Founded in 1913, the Office of Legislative Counsel is a nonpartisan public agency that drafts legislative proposals, prepares legal opinions, and provides other confidential legal services to the Legislature and others. The office also provides computer services, data networking, and related customer services to the Legislature.
When the Legislative Counsel Bureau solicited for a company to implement its Enterprise Architecture (EA) roadmap, the intent was to develop systems as architecture services across Information Technology capabilities, serving both the California Senate and Assembly. The relationship between these legislative organizations and the Legislative Data Center was one where personalized service was demanded from any level within the organization where the support might be known to exist. The ability to reach in and obtain services at any time seemed responsive, yet the disruptions caused by services not complying with standards was significantly impacting the cost of operations and the ability to ensure all services could be successfully continued in the wake of other changes. At times requests were lost, demands were not implemented as directed, and legislators were frustrated with service levels.
Delegata introduced a governance model to facilitate the appropriate level of responsiveness and understanding for the problems. By introducing an analysis phase, the complete understanding of the impact, not only of the problem, but also of the solutions, was complete and sustainable. When decisions were made they were documented, and implementation was tracked to ensure that no decision was “lost” and that all were implemented “as directed.” Governance also included feedback on the effectiveness of the decision following implementation. The full lifecycle of governance was introduced and practiced within the organization. Also, there was clarification on the levels at which decisions were made. Each EA domain owner could make decisions independently if they did not affect others, but had to include all other domains affected. Management’s cost and schedule decisions to fund initiatives were based on priority and value.
The result was an improved method to ensure that all inputs for service were handled with a high priority based on legislative request, yet the service response was based on decision forums, established to allow clients to select how to allocate resources based on their priorities. Detailed information on impact was provided and this disclosure created a better understanding of the dynamics, even demonstrating that some initiatives actually worked to deny better service overall. Ultimately, clients became closer partners in the decisions that affected their service.
The decision process was fully integrated with IT operations since most of the changes within the Legislative Data Center used standard processes in support of enterprise governance to provide the appropriate impact information. The improved control caused many fewer impacts in technical implementation, since the impact was known prior to any implementation. The improving profile of technology to implement decisions with many fewer unpredictable impacts was highly appreciated.
LDC - Enterprise Strategic Initiative - Governance - (.PDF 382KB)