Yesterday I spent some of the day at the University of Wolverhampton Telford campus. I've been invited to be a member of a Steering Group to produce a Guide on Programme Management, funded as part of the HEFCE Leadership and Management Fund. The intention is not to produce a guide telling people how to run projects, but to focus on how to chose projects as part of a programme to achieve University objectives, and to focus particularly on benefits delivery and realisation. The project originated from a study on how HECFE capital money had been used and managed, and whether benefits had been actually realised, or even measured. Consequently the steering group is made up mainly of Estates Directors, but I am on to represent JISC and the IT sector, and we are hoping to involve people from Finance, Planning, and Faculties.
The intention is to produce a toolkit which will be capable of being used in any institution, across all disciplines. Yesterday we looked at the structure of the guide, and the sorts of things we expect to see in it. The link between strategy, programmes and projects, all of which should be benefits led is important. We should also give guidance on defining benefits, and how they might be measured, recognising that they are not always financial and may seem to be intangible. There'll also be case studies, as well as vignettes and examples.
Looks like being an interesting project.
One of the thing I've forgotten to say, is that for the last few weeks I've not been carrying my laptop to meetings or conferences, instead slipping my iPad in my handbag. So far it's worked well - the battery life is great, and with the discovery of iAnnotate I can treat digital papers just like paper, scribbling on them, highlighting stuff etc. The only downside was last week in London where my hotel room had internet access, but it was only wired, not wireless. Not much good for an iPad, but luckily there was a good 3G signal. The rise of wireless only devices has made us think about whether we should revise our policy of wired only access in the rooms of our halls of residences. There's wireless in the communal areas, but not much good for an iPodTouch, or iPad, or some netbooks. And, even with a laptop, you don't want to be tied to using it at a desk, but I like to sit in bed and watch iPlayer!