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Episode 28

transformed: Transforming Student Value via System-level Shared Services

Higher Digital has just published the next episode of its podcast, transformed. Every other week we interview experts on higher education, digital transformation, and the challenges and promises represented by both.

On April 12, 2022, Joe Gottlieb, President and CTO of Higher Digital, and Jory Hadsell, Vice Chancellor of Technology at Foothill-De Anza, CCD, presented at Ellucian Live on how system-level shared services can transform student value. After their presentation, the two sat down to record an episode to dive into the topic, using Higher Digital’s work with CCD as an example.

Joe Gottlieb: (00:02)

Hello and welcome to transformed, a Higher Digital podcast focused on the new whys, the new whats, and the new hows in higher ed. My name is Joe Gottlieb, President of Higher digital. And today I am joined by Jory Hadsell, Vice Chancellor of Technology at Foothill-De Anza, Community College District, which is a proud member of the California Community College System, and located right here in the heart of Silicon valley and literally just two miles from my house where I’m recording today. Jory, welcome to transformed


Jory Hadsell: (01:06)

Thanks Joe. I’m glad to be here. What do you wanna talk about? 


Joe Gottlieb: (01:11)

Well, I thought we would talk about how your program has been transforming student value via system level shared services, a very, very meaty topic that I know our listeners will find interesting. But before we jump into that, I’d love for you to share with our listeners a little bit about your journey and how it shaped your perspective on what you’ve been working on with the California Community College System for several years now in the form of this massive shared service that’s supporting cross enrollment


Jory Hadsell: (01:44)

Yeah. Thanks, Joe. Happy to share more about my journey and how I got to you know, a role of Vice Chancellor here at Foothill Deza. When really I started as a student in our system I won’t tell you how many years ago, but it’s been a while and I actually encountered the very problem that I’ve been trying to solve here for the last seven years working with the CVC OEI, which is the California virtual campus. It’s an online education initiative for the 116 California community colleges. We are the largest system of higher education on the planet, believe it or not. But rewinding to my own journey I was a student who was also working full time starting a family and discovered after transferring from a community college to the CSU system, it was going to take me seven years to get all of the course as I needed to be able to complete my degree because of, you know, my outside commitments. 


Jory Hadsell: (02:49)

I could not be fully available Monday through Friday eight to five to take classes. And so I went ahead and found some alternative ways to actually attend the very first regionally accredited online institution made some decisions about what I was gonna major in which actually has really helped me through some of the the business side of what this initiative has entailed. And ultimately went on to work in the community colleges after that. I’ve been staff, I’ve been a full-time tenured faculty member up here in the Sacramento area at one of the colleges and then also moved into administration. And when governor Jerry Brown after the great recession started to look at online education in California and the community colleges as a way to really, you know, help create additional capacity and get the workforce teed up to help our state be more successful. 


Jory Hadsell: (03:51)

He was the one that initiated this statewide online education initiative that really has become the CVC OEI today. So when I saw that project spin up I was super excited because it really related to my own journey and was able to join that project as the first Chief Academic Officer for the CVC OEI. I then spent five years as the executive director for that project really focused on bringing it to scale, which I think ties into probably some of the things you want to talk about today.  I now serve as the executive sponsor and because this is a statewide grant funded project, Foothill De-Anza operates the initiative on behalf of the state chancellor’s office for all the 116 community colleges in California. So that’s why I sort of have dual titles, dual citizenship, if you will. 


Jory Hadsell: (04:45)

So really the, the CVC OEI, or sometimes we’ll just call it CVC to make it simpler a little bit less alphabet soup for folks really is, is about leveraging, you know, acting more as a system and leveraging shared services versus you know, a loose Confederation of colleges, which has really been the history, right? California community colleges sprung up out of K12 to really become K14.  And really the vision going forward is much more of a unified approach to better serve our students really in local communities. But when you think about online education, California’s a massive state. We have a huge population and even with 116 community colleges, sometimes students in various regions or corners of our state find themselves stuck, right? 


