The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - March 2021

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - March 2021


Have you seen a UVU staff member offering exceptional service or giving an exemplary performance? Remember to nominate them for the Wolverine Sighting Employee Recognition Award! 



Four leaf clovers for St. Patrick's Day.

First Block Classes End 

Wednesday, March 3 is the last day of first block classes this semester. 

Second Block Classes Begin 

Thursday, March 4 is the first day of second block classes this semester. 

Spring Break Holidays
3/8/2021 - 3/13/2021

Monday, March 8 through Saturday, March 14 is the Spring Break for students. For employees, Friday, March 12 is a holiday as well. 

Daylight Saving Begins 

Sunday, March 14 is Daylight Saving. Be sure to reset clocks and account for the time change when making plans.  If you're curious about the history of Daylight Saving Time, be sure to check out this interesting article

St. Patrick's Day 

This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on Wednesday, March 17. Today, this holiday honors Irish heritage, culture, and traditions. Be sure to read up on the history of St. Patrick's Day if you are interested. 

Spring Equinox 

Saturday, March 20 is the spring equinox for 2021. Also known as the vernal equinox, this phenomenon marks the date when the sun crosses the equator from north to south. To learn more facts about the spring equinox, check out this article

3/27/2021 - 4/4/2021

This year, Passover starts on Saturday, March 27 and continues through Sunday, April 4. This ancient holiday is still celebrated around the world. If you are interested in the history and traditions of Passover, try reading this article


Colorful wavy pattern.


We are currently in the process of hiring a knowledge manager. This person will be responsible for overseeing the UVU knowledge management process and maintaining and improving the knowledge initiative that has already begun. We have some incredible things coming once we hire the knowledge manager, get the Power VA bot up, and replace the current system for the chatbot. 

Bobby Lott 
Director of Digital Service Management


For the past 35 years, I have worked in many different roles in Information Technology (IT). I began my IT career on the hardware side of things by pulling, crimping, and testing fiber-optic network cables across the BYU campus. I transitioned to the software world at Novell, where I worked testing, writing, designing, selling, acquiring, and patenting different applications and technologies. At some point, I found myself in project and product management using skills I had learned about hardware and software to design solutions at an enterprise level. Over time, I have discovered two truths: (1) no matter how hard I try, I can never find the right words to help my parents understand what I do at work, and (2) there is never a shortage of day-to-day tasks to complete, and no matter how much time I spend getting them done, there are always more "things" to do. 

These "things" are usually daily tasks associated with our work assignments. Often, they are referred to as "tactical" work. Tactical work has an insatiable appetite; if you let it, it will take every minute and hour you feed it. 

There is another type of work we do called "strategic" work. Strategic work involves planning what needs to be done, as well as how, when, why, and where it needs to be done. It involves having many conversations with many people and trying to get those people to nod their heads in the same direction at the same time. It also involves finding ways to identify, justify, and allocate time and resources to do new things—but also to keep old things running. Strategic work may also involve taking time to learn new skills. It's all hard. This is one reason why tactical work always seems to trump strategic work—it's easier. Tactical work rarely demands change. Change is hard.

Over the past few weeks, we've spent some time focusing on strategic concepts from two different books: Extreme Ownership and Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. Both books contain strategic leadership principles that, if learned and applied, may help us become more efficient in our tactical endeavors and change the way we do things over time, resulting in cultural change. Cultural change is a key component of digital transformation. Changing how and why we do our tactical work allows individuals, organizations, and institutions to change. Change that results in better IT products and experiences for our customers and users is desirable. 

The assignment to acquire and read these books had several purposes: 

  • To provide a safe space to pause the tactical work we do and invest some time in strategic learning.
  • To acquire new skills and ideas for how to apply those skills to our day-to-day work.
  • To teach and share these ideas with others in our organization so that we can learn from each other. 

The people in Dx are our most important asset. We need to pause and invest in ourselves and learn from each other. The goal of this exercise was not to buy and read two books. The real goal involves training that will take place over the coming weeks. Please take advantage of this opportunity to learn new things, and please take the time to share what you learn with others.

Thanks for all you do to make UVU great! There are many who go quietly about their work every day because they love what they do. Please be sure to pause and be open to new ideas and opportunities to connect and learn from each other.

Stay safe, and work hard!

