non-prescriptive (sometimes frustratingly so). It really is a broad set of frameworks that need to be customized to work in any given environment. That's the heart of what we're doing now.

-Tim

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