Business Rules and Processes

After a week of meetings an interesting thought has developed about how we manage a change to business rules. Do we have processes for this or is it, as I feel, more reactive than we would like as an organisation? It has become clear with discussions that historically both processes and rules are put in place with little consultation with on the ground staff. As the University is moving forward more focus groups are being used to discuss aspects of the business, this seems to be linked more to processes. I would have to assume, which can be dangerous, that rules are still only being reviewed at committee level. Is this really the case? It might be time to find out.

Supporting Processes

A number of things are happening with the project at the moment which involves a fair bit of thinking. The main thing really is how we link iniatives to different themes, and what those themes should be. Should they be the same as in the project bid, or be reviewed? My feeling is that they need to be reviewed based on the work done so far and on the presentation from Monday at the SMWG meeting (the presentations for this are available from the main project blog). We have a meeting next week to discuss this but I have a feeling this will take some work. Along with this we need to think about how these theme are bought together, as Enable is being retrofitted to these iniatives this will also be an interesting challenge.

Reflecting on learning and practice

It has been a week of deep thought for me thanks to my training last Friday with the CPD people here at Staffordshire University. I am taking a Post Grad Cert in Leadership and Management which has some real ties to the work I am doing with Enable. Especially thinking about strategic intent, understanding in very basic terms where the University wants to go, going down to where each department wants to go and how we are all going to get there. Along with this is aligning the strategies across departments, and how they will be implemented. There appears to be a patchy approach to strategic management, and this becomes reflected in the work being done by projects, or initiatives. Serious thought needs to go into how we manage new requests for initiatives, understanding not just how they fit in with the now, (and being very reactive), but how they need to be able to fit with the past and the future. We can’t have too narrow or too broad an approach. Typical examples include:

  • Where staff have not got clear direction into why they are doing a particular initiative, and the requirements for it
  • Where it has been driven by a hobbyist for a particular software to meet one or two needs of different individuals with differing needs

I am seeing examples of this when talking to people within the university, not only for Enable but in general day to day work. Is there a realistic way that these can be managed? I’m not sure. These types of projects seem to appear in two diametric conditions, either they are ground root initiatives or they are driven from the very top.