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UConn Part 2: BCP/DR Governance Teams

BCP/DR Governance
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As I began gathering requirements from key stakeholders, one major task that had to be accomplished is to develop a governance structure over the Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery (BCP/DR) program. At UConn, this is easier said than done because of the tenuous history between University Information Technology Services (UITS) and the independent IT organizations that evolved on campus.

Due to high turnover in leadership, a lack of consistent, measurable, repeatable process, and a long history of slow delivery, and failed projects or budget overruns, some of the schools that comprise UConn created their own independent IT organizations. This is just like the situation that existed at Pfizer when I worked there. Pfizer had a central IT organization that consistently failed in its mission. As a result, the five divisions grew their own independent IT organizations. Each had their own processes and none talked to each other. It took a transformational leader to change things. In this role at UConn, I had to be a transformational leader and be able to build two governance teams, work across a matrix organization, and drive change when I didn’t own or control any of the levers. I was successful and after a short while, volunteers were asking me to participate on the BCP/DR Working Group.

Steering Committee Governance

The first governance team I established (reconstituted actually) is the BCP/DR Steering Committee. The BCP/DR steering committee is a governance body that reviews, monitors and prioritizes BCP/DR projects from a cross-functional perspective. In addition to vision and leadership dimensions, the two key concerns of the steering committee are:

  • Alignment. The committee helps ensure that the BCP/DR strategy is aligned with the University’s strategic goals.
  • Ownership. The business units represented on the steering committee have ultimate ownership over the larger BCP/DR strategic decisions since those decisions will impact their processes.

There was an earlier BCP/DR Steering Committee that met one time under the CIO’s leadership after the news outlets made an issue of the lack of preparedness. I spoke to each of those early participants, reconfirmed their commitment and expanded the team by inviting participants from additional business areas. The team that eventually formed includes:

De Facto Members: Mun Choi, Provost
Nancy Bull, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer
Chair: Victor Font, Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Coordinator
Members: John Saddlemire, VP Student Affairs Barbara O’Connor, Chief of Public Safety
Suman Singha, VP Research Jason Pufahl, Chief Information Security Officer
Rich Gray, Chief Financial Officer Rachel Krinsky Rudnick, Assistant Director of Compliance/Privacy
Deb Cunningham, VP UConn Foundation

BCP/DR Working Team Governance

The working team is an IT management group focused on implementing the necessary programs and controls, delivering value, and measuring performance. Assembling a working team was slow work at first, but as news spread about what I was doing and the successes that were being achieved, the working team developed a life of it’s own. By the second monthly meeting, we had several new volunteers and recommendations for other participants from sitting members. The team that came together includes:

Chair: Victor Font, Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Coordinator
  Stephanie Kernozicky, Student Affairs IT Andy Rittner, Research
Members: Dan Nevelos, UConn Foundation Tom Hine, Public Safety
George Assard, School of Engineering Carrie Gray, IT Internal Audit
Ryan Kocsondy, UITS Regional Campuses John Gwinnell, Team Lead SSG Unix
Robert Swanson, Unix System Administrator, HBL Library Tim Ruggieri, CLAS
Jonathan Gill, UITS Dan Capetta, SAIT

I don’t know what’s going to happen to these governance teams or to the momentum that we built up over the past few months. My contract at UConn ended a couple of months earlier than expected because of budget issues. No one has been named to replace me.

Technorati Tags: Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, UConn, University of Connecticut, SDLC, Best Practice, Business Transformation

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