Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I have realised that it is difficult to to get stakeholder engagement after the summer break. I have added a new discussion and sent a welcome back email to my online group in Ning, and will have to see how they respond. It may mean a trip around the colleges to see how they are all getting on.

In the meantime we are continuing to engage staff at the university in conversation, both those involved in project work and those using the systems/ data being changed through the work of the projects. I have blogged my thoughts on some of these conversations at as they are as an aside to the project but still useful to be be captured.

We are also working on a poster and video for the programme meeting that is in Manchester in  2 weeks time. The video will contain some content from our Project Director, the LDI Technical Manager and at least one stakeholder. I am using some of the images from our presentation at ALT-C as they sum up the work we are trying to do around changing the nature of curriculum design and development for the university. At the moment I concerned it looks a bit plain as I’m not the best with creativity!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

It’s good to talk!

A big thank you to Manchester, Bolton and Leeds who made their way to Staffordshire yesterday for our second cluster meeting. We had a lot of good discussions around what we have all been working on and found that we have shared experiences in the following areas:

  • Costing/ Resourcing any change in the curriculum is difficult
  • “On ground” staff see limited value in QA based on the time spent doing it
  • Business maps have little value without the extra layers (application etc) as processes themselves appear to be in ok shape – issues at deeper levels.
  • How are processes that sit within faculties managed?
  • Big focus on managing culture change
  • How do we discover the hard cost of developing and delivering modules
  • Useful process mapping tools are expensive, but TOGAF and Archimate very useful in themselves.
  • A requirement to link awards/ modules with learning objectives and competencies.

In the afternoon Bolton University started a discussion around managing curriculum across partners and ensuring an equitable experience to all learners. This caused further discussion around how universities support dispersed interpretation of module delivery.


Manchester presented their work so far and talked about the disparity between senior staff and staff “on the ground” and how they view what would constitute improvement of CDD. They used the statement “One source of truth and the truth will be trusted” which sums up a number of issues here at Staffordshire University, not only do people consider the need for one source of the truth but also that it needs to be trusted, but how can one source fit all stakeholder needs and how can we get people to trust it?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Internal Projects

We have been talking a to a few more internally managed initiatives that are not part of the executive register and are not externally funded and discovered some interesting aspects to managing projects that has helped highlight some issues with managing innovation in the university.
The discussions we have had with project leads has included concerns. This includes often there is limited or no formal project plans to ensure scope of project, which can lead to misunderstandings as to why a project has been started, what is expected from the project and what the outputs should be. Beyond this is a fear of writing down both positive and negative aspects of cross service working - as comments that show that teams may not have worked well together before a project started, or that there were problems that could not be overcome could be politically sensitive. How can we learn from projects if there is this political fear of sharing issues and lessons? Is this only in particular services or is it across the institution, and more importantly what can we do to stop this fear? What needs to be in place to help internal projects, as a member of staff rightly pointed out - they have no way of seeing the different initiatives on in the university and who is running them. Another issue was how to understand the resourcing of projects, how do we manage cross service resources?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

ALTC Presentation

As promised here is the conference presentation we did at ALTC, it is approx 14 mins long

Friday, 11 September 2009

Back from ALTC

Well what a three days! One of the first sessions after the keynote was the one done by Sam and myself (, which I recorded and will try and post either later today or at the start of next week. It was a very busy session which was very positive. Sam, Mark and myself attended a number of different sessions looking at different aspects of Curriculum Design and a number of symposiums where done by the different programme clusters.

The experience of ALTC can be broken into three areas – shared experiences, suggestions in supporting Enable and questions that need asking. A lot of my thoughts have been captured in my Twitter, and need collecting along with the fuller notes I made in the sessions. Some of these include:

  • can we be more flexible with tasks in CDD and delivery?
  • Getting academic trust in information from central services is difficult
  • Need to keep in touch with other JISC projects to ensure not reinventing the wheel
  • Learner built curriculum is now a big theme for lots of institutions
  • How do we embrace the informal processes and feral systems?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

ALT-C 2009

The main work for this week has been at getting ready for ALT-C and finishing off the baseline report for JISC. Sam has done a lot of model work to get the baseline together and done a great job. I was very lucky in the sections on programme management and change management in the university related to work I have already written for the executive and the senior management team. The presentation is something we have had to work on to ensure that Sam and I don't find ourselves repeating the same points, and to ensure that it relates to the baseline report now that is finished. Sam has taken time out to be able to make sure that both the presentation and the leaflet we are taking with us looks nice and professional. I have also been sorting out the final preparations for the cluster meeting at Stafford on the 23rd.