Bob Hendricks became CIO of Fresno, Calif., in 2002, after serving in the same capacity for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the third busiest airport in the world.
Hendricks and his staff have undertaken numerous IT projects, including online permitting, online payment of utility bills and the development of a 311-type call center. Now under way is the development of a citywide activity and tracking system for all 3,800 city employees. These projects are the core of a city mission referred to as the "New Normal."
Tell me about a few projects you've been part of that exemplify Fresno's mission.
There's a large change going on within Fresno's municipal government. Cultural, organizational and strategic changes are under way to meet the city's "New Normal." The city redefined our vision as "a culture of excellence where people get the best every day."
The vision is achieved by balancing decisions between customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and prudent financial management, supported by the city's values of accountability, compassion, trust, innovation and teamwork.
Two significant projects that will assist in the city's transformation to an outcome-focused organization are implementation of time and activity tracking, and business intelligence/dashboards.
What will these projects do for the city?
The time and activity [tracking] system will provide real-time information to assist in management decision-making and resource allocation.
The business intelligence system/dashboards provide data analysis tools and graphical monitoring capability of specific performance indicators. These graphical indicators provide the ability to gauge operational health at a glance, with drill-down functionality for a more detailed analysis of operations.
What type of technology investment are you looking at?
We are just completing an upgrade to our PeopleSoft financials and will be watching the development of Oracle's merged product, assessing our options in the next few years. The time and activity [tracking] system and business intelligence/dashboard implementations are our primary objectives.
Due to significant cost increases in our GroupWise e-mail product, we are investigating alternatives, testing the latest Microsoft Exchange/Outlook solutions. We are exploring ways we can take advantage of voice over IP solutions to provide a greater range of services, decrease costs and improve efficiency.
What are some of the challenges you're facing?
Trying to do a lot in a short amount of time. We've got 3,800 employees who will need training. We have to go through all the departments and identify exactly how they are going to report their time and what activity codes they want to track. That's going to take a great deal of time.