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Agenda

  1. Roll Call (by timezone - East to West)
  2. Scribe Shout-out - It's easy to scribe: How To Scribe Itana Calls Guide
  3. Agenda Bash
  4. Main Topic - COVID-19: Long-Term Gains from a Short-Term CrisisThe Covid Crisis is changing our landscape in unprecedented ways.  This will be an open discussion about how Architects can provide a positive influence and long-term perspective on the short-term activities happening as reactions to the Crisis.

  5. Itana Org Updates (if any)
    1. Working Group Updates
      1. New2EA Working Group
      2. API Working Group
      3. Business Architecture Working Group
    2. Steering Committee Update
      1. Women in EA Working Group
      2. Face2Face 2020 - Boston - Leading Change as an Architect

Attendees

Announcements - Itana News, Working Group Report out

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  • Jim Phelps, University of Washington = campus is closed and staff will be working remotely through 12 June 2020 --- three months!
  • Chris Eagle, Michigan, seeded the conversation:
    • It's been about two weeks at Michigan since they understood how serious COVID-19 is.  Went into remote teaching and got everybody to work from home. All restaurants and bars and schools have been closed.  Now expecting "shelter in place" rules to come into force. Having daily meetings with the CIO and the infrastructure people and the learning and teaching people are doing so much at the moment --- but what about the strategy and planning people, what are we doing?  How can our work better position our universities for the future? What lessons and new ways of working can be incorporated in future?
    • Technology for remote teaching we've had for years!  A handful of instructors have done flipped classrooms, etc, and taken advantage of new technologies, but at low adoption rates it was going to take decades to get everybody across the line, but now, suddenly, in a matter of weeks, boom! --- everybody is doing it now.  What will happen when things come back to normal, what balance of online and in-person teaching will prevail?
    • Bluejeans (less good than ZOOM), and as Michigan moves into remote teaching there is increased demand to change --- but on Saturday the CIO said "we're going to ZOOM on Monday", and that happened!  Question: why did we need a crisis to make this happen in forty-eight hours? Why can't we move quickly with our decisions and our procurement and our actions all the time?
    • What other positive impacts are there we can see from the current situation?
  • J.J. Du Chateau, Wisconsin = had an all-central-IT meeting with the CIO and also had echoed that quicker decision-making has been occuring at Wisconsin.  The Enterprise Architecture group is asking how they can contribute to this --- they're capturing observations and lessons and keeping those for future reference.
  • Betsy Draper, Kansas = has been going through an organisational change, and has a lot of new people in her team from across the University.  Has been unifying on a new Microsoft Teams service, which they've been receiving training in. Staff meeting yesterday reported that the online meetings with video and chat are fantastic, really helping with the balance from email to richer (remote) communications.  Betsy is doing a quick check-in with each staff member individually, talking with them and finding out how they are going individually. People working remotely Had a session yesterday with 150 people and wrote an article together about internet access and remote work for the wider university and went terrific --- Betsy's senior-leadership peers in their own stand-up found the experience terrific, and there is potential for a seismic shift in the culture longer term (crowdsourcing, flexible work, better teaming).
  • Rory O'Neill, Alaska = making the same kind of incident-response decisions as they did in the Alaska earthquake, decisions and authority are very similar to that, and there are new relationships and new trust being formed.  When academic continuity is being threatened there is rapid agreement and consensus, everybody rolls up their sleeves and gets amongst it.
  • Tim [Bracken?] PSU = came from industry and noted the deeply-federated nature of universities, and there is so much variability around things like ability to work from home (some parts of the organisation don't even allow laptops).  Industry tends to emphasise continuity much more, and here, all of a sudden, universities have had to say "everybody has to be able to work remotely". Concepts like ConOps = continuity operations.
  • Beth Schaefer, Milwaukee = already rolled out Microsoft Teams across the campus and a lot of people are trained up and a lot of resources already online, preparing a shift to Teams telephony in April, placed orders for headsets, etc, and now that's all had to be accelerated massively!  As all the classes get online, and as people are working from home, there's been some comfort in being able to provide headsets to staff. Crisis teams and processes have also been activated --- the shifts in approach have been mind-blowing (e.g., moving the scope of the VPN out from just IT professionals to the whole campus, partners such as HR and Finance).  There will be beneficial longer-term changes as a result of all this! You'd think the communication side of things would have been quite different, but many folks are already using these tools, so the change has been quite smooth. The campus is now locked down, and a lot of IT assets have moved to people's homes. Challenges with supply and demand for all the basics.
  • Chris = not only do people need to take computers home, but they also need to take things like desks and chairs home too.  Procurement has a policy that does not allow the university to deliver assets to people's homes, so that, too, has had to change.  What about "Crossing the Chasm" moments --- situations in which a sudden policy change/shift has had to occur?
  • Beth and Betsy : = it's kind of fun when you see your senior leadership who haven't used these new online collaboration tools before getting an "aha!" moment.
  • Chris : = has been using Slack across the campus for a year or more, and adoption has been in small pockets --- until now: last week, three new COVID-19 channels, and now everybody's on there!
  • https://blog.prototypr.io/design-for-crossing-the-chasm-1c4d4c68a3f1?gi=26d8f547894 = @Jim on the Chasm: using this as part of change-management and communication, some people jump onto anything that's new, and the next group rationalise this on a cost/value basis, and then… there's the chasm!  Getting across the chasm often needs a bigger push-effort.

