Yesterday we had our monthly meeting of Service Strategy Board. We don't get project reports in August, but we had a number of items on the agenda to discuss. These included:
We're moving towards much more agile, faster development, and so we need to look at how we run and manage projects alongside this. We had a presentation on Agile Project Management which was very interesting, and well received. In summary, this involves a more iterative, collaborative development between the customer and the developers, keeping customers continually engaged and with a shared ownership of outcomes. Use of prototypes early, not waiting till all specs are finished, More consideration of different options, less getting fixed down one route early. More staging of delivery, short development cycles, release of different stages early. More harnessing of users creativity - this is particularly beneficial when prototypes are used. Of course, we already embrace some of these concepts to a greater or lesser degree, but we are now looking to increase them. With my customers hat on, I particularly welcome iterative and collaborative development using prototypes - I find it much easier to think about what I want when I can see something in front of me. For those in CiCS, there'll be more info at the next departmental meeting.
Another thing discussed was an audit of learning objects within the University. At the moment we have a range of different sorts of learning objects including audio, video, captures lectures etc, stored in a number of different places and not necessarily easily discoverable by all users. This audit will help us come up with a plan to index, catalogue and make easily available all learning content, which will be a collaborative venture between us and the Library.
As part of our Service Management implementation we looked at a proposal for Availibility Management, and the role of Availability Manager will initially be to produce a mechanism for automated testing on the availability of our IT services. The aim will be to provide availability information on all the IT services as defined in the service catalogue (which we also discussed at SSB as we've made a number of revisions to it). So, we 'll be putting in place automated testing using the most appropriate technology, but of course there'll be instances where it may not be practical to put these in place due to overhead issues. Hopefully the outputs of the tests will be developed into appropriate dashboards to help improve information and therefore the quality of our services.