Tag Archives: shared services

Busy, not packed – Weeknote #243 – 27th October 2023

I went to the office quite a bit this week, travelling to Bristol. Our offices are busy, not packed, but busy.

Most of the week was continuing the planning, reflection, and researching concept of optimisation of operations and data. I was also researching and analysing the background, exemplars, benefits, issues, challenges, and barriers to shared services across higher education. I then started planning a potential report structure.

We had our monthly HEIRLT Leadership Meeting, and I also had my monthly one to one.

I did some planning and preparation for presentation for Learning Places Scotland 2023. I am doing a presentation on building the intelligent campus.

Universities and colleges spend billions on their campuses, yet they are frequently underutilised and are often a frustrating experience for students. In this session, James Clay will describe the campus of the future. How does a traditional campus become a smart campus? What are the steps to make a smart campus, an intelligent campus? The intelligent campus builds on the smart campus concept and aims to find effective ways to use data gathered from the physical estate and combine it with learning and student data from student records, library systems, the virtual learning environment (VLE) and other digital systems. This session will describe what data can be gathered, how it can be measured and explore the potential for enhancing the student experience, achieving net zero, improve efficiency, and space utilisation. It will demonstrate and explain to the delegates what the exciting future of the intelligent campus. James will also ask delegates to consider the ethical issues when implementing an intelligent campus as well as the legal requirements.

I was asked to conduct an initial ‘triage’ review of Jisc online advice and guidance that I am responsible for. There isn’t a huge amount on the Jisc website, so didn’t take long.

Did some preparation for Investigative study of higher education delivery in Wales session I am attending next week.

Starting to realise how over the last few years (but not really over the last few months) how much stuff I would get and learn from what was the Twitter. I made the decision to disengage from the Twitter and though not gone so far to delete my account, I haven’t posted there since September, I haven’t really got the same engagement and traction with Bluesky and Threads. I also realised that by tweeting out links and news, I would have a mechanism for remembering these stories and websites. Currently I don’t think the answer is Threads or Bluesky, but it might be in the future. I think I will need to rethink my workflows for news and content. I have done this before when Google Reader stopped working.

Star – Weeknote #242 – 20th October 2023

Took some leave this week and headed off to Chessington World of Adventure for the day.

It was nice to see Lawrie win our Star of the Month award for his work at ALT-C. I took the time to write a detailed nomination about what he did and the impact it had. It was a well deserved win.

Spent most of the week planning, reflection, and researching concept of optimisation of operations and data. Researching the background, exemplars, benefits, issues, challenges, and barriers to shared services across higher education. I have been finding relevant reports and documents, uploading them to Dovetail and then going through them undertaking analysis of the content, tagging different sections. Still early for deep insights, but often these reports flag the potential benefits of shared services, there is a lot of discussion about the importance of process analysis and optimisation, before moving to a shared service model.

This reminds me of some work I did back in 2014 about process analysis and optimisation before adding software or a digital service to the workflow. For example no point in adding a CRM for student recruitment, unless you go through the current process of student recruitment, and then reflecting on what you are trying to achieve. Without undertaking the process analysis, you can often find that all you are doing is spending a lot of time, effort, and money on creating a digital version of the existing process, which often results in just translation, and not taking advantage of the affordances of what digital and online can bring, and usually losing the nuance of the analogue or in-person process.

It has been a little but more challenging to see some of the blockers and barriers that stop the implementation of shared services, but this is where I can bring in some of my own experiences to the table.

Read this interesting article this week: Sunderland City Council is planning to extend the local eduroam Wi-Fi network into the city centre.

It is working with the University of Sunderland and its smart city partner Boldyn Networks to enable accredited users of EduROAM, developed as a Wi-Fi service for the higher education sector, to obtain connections beyond the university’s campus through the public Wi-Fi network.

From a social mobility perspective, inclusion, widening participation, reducing carbon, wellbeing, and a range of other factors it’s important that eduroam extends beyond the campus. It enables students to access Wi-Fi at a time and place of their choosing, rather than being forced to travel to campus.