Sunday, 8 July 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #29

Weekly Update


  • Our new IT Director started at the University this week - we were able to get together on a number of occasions including a tour of MI Building server room and a couple of handover sessions.  I have produced some materials, and from this week we agreed that any new requests coming to me, would be forwarded as part of our handover.
  • The air conditioning systems remained operational and temperatures stable at 23-24 degrees all week despite the heatwave continuing.  Over the weekend the temporary backup units were turned back on for further resilience.
  • Held further 1-2-1s with team members this week including a morning at Telford campus.
  • Offer made and accepted for one of the BA posts.
  • We held a final scrum meeting.  Notes were circulated:
    • Update provided on MI air conditioning status and next steps.  Estates are progressing short term and medium term actions - we await updates.
    • Photos of air con screening on roof/balcony circulated
    • Hold The Date - July 11th after work - for potential departure event(s) we have 8 staff leaving including MARS before end July.
    • Received resignation last week from a second line support team member.
    • Nominations have gone into HR/OD for the Future Leaders programme
    • Feedback from GDPR Working Group meeting - various actions on Egress in progress. Noted that the system integration query is also a strand on the IT Action Plan and fits with Enterprise Architecture approach.  Discussion on USB and external hard drive encryption.
    • New process for reporting breaches requires test and sign off this week ahead of all staff comms
    • Noted SOABE/Springfield update and meeting on AV/IT program - Salford exemplar (virtual Chernobyl?)
    • Involvement requested in e-portfolio project.
  • Shadow IT workshop took place with FOSS. We have one more Faculty to go (Arts).
  • Held a meeting to brief the team on Modern.Gov implementation and provided paper and electronic copies of all supplier documentation relating to the set-up and training stages.
  • Attended the SUMO event with the rest of the DAS team - very enjoyable and useful session as well as a relaxed and informal way to meet others in the team.

Good News

  • No P1s
  • We survived the hot weather with no interruption of service.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #28

Weekly Update

  • Major issues this week with air conditioning units in MI building precipitated by the unusually prolonged and hot weather in excess of 30 degrees.  A unit failed on Monday and then a second unit on Tuesday overnight (20:30 temperature alert at 35 degrees ambient).  We had engineers called out of hours and IT staff attended on-site until after midnight.  Although a temporary fix was applied failures continued and we were running on one unit with hired units brought in for the second half of the week.  I sent daily updates as Major Incident Contact.  By Friday morning, OVC alerted to the serious nature of the situation.  We left for the weekend with all three units working by 18:00 and Ino further temperature alerts since then.  We led on a business continuity exercise for services which might have to be switched off and scenario planning for a closed MI room.  Estates have taken on the day-to-day management of air conditioning options including short term (hire of extra capacity and fix of current issues) as well as new incremental capacity for MI and MX as soon as practicable.  MX air con only had only alarm failure this week but those units are now beyond expected service life.
  • In other news.....
  • Attended Digital Strategy Committee along
  • Held further 1-2-1s with team members this week
  • Proposed nominations for the Future Leaders activity.
  • interviews held for 2 Business Analyst posts.
  • Met later in week with Planning to deal with isystem upgrades and process for identifying new features and timelines etc (both Business Objects and Tableau)
  • We held a scrum meeting dominated by updates on air con, and also a second IT Leadership Team meeting.
  • Met with Head of Computer Science to deal with requests - believe that we found a way forward for dealing with requests.
  • Attended GDPR working Group.  Internal Audit for GDPR now under way.

Good News

  • We survived the hot weather with no interruption of service.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #27

Weekly Update.


