Completed IT Projects
Project Portfolio Management
Description: Project Portfolio Management involves balancing, prioritizing and tracking the progress of a collection of projects. Depending on how you define “project”, CIS can have 50+ projects going at any given time. Over the past couple of years we have been evolving a more comprehensive and coherent approach to both individual project management and project portfolio management. With this project portfolio management initiative we aim to settle on a set of practices and tools to streamline this process.
Goals: Identify and deploy project management tools that we can use to track projects. List CIS projects on new CIS website, with links to brief quarterly updates.
03/11/2015: We continue to update the project statuses on the website every quarter.
12/3/2014: We continue to update the project statuses on the website every quarter.
8/13/2014: Roadmap was determined to be inadequate for our needs. We continue to update our project statuses on the CIS web site.
4/9/2014: We continue to use the spreadsheet to track projects and as the source of updates for the CIS website. We continue our investigation of RoadMap.
2/26/2014: We have been using a Google spreadsheet to track our projects. It records such things as desired outcomes and forecasts of quarterly milestones. By using and revising the spreadheet we are getting better idea of what we would like to see in software for project portfolio management. The CIS Management Team reviews the spreadsheet regularly and we have identified our top projects for the year. We have also recently been taking an initial look at Roadmap. You are looking at the list of projects on the new CIS web page!
Implement Improved Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans
Description: Design and build improved data backup processes. Using those processes as a foundation, design and build a disaster recovery plan that will ensure a quick return to normal business functions after a disaster.
Goals: CIS staff would like to review hybrid cloud computing options for backup processes and make a recommendation for implementation. We would like to document current backup processes and design of new backup processes. We plan to upgrade VMware infrastructure to 5.5; install vCOPs to monitor resource utilization; analyze our VMware environment for hybrid solution readiness. We will research hybrid backup solutions and cloud Infrastructure as a Service solutions.
03/11/2015: Virtual servers in MS Azure are being backed up by the MS Azure Backup and Data Protection service. Use of MS Azure virtual servers is increasing within CIS so that members of USG and ETS now have virtual servers that they manage.
12/10/14: We are in discussion with MS engineers to improve our DR and backup environment. Documentation of backup processes has been started.
8/13/2014: SAN and the VMware environment upgrade is complete. Some services have been moved to Microsoft Azure. Transition backups to StorSimple are complete.
4/9/2014: Upgrading SAN and compute resources in preparation for VMware 5.5. Began building development virtual machines in Microsoft Azure for testing various applications. Transitioning existing backups to StorSimple.
2/26/2014: In January 2014 we obtained a StorSimple appliance which will perform automated segmentation of our data into hot (frequently used) and cold (less frequently used) and back it up to Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage. We have upgraded VMware and installed vCOPS to gain insight into which virtual servers need resources.
Improve Email Systems That are Controlled by CIS
Description: Although we have moved to Google Apps and Office365, HMC retains responsibility for mailing list management and mail flow. Harvey Mudd relies extensively on mailing lists for internal communication. The current list management software is obsolete. We need to develop and implement plans for replacement. We also need to clarify/improve the mail flow through mail central and IronPort systems.
Goals: We would like to document current mailing list practices and conduct needs assessment regarding lists and groups.
Review options and make a formal recommendation, including the possibility of discontinuing CIS involvement in group and list creation and management. Implement approved recommendation. Configure smtp.hmc.edu and smtp.claremont.edu to send outbound through IronPort Research IronPort’s ability to make determination for mail flow to GAE or O365 bypassing mail central. Research replacement for majordomo (e.g., Google Groups)”
03/11/2015: Mail flow issues to and from Computer Science have been resolved, and the CS department has reported positive feedback for the changes.
12/3/2014: We have agreed with the Computer Science department that mail to and from cs.hmc.edu will be routed through the IronPort spam filtering service in the same way as other campus mail. This will reduce the amount of spam being delivered to CS users and should resolve issues with sending messages to CS users. We have made more progress with Google Groups.
8/13/2014: We have identified L-Soft as a replacement for MajorDomo automated mailing lists.
4/9/2014: Renewed group discussions to determine email list alternatives. Building L-Soft listserv development environment in Microsoft Azure for testing dynamic LDAP queries and majordomo migrations.
2/26/2014: We have installed IronPort and, despite some initial glitches, it is performing well and is easier to maintain than Postini. We are researching how it could function as a replacement for mail central, routing mail appropriately to its destination. We have begun moving lists that are not automatically generated to Google Groups on g.hmc.edu, as well as creating new lists in Google Groups.
Develop CIS Service Catalog
Description: A service catalog lists all the services provided by CIS, with information about how to request service and details of what one can expect. We need to create and publish a CIS Service Catalog
Goals: CIS groups will provide a draft of service catalog during Q4 2013. Service Catalog will be released on website by Q2 2014.
03/11/2015: Completed: The CIS Service Catalog has been implemented and will be maintained and updated as part of normal CIS operations.
12/03/2014: CIS continues to add new service catalog items on a regular basis.
8/13/2014: A search feature has been added to the CIS Service Catalog site on the CIS web site and we added an additional page organized by categories. Additional services are being added on a regular basis.
