The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - May 2021

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - May 2021

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People all across Dx work hard and accomplish amazing things every day. The Dx Team Recognition is a way to let someone in Dx know that their great efforts over the past week have been noticed. During the Half-Time live-stream each Wednesday at 11:45 AM, we recognize a deserving recipient. The selected person receives a certificate to print and a $10 deposit into their GreenBucks account. More importantly, they receive recognition by everyone across Dx for their great work. Nominations for the Dx Team Recognition must be received by 5:00 PM on Tuesday to be considered for the following Wednesday's Half-Time recognition. To nominate someone for the Team Recognition, navigate to the OIT - Public team in Teams, then go into the Half-Time channel, and select the Team Recognition tab from the top menu. Alternatively, you can follow this link to access the nomination form


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! The Wolverine Sighting Award is an employee recognition award sponsored by PACE. Nominees must be full- or part-time UVU staff employees, but there is no minimum requirement for years of employment and nominations are accepted year-round.

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Spring Semester Ends 

Thursday, May 6 is the last day of spring semester at UVU. 



Drive-in Commencement and Drive-thru Convocations

The Spring 2021 commencement and convocations will be held Friday, May 7. For more information, be sure to visit 



Mother's Day 

Sunday, May 9 is Mother's Day, so be sure to reach out to the important women in your life and show them how much you care about them. If you're curious, you can read up on the history of Mother's Day



Tax Day 

Monday, May 17 is Tax Day, so make sure to have all your important tax documents completed by this date. If you need more information about filing taxes, be sure to check 



Memorial Day 

Monday, May 31 is Memorial Day, a national holiday when we commemorate the men and women who have given their lives in service of our country. If you want to learn more about the origins of Memorial Day, be sure to read more about its history.

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Recently, I began reading A World Without Email by Cal Newport and enjoying it tremendously. I’ll likely share several insights from the book during our upcoming all-hands meeting, but let me share one here that I think is important for us to understand, expect, and even demand politely. 

The author describes our current hive mind mentality where we feel the necessity to respond immediately to every email request, chat, voicemail message, etc. The national statistics on these forms of communication are crazy, and they are destroying our productivity and associated morale. Several years ago, I asked a colleague how their day was, and they responded that it was great and very productive. Then they indicated they had spent the whole day in meetings. The thought crossed my mind that I had never considered meetings to be work. They are usually in the way of work. Now some meetings are productive, and work gets done, but many of my meetings are not. I mention this because it reminds me of email. Sometimes I find myself happy at the end of a long day because I have arrived at "inbox zero"—nothing left in the inbox. However, do any of us have that as a job requirement in our job description? What percentage of our work effort has been identified as dealing with email? I have never seen this as a requirement on any job description, and I have seen plenty. 

My point is that we must find ways to work more effectively and experiment—be agile. Henry Ford turned the world upside-down with the inclusion of the production line in his automobile factory. He had a considerable investment in capital equipment and automotive parts, and the assembly line is a great way to optimize the use of this capital. However, we are the capital in this new information age. Our minds and our attention are the capital that we must figure out how to optimize. By the way, an assembly line is not the solution here! 

There are two main principles: 

  • In our knowledge-based work, we must maintain autonomy in how we apply our craft.  
  • We should experiment with business workflows and how work is assigned and reviewed. 

The goal should be to make it easier and more sustainable for knowledge workers to get important things done! Three things should be kept in mind: 


Our teams must understand the difference between workflows and work execution. We should continue to talk, listen, and learn about this difference. Dealing with email bombardment is not work but part of an inefficient workflow. 


Changing a workflow is a group activity. There should be participant discussion, agreement, and precise specifications and documentation. Henry Ford had interchangeable employees and didn’t need their buy-in to optimize. In our industry, things are tremendously different. We rely on one another’s minds and attention. 


We should empower our teams to fix what isn’t working. What is important is our ability to quickly make changes and be agile. 

I hope you glean from this brief reflection that I value the contribution each of you makes toward the mission, vision, and values of UVU. I want to improve business processes to make your lives more rewarding, and I wish to maintain your autonomy in the way you perform your craft. I will make every attempt to involve teams in discussions, changes, and optimizations. I love my work and am passionate about helping you love yours. Together we’ll accomplish wonderful things and enjoy doing them. 

Kelly Flanagan 
Vice President of Digital Transformtation / CIO



I recently learned a little about a Utah Valley-based software company called BambooHR. I have some neighbors who work there, and I was impressed by what they had to say about the values this company lives by. 

