Monday, 14 January 2008

Departmental vision, and why women think departmental meetings are more interesting than men....

A departmental meeting today, and an opportunity to launch our new vision statement for the department. Following the two meetings we had to discuss it, we've made a couple of changes, and it's now in a final and agreed form of:

"We will be an innovative and influential department, respected by the University and recognised as a leader in the sector, delivering excellent customer-focused services."

So, now all we have to do is get there! Strategies covering all of our services are being worked on in the different sections, and individual objectives were set during the SRDS progress, with team objectives currently being put together. We had a Programme Board meeting this afternoon where we discussed how all of this will knit together, and how the Programme Plan will fit in. It is our intention that we will have a joined up set of documents which will be published on the web for everyone to see - more news on that later.

Other items covered at the meeting were the University restructuring and how that might affect us, a review of the past year, and a demonstration of Zimbra, the open source collaboration software that we're piloting at the moment. All presentations will be put in the cics-staff group in MUSE later this week.

One of the points to come out of the departmental vision meetings was a need to improve internal communication. In order to gather some information about current practices, we used the voting handsets and software and asked a series of questions - after first having asked what section people were in, how old they were and their sex. There were some interesting results. I'm very worried that 14% of people never speak to a member of the Executive, (presumably not even their Assistant Director), not even once a year at the Christmas Party! We will have to get out more. If any of you would like to come and say hello to me, please do.

63% of people at the meeting read this blog either regularly or occasionally, but only 31% find it useful. Let me know what would make it more useful!

Some interesting differences between sections, age and gender. For example, 63% of women thought that the departmental meetings were very useful as a method of communication, but only 31% of men did.

All the results are being looked at, and we'll be making some recommendations for improvements. However, communication is a two way process and some of it will be down to you - we can make information available to you, but we can't make you look at it. For example 12% of staff surveyed never read Just for CiCS, 36% never read this blog, 33% never access the cics-staff MUSE group and 59% never use myChat. But you can then throw back at me the fact that 35% of staff don't have regular team meetings! This will have to change.

I think it will be interesting to repeat the same questions this time next year, and see if we've improved at all.


Anonymous said...

"It is our intention that we will have a joined up set of documents which will be published on the web for everyone to see - more news on that later."

Can you give some indication of the timescales/deadlines for this work to be completed?

On an entirely different matter relating to your blog picture : why is the skin tone of the arms completely different to that of the face?

Chris Sexton said...

I'm hopeful that we will have most of the documents in place by Easter - we're meeting later this week to discuss timescales, so I'll post more news then.
As for the picture, it's actually a photo I took of an oil painting. The painting itself looks fine - the difference in skin tone is entirely down to my crap photography.
I only put it up because a couple of people commented how awful the previous photo was. I will look for a better one...

Anonymous said...

about Chris's picture....isn't it strange that it looks just like Judith Hann who used to present Tomorrow's World!!!

...and you never see them together :O)

Chris Sexton said...

The cheek of it - she's 14 years older than me! And I thought it made me look 10 years younger. Although the artist who painted it did explain that he couldn't paint wrinkles.