Tag Archives: toolkit

I love it when a plan comes together – working on the UCISA IT Comms Toolkit

Anna Mathews
Head of Policy and Projects
UCISA

 

 

The UCISA IT Comms toolkit – a resource for higher and further education institutions

As the project lead, Sarah Peace, Head of Desktop and Printing Services at the University of York explains, “The aim of this Toolkit is to provide the UCISA community with a resource that anyone involved in IT communications can use. Whether you have an embedded communications team, a central university team or it’s everyone’s responsibility, there’s always room for improvement, and we hope that even someone who has worked in comms for several years can learn from this resource.”

The Toolkit www.ucisa.ac.uk/ITcomms is split into four sections: why communicate?, how to communicate, when to communicate and who to communicate to. But perhaps the most valuable part of the Toolkit is the resources section – a repository of graphics, templates, strategies and videos that colleagues in higher and further education are invited to explore and repurpose, or as Sally Bogg, Head of End User Services at Leeds Beckett University has it, please do “pinch with pride”.

There are quite a few things that I have really enjoyed about this project, to the extent that process may have become more significant to me than the final output. This is because:

  • before we commenced drafting we talked – and I mean really talked – about comms and who is doing good work on this in the sector, horror stories of when we haven’t communicated well ourselves, and everything in between;
  • I’ve seen at first hand the motivating effect of involving younger colleagues in a UCISA activity (for example, recent graduates seeing what roles they might progress into, through talking to more experienced members of the project team);
  • I’ve had the opportunity to work with graphic and web designers from one of UK’s most creative universities (thank you, University of the Arts London);
  • we used what at times seemed like every collaborative tool going to envisage, draft and hang a product together from scratch in a few short months, and kept the energy going (thank you, Sarah) with a crack team from all over the country most of whom are captured in this short, informal video.

We’ll continue to add to the Toolkit throughout the year, so that we have examples from as many different mission types and comms functions as possible. Therefore, if you have anything that you are able to publicly share please send it to me for potential inclusion. We are happy to have duplicates for examples that are already there, and we are also looking for comms materials and documents for IT projects, and with business change.

What do you like, what do we need more of and what are we missing? Please drop me a line at execsec@ucisa.ac.uk or leave a comment below.

Cloud services mini-toolkits

There is increasing use of cloud-based services in Project and Change management, such as Trello, Skype and Doodle, often in conjunction with Google Apps. The PCMG Committee has developed a range of mini-toolkits to help people use these services more effectively:

These have been made available through Google docs to allow downloading for local use and for colleagues to suggest improvements and so keep the documents current and relevant. Our thanks to the University of Sheffield for their initial work in developing these documents.

Posted on behalf of Simon Geller, Joint Vice-Chair UCISA Project and Change Management Group

Comments welcome on new structure for the UCISA Information Security Toolkit

We would like to invite comment from the community on the revised structure and content of the UCISA Information Security Toolkit which was agreed by the project group at a meeting last month.

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The UCISA Information Security Toolkit  has been very successful, providing much needed assistance to information security professionals across the sector. Since the original funding application for the project in 2004, there have been a number of iterations of the document,  based upon changing standards and sector wide activity.  The last Toolkit was published in 2007 (third edition).

A number of factors have prompted a rewrite and expansion of the document: cloud technologies, PCI DSS, data classification and supportive practical advice in the form of appropriate feedback cycles (for example Plan/Do/Check/Act). The largest factor was the release of the BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard in the autumn of last year.

The group comprising of colleagues from University College London, University of Oxford, Loughborough University, Cardiff University, the University of York and Janet have met regularly in person and via Skype in order to generate new content.   The revised Toolkit will include a number of practical case studies demonstrating what works and does not work in practice. Topics include: policy development;  raising user awareness;  investigations and research security.

The new Toolkit will be launched in March 2015 to coincide with  UCISA 2015, Edinburgh and Janet Networkshop43,  Exeter.

Matt Cook, Chair, UCISA Networking Group
Head of Infrastructure and Middleware,
Loughborough University, IT Services