Troy Hilley: 2019 Process Improvement Excellence Award

Georgia Tech has selected Troy Hilley as the recipient of the 2019 Process Improvement Excellence Award. Hilley is an academic and research IT support engineer lead in the College of Sciences’ Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS).

The award celebrates staff who consistently invent or improve tools, processes, or systems and ask: How can we do this better? Why do we do it that way?

For years Hilley was responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of faculty, research group, and administrative computing infrastructure in the School of Biological Sciences. In that capacity he established himself as a leader in thinking creatively and acting proactively to prepare the school for the rapidly changing environment for integrative computing.

“With no budget and limited resources, he used free open-source software to completely overhaul OS X management from installation to end-user software management.”

Hilley’s leadership is evident in the improvements he initiated with the management and support of Apple OS X computers on campus. This problem had been adversely affecting faculty, staff, and students and causing substantial frustration.

Whereas other IT staff merely accepted the status quo, “Troy did a clean sweep of the status quo,” according to a colleague. “With no budget and limited resources he used free open-source software to completely overhaul OS X management from installation to end-user software management.”

Hilley then implemented a system to completely automate most of the software updates. This ensured that systems and end users have the latest security and feature updates immediately.

Still seeing room for improvement, Hilley then put in place a system that enables IT staff to get detailed information on the status of the computers under ARCS management. With this system, IT staff could proactively assist users, saving time and frustration.

The process and tooling improvements Hilley established increased the speed and accuracy of support while simultaneously decreasing the frustration among both IT staff and end users. That they were achieved at no cost is a “rare optimization gem,” a colleague says.

Hilley “continues to innovate and improve tools, processes, and systems that directly help our clients and enhance the organization’s effectiveness,” another colleague says.