Monday, 18 May 2009

Capturing Perceptions

Last week was very busy, and this week will continue in that theme. We had a partner visit and tt was the programme meeting in Birmingham. This was followed by a presentation on Strategy and leadership for my course, which I started to support the work of Enable.
This presentation has since been used at EISTA 2010 and published in Journal of Education, Informatics, and Cybernetics, Vol 2, No 3, 2010
This course has since been completed and I have now started an MSc in Innovation and Managing Change in Higher Education by Negotiated Learning. I have finished my first module for this but will be putting the award on hold while I go on maternity leave. 

This week I am doing a fair bit of training The main aspect is looking at TOGAF and ArchiMate with CETIS in Bolton tomorrow. 
Blog available on this day here: Enable: Where angels fear to tread 

I am also doing some mentoring/coaching as part of the next stage of my course, this work focuses on supporting another member of staff working on a large scale project. In between these days I am still looking at evaluation and capturing perceptions of stakeholders, and at the structure of a project team event for the end of June.

Perception Questionnaires

I have been given a very useful questionnaire from Cardiff University that originated at BAE on finding out what people want from a project, and then measuring how successful we have been in providing it in the future. The questionnaire has been adapted from BAE and to asks the project lead (or stakeholders in the project) the following:
  • List 5 achievements for the project
  • For each of the 5 achievements score them 10 (Most Important) - 1 (Least Important)
  • For each of the 5 achievements score them 4 (Delighted with how it works at the moment) to 1 (Very Dissatisfied with how it works at the moment).
Each score was asked for twice, the initiative and for Enable. The project lead (or stakeholder) is then asked for what they consider the 'Big One' (i.e. high need but very dissatisfied with at the moment) and the 'Pat on the Back' (i.e. high need but delighted with at the moment).

This has gone out to our project partners via the VSN. I also found a useful questionnaire online "The Organisation Perception Questionnaire" although this relies on rating some statements, so the team needs to think about what needs to go in there.

The Organisation Perception questionnaire has not been used by Enable, however the BAE questionnaire was used (as adapted above) during the first stage of the Enable project and was found to be extremely useful when revisiting expectations against the reality and being able to capture what was/not achieved and why. It was used in conjunction with a semi-structured interview technique and a Project Overview document to support the Enable team in understanding the outputs expected from each initiative, what outcomes could be expected, and what overlaps might exist with other initiatives running in the University at the same time. This work all fitted with the Programme/Change Management approach adapted by the project team. Further information on evaluation techniques used by the Enable team will be available in August 2012,  through the Evaluation Story & Final Story written for JISC

Partner Engagement

Partner engagement has really picked up after visits have been completed at the partner sites, we are seeing blogging from tutors in Shrewsbury college on the VSN. Hopefully more blogs and discussions will grow in the next few months with the support of college coordinators such as Emma, Richard and Gerard. I will be sending out a reminder email to them all towards the end of the week to ensure that they are all happy with what is happening at their colleges.

A blog post has been written to cover partner engagement from the perspective of the Enable project team.

Programme Meeting

The Programme meeting in Birmingham had a few useful sessions, although in some cases information was appearing at the wrong level for some project managers. I certainly found the networking activities/ directed discussions very useful although the form filling in the afternoon was probably less informative. One session focused on understanding your organisational type as part of Change Management/ Engagement Strategies. When we looked at the type of organisation we felt Staffordshire University was we were surprised to see such a strong leaning to Innovative Culture, however we felt that we needed a balance across some of the other cultures, in particular Business. There was some interesting engagement methods used by some of the presenting projects that I would like to consider for projects at the university, including posters in hallways for commenting on with post-its and workshops that included stakeholders to look at how they see failure rather than success! There was still not enough "here is how we did it" - in particular the change academy model was used by a project - what is this and how did they modify it and why? It looks like some investigation on their website as it was not easy to find on the HEA site.

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