  • New finance rules came into effect this week for certain orders requiring relevant member of VCAG to sign off.
  • Weekend confirmed for pre-clearing telephone system upgrade (July 14th)
  • Various 1-2-1's with direct reports this week - continued 1-2-1 meetings with rest of team 
  • ServiceNow Project Board met as planned - notes to be written up
  • Met with External Relations aand sent round action notes as usual.
  • Kick-Off meeting took place with Modern.Gov with a good set of documentation and agreed as UoW Project Manager.
  • Supported further reviews of CRIS contract paperwork - been very challenging to get over the line.  Also met with Purchasing for quarterly review of purchasing activity (covered this).
  • Scrum meeting notes from this week's meeting:
    • The AV summer program got under way this week - so far, so good - 2 rooms city, 1 at Walsall now under way
    • We have a representatve attending ProcessFix training event this week Thursday.
    • Testing of GDPR incident reporting via ServiceNow (portal) later this week - need to report within 72 hours target if necessary.
    • Modern.Gov kick off meeting has taken place - detailed documentation and requirements from various people.
    • Alerted to potential website redesign - copy of report subsequently sent on in pdf format.
    • 2nd July start date for DC comms and engagement officer.
    • Trying to get contact name from Council for Verto PM tool they use.
    • A number of tentative and nil responses for SUMO event - need to know for catering numbers - managers asked to chase up
    • Interviewing  for BA roles next week
    • Interviewing candidates for IT Support Role
    • Project resource issues going to Digital Strategy Committee - not just DC but IT generally.
    • Business case for job share for Project Support is in progress.
    • Phishing prevention better than cure. Some good ideas around targeted and general comms, new package available for LearnUpon (needs customising - propose getting a price), student welcome/induction process, possibility of managed attack with follow-ups.

Good News

  • No P1's this week

Monday, 18 June 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #26

Weekly Update


  • Dealt with queries about ServiceNow licensing and on the agenda for next week's project board meeting (checking licence number and budget transfers etc)
  • Software2 package training is now scheduled for 30th July - involving Faculty technical staff in training program (with commitment to help with packaging over Summer).
  • Scrum meeting notes from this week's meeting:
    • Agresso leave module now demo'd to User Group.  Positive feedback - system on track to be available from August 1st.
    • Next steps are building dashboard for absence reporting in system, setting system data up so line managers can sign off and approve, and checking individual staff work schedules.
    • Policy will probably change ref leave carry forward rules in 18/19 to allow transition to the new system - proposal is 6 months (versus 2 months).
    • Personal webspace (perswww) is going to be retired from end of month - everyone has a default "mywebs" folder which will be withdrawn - no data will be lost.  Potential for DP breaches is key driver - lots of out of date infomration some of it potentially personal.
    • Digital Capabilities survey extended to 31/7 - recommended that we all participate if we haven't already and cascade within teams.
    • Data Centre access policy is now drafted - ready to circulate for comments as may impact others eg estates and facilities
    • Shadow IT workshops are ongoing to end July
    • Changes will be happening to the sign on process to enable automated password re-set using a mobile phone number (opt in approach).  Will also deliver an upgrade to security (upgrading FIM) and better ability to manage password changing including out of hours.
  • Usual 1-2-1s this week.  Resolved procurement for Modern.Gov and Tableau through software licences budget.
  • Held second IT Health and Safety Committee to review the action plan - a number of actions have taken place to reduce perceived risk.
  • Chaired first IT leadership team meeting - there will be all staff briefing process put in place.
  • Handover meetings arranged with AV supplier and plan in place over next three weeks during staff annual leave.  Work starts Monday in Walsall (one room) and City (two rooms).

Good News

  • Positive meeting with Strategic Planning - they are currently happy with our progress.
  • Positive meetings with new IT Director.
  • No P1's this week.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #25