Jory Hadsell: (05:44)

Like I was as a student and looking for opportunities or, or just capacity. You know, if you live in the far north or, you know, in some of the desert regions of our state, for example, it could be hard to get access to either courses or programs that maybe your local community college isn’t offering. So the vision, or one of the main deliverables, for the CVC OEI has been to create a statewide course exchange. We call it the CVC exchange. And today that’s a platform that has over 10,000 online course sections that are available to students from across the system to really supplement or augment the courses they’re taking locally at their community college, so that they can finish faster. The primary goal here, we’re doing all of this because we know on average, it takes five to six years for the typical student to get an associate’s degree, a two year degree, right. 


Jory Hadsell: (06:41)

They’re spending, wow, five years in many cases to get that. And so this is about accelerating student completion and creating more equity for students across our system. So as we’ve been building that out there are infrastructure pieces to that there are also policy and process pieces to that. So it’s really been an interesting marriage of all of those things. And Joe, that’s where we really crossed paths as you know, CVC OEI found ourselves really looking to facilitate some process change right around the implementation and the maintenance of this effort. But also I think from a technical aspect, really trying to drive toward a more baseline set of automation that could allow us to continue to scale away. We need to and make this much more of a standard offering than it had been because our college is ours because of the way they sprung up out of local districts. 


Jory Hadsell: (07:44)

You know, we have 73 different student information systems. You know, now many of those are the same products, not all of them, some of them are homegrown, but they’re configured differently. They have different data structures. So when you think about our mission of trying to create a student, who’s a student at one college to become a student of the whole system, creating that passport across colleges for the sake of getting those courses. There are some interesting data and process challenges, and that’s where you were able to help us with some of our work. 


Joe Gottlieb: (08:17)

Well, it’s been very exciting to be part of this mission. I think you and I have talked at length about the importance of it as you’ve just described, right? You’ve essentially the, what is it, the seventh largest if California were a nation, it would be the seventh largest nation as measured by auto GDP or something like that. Right. A massive population and therefore a massive education system that has struggled to scale. And with Governor Brown’s you know, vision for saying, Hey, you know what, we need to be more competitive with education. We need to do a better job of supplying education to our citizens. That was the primary impetus for all this. And so it really is figuring out how to, how to make these things go. Despite the fact that we got here, because we allowed all the flowers to bloom. 


Joe Gottlieb: (09:08)

And that was a beautiful thing, right? The community college system is a wonderful thing and all of its sort of regional and community centric basis and origin.  So I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it. And so what I’d like to then steer this podcast into now is first, let’s talk about the way to think about the value of shared services. And so I see three angles for this particular, their case where all shared services have some common themes, but, you know, in this particular case, we can think about the value to the customer. I.e. The student is finishing faster. So being able to find courses that they need to graduate in let’s say at more convenient times, or within the programs, as you mentioned, right. That gives synergy to the students more so than an individual college could supply on its own. Right? 


Jory Hadsell: (10:01)

Yeah. And that, that could be Joe, that could be a student who needs a math class that’s online and they can’t get it locally. Right. That may be a bottleneck they’re trying to hit. So we’re trying to help them get past that. 


Joe Gottlieb: (10:11)

Exactly. So then there’s supplier optimization. I E the colleges that themselves, they open up new courses or close courses based upon demand, but just like filling airplane seats, right. Their ability to be as efficient as possible, opening up courses where they need, but not, not, not overdoing it. And therefore having wasted capacity where they’ve already expended some fixed cost. So that’s something that allows the system to achieve each of the participants in the system to achieve a better optimization of, of their supply of courses. And then last but not least there’s value in the California system being more competitive Vivi, other providers of education that might steal our students. Right. We always were worried a little bit about the brain drain. We have a massive engine to feed here in California. We wanna keep all of our talent as the best we can. 


Joe Gottlieb: (11:05)

And while we’re open to open markets, we want to be competitive in those open markets so that we give people a great reason to stay. Right. So that’s another level of value here for cross enrollment.  So if we think about that value, right, let’s now talk about six. We have six themes that we identified that we thought would be interesting to our audience. And the first, the first theme starts at the highest level, right? How do you secure strategic commitments from senior leadership? And that’s a lot about starting at the top. It’s a lot about really gaining commitment. And this is true of, I think virtually every IT project of frankly, every business change project today, if you don’t have leadership agreement that this is something that you’re gonna commit to doing, you’re gonna have issues. Right. And so let’s talk a little bit about that because I think it’s the, it’s the way to get started on the wrong, on the right foot of the wrong foot. because you have been in the business of rolling out this offering to all the community colleges in the entire system, 160 of them clumped into districts. Right. And so they’re your customers. And so you gotta approach each one of ’em and get ready for this. Right. So talk a little bit about this leadership importance. 


