Friday morning was the Drama Studio User Group, which we effectively disbanded! Well, in its current form. Rather than try and look at operational issues, management and policy, the group will reform and look at operational issues, becoming a consultative groups for all users of the Drama Studio. There's a wide range of them - academic departments, students, local amateur dramatic groups, and we'll be meeting for some of the time in the evening to make sure all users are represented.
Then on Friday afternoon the Exec spent 2 hours going through our operational plan and prioritising all of the different objectives to present to the Service Strategy Board for their comments. A big job, and interesting to see where we might have different views to the managers who have put it together. In these tight financial times, and where our users want more services than ever, it's important we get this right.
Today I had the first meeting of an important project - we're calling it IT as a Shared Service, and it will be looking at how CiCS and Faculty and departmental IT staff can work more closely together. Lots of benefits to be had if we get this right including better IT support in departments, efficiency, less duplication, better career development for staff.
Then this afternoon it was the Service Strategy Board. Lots of good discussion. Topics covered included how we're coordinating improvements to the registration process for new students, how we ensure development work done outside of the development team gets the right technical advice and progress on all of our projects. No new projects to approve today, but one "lessons leaned" review which we carry out on all completed projects.
Each month for the meeting of the SSB the service manager produces an overview report of their own area - not just projects, but other developments and significant changes. These are invaluable for me and the rest of the team to keep up with everything happening in the department. I can't summarise all seven of them here, so I thought I'd highlight one or two after each meeting. Today it's the turn of Teaching and Learning, and the following new developments were reported:
- Managed laptop service being piloted to allow departments to use space more flexibly, eg using teaching labs as IT spaces
- New PC availability service (or Bums on Seats as it's affectionately known in the dept) which will graphically show individual PCs on each floor in the IC and display availability status. This will be linked with the PC booking system so you can walk into the building and book a PC on level 0 and it will be ready for you as you reach the higher levels
- Creative media space opening in the IC where students will be able to produce audio and video material
- Laptop loan service in IC being piloted
All good stuff and well done to everyone.
Off to Loughborough tomorrow for the Google Apps for Education UK User Group.