Friday, 19 April 2013

Gartner HE session catch up

Following the session on service portfolios and catalogues, we had a workshop where we worked with one of the Gartner analysts to write a service portfolio. Starting from scratch, we came up,with suggestions which we discussed as a group, and then with the session. Some of the ideas we have in our service portfolio/catalogue such as Support for Teaching and Learning, and Support for Research as headings were well received, but I realised that there were areas we had missed out, for example project management and process improvement are services which have a high value, but we don't include them. Lots to think and talk about when I get back!

We've also had a session from a colleague at another University about the challenges he faced when appointed recently, and some of the actions he's taking to implement transformational changes. Very inspiring, but obviously confidential so I can't say much, but I did like his use of pictures, maps and diagrams which he had used to have conversations with senior executives. An architecture map which showed the linkage between different applications and services had been very helpful in explaining why changes considered simple to the customer, were in fact quite complicated.

Finally, we visited the University of La Sapienza, one of the oldest Universities in Europe, but housed in a very 1930s Mussolini inspired building! With 140,000 students it was huge, and they had some interesting IT challenges. One of the systems they had recently developed was to help them in their Research Assessment exercise, and was a very complex algorithm to assess which research papers to submit based on criteria including journal impact, citations etc. They'd also made big changes to their student systems to implement many self service processes.

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