Jory Hadsell: (12:24)

Absolutely. And I wanna tie it back to the wonderful picture you painted about allowing all flowers to bloom. Right. We talk about the college’s loving local control. Local control is, is the, the catchphrase there. So, you know, as you, as you sort of extend that out to getting strategic commitments from leadership, one thing to understand in our case is that every college culture is different right now. They’re not all fully unique, but they’re different . And so, you know, setting the stage for, with, with the CEO and the leadership group at that institution has been really pivotal for us because you know, I could give examples where that’s gone really well and examples where it hasn’t. And I think the characteristics that I would just point to number one, because again, this is kind of make or break, right? 


Jory Hadsell: (13:18)

You wanna get off on the right foot and make sure that the institution is aligned on this. And in those cases where, you know, I’ve had the opportunity to have the conversation with the CEO, and they’ve really taken the time, frankly, to listen and understand what projects are about, and really how some of the process extensions and workflows are going to impact their team.  in some cases that CEO has said, okay, I get it. And you know what, I’m not the right person to be the executive sponsor, but here’s the person on my leadership team that I’m gonna empower to do that across the institution. Right. And that’s a, that can be a huge win because you avoid sort of some time with frankly, an, an overburdened or ineffective executive sponsor for the project. Conversely you can have a CEO who nodded their head and said, okay, I get it, but didn’t really hear or grapple with, you know, some of the complexities and that can really lead to some stagnation across these projects as well. 


Jory Hadsell: (14:28)

 I think the other thing I would add to that is you know, we added an, an element that is, you know, so starting off with that, that very candid conversation with the CEO, but then also going to an open, you know, a cabinet meeting with the whole leadership team to a reiterate, you know, what we talked about, you know, initially, but also to make sure there’s alignment across that senior leadership team, because that, that doesn’t happen organically. And if, if you fall into the trap of the CEO saying, you know what, I’ll take this back to my cabinet and I’ll get back to you.  we’ve seen some things come out of that, that are, are just, there’s, there’s less transparency and alignment than there needs to be. So those are some things I would say watch out, but definitely secure.  whether it’s the CEO or someone, they delegate securing that executive sponsor who can serve as you know escalation point when needed. And also to just keep folks on the same page and drive project momentum. It’s huge. 


Joe Gottlieb: (15:32)

Yeah. It’s so important. I like the way you described it. Like if the CEO says, let me take this to the cabinet and get back to you. You don’t have an opportunity to observe directly whether or not the cabinet is embracing this. Cause if the cabinet doesn’t embrace it, you have the beginning of the end, right? In my opinion, right? You have the, you have planted the seeds for when, when times get hard, people will disengage and they, they will be able to point to that ambiguous moment when the CEO, without you being there to facilitate what you really need to have happen for commitment, they will be able to point to the ambiguity scenario that they were within. That allows them to later say, well, I didn’t fully agree to this, or we didn’t, we didn’t consider the implications of this or on, on and on. 


Joe Gottlieb: (16:22)

Right. And so that all these things are hard and that becomes really, really key. It then brings us to this, this next general area, where if you have that cabinet commitment, that means, all right, institutionally, we’re committing to this, we’re gonna do this. And that means we’re gonna figure out how to get it done. Even if it means, you know, doing some juggling, which is always typically necessary. Then secondly, because the best way to change these days is to figure out what you can adopt as this baseline from technology providers and wrap your process around it, because that’s the best practice we have to get the process owners in the boat. We have, they have to be engaged. They have to be part of the process. They have to have their opportunity to get comfortable and ultimately embrace that change. Right. And 


Jory Hadsell: (17:13)

Absolutely, and I would add to that, that, you know, one of the things I learned through this process is it’s a little bit like a job interview, right? We’re re I I’m really going there to share information with, with that CEO and to get their commitment, but I’m also through that cabinet meeting. I wanna know what we’re walking into, right? Because you pick on those signals, you know, are folks engaged? Are they listening? Are they understanding that that scenario we talked about with a private cabinet commitment, that’s like a blind date, you know, after you’ve talked to the CEO and the last thing you wanna do is try to spin up a project and then, you know, get through those first initial couple of meetings and realize, whoa, we are not anywhere near where we thought we were gonna be in terms of the institutional commitment so that it, it plays a dual dual function there. And it’s very 