  • Betsy = COVID-19 is a bridge across the chasm with a really-high arch that enables you to slide straight into the next phases of adoption!
  • Jim = seeing fun memes like the "my coworker" thing (some examples here https://425magazine.com/your-kids-are-your-coworkers-now-what/), and also seeing people opening up their ZOOM channels at lunchtime to provide some normalcy.  Jim has also reclaimed some ninety minutes each day of commute time, which we need to think about how we turn that back into "me" time, and understanding how we still have the walking-to-the-bus and listening-to-podcasts-on-the-commute and getting mentally ready to change gears on the approach into the office.
  • Lonnie Smetana, Manitoba = some online meetings are starting up early to enable check-in time for people, and these have been valuable for helping people be okay.  Maybe things like starting early to enable these behaviours could persist when things come back to normal. We might also see people not book so many back-to-back meetings scheduled, people being kinder with the scheduling.  It can be dangerous/tempting to just work all the time! We need to take care of ourselves.
  • Kathleen Booth = longer-term, we need to be careful of what does become normal, like working longer hours or being "always on".  Some parents are taking shifts with childcare, so working into the night.
  • J.J. = digital transformations can't be pushed from IT, and this event seems to have created a catalyst for business-side push, and is this going to be the new normal for the longer term?  Might be seeing forward services being developed with features such as scalability and remote/flexible consumption. Better focus on what we're delivering in terms of processes and people, and better understanding which business capabilities from the CAUDIT reference model we're working on and improving at any time.
  • Chris = Impacts of the Digital Revolution, comparing what's happening now with other previous revolutions (e.g., Industrial Revolution).  Three phases for all of these: refine, disrupt, and transform. The first two phases always seem to take about fifteen years, but transformation takes about thirty years, when all the big changes happen.  We are now at the beginning of the transformation phase with the Digital Revolution. However, these major crises might speed these phases --- COVID-19 is probably one of these. Some managers have strong traditional views that remote workers have low/poor productivity.  Michigan, maybe not back in the office for six months! That's long enough for a big change to establish, to prove the benefits of new ways of working. The situation is out of the hands of the people who hold those older views of remote working.
  • Mary Stevens, Illinois = HR said "when you work from home we expect you to be working…" with quite a harsh tone, and one of the middle managers rewrote this to be more friendly (e.g., "wear pants", "tidy up your home workspace").
  • Jacob Morris, Washington = people might need to do some reading (e.g., the book "Remote" from the 37signals people, a great read about how you run a company remotely.  Assumptions about what work looks like and how to track it are being challenged. People who turn up in the office and are great at forty-hour face-time often aren't the ones that are delivering.  You've gotta trust people and hold them accountable and support them, support them both to succeed and support them to check out and stand down when it's not working time.
  • Jacob = Washington has a Unit Response Centre all-hands open session ZOOM, Tuesdays and Fridays.  Jacob and a Business Continuity Team colleague run these, slide-deck to talk through what's happening, and to take questions from anybody across the whole organisation.  Some of the discussions include wider concerns such as how the supply chain for supermarkets work. Next week there's also the CIO coming in to answer questions. People want to see their leadership more visibly.  Keeping this light and informal. To set the right tone, every session starts with a terrible "dad joke". Would be great for the university to do this on a wider basis (getting email after email after email) and this channel is working really well and is easy to digest.
  • James Jim = trying to compartmentalise when to deal with "virus stuff" and when to deal with other stuff --- this helps manage anxiety, and avoids being  bombarded. Others are consuming the news at specific times (e.g., when riding their exercycle). The overload of official emails is overwhelming.
  • Jacob Morris, Washington = do stay connected with the national communities like ITANA, because there are aspects of normal life about this, and being able to share this struggle across the world is so powerful and so helpful.  it's a time to reach out and not just be stuck in.
  • Bennett Ulmer, PSU = appreciated the call today because everything is so new and so different --- there are lots of ups and lots of downs, trying to establish bearings on how things work.  What would this same conversation be like one month from now? How can we take these ideas and spread them through our own institutions?
  • Chris = it's potentially a great time for enterprise architects, watching what we're doing differently, picking out those things that we are doing differently (especially those that we've had excuses in the past for not doing) and cataloguing them and helping make sure they keep happening.
  • Louis King, Yale = facilitated an Architecture Review Board today, remotely, and it was an effective and well-run session, and some of that comes down to the experiences we have here in the ITANA group.

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