Myself and the Assistant Directors went away for a couple of days last week. to look at two main items. First was an analysis of how we interact with our major stakeholders, whether we have it right, and what can we do to improve it. Before we went we did a survey of some of our senior stakeholders, and their responses were extremely useful. We got some very good feedback, and some that was more constructive :-) What was obvious were some big differences in different parts of the University. We used the following grid to map our stakeholders which plots how much power and influence people have, and how interested they are in our services. It was quite illuminating :-)
I'm not sure I agree with some of the labels, but it did show us where we were not engaging appropriately in some areas. So, we've come up with a plan which we are putting in place in the new year.
The other big discussion we had was about the future shape of the department, something that we've been looking at for a while. I use the phrase shape, rather than structure deliberately. We're looking at how we can improve our planning and architecture, the design and building of services, transitioning them then into delivery. I am keen to get it right rather than do it quickly, so a lot more discussion still to be had.
I also attended an open forum with the Vice Chancellor, other members of UEB and a selection of staff from across the institution. This was one of a series of workshops as part of the consultation on our strategic plan, and was about Our Strategic Partners. Some good presentation and lively discussion about what partnership meant, who we should partner with, and who we shouldn't.
Almost my final meeting was Senate Budget Committee (SBC) where I represent the Professional Services, and we had our annual meeting with the Vice Chancellor. SBC looks at the budgetary processes in the University, and we were discussing with the VC what its future role should be. SBC makes public all of its discussions, and has a webpage of very useful resources about University finances.