Joe Gottlieb: (18:04)

So true. And, you know, so one of the things we like to point out is that a real commitment that cabinet level commitment includes an executive sponsor, which would, would ideally be in the cabinet. So that means that they’re gonna be in cabinet meetings and they can be asked, what’s the latest on so-and-so. We also want a business owner that’s gonna work day to day. Of course.  and that has to be in the customer organization, typically closest to the critical process that has to flex, right. That, that becomes really essential because then the part, the part of the organization that’s bearing the burden of change. It feels like they have a sense of control because they’ve got someone on their team that’s really driving it. But then I would add, you need to bring, make sure that you have cross-functional team members, meeting other people in other parts of the organization that are gonna have to collaborate to make this happen. 


Joe Gottlieb: (18:58)

So adjacent processes that are less core of IT of course, have to be on the team. If you have analysts or, or different folks that help navigate the, the same between those two different types of groups, you have those two, the last thing, which is so important of course, is then a commitment to recurring updates, because you don’t have a commitment until you have curiosity about how it’s going. And if, if people aren’t making a full commitment, they’re not gonna be curious about, you know, okay, well, how’s it going? What’s the status? Do you need help? Do you need to have obstacles you run into? 


Jory Hadsell: (19:34)

Absolutely. And, you know, we can be our own worst enemy sometimes, and if we’re not consistent or, or we get a little bit sloppy with how we’re reporting that status. Cause remember we’ve, we’ve secured that cabinet level sponsor and a business owner who, you know, if the new is going back is, you know, vaguery, about what’s happening with the project or, you know, they don’t have a really, some really clear things they can act on in terms of that status that doesn’t help anybody in that. And I guess I would say too, you know a lesson learned is not to be too optimistic and stick with the deadlines. You know, you don’t want to provide something you can’t deliver on. And at the same time, you don’t wanna sit on any bad news either. So, when we discover something that is going to, you know, need to be disclosed to, to get things back on track, we definitely want to make sure that we’re trained parents and that we set that expectation up front. You know, there will be speed bumps. We want folks to anticipate that will happen.  but here’s how we’re gonna get through those. 


Joe Gottlieb: (20:53)

So, okay. Let’s talk about managing stakeholders because then as we, as we go through these themes we’re, we’re going through a little bit of a life cycle, but all this is happening at once usually, but, but right at the core of this is, is helping the stakeholders. And I previously called them process owners. And it’s for typically these are cross functional processes, like a shared service. And this one in particular cross enrollment hits admissions and records. It hits financial aid, it hits finance, it hits to a lesser extent counseling, right? So there’s multiple departments that play a role in cross enrollment. And so when we’ve approached this task of enrolling stakeholders, we huddle with some of the principles, you know, we’ve got our executive sponsor and our business owner. We validate that those are good choices. And then we huddle with them a little bit and we identify good people, you know, to add to the team, the Crossman emotional team. 


Joe Gottlieb: (21:52)

We look for typical process owners, which tend to be at the management level and also then key contributors where they’re the ones that get stuff done. The process owners rely upon them to know what they’re getting into like they do, so they, it is a really important relationship to get right. I think increasingly with, with business process change and technology, you know, adoption, right. And so having those two layers. And so I think you alluded to this earlier, or maybe I did, or both, but this notion of adopting the baseline automation available from the platform. So you don’t wind up with a lot of one-offs that means changing the process or extending in the case of cross enrollment, it’s really extending the admissions and records and financial aid and financial process to embrace cross enrollment use case. I oh, okay. Now we have students coming in from other colleges and oh, we do VR articulation agreements, but it’s in formal, semi informal, not automated. Right. So you get a mixed bag there. So they have some semblance of an understanding about how this works, but you know, what would you, what are some of the things that you would, you know, articulate here, jewelry in terms of that whole proposition? 


