Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Project and Change Management Group

Blogging on the train back from Lancaster University reflecting on today's meeting...

I really enjoy being on the UCISA Project and  Change Management Group Committee The group was established in 2013 to look at all things programme and project management and change management within HE. Take a look at the web page for a more precise overview.

The meeting started with a welcome  from our host, Andrew Meikle, Head of Corporate Information Systems who gave an overview of the work at Lancaster University and introduced their very impressive digital vision.

The meeting itself will be formally minuted in due course. In the meantime, I'll share my main highlights. There was a lot of discussion about the use of Agile. Many of us are doing it, but still keen to learn from others. There was some general consensus  that we needed to work with our own institutions to ensure that there is more widespread understanding about Agile and that we work with our developers to continue to support their understanding. One of my thoughts was that ten years ago some of my favourite developers were the people who would meet with me regularly and help me prioritise the system development requests and take the time to understand what my requirements were, so perhaps Agile is also a return to  the "good old days" for some of us... just a thought!

As a group we are keen to continue to publish outputs; the Major Projects Governance Toolkit has been well received both here on the UK and at Educause in the US. We have a couple of other documents that are almost ready for publication. Risk Management will hopefully be the next.

The other main business for the day was preparing for our first event which will be held on 10 June 2015, with the theme of the event being about managing change. We definitely plan to have at least one workshop about Agile.

I really enjoy working in a sector that so readily shares its best practice and is open to discussing the problems and challenges. Similarly I remain impressed that there is recognition that the solutions are complex and rarely does ‘one size fit all’ for different institutions.

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