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.


2 Responses to “Reflecting on learning and practice”

  1. Mike Hamlyn Says:

    Interesting thoughts, Fleur. There is of course a tension between individual Faculties and services having their own strategic plans, but these should all map to the overall University plan, but then making sure all the smaller initiatives join up as well is more of a problem. One of the issues I think is around communication – neither the hobbyists nor the central initiators always let everyone know what they are doing, and the impact that their work might have. How many people in teh institution really know about Enable?

    Enable ought to draw some of these togetehr, but might be in danger of becoming tangled up in the various strands it is trying to follow!

    • fleurc Says:

      You are right Mike, it is a difficult one. Hopefully I tried to handle this with the SMWG presentation on looking around how strategy and portfolio/programme (from P3M3 perspective) management within the university, plus telling everyone I meet about Enable and how it should fit in with work going on around the institution. Communication is the key, and as we move forward with the project we will be attempting to develop communication strands up and down the heirachy – lets just see how what works!

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