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|Information Processing Management Associates||August 1997|
Edited By Mary Ellen Bradley
"Even if you're on the right track, you'llget run over if you just sit there."-Will Rogers
Judy Schneider accepted the job of Manager of the InformationSystems Services Division (ISSD) at DSHS in May of 1996. Read onto see how her career evolved into what it is today.
Tell our readers a little about yourbackground.
I grew up in Iowa and attended high school in Cedar Rapids. Iwent to Cornell College (a small liberal arts college) in Mt.Vernon, Iowa. Following college, I got my first job as a publicaid case worker in Chicago in 1968. I began working right afterthe Martin Luther King riots and before the DemocraticConvention. I worked there for 18 months and when I left I hadlasted longer than all but 10 people currently employed there.
I took a job at the Iowa Department of Social Services (DSS).After working there for two years, they sent me to school at theUniversity of Iowa to get a Masters in Social Work. I worked atDSS from 1970-76 in a variety of field office and headquarterspositions.
How did you get involved in informationsystems?
My graduate program used a system approach to social work andI learned system analysis there. While I worked at the IowaDepartment of Social Services, I was given responsibility for twomajor information systems. It was here that I picked up the toolsfor my next career - I began to audit COBOL and system analysis /development classes so that I could talk to programmers and getwhat I needed done. I also knew SAS and SPSS from my collegedays.
I made a decision to move to Washington, D.C. and I found ajob in systems analysis with Macro Systems Incorporated. Thatstarted my technology career full time. I worked for variousprofessional service firms from 1976 until 1991. These firmsprovided information technology services such as analysis,design, training and feasibility studies. I moved to WashingtonState to take a job with one of these firms.
How did you get started in StateGovernment Work?
In October of 1991 I took a job in the Policy and RegulationDivision of Department of Information Services. The opportunityto work on ACES (Automated Client Eligibility System) presenteditself in February of 1994. (More on this project later) I workedon ACES until it was completed in May of 1996 when I accepted thejob as Director of ISSD.
What do you see as the role of technologyin State Government?
The role of information technology is to help the stateaccomplish its business of providing quality services to thecitizens. It is nothing more and it is certainly nothing less.Technology is an "enabler." By that I mean it is themeans by which we get services delivered. It is the means bywhich we collect taxes, issue permits and drivers licenses,and provide benefits and information.
What are the problems that you see withtechnology and government?
Technology is becoming increasingly complex. We are faced witha rapid rate of change. Getting and retaining staff knowledgeablein the new techniques is more and more difficult. Seattle is the"Silicon Forest" and the State must compete for goodemployees. Also, the state runs the gambit between "oldtech" and "new tech." We are working to replacethe old tech.
What is your vision for ISSD?
When I took the job I knew it would be a challenge. The firstthing I did was communicate to staff my vision for the future. Icalled it RAP (Responsive customer support withtechnical Accuracy and competence in a Professionalmanner). I want to emphasize and focus on what staff are doingwell and improve those areas where ISSD has not been wellreceived. I feel there is a much improved relationship with ourcustomers now. I hope that the people in this division feelbetter about their jobs. I believe in positive reinforcement forstaff.
What is your view of Project Managementin the state?
The state is improving. I feel that we have had some roughroads on a couple of projects and then we have let those failuresoverrun our successes. The state has many successful projects. Wedont celebrate and move forward with our successes.
What are you most proud of in yourcareer?
When I took the ACES job, it was a troubled project. There waspoor communication between state staff and vendors, between staffand the user community, between staff and DIS, OFM and thelegislature, in fact there was poor communication with allstakeholders. There were also performance and schedule issues.During the time that we had an intent to terminate our contract,we began to build some real partnerships. We formed partnershipsbetween project staff, IBM Global Services and our otherstakeholders. We developed a detailed project plan which led tothe success of the project. My goal was to give stakeholdersaccurate and timely information. This resulted in much bettercommunications.
At the end of the project, staff presented me with a pen in awooden case which is en-graved with the following:
"Strength, Character, Honesty, Nurturer, Enthusiastic,Idealist, Dedicated, Energetic, RealThats what Judymeans to Us. Thanks for Everything. Your staff"
What do you do in your spare time?
I play golf (hits around 100) and read. My reading is acombination of fiction and nonfiction. In fiction I like TomClancy, mysteries and court room dramas. In nonfiction I readbusiness, history and biography. I am a member of the ProjectManagement Institute and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
Mary Ellen Bradley
Where is the one place you can get answersto your hardest technical questions, learn about the latestcomputer software and hardware innovations, and get a sneakpreview of the future?
Forum '97 does this and more. And it isfree.
To add icing to the cake, Forum '97corporate sponsors and vendors will include Microsoft, IBM,Informix, Novell, Capital Business Machines, DTP Micro Systems,Storage Technology, EAZY Distribution, Epson America, US West,Open Connct Systems, Attachmate, and Puget Sound Systems Group.
So, get your calendar out and make sure you set aside time onOctober 21 and 22 to attend Forum '97.
Have You Registered Yet?
What's the holdup? July 31 is the last day you canregister for the IPMA Executive Seminar.
The IPMA Executive Seminar will be held September 24-26,1997, at the Ocean Shores Shilo Inn Resort. Cost is $475 perperson and includes registration, meals and two nightslodging. Call Darrell Riffe at (360) 753-2509 or Phil Griggat (360) 902-7452 for a registration form.
Members Present: Dennis Laine, Bob Monn,Shelagh Taylor, Phil Coates, Phil Grigg, Mary Ellen Bradley, JoeCoogan, and Darrell Riffe.
The Board Meeting was opened by Vice-Chair, JimAlbert, opened the meeting at 7:40 A.M., June 10, 1997.
Report from the Chair:
The minutes from the June Board meeting were revised to showDennis Laine was present, and were approved as amended.
Phil Coates reviewed the Treasurers report which wasapproved.
The following committee reports weremade:
Business and Finance Committee: JimAlbert reviewed a draft of the FY98 IPMA budget. There are a fewadjustments to be made before it becomes final. Jim asked thatFY97 accomplishments and FY98 plans be e-mailed to him from thecommittee chairs for inclusion in the IPMA Annual Report. Jim,with assistance from Joe Coogan, will be publishing the AnnualReport in hard copy and on the IPMA Home Page.
Communications Committee: TheBoard discussed whether member e-mail addresses should becollected to enable electronic communications with IPMA members.Mary Ellen Bradley agreed to send out a mailing to members askingfor their e-mail addresses. Shelagh Taylor presented a draftCommunications Plan in support of Forum 98. Mary EllenBradley will be meeting with Dennis Laine and the Forum planningcommittee to finalize the Communications Plan schedule.
Executive Seminar Committee: PhilGrigg reported the registration form had been sent out. He isstill finalizing speakers.
Fall Forum: Dennis Lainereported his Forum 98 planning committee is meeting everytwo weeks. They are working to finalize session speakers andlock-in keynote speakers within the next month if possible.Vendor booths continue to sell well.
Professional Development: BobMonn reported there had been a meeting of the committee, and thatplans had been developed to survey senior IT managers to identifyemployee development needs. This is the first step in creating aprofessional development program of monthly and/or quarterlyevents.
IPMA, P.O. Box 1943, Olympia, WA 98507-1943