Joe’s Dissertation: Understanding How Organizations Operate Their IT Capacity-Management Processes

I defended this in November and am a bit late in posting it here, but here’s what I’ve been working on for the last several months:

Understanding How Organizations Operate Their IT Capacity Management Processes

The very short version:

There is a lack of understanding of how organizations operate their IT capacity
management processes. Within the body of literature on IT capacity-management there is an
abundance of advice for organizations on how to set up or run the processes for IT capacity
management, but very little in the way of describing the processes as performed and operated in
organizations out in the field.

Using qualitative methods this research sought to gain an understanding of how
organizations are operating their IT capacity-management processes in the field. A dozen
subjects from 10 organizations were interviewed and the data were analyzed with a
grounded theory approach.

Cloud computing was found to be a disruptive technology providing the occasion
for major changes in the structures of IT capacity-management. The differences in these
structures were expressed through an IT capacity-management structures spectrum. The
relative relationships between the roles in these structures as plotted along this spectrum
were found to have the IT capacity-management role migrate from mediator, to directly
linked to the data center, to largely absent.

The results provide the IT capacity-management field and managers in IT a
starting point from which to shape career development and organizational change
management efforts as an organization migrates from a classic structure to a cloud

CIC CIO Tech Forum 2015: Creating a Collaborative Foundation for IT

Got to go to University of Iowa for the 2015 CIC CIO Tech Forum. My part of the presentation was on how we took qualitative research methods and paired them with agile development methods in order to make rapid and significant improvements to a service that serves about two dozen of the three dozen IT service providers on University of Michigan campuses.

The official abstract:
Creating a Collaborative Foundation for IT
The University of Michigan’s IT Strategic Plan envisions effective collaboration amongst the 35 IT service providers on campus. Campus IT asked for enterprise-calibre Service Management platform without enterprise-calibre complexity. We responded with the IT Service Provider Toolkit. This presentation will provide an overview of the approach used to define, build and deliver Service Management concepts in a straightforward and simple approach.

Our mantra from the very beginning has been, “keep it simple,” or as it is now known, “tickets without complexity.” We will describe our approach to rapid requirements-gathering and development that allowed us to deliver the initial “base package” within 120 days and supports onboarding new units in under 100 hours of effort. We will discuss the longer-term view of where this is headed, as well as how we think this supports upcoming changes in managing the IT landscape (such as BYOD).

Fostering a collaborative environment across the diverse culture and IT needs in a higher education atmosphere has its challenges. We will share some of what we learned and how creating the idea that each unit, school or college is an IT Service Provider among a community of peers opened new ways of thinking about old problems.

It’s no Wolverine, but… 🙂


Educause Connect San Antonio 2015

Spent some time in San Antonio for one of the Educause Connect conferences.

The room before it was filled.

Co-facilitated a great conversation with IT professionals in Higher Ed about how your relationship with technology changes everything. We explored how viewing technology from a deterministic or a constructivist perspective could change your outlook on how you’d approach common IT management issues. We also talked about how that might shape the ability to be a service provider rather than simply a technology provider.

View from one of the paths in San Antonio
 The famous Riverwalk in San Antonio


View from one of the paths farther out of downtown San Antonio

New Article Published: The Role of Organizational Maturity in Process Adoption

A new article, with co-author, Rachel Apgar, has been published, here.

When trying to get an organization to adopt a process, such as IT capacity management, the maturity of that organization is a mediating factor that can either limit or contribute to the success of the effort. Regardless of whether you’re implementing an ITIL version of capacity management, a process an author recommends, or a capacity management process of your own design, the maturity of the organization adopting it needs to be kept in mind.