Monthly Archives: May 2014

Planning for success

It’s one of those things – it’s time to write a blog but not sure what to say. And ‘not sure’ because there is so much to say rather than nothing to say. But what’s interesting? Hopefully, you’ll find a snippet.

(i) UCISA Conference Planning for July – this has been my first time on a conference organising committee and I must admit it’s been an eye opener.  It just goes to prove that what makes a great conference is all the work that goes on in the preparation; making sure there is a relevant theme; getting the speakers; working out the breakouts etc.  I can’t wait for July now to see the results of all the planning.  Follow it all on #ussc14

twitter(ii) We are setting up an IT Twitter account.  ‘What?’ I hear you say, ‘we did that ages ago – you’re late coming to the party’.  Well, that’s partially true.  The University and various departments have had their own Twitter accounts for a  while but IT Services tended to piggy back as and when required.  We’ll soon have the ability to monitor our own Twitter feed (for incidents and service requests etc) and so we decided to branch out.  The luxury of this later approach is that we have had time to discuss how we want it to look; the type of information we want to put out (not all negative!); who will be ‘in charge’ and we have a meeting this week with the Corporate Communications staff for any last minute hints and tips for running a successful account.  Then we launch and hopefully we will pick up many of the established University Twitter followers.
If you’ve got any tips for what to do or what not to do, please comment!

videos(iii) We’ve been making videos with particular thought to new staff induction.  We dipped our toe in the video market during our transition to Microsoft Outlook which seemed to be a popular move.  We had very little feedback, positive or negative, as to how they were received.  But we ploughed on and this year  have made a new series of six short screencasts covering forced password changes; navigating the network; accessing your payslip and so on. We want to extend this by offering Blackboard Collaborate (virtual classroom) sessions throughout the year as well.  We have again had very little feedback which is disappointing – we may have to look at more incentives for providing feedback!

 

boat

(iv) Talking of feedback we are planning the delivery of the last incentive/prize for feedback.  We had a great response to a survey when we offered a prize draw for a narrowboat trip on the Leeds Liverpool canal.  We are lucky enough to be able to offer this at no cost which set me thinking … many of us  may be able (and willing?) to offer incentives which are different and are at no cost or minimal cost in the spirit of ‘money can’t buy’.  Look around you if you’re looking for incentives and rewards – you may be surprised at what you find.

(v) We are working on our move from RMS to their new offering Point of Business (POB).  We had a great introductory visit from staff and a subsequent follow up with a mini workshop and we now excitedly await our test database.  It’s always good to review processes and procedures and we are taking the opportunity so that transition is as smooth as it can be for all involved.

Reading this back (yes, I did), the theme that’s coming out here is ‘planning’. I didn’t start off with a theme but there it is. Planning seems to be a big part in determining what is successful – the old adage that you get out what you put in still applies.

And so, on to my final planning UCISA Support Services Conference meeting tomorrow. Hope to see you in July at Crewe.

Post from
Jenny Jordan
IT Customer Services Manager
Edge Hill University