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Department of Heritage and Arts Success Story

jessicalarsen Success Stories

Goal of Success System

Use the Department of Heritage and Arts’ (DHA) IT funds efficiently and effectively to support the department’s goal of creating vibrant communities through arts, culture and heritage.

Strategies

  • Manage DHA’s IT assets in the simplest, most accurate manner possible.
  • Only pay for actively-used assets by surplussing assets no longer in productive use and by reconciling the Department of Technology Services (DTS) bill monthly to ensure the department only pays for assets in its possession.
  • Provide one computer per employee unless a business need for additional resources is documented.
  • Provide cell phone stipends rather than state-owned cell phones for employees that document a business need.

Tactics

  • Redesigned the IT asset management system to combine two previously separate processes – IT asset management and DTS IT asset billing – into a simplified and accurate process. The separation of the two processes was the root cause of most problems within the system.
  • Conducted a complete inventory of the IT assets in each division, using data from multiple available and readily auditable sources, including DHA’s asset management system and information received from DTS.
  • Maintain an accurate IT asset inventory that is reflected in correct billing
  • Update the DHA Cell Phone/Data Enabled Device Policy and fully implement the new policy.

Changes to Process

  • DHA worked with DTS staff to establish a clear paper trail for items not found in the inventory or billing statement. It found that most items had been removed from inventory and surplused, but never were removed from the billing statement.
  • DHA reassigned the surplussing of IT equipment role to finance staff, which allowed it to leverage tools and knowledge that weren’t previously incorporated into the system. Billing is now directly tied to the inventory, and an audit step is incorporated into the workflow.
  • DHA retired the previous asset management software and created a tracking workflow in Excel using data DTS already provides. Inventory updates are now a simple process of cutting and pasting, and the security risks of the former system – unsupported software running on Windows XP – are eliminated.
  • Data is no longer stored on one machine and can be easily shared in an accessible format with various divisions, making ongoing inventory tracking easier as well as transparent. DHA has also created redundancy of duties so more than one person knows how to track the inventory. In FY18, DHA incurred $3,400 in hourly wages to have the retired employee return to DHA to complete the IT asset inventory.
  • Inventory procedures are now documented, making succession planning easier.
  • Eliminate DHA bills for 53 cell phones/data enabled devices (cost was $27,000 in 2017) and implement 14 cell phone stipends ($9,196 per year moving forward).

Results

  • DHA reduced its overall number of computers by 40 – a large number in a small department. The overall count of computers in use is 15 percent less than its end of the year FY18 counts.
  • More importantly, monthly IT bills have decreased by 18 percent, from $33,500 (using end of year FY18 counts) to $27,625 (calculating in the 3 percent FY19 rate increase).
  • Over the course of the next year, DHA will be able to reallocate $70,447 in ongoing funds into other projects in the department. It is able to use the re-purposed ongoing savings to meet agency needs identified for FY20.
  • DHA eliminated bills for 53 data enabled devices ($27,000 in 2017) and implemented a total of 14 cell phone reimbursements ($9,196 per year), a total cash savings of $17,800 ongoing per year. In addition to the cash savings, it calculates that by eliminating 53 bills that were paid on a p-card and reconciled monthly, DHA created 20 percent staff time savings for a financial analyst II position (calculated at $12,760) and 5 percent staff time savings for the Finance Director (calculated at $8,263). The time savings can be repurposed into other Department priorities.

The Future

A work culture to use SUCCESS tools to achieve system improvement is now in place.  This IT asset management plan/new cell phone policy is the second major ongoing savings initiative completed since the beginning of FY2018. The current department administration is committed to making improvements to systems to expose hidden capacity that can be repurposed to support functions that directly tie into DHA’s programs and mission.