Jory Hadsell: (23:10)

Well, I, you know, you you’re right in that the way these students are coming in, when they’re cross, cross enrolling or cross registering, there are some, some different rules for them that impact the automation, but that do also in, in some cases require some sort of process extension, right? So that’s part of the change management. That’s, that’s definitely part of, or I would say that, you know, we learned that to be successful. We have to come in with a solution that, you know, isn’t lacking in critical functionality to get the job done right now. It may not be completely standardized based on some of the variants that we see, you know, with either how an institution manages their local workflows, how their data models set up, you know, those kinds of things. But folks like, just in terms of the human beings who have to do this work or do some things a little bit differently, it’s hard to be successful if their exposure to this work is, Hey, this, this thing’s half baked. right. Yeah. Yeah. You, you sort of lose folks there. So we wanna make sure that, that, you know, we’re establishing confidence and that the solution we have, that the architecture really can allow for those process extensions. 


Joe Gottlieb: (24:30)

Yeah. I’m glad you emphasized that. I would, I would echo that joy because you, if you’re asking people to change, they’re, they’re already starting in a situation where that is, has a default discomfort that comes with it. Right. You know, it’s just human nature and we we’re, we’re not, we’re not maligning anyone by saying it’s just, it’s normal. And so they look for credibility, they look for trust. And if you’re, if you’re doing this anew and the, and in this case, this isn’t the first service you’ve rolled out. But, you know, it’s, it’s the first one in a little while. It’s a big one, arguably it’s very unique in a, in a category, right? And it comes at a time when people have been very busy and stressed about what they’re needing to accomplish with their finite capacity. And so you really, this is where, and increasingly we see this more and more. 


Joe Gottlieb: (25:23)

It’s why we talk about product owners for these types of services. You really have to act like a vendor. You have to be as professional as vendors, and some vendors are better than others, right. But you have to be as professional as an organization adopting a shared service by helping your constituencies, helping your customer, the adopters, right. Feel like this is credible trust that you’re gonna live.  and of course, when you have that rhythm established, you can push the envelope. So I know, I know we’ve got certain customers where they’ve had a great history of trying new things and the IT organization and that particular organization has earned a lot of trust. And so now they’ve got up stakeholders that are quite willing to be pioneers and try new things with this organization. They never would’ve done that in the beginning. Right. But now that there are some standards established, there’s a methodology that they bring to the table. There’s a common data model that they utilize. Anyway, those are some of the things that make for a better proposition. 


Jory Hadsell: (26:27)

They do. Absolutely. And a reminder too, you know, we’re dealing with financial aid, we’re dealing with registration, you know, some really complex and often highly regulated components as well. So, I wanna make sure, you know, sometimes resistance is resistance for a good reason, right? Based on compliance issues and things that, you know, really do matter. So establishing that confidence in that trust is huge. 


Joe Gottlieb: (26:52)

Absolutely. And you, you know, I would add security to that list, right? How, what, how fraud is being managed and is that consistent with how we’re doing it? As we’ve started to do more avidly as recommended by the chancellor’s office and by our own expertise internally, right? So these are things that you have to get right.  and it’ll translate to greater success. So now I wanna shift gears and talk about really the, the crux of the matter is getting to a place where your state you’ve gotten your stakeholders engaged. They are the process owners, they’ve got their influencers as part of the team. And you have to get to a place where there’s a design that everyone accepts. And this is, you know, this is the part that I’ve been closest to in the, in the, the, the customers where I’ve helped you guys. 


Joe Gottlieb: (27:39)

And I think it has served us as a construct to be able to specify at a reasonably detailed level, okay, this is what this solution is going to feel like, look like, yes, we’re gonna be trained on it when it’s actually rolled out. But we’re agreeing to the way the process is gonna operate a top, your baseline automation. There are things that are there today. There are some things that are missing, how we wrap those missing things with some manual process that that shared understanding is critical. And as we said earlier, having enough credibility to be honest about what’s in it and what isn’t in it is key, right? So if you, and it, and you have to have enough critical matches, you have to bring enough value to be able to be honest about that. But then if you can be honest about that, you can be a supplier for a shared service and great things start to happen there. 


Joe Gottlieb: (28:31)

One of the analogies I like to use here is the automation sandwich. So if automation is the meat, we’re trying to adopt this baseline automation that a platform is allowing us to have.  One other way to think about that sandwich is the data model mapping and the workflow integration. That’s kinda like the condiments and the dressing that wraps the meat into something that is more appetizing. It’s gonna fit with the environment that they have. And then last but not least the manual process extension is the bread. And this is, this is, you know, this is what bread is, what makes us sandwich holdable we don’t typically eat bread with, with fork and knife. We’re able to hold onto it. We love that experience. It’s convenient. We don’t need a fork knife. You get the point, the point here is that the actual grappling with this new automation capability with some of this manual process work around, I think is so important to the way it ultimately works. And it helps the constituencies think about how they can harness the automation capabilities to propel them forward. And they’ll always be doing some things manually. It’s the, it’s the frontier of that process. Right? 


