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?