Thursday, 24 May 2012

Gardens, SSB, Portals and Cloud

Sorry for short hiatus in blogging - my annual visit to Chelsea Flower Show has interrupted this week. Great day, glorious sunshine and stunning gardens. If you're interested, my favourite was Chris Beardshaw's Furzey Garden, absolutely gorgeous. And for pure bonkedness, Diarmund Gavin's pyramid garden - a crazy tree house. Just a shame you had to be a friend of his to go up it!

Anyway, back to work related matters. Service Strategy Board last Friday had a good look at the recommendations coming out of our awayday about how we could make it work better. We'll be developing much better service descriptions, developing service level agreements with measureable things that we can use to monitor how well we're performing, and developing a strategy for each appropriate service area.  We're also going to carry out a revie of how work comes into the department, which currently is through many channels, including requests from Service Advisory groups, through our SER (service enhancement request ) system, throgh the helpdesk, and through ad hc meetings, conversations and telephone calls. the intention will be to streamline the process and funnel as many requests as possible through one route so thay can be properly prioritised and have resources allocated to them where necessary.

We also had a strategic liaison meeting with the Faculty of Science, where we had an interesting discussion about creating apprenticeships and training schemes for technical staff - something we're keen to work with them on.

I've also been to a catch up meeting on our new portal project where we've changed direction somewhat and are developing something in house which will achieve a lot of what we need to, and we will be looking to combine it with iGoogle to provide access to our services. More on that later, but it's looking very exciting.

Finally last week, I recorded a 10 minute presentation for a JISC webcast on cloud computing. I was asked to speak at it but couldn't make it, so we've combined a recording of me talking to a camera in my office with an Echo360 audio and slide recording, which I hope they'll be able to edit and show as part of the day. Always a bit weird being recorded, but was quite pleased that I took a 20 minute presentation and in one take got it down to 9 minutes 58 seconds!

This week so far has been mainly catching up, going to Chelsea, and  walking round our new building getting used to where everyone is now. I think it's great that so many us are together, and you can bump into so many people just walking to the kitchen or printer.

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