Monday, 8 June 2009

Thinking time

One of the hardest things to do in any job is to find space and time to think - it's a luxury we can very rarely afford. I'm a great believer in trying to make the time if possible and for the next two days myself and the rest of the Executive Team are on a short strategic break. some of it will be looking at how we work together as a team and some setting our strategic priorities for the next year.

Today we looked at those areas where we have a departmental wide responsibility - outlined here - and looked at what progress we had made, and what there was still to do. I was surprised by the amount of progress we'd made in a number of them - almost 6 flip charts worth! However, we identified a lot of areas where there was still a lot of work to do. The whole area of resource management and allocation (in terms of people's time) was one - how we do we measure what people are doing so that we can make informed decisions about how much resource we can allocate to new projects and how much is spent keeping stuff running. We also need to know how we can reallocate resource between projects and what ares we might want to decrease the resource in. This was linked to a discussion on monitoring and evaluating new technologies and whether we might change our support and development model, and how we're going to implement our technology strategy.

Finance was of course another hot topic - how we can get better management information (identifying what we want is the biggest challenge) and how we can reduce costs, especially important in the current financial climate. We also need to know how much our services cost - so that we can make better informed decisions. Planning for financial uncertainty will be the subject of many future discussions I fear.

Connectivity and keeping in touch is interesting - the hotel is charging £15 a day for wireless access so I'm using a new modem, which I've just discovered has content control switched on which is blocking access to all sorts of sites - non of them dodgy at all your honour!

Still - I'm maanging to keep up to date with the Apple WWDC via Twitter - hoping for news of the new iPhone soon!

4 comments:

Graham Hill said...

Looks like fun - are you hugging trees or doing obstacle courses? We are looking forward to an "inspirational leadership" course in June and July led by Robina Chatham (who presented at UCISA Conference). Hopefully, we are going to learn a lot about ourselves and how we might better serve our customers.

Anonymous said...

How about a little less worship of proprietary software, Apple/microsoft zealousness and some more open source love!

Anonymous said...

http://dilbert.com/fast/2009-06-09/

Chris Sexton said...

Love the Dilbert cartoon!