Sunday, 18 November 2007

Communication and collaboration

A couple of meetings on Friday about Collaboration and Communication. First was about our Annual Report - we have to produce one every year and if you're not careful they can turn out to be very dry, with lots of facts and figures, and not a lot of relevant information. This year we're trying a different approach, along the lines of "What's in it for me?", ie what have we done that will benefit our customers, and how much value do we provide. If anyone has any comments or ideas for inclusion, let me know.

The other meeting was a joint one with Internal Communication, which started off looking at some of the benefits identified by the University Collaboration Improvement Programme (UCIP) and how we are going to achieve them, but developed into a lively and interesting conversation about some of the developments and changes in the way we communicate and liaise with staff and students and how we can get feedback on our services with a view to improving them.

A new web page for staff is being developed, which will contain up to date news items and information about what's happening around the University which all departments will be able to feed in to.

CiCS is working on a programme of customer service reviews which will look at individual services we provide, and a series of small forums to get feedback. We also want to become more involved in the induction of new staff so that we can help them to understand what we provide and how to get the best out of it. We are lucky in that we see every new staff member face to face as they have to come to the Computing Centre to get a Ucard and a computer account, and we should make more of this. We'll also be getting out more into departments providing tailored sessions on particular services. We are also willing to go into departments and provide technical help, for example if a department wants to roll out myCalendar or myChat and staff need assistance in installing or using it.

CiCS has recently rewritten and redesigned its entire web site, and we're still working on how to improve it - again, all comments gratefully received. We will be introducing a system soon so that an individual will be able to register an interest with us, either in helping us with a particular review or project, or piloting a new service.

It goes without saying that we're also trying to improve our communication in general to move away from technical language and use words and terms that our users might actually understand!

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