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Today, much like in the past, computer systems are only as good as the people who develop them. Four basic tenets that all organizations (state government, local government, county government, school districts, authorities, etc.) need are:
1. structured work environment with achievable goals
2. skilled employees
3. competitive pay and benefits
4. strategic planning
Structured Work Environment With Achievable Goals – Salary is important but the top factor I have found is work environment and the challenges you offer.
(1) Most good employees want to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what tools (resources) they can work with.
(2) Team meetings – Constantly praise what progress is being made by all team members.
(3) Problems to Avoid –
(a) Large scale bureaucracies where it takes weeks to solve a simple question.
(b) RTC (resistance to change) people without good alternatives have to be overcome and it is critical the CEO and all senior officials of your government agency need to be behind you.
Skilled Employees –
(1) Know the number of employees and what skills are needed to make things happen (see below). Determine if the skills are available in your present Information Technology Department or do you need to advertise in a wider area.
(2) The cost in the long run will be lower even if you pay analysts and programmers, security officer, etc. competitive wages and benefits. New projects will constantly be coming in. Supplement with a temporary consultant if needed.
Competitive Pay and Benefits –
(1) Senior level and elected officials must recognize that along with a positive work environment government agencies require talented personnel.
(2) A variety of technology equipment and systems are required. Skilled and conscientious personnel are needed to implement these processes to be successful.
(3) In order to attract the proper personnel to your organization with a “can do” attitude and a variety of high level skills, pay and benefits must be part of the equation.
Strategic Planning –
(1) This does not have to be in a fancy book but could be shared in electronic PDF format It should not be so long for one to develop somnia.
(2) It needs to be direct and to the point and is well thought out to give a positive vision for your government entity. It not only consists of Information Technology thoughts but those of the people in various line and support divisions.
By Robert Morrison
Robert Morrison has extensive experience both in management and information technology. He feels that government is actually big business and both must conduct itself in similar ways. He is a former CIO, Deputy Business Administrator and Deputy Public Safety Director in the local government sector.