The specific value they talked about is Assume the Best, which for them means, "We start with the assumption that there is a good intention behind words and actions. We seek understanding, and we listen without judgment." Assuming the best is more than giving the benefit of the doubt. It is a way of being generous in our attitude toward others.  

As they talked, my mind was invigorated, thinking about how many problems in life could be solved or avoided by applying this principle. When facing conflict or uncertainty over politics, religion, or (heaven-forbid) work, always assuming the best allows us to "simplify, sharpen, and scale" everything we do! 


When we assume the best in what this team did or what that person said, everything is simplified. We don't have to worry about how to respond. We don't have to look for an ulterior motive. We don't have to second guess. We can take words and actions at face value, regardless of whether we think those actions or words are right or wrong. If they are wrong, we can move forward and help make things better. 


When we assume the best from our coworkers, we gain the ability to improve and sharpen our outcomes much more easily and quickly. People sometimes make mistakes in actions and judgments. If we assume the best in others' intentions, just as we do with our own intentions, we eliminate blame and prejudice from our interactions. When we assume the best, our ability to sharpen our outcomes is significantly enhanced.  


When we assume the best from everyone we interact with, we simplify our decision-making and sharpen our outcomes. As a result, we can achieve new heights in productivity and scale our ability to accomplish great things. We get a lot more done!  

Let's assume the best in ourselves, our customers, and especially our coworkers by thinking about them more generously. In your interactions with your teams and coworkers, I challenge you to think of the great quote from Brene Brown, who said, "What is the most generous assumption you can make about this person's intentions or what this person said?" I am certain our experiences with coworkers will become more positive as we all make an effort to assume the best.

Brett McKeachnie 
Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management 



We have been working to improve the online faculty directory for some time, and new pages will be launched on June 2, 2021. All full-time faculty will have a landing page. These pages will rely on Digital Measures portfolio information to display basic contact information. In addition, faculty have the option to display their publications and classes on this page using a button called “Allow Sharing.” These fields are all set to “Yes” by default. If faculty do not want to share all these items, they can go into their individual portfolios and turn the “Allow Sharing” button settings to “No.” Doing this will make it so that only basic contact information and a brief biography will appear in the online faculty directory.

This is the first phase of a project to improve faculty options on their professional web pages. Academic & Student Digital Services is working closely with Faculty Development to prepare additional training and other materials for Digital Measures.

If you need assistance using the Digital Measures portfolio system, please submit a service request here:

Laura Busby 
Director of Academic IT and Analytics 



Like many of you, ESS has been busy lately.  We just finished a major Banner upgrade working closely together with Systems Administration and the functional areas. We are planning future improvements to the upgrade process and are already in the middle of another regulatory upgrade. Without a working ERP system, there really can be no student success. To help us stay on top of all things Banner, we recently attended the virtual Ellucian Live conference. One major long-term initiative we have in ESS is improving our capability with Page Builder. This helps us offload some software development work from AIS, whose services are always in exceptional demand. Austin Peterson has excelled at applying Page Builder so much as to have been asked to present on what he has created for Financial Aid here at UBUG (the Utah Banner User Group conference). We're excited about what else we'll be able to do with this Banner extensibility feature over the coming year.

Jeff Anderson 
Director of IT Admin Programming



Some of you already know this, but for those who are not aware, we would like to announce that UVU is renewing SSL Certificates through InCommon and is slowly moving away from DigiCert. The process for renewing certs and the process for preventing outages caused by expiring certs is outlined below.

  • The DigiCert system sends out automatic emails to Operations and the appropriate system admins when a certificate is close to expiring. These emails are sent by the DigiCert system 90, 60, 30, and 7 days prior to expiration.
  • On the first Monday of each month, an Excel document is sent to all directors, all senior directors, and some others as appropriate. This Excel document lists all certificates expiring in the next 90 days from Digicert and InCommon as well as who is responsible for those certificates.
  • Certificates that hit 30 days prior to expiration will have a JIRA ticket created and assigned to the admin responsible for the cert. A dashboard tracks all JIRA Cert tickets:
  • Certificates that hit 7-14 days prior to expiration will be escalated to senior management, who will work with the directors and make sure the cert is replaced prior to expiration to avoid causing an outage.

