Ed Toner

Blog: 2016 – The Year of Execution

During my first 6 months, the OCIO team has spent our time planning and executing on the immediate needs of the State of Nebraska. We are now in the closure of those first six months and moving into the next steps phase of our plan. The momentum has built and the direction has been communicated and promoted throughout the many Agencies. The OCIO Roadmap now illustrates our plans through mid-year 2017. We have willing, identified partners in our mission. We also have agencies outside our original plan that see what is happening and want to join us in the journey.

Along the way we have eliminated tools, added tools and expanded the utilization of enterprise tools we have available to us to perform our work. An observation I have made throughout this effort to consolidate is that people react the same whether they come from a private or public sector background: ”it’s the tools fault”.

It is very easy to make excuses or blame software tools for any variety of ills that we perceive to be an issue. I find that the real truth of the matter is that most enterprise tools offer more functionality than anyone could ever use, but many people do not take enough time and responsibility to actually learn what the tool can do for them. Learning requires real effort and an openness for change. Many also want to simply make the innovative and more functional tool look exactly like the tool they had before, failing to take advantage of the enhanced functionality.

Don’t get me wrong, I loathe the knee jerk reaction I have experienced throughout my career to throw out an existing tool thinking the new one will solve all our problems. One of the many rules I have followed is to fully utilize what is available prior to ever looking at something new. Prove to me that it is not sufficient for our needs.

Across the State I have seen in just my short time here that we give up on a tool just because someone or some group does not feel it serves the purpose or function desired. It is very comfortable and easy to bash features and/or functions of existing tools, and in turn drool over perceived turnkey, solve it all, features of another tool. It is a lot harder, but often the better course of action, to put existing tools to their fully functional and often best use.

My message is in order for us to be effective and execute as a team:

  • Be open to change.
  • Be open to doing things and seeing things differently.
  • Fully utilize the tools we own.
  • Work on your skills.
  • Execute the plan.

As always, thank you for the hard work you put in each and every day to benefit and gain the respect of the taxpayers of Nebraska.

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