Jory Hadsell: (29:39)

Absolutely. And, you know, we have to ensure, particularly in our cue case where we have 73 different flavors of systems, right. All different condiments on the sandwich we need to have as standard of solution as we can have, right. With some level of flexibility. So it can’t be a hundred percent rigid. It also can’t be everyone have it your way, you know? And so having that consistent version control is important and making sure we have somewhat of a flexible architecture, but at the same time not doing ourselves a disservice and creating something that’s unsustainable with too much customization. 


Joe Gottlieb: (30:19)

Absolutely. That brings us to our next theme here. Right? So leveraging scalable integration architectures across what, in this case are very heterogeneous product portfolios, right? You mentioned across the 116 colleges, I think you said there’s something like 73 SISs and many of them share the same name, but not the same configuration. And so I know in this case, the key was to, to, to make it as much as possible, an API first design or architecture where the API could include that, which is necessary to deal with the different SISs that are out there. Cuz remember folks, this cross enrollment requires us to take a new student incoming from another school and write an enrollment and registration transaction into the teaching college SIS. So the student can take that course and that’s, you know, writing a transaction into one of 73 SISs, that’s a pretty flexible system. And you had to architect that in to your approach going, you know, know from the very beginning. 


Jory Hadsell: (31:24)

And there are a lot of automations that kick in after that point too downstream. Right. So ensuring that we’re accounting for all of those as well.  you know, making sure that this approach is gonna be sustainable, it’s gonna meet the needs of those stakeholders. You know, that bread isn’t gonna be too thick. folks divide into that automation sandwich. Right.  you know, and so yeah, it’s, it there’s so much to account for, but at the same time, by doing it in a, in a mostly uniform way with a product offering that is as close to baseline, as you know, can be you know, that’s really been our, our key strategy. 


Joe Gottlieb: (32:03)

So I wanna pick at one item joy that I know is a I kind of know my answer, but I wanna serve it up. So the audience can hear what we say about this, but it can be really difficult to not be tempted, to choose the fastest path, to satisfying a customer in a shared service situation, the versus the better choice, which will take more time, but be more sustainable because it’s more compliant with the architecture that we’ve decided is gonna be good medicine for us to take throughout this journey. So talk a little bit about that. Cause you know, you, we, you started at the top. I mean, sometimes we, you said that earlier, right? You wanna be careful about setting timing expectations, because you’re gonna run into some of these challenges and doing the fast thing that might help you stay on schedule versus doing the right thing. That’s gonna make everyone happier in the long run can be tricky business. 


Jory Hadsell: (32:58)

Yeah. There are two calls, two phone calls you don’t wanna make. Right. One is, Hey, it’s gonna take us an, you know, X number of months more to get this know, whether it’s to your funders or to, you know, your stakeholders or that CEO the other call you don’t wanna make is what we thought we were done are some things we still need to clean up, right? Those are the two scenarios you want to avoid. So I guess Joe, to, to further build on your, you know, the automation sandwich analogy, analogy with cross cross enrollment, I guess you could call it a little bit of a Goldilock sandwich, you know, you, you don’t want it too to eat it too quickly or too slowly. You want it to be just right. And finding that pacing is, is important. And it really is the thing that determines that it’s often not the technology itself that is the challenge. It’s, it’s all these other inputs to that, the business processes, the, you know, sometimes it’s logistics, you know, sometimes you, you try to do a product at a time where the business cycles really can’t support it, you know, with things like registration or graduations or those things happening. So absolutely too, too fast can be a danger and too slow can, can just, you know, die on the vine. So, 


Joe Gottlieb: (34:16)

And some that, some that’s a reflection of the people, right? I mean, it, it, certain people have certain preferred methods for getting things done. And I think we’ve seen a mix of that 


Jory Hadsell: (34:27)

An institutional culture too. 


Joe Gottlieb: (34:29)

Yeah. Good point. 