We respectfully request that anyone managing certificates on their systems please replace them before they expire (preferably 14-30 days before they expire). Anyone that causes an outage due to an expiring cert will be responsible for dessert at the Dx Summer BBQ and the pie-in-the-face activity. 😊

Jim Condie 
Director of IT Infrastructure Services / Operations



UVU has engaged with ISOS Technology (the same company that helped us get JSM up and running) to replace POB, and we are off to a great start.

  • ISOS has already met twice with the Product and Portfolio Management team (Brett and Megan) to make sure we are using best practices and are set up well for continued progress in that area.
  • We have additional meetings scheduled to audit our Confluence implementation for best practices and scalability in an enterprise environment.
  • We have planned meetings to make additional improvements to JSM as well as Change and Problem Management processes.

Any questions or requests can be posted to the "Atlassian PM Team" channel in Teams.

Jim Condie 
Director of IT Infrastructure Services / Operations



IT Operations would like to congratulate our new hires!

Dave Loper was hired as a System Administrator to replace Riley Kratochvil. Riley moved to the Networking Team. We'll miss you Riley!

Dave has extensive experience in enterprise hardware and software deployments as a consultant and CTO of various companies. He is returning to UVU to finish his degree in Information Technology and is opening new chapters in his life within academia. He has already had a positive impact on the team and is great to work with.

Emily Thomas has been hired to replace Drake Harper, who has accepted a FT Developer Position at Instructure.

Emily has joined the Ops team as a PT developer helping with dashboards, APIs, monitoring reports, and much more. She graduated with a Bachelor of CS in 2020 and is excited to exercise her skills in this position.

Jim Condie 
Director of IT Infrastructure Services / Operations



Act on the Lead Measures

These are the measures of the activities that lead to achieving a goal. They foretell the results, because they are both predictive and influenceable. While a lag measure only tells you if you’ve achieved the goal, a lead measure tells you if you are likely to achieve the goal.

For example, while you can’t control how often your car breaks down (a lag measure) you can certainly control how often your car receives routine maintenance (a lead measure).

Let’s say your goal is to lose weight (from X to Y by when).  Stepping on the scales is your lag measure (to see how you’ve done). But measuring the amount of exercise you’re doing, the amount of calories you’re eating, or calories burned are lead measurements. They are harder to get (mainly because you have to be exercising and taking the time to gather the caloric information), but they tell you how you are actually doing.

You might say, “but we all know that to lose weight you should diet and exercise.” However, there’s a huge difference between merely understanding the importance of diet and exercise and measuring how many calories you’ve eaten and burned. Yes, most everyone knows you should diet and exercise, but the people who actually measure their caloric intake and what they’ve burned through exercise are the ones actually losing the weight. This is what leads to effective execution.

What are the effective Lead Measures in your area that you can act upon?

Joe Belnap 
Senior Director of Special Projects for IT

Reflecting on Extreme Ownership

Reflecting on the Extreme Ownership principles of taking responsibility instead of assigning blame and keeping ego in check, I think this is a good quote to keep in mind:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Pogo

Jeff Anderson 
Director of IT Admin Programming

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The following positions are available in Dx as of April 29, 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. 


The following individuals have been recently hired by Dx:

  • Dave Loper, System Administrator
  • RJ Olsen, Desktop Support Technician (DFX Area)
  • Emily Thomas, PT Developer
  • Lauren Leach, Service Desk
  • Mando Chacon, Service Desk
  • Elizabeth Holden, Service Desk
  • Laura Irizarry, Service Desk
  • Nate Canfield, Service Desk
  • Will Miles, Service Desk 

We are so excited to have these new hires on our team! Be sure to give them a warm welcome! 


In addition to our new hires, we also have several individuals who have been given promotions or switched departments.

Jeff Anderson has accepted the position of Director of the ERP Software Services (ESS) department and officially began his new role on April 1, 2021. Jeff's three years at UVU, as well as his extensive previous experience as a software development manager/engineer, have prepared him well to lead ESS and oversee our ERP systems.

Clay Christensen will be rejoining the ESS team and taking over Jeff's previous responsibilities as the HR Product Manager.

Landrey Hawkins (Senior Systems Specialist) is moving from Desktop Support to join Digital Service Management (DSM) effective May 1, 2021. His primary responsibility in this new department will be the Microsoft Virtual Agent and utilizing it to improve our tier 0 support capabilities. 

Be sure to give Jeff, Clay, and Landrey your congratulations!