Troy Martin 
Associate Vice President - IT / CTO




There has been a lot of talk in Dx about commitments lately, especially among directors and senior leaders. In our Dx Leadership meetings each week, we review what is lovingly called the Commitments Dashboard, which is a list of deliverables or milestones that have a deadline. We emphasize these items because a deadline or due date represents an agreement with our customers on what we will deliver and when. Some commitments are external (created with people outside the Dx organization), and some are internal (created with people inside the Dx organization). As we examine the Dx Commitments Dashboard items, we see an impressive picture of the immense work we are all engaged in. Sometimes, it's challenging to complete every item by the deadline because there is so much to do. 

This is where the Commitments Dashboard comes in. We can indicate if there are concerns with our ability to deliver an item by its deadline. When needed, we can adjust resources to meet the commitment, or in severe cases, we may need to change the commitment date with our customer. Currently, the Commitments Dashboard is a simple spreadsheet shared by the Dx Leadership Team. The directors are charged with updating the spreadsheet regularly, which is an extra reporting step. 

Fortunately, beginning in April, the Commitments Dashboard will be embodied in an Advanced Roadmap plan inside Jira. As everyone updates their work in Jira, the Commitments Dashboard updates too, making it an excellent tool for sharing progress with stakeholders and keeping everyone informed. While almost everyone in Dx already uses Jira, those who don't will need to begin tracking their work in Jira to keep the Commitments Dashboard up to date.

I think all of us recognize and value the importance of keeping our commitments. The biggest difference between our past culture and our present culture is that we now view due dates as commitments rather than wishful thinking. This new outlook is critical because we must commit ourselves to completing our tasks on time. That means prioritizing more carefully, improving processes, and only committing ourselves to work that we can realistically execute by the deadline. As we do this, we'll gain the trust of our customers, and we'll hold our heads higher, knowing we are delivering what we said we would.

Brett McKeachnie 
Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management


Did you know that the UVU IT Operations team has someone on-call 24/7, 365 days a year? We rotate shifts and get alerts from monitoring so that we can escalate outages and communicate with customers whenever an outage impacts employees, students, or faculty. 

Depending on the impact, our communications may stay internal to IT, where you can see info in the Outages channel on Teams or on If an outage impacts students, employees, or faculty, we try to post a notification to the UVU Statuspage within 15 minutes. A growing number of people are subscribing to alerts on the Statuspage (found at There, the public can find outage impact and resolution information on IT services that they care about. We use the UVU Statuspage page to deliver reliable and timely updates to everyone.

We also collaborate with the change system and post advanced notice of maintenance on services that may experience scheduled downtime. This is a team effort. We can back you up and help communicate to the campus community when the change system is used to enter scheduled maintenance. Planning outages also prevents the unnecessary escalation of issues. You can access the change system by going to and authenticating as a UVU IT employee.

Thank you to everyone who helps this system operate smoothly.

Jim Condie 
Director of IT Infrastructure Services / Operations



True Radical Candor

There is a simple formula to developing trust: First, you have to Care Personally (being your whole, genuine self) about others (as human beings). Second, Challenge Directly (i.e., telling people when what they do is not good enoughAND when it is). As Kim Scott put it in her book, Radical Candor:

"Radical Candor is what happens when you put Care Personally and Challenge Directly together.  [It] builds trust and opens the door for the kind of communication that helps you achieve the results you’re aiming for."

We all know the adage of actions speak louder than words, and we’ve talked a lot about how actions are what lead to a change of thinking rather than the other way around; however, when it comes to genuinely caring, it has to come from within. So we come around againfull circlewith another one of life’s many paradoxes. Here is that formula: Thoughts produce feelings; feelings produce actions; actions always produce corresponding results. Therefore if you want proper results, entertain proper thoughts.

Joe Belnap 
Senior Director of Special Projects for IT

Three Quotes to Live By

Three things to live by:

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
 - Walter Bagehot, English author

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
 - Thomas A. Edison

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
 - Thomas A. Edison

Mike Duffin
Director of Automation / Integration Services

Be Authentic

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Bobby Lott 
Director of Digital Service Management


Cool striped pattern.

Open Job Positions

The following positions are available in Dx as of February 28, 2021:

Be sure to watch for more opportunities in Dx.  

Is there an opening in your division or department that needs to be filled? Be sure to get it approved according to the Temporary Human Resources Guidelines. Once the position is open, get the word out by submitting it to Caitlin Tobler for next month’s newsletter. 

New Employees

No new individuals have been recently hired by Dx, transferred to a new department, or given a promotion.