Why are we doing this now? Can’t we wait for a vaccine or until we get through this pandemic?
As the world, and UC Berkeley’s place in it, continues to change at an increasingly unprecedented pace, we want to be an adaptive, agile organization able to proactively adjust to emerging campus needs while enabling staff to do their best work. To not do so now leaves us in the position of continuing to react rather than lead. We are embarking on this project together from a position of strength — that is, we are doing this after much success improving OCIO/IST in many ways, building trust across campus through One IT, and continuing to refine and implement our long-term strategic plan. The pandemic has presented the perfect example of the need for agility; coupled with the financial consequences of COVID, we feel it is essential to act now.
Will this Organizational Design Project include layoffs along the way?
We need to recognize that this work is being done with the backdrop of the significant budget reductions being taken campus-wide as part of the impact of COVID on UC Berkeley’s financial position. IST will definitely have fewer positions in the organization at the end of this project, how many we do not know. By doing this work strategically, and not filling empty positions where possible, we can create opportunities for existing staff whose positions might be eliminated, we will protect as many jobs as we can.
How do I know that this isn't just the CIO coming in, a new CIO always wants to create a new organization?
This work is not being approached on a whim. Jenn has been at UC Berkeley for over 7 years, and part of the IST organization in the DCIO role for 18 months prior to becoming CIO. We recognize that these kinds of activities are difficult and often stressful, but truly believe that the project needs to be done now and that the outcome will actually make us a stronger, more agile organization and serve the campus more strategically. Even after we have completed the project and have our organizational structure in place, we will continue to look at what's working, what’s not, and make some course corrections, taking your feedback along the way.
Does this mean that we're centralizing?
This Organizational Design Project is about getting our own OCIO/IST house in order first, and taking action on what we can take action on. One of the best ways for us to be seen as a strategic partner is to show that we can strategically organize ourselves to support the campus. The other part of the work in terms of gathering information with distributed IT across the campus is really two-fold. Primarily, it is to understand what other units are doing and what they depend on us for so that we make sure that we're creating a strong central organization to support our distributed IT colleagues. Second, it's also a chance to help give the campus a full, campus-wide picture of the overall IT organization.
Does this project affect the move into our new space at 2850 Telegraph, especially in regard to timing?
This project will be happening in tandem with the move to 2850 Telegraph. Our relocation needs to keep moving forward for a couple of reasons. First, this is a project that has been funded, contracts signed, and people are getting paid — it would cost more money to slow it down. Secondly, we have been asked by campus to get our operations out of the buildings that we're paying rent for to help our overall campus financial situation, so completing the project is financially important as well.
What framework are you following for this work?
The OCIO/IST Organizational Design Project Charter is modeled after Heidari-Robinson, S., & Heywood, S. (Nov. 2016). Harvard Business Review article Getting Reorgs Right; and book ReOrg: How to Get it Right.