IT Strategic Framework 2016-2020
Our Vision: "A sustainable Operating Model"
Our Mission: "Information Technology (IT) supports academic and operational excellence by empowering people and processes with transformative technology that ensures student success regardless of race, class, or identity."
Click here to read the IT Department - Strategic Framework 2016-2020.
Click here to view the IT Department - Strategic Framework Planning Process Presentation.
The Information Technology Department at Portland Public Schools is in a transformational moment as it emerges from an economic cycle of deep cutbacks and significantly reduced investment in operations. At the same time the platforms and services we provide have become essential to delivering a modern education to students and effectively operating an organization of our size and complexity. Conditions which have historically led to inequitable student achievement are compounded as the learning experience increasingly relies on access to technology tools, high-speed internet, and digital citizenship starting at a very early age. When investing in this new education paradigm we must structure services in a way that addresses these inequities, and is sustainable beyond the immediate fiscal cycles. Access to these services and tools has become a foundational component of the District’s mission.
Within the District a majority of supply chain, logistics, data management, and other operational processes have become technology dependent. IT has already transitioned from a cost-center “keeping the lights on” to a key driver of daily District and Classroom operations. The model by which we operate and fund IT and related projects across all Departments demands transparency, accountability, and sustainable long term planning to ensure taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.
As a result of these demands, in addition to ongoing alignment with District and Board priorities, the sole strategic focus of the Department is to establish and sustain a modern operating model focused on mature stewardship of our service, asset, project, and financial portfolio. This model should be constantly addressing two primary questions:
- Are we focused on the right work for the District?
- How do we sustain our mission as a healthy component of the District’s operational life-cycle?
We answer these questions by focusing on how we incept, plan, and deliver services in a way that is continuously aligned with operational and educational priorities. To do so we must make our core competencies, defining what IT brings to the District that only we can deliver with meaning and value, the heart of our culture. Critical to the second question, we must be caretakers of a modern and intentionally designed financial portfolio. This means aggressively and consistently resourcing project work and operational activities using a sustainable long-term series of financial instruments, service contracts, and IT-as-a-business models.
This approach drastically shifts how the Department interacts with the District’s periodic funding strategies such as capital borrowing, bonds, levies, and single-year budget uplifts. While these strategies have an appropriate place in initiating capital investments and empowering the District to grow and change, the Department simply cannot operate its portfolio of services without sustaining corresponding operational commitments. It is our responsibility to design these realities into our operating model and embed this approach in District strategy. The framework we are establishing is designed to govern tactical and strategic technology work of the District through its inception, planning, execution, and operation over time. It lays a broad foundation intended to provide guidance to a process that is agile but consistent. Fully adopted within the Department’s culture, this framework will persist over economic, political, leadership, and technology changes within the District for a substantial period of time. The graphic below describes how we identify, prioritize, and execute work using this framework with
continuously improving levels of maturity.