Skip to main content

Max’s Minute: Key Success Factors

In his latest video, Chief Information Officer Max Davis-Johnson talks about the Office of Information Technology’s Key Success Factors. Recruiting and retaining great employees, managing change (and change fatigue), and governance are crucial to all that we do for Boise State University.

Watch the video (or read the transcript):


Hi! This is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University, Office of Information Technology. Today I’m going to talk about key success factors for OIT.

OIT’s key success factors are not unique just to OIT, they’re applicable to any department and any team.

But what I want to talk a little bit about are our key success factors…what we do to make sure that we are successful. At the end of the day they help us do the things that we need to do.

Part of our core mission, and you’ve heard me say this many times, we need to keep the trains running on time, we need to lay new track, and we need to create raving fans (i.e., customer service).

Retain and Recruit Great Talent

Our first key success factor is being able to recruit and retain great talent, and we do this in a variety of ways. We focus on competitive salaries, we focus on a flexible work environment where we do support hybrid work; working remotely.

We focus on making sure our team members have the right tools to do their job, we try to have a reasonable workload for people so they don’t have to work a lot of overtime to get their work done. We try to have meaningful work where people can utilize the skillsets we hired them for. We have a career path for all our positions…career progression. Depending where they are in their experience level and their skill set, they can move up and improve their opportunities, their compensation within OIT.

So that’s one of our key success factors.

Change Management

Another key success factor is how well we manage change, both in the department, but more importantly, to the university, how we manage change across the university whether good or bad.

We’re in a a point in time now with COVID…hopefully coming out of COVID…where we’ve had a tremendous amount of change and we have change fatigue. And technology is a big part of that change fatigue, so it’s not only important how we manage the change within our own department but it’s how we manage it across the university.

There are a number of things we need to do. We need to make sure that everybody understands why we’re implementing something and why the change is necessary.

We need to make sure that we include people in in the process ahead of time so they understand what’s coming when we’ve communicated well.

And, most importantly, we have to make sure that we have the customer service in place that we can help people when we inject change across the institution, and that means adding a personal touch. Sometimes we’re going to need to be hands-on with change, providing support and we need to make sure we do a good job and certainly a a better job.

We can always improve that over time.


And then our last key success point is governance. We need to make sure we have robust governance. Within OIT we have two governing bodies that help us.

We have ITPC (IT Planning Council), and they identify projects, they approve large projects that they want us to undertake from the university perspective.

And then we have the ITGC (IT Governance Council), which consists of the vice presidents here at at Boise State, and they help approve what we’re doing. We have a series of reports that we need to provide them. They basically hold us accountable to do the things that we need to do here at the university, and also in certain instances they will help provide resources to get major initiatives and major projects done.


So, in quick summary, making sure that we can recruit and retain talent, making sure we have good change management both internally within OIT and also external to the university as we push technology out. And last, having governance. Governance holds us accountable, it prioritizes what we do, but these are all important to making sure that Boise State OIT is doing what we need to do and what they need us to do.

Thank you for listening, and until next time, bye.