We have had a busy week, with three of us attending the CETIS Conference in Birmingham. This was a very useful event, mainly for the networking opportunities it gave, but also due to the great opening keynote from Roehampton University on the usefulness of Enterprise Architecture for institutions and the end Keynote from Bill Thompson (@BillT) about the concerns for where England will be with countries overtaking us with their technology backbones. Bill also covered whether we are ready for the big changes that could occur in the future with developments no longer in the realms of sci-fi (microchipped contact lenses, e-ink, next gen communication devices etc).
I participated in the Technology change in education - involving Senior Management at last? discussions on the first day where we covered areas such as who should be setting priorities agendas? How do we manage between the university and the staff cultures? We found out that JISC have a network set up to support those of us engaging in EA so we have great hopes for some useful connections from this group. We found a number of institutions were interested in the work we have already taken in this area, and we found an institution with a programme office which is very nice so we have agreed to talk soon about their experiences. It is clear that as I went through this conference the human element is the most important part of the programme office and supporting the EA at the university, so no pressure there!
These thoughts followed me back to the office as I have continued my research on Programme Management Offices, a big thing is that they can be different things to different people. We are trying to get to grips with what a PMO should be for us and how it can fit within the existing structure of the institution. Just like Frankenstein, we are wary of creating a monster office that tries to do too much at once, we don't want to see it crash through walls, but to be able to suggest and guide the university with incremental changes.