Jory Hadsell: (34:30)



Joe Gottlieb: (34:31)

So building on that theme, mark, the last theme then is this notion of how to, how to evolve system level shared services in a way that allows them to increase their value over time, but in a way that’s in concert with the vendors that are part of the solution, right. This becomes, and this is also very much a people thing. Yes. There’s technology involved here, but I know in the case of, of the CBC exchange, there’s multiple vendors that you’ve had to orchestrate through their own, you know, we got two different vendors, there’s the CVC team, right? There’s other, other players that are plugging to support this, like even higher digital. It is a relatively complex, you know, set of things that have to come together. Right. And one of the areas that is an opportunity for good choices is really figuring out how to achieve that goal of avoiding one offs, avoiding going too quickly or too slowly sticking with the overall plan doing what’s sustainable, but then translating that through, to fit with the moving parts in your portfolio, the, in this case, the, the vendor partners that you’ve assembled. 


Jory Hadsell: (35:54)

Yeah. yeah. I would say to you just, some, some lessons from that one is everybody really benefits when we have clearly defined metrics. Like what, what are the goal posts? What’s the target we’re trying to hit? What’s the timing for that?  so that everyone ACC, you know, cuz now you’re dealing with multiple organizational dynamics, you know, you’re, you’re usually not the only client that these vendors are working with as well and they need to plan. So, really having some very clearly defined metrics is important.  and scope, you know, where does one vendor’s work start and end and how’s that handoff happen if there’s a handoff for something, you know, from one to the other, I think is really important as well.  you know, it’s not always crystal clear, so these are things that, you know you want to, you wanna plan for, keep in mind and bring the leadership teams together regularly so that, you know, these. So, so that we’re clear on the metrics and the scope and then, you know, recognizing as well where we can find complimentary drivers, you know we’re in the education business. And as much as, as egalitarian as our vendors are, as much as they wanna do the right things for, for our students, they are also in business. So how can we support, you know, their growth in a way that’s complimentary to our success, is also really important. 


Joe Gottlieb: (37:22)

Yeah. I think that’s so key. You hit on a key point there and that is, communicating, right? Like, like I think it’s, you could have the same poor practice with an employee because they’re harder to manage than your favorite employees. Let’s say, you find yourself avoiding versus engaging. And in fact, that’s the employee that needs the most engagement. And so when you’ve got some of these potential origins of differences and they’re off doing their thing, right, they’ve got a business to run too. So their whole world isn’t dictated by their relationship with you. And so airing on the side of communicating and understanding points of view, and then working that, takes energy. It takes time, but it’s clearly a best practice. And I find that I’m oftentimes reinforcing that with, with even absent a shared services, complexity element, like we’re talking about In any given relationship that any enterprise has with a technology vendor or any vendor for that matter, this becomes important, just communicating and being on the same page is really important because you each are doing different things normally and you want that value proposition to be sustainable. Okay. Well, I think we’ve now we’ve, we’ve, we’ve completed a tour throughout the life cycle here.  so, but just in summary, Jo, if, if we were to tell our listeners three things they should take away from this, what would you, what would you emphasize? 


Jory Hadsell: (38:44)

Wow. You know I guess I would say first and foremost, we talked about getting that leadership commitment from, from senior leadership, absolutely essential. So they need to commit also making sure that the process stakeholders really own and then are able to shape, adjust and adopt those process extensions and to have the input into the roadmap. And then lastly really need to standardize as much as possible. That’s, that’s how we sustain. We talk a lot about our production support. That’s how we sustain the value over time for our students, for our initiative and for our colleges and system. 


Joe Gottlieb: (39:23)

Wow. Great stuff, joy. It’s been really a pleasure with you being on the podcast today. I love working with you and it’s fun to talk about this stuff and share some of what we’ve learned with our listeners. 


Jory Hadsell: (39:36)

Thank you so much, Joe. And I hope this is helpful to your listeners. 


Joe Gottlieb: (39:39)

Absolutely. And well, so we wanna thank those listeners for joining us as well, and I hope they all have a great day. We’ll look forward to hosting you again in the next episode of transformed.


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About The Host


As president of Higher Digital, Joe supports customers with strategy development, change management, and strategic operations. He is energized by the complex challenges and profound opportunities facing higher education and is motivated to have and share discussions around these topics.

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