4/9/2014: A first draft of the CIS Service Catalog was released on the new CIS web site on January 18, 2014. We continue to add service catalog items to the list and have begun creating separate pages that will list the services by category as well as by specific audiences. For example, a faculty services page will include information on educational technology resources such as high performance computing. The student specific page will contain information of use to current students as well as incoming students.
2/26/2014: The first draft of the Service Catalog was released with the new website on January 18, 2014.
Reorganize Audio Visual Operations
Description: We are reorganizing to support Audio Visual operations out of the User Support group, freeing the Educational Technology group to focus more on educational technology which includes scientific computing and the development of new AV services. The User Support team is bigger and more geared toward fast response times, both of which will be advantages when it comes to supporting AV requests.
Goals: During a six month transition period, integrate most AV services into user support.
8/13/2014: Routine AV support is now handled by the User Support team. We regard this project as completed.
4/9/2014: Routine audiovisual support has almost entirely migrated to the User Support Group. Michael Meyka now reports to Cindy Abercrombie. James Sadler has a new position and title, Instructional Media Specialist, and is shifting his focus from audiovisual support to supporting faculty and students in their use of educational technology, including lecture capture, the Smartboard, and wireless projection.
2/26/2014: We have begun the transition, including rewriting job descriptions and changing reporting lines for staff. Changes have been made to the Footprints ticket system to accommodate the transition. We have hired a temporary employee to help with workload during this reorganization.
Portal Advisory Group
Description: The Portal Advisory Group is a cross functional group that is charged with guiding CIS in matters regarding the portal. It is chaired by Mark Ashley. The success of this group would indicate an improvement in the IT governance model of the College.
Goals: We would like to see the PAG publish a prioritized list of desired portal improvements. And CIS could then implement improvements in timely manner. We would also like to see the PAG begin to tackle questions about whether we stay with JICS or seek something else.
03/11/2015: No new updates.
12/10/14: Several items from the PAG priority list have been completed. A draft of a project plan for Online Registration Clearance has been created and is under discussion with stakeholders.
8/13/2014: Project ranking was completed. Parchment (transcripts) has been completed. Project Charter is under development for Online Registration Clearance Application (Orca).
4/9/2014: PAG met and voted on projects. PAG will meet again this quarter to discuss the voting and advise on priority of projects.
2/26/2014: PAG did not meet in Fall, but substantial work was done by Mark Ashley (chair), Susan Selhorst and Gerald Reyes to map out the projects by rough order of magnitude (ROM) in preparation for ranking by the PAG. The PAG is scheduled to meet in February.
Make a transition from DTA to TA program
Description: Reorganize the User Support Group so that technical support is based on best available expertise rather than being based on which person is “assigned” to what department.
Goals: To achieve the goals related to this objective, we will need to rewrite DTA job descriptions. We then plan to complete transition from DTA program to TA program, with substantial teamwork evident in User Support Group.
Status: The job descriptions were rewritten in July 2013 and we began the transition to a more team oriented approach. The CIS staff in User Support have started to learn who is who among the faculty and staff, with a view to more friendly service. We now no longer have a DTA program. Completed on DATE.
Relaunch Equipment Replacement Program
Description: The CIS equipment replacement program will supersede the previous faculty (“PCs for faculty”) and staff computer replacement programs.
Goals: Document new program and build support for it on Cabinet and among department chairs. Create budget to support new program. Define how updates will be tracked moving forward. If possible, provide self service option to users so that they can see what we have on record and when they are next eligible for an upgrade.
03/11/2015: Completed: The program has been relaunched for faculty and staff, and it has been socialized with Cabinet and department chairs. The goal of making inventory information available via a web app has been moved to a separate summer project.
12/10/14: Twenty-three (23) staff systems have been ordered and planned for replacement this month and January 2015.
8/13/2014: Catch-up funds have been received. Staff machines eligible for upgrade have been identified and Cabinet has approved the process identified in our service catalog entry, including complete inventory of College owned computing equipment. Twenty-three (23) faculty have received equipment replacements.
4/9/2014: Asset database has been reviewed and updated by USG for staff systems in order to determine the cost of including staff departments in the program for upcoming fiscal years. Reports for department budgets are being created from the database.
2/26/2014: Documentation for new program has been drafted, and budget outlined. Additional $40k in “catch-up” funds was approved by the Board in January to be transferred from year end surplus. Anticipate discussing terms of new program with DCC, FEC and Cabinet during Spring semester.
Asset system and database was developed by students in Summer 2013 to support the program. User Support and Admin Services are developing process for maintaining the database of equipment.
Sakai transfer to Pomona
Description: Transfer administration and support of the consortial instance of Sakai from HMC to Pomona College.
Goals: In addition to physically moving the Sakai server to Pomona, this project involved a great deal of knowledge transfer on how to administer and support Sakai.
Status: HMC and Pomona IT staff worked during Summer 2012 to transfer the administration and support of Sakai from HMC to Pomona. The project was substantially complete by the end of August 2012 with HMC providing occasional support assistance through February 2013, particularly during such milestones as creating new courses for Spring 2013.