Weekly Update 

  • Prepared interim report on shadow IT workshops for end of week.
  • SOABE/Springfield project Board preparation and meeting on Monday ref IT and AV. Project Board established working group to work through options and make recommendations.
  • Continued with series of "all staff" 1-2-1 meetings during the week.
  • Arranged meeting with Apprenticeship Hub ref process reviews.
  • Attended Deans Advisory Group at Walsall (Arts) and presented proposal for benchmarking exercise which was agreed.  Took away actions regarding ArtsFest, school visits and AV for MK045 (all progressed and reported back).
  • Monthly Trade Union meeting this week - no IT issues to report.
  • Scrum meeting notes from this week's meeting:
    • Interim PA Duties organised.
    • Setting up IT leadership team meetings - 90 mins every 2 weeks. First meeting will be setting up membership and ToR etc
    • Noted that standard PCs will be shipping with SSDs - Agreed to organise positive staff comms about this (investing a bit more in faster and reliable kit).
    • Noted issues about legacy IT web presence - is there an option to bring in a grad intern to help with this?
    • Demo of Agresso solution for planned/unplanned absence to the user reps.
    • Working on annual Faculty software renewals - 2 completed, 2 to go
    • Working on DPA breach process using servicenow to manage the 72 hour time limit for reporting
    • KPMG audit - may also pick up closure of staff accounts (flagged up in GDPR action plan) - work now under way to mitigate
    • Picking up issue of microsites (relates to Greenwich experience).
    • Job advert for replacement Timetabling Project Manager has been advertised.
    • Interviewing Friday for DC Marketing and Comms post
    • Taking a University approach to procuring a project/program support tool (SPG, E&F etc) - need to make sure it can deal with resourcing and modelling requirements
    • CMIS Go infrastructure and application has been installed on schedule (timetabling)
    • Concerns about capacity to deliver Finance interfaces to DLP - escalated to Finance and with project sponsor
    • DLP testing is well under way using a new automated tool.
    • Event on Friday July 6th (SUMO) hold the date
    • Noted upgrades to everyone's email capacity - action to organise positive staff comms (comment that we don't do enough of this when there are major service improvements)
    • Telephone upgrade (ahead of clearing) scheduled for weekend of July 14th
    • Request for Minecraft for SciFest in progress
    • Self-service password reset ready to be launched from June 18th - comms going out this week/next week to different customers affected.  Major service improvement - over 4k servicedesk requests in last year relating to password resets.
    • Finally, BA post has been shortlisted with date to be set early July for interview process.  There has been an excellent response to the support analyst role now being shortlisted.
  • Usual 1-2-1s this week with direct reports.
  • Organised a couple of meetings on "non-standard" software purchase process and dealing with staff IT account closure.  Actions agreed and circulated.  Circulated CAB meeting notes to attendees prior to wider circulation.
  • Completed JISC Digital Capabilities survey - useful instrument encouraging others to participate.

Good News

  • The six connected screens in MC building entrance were connected to new digital signage solution and launched with Faculty of Arts content in time for ArtsFest and Degree Shows.
  • Successfully completed all staff mandatory training course - attempted to print certificates (some were blank - reported back to OD).
  • No P1's this week.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #24

Weekly Update.

  • First two "shadow IT" workshops held with Finance/HR and Estates.
  • Organised Panopto working group meeting and circulated action notes.
  • Attended workshop session to kick-off the Office365 business case activity which is now in progress with aim to complete business case by end July for approvals.
  • Further meetings ref DAS GDPR action plan assigning follow-up tasks and timeline.
  • Organised DropBox account meeting to understand current usage within the University.  Current annual recurrent costs are modest however there is also "free" use which is being monitored.
  • No scrum meeting this week.
  • Met with F&G discuss phased transition during July. Next step is to complete outstanding paperwork.
  • Several 1-2-1s this week with direct reports.
  • Attended Agresso Programme Board - significant resourcing issues remain to complete planned activity other than mandatory/compliance related.  Good progress reported on absence management development within Agresso however, raised potential concerns about functionality versus Replicon.
  • Completed on-line GDPR and Fire Safety training this week.

Good News

  • Diesel Generator Fixed ahead of Bank Holiday weekend.
  • Order placed by Estates for UPS system for installation before end July (16/17 capital program).
  • No P1's this week - one MIC escalation early on Thursday morning due to unavailability of network link to Hereford  - resolved quickly when power restored (power had tripped out in comms room).

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #23

Weekly Update.


  • Diesel Generator "at risk" - this issue is ongoing for MI Building - replacement standby generator in place and hooked up but requires manual start.  Estates providing daily update on request.
  • Setting up the remaining Shadow IT workshops and the rest of the 1-2-1's with the support team members.  Also held further 1-2-1 meetings during the week as usual with direct reports.
  • Scrum meeting notes from 16/5:
  1. In order to use the Estates Helpdesk system you need to Register first - different username/password required.  Not the same as HR/IT and ServiceNow.
  2. Discussion about the background to Estates Helpdesk system.
  3. It has been agreed that all teaching spaces should be managed/booked centrally through new timetabling approach. This will likely have impact on expectations ref funding of spaces (e.g. AV).
  4. Noted Meeting Management system and decision to pilot/parallel run in September for CMT and Governors.
  5. Big changes may be coming for Adobe licensing next year - no panic though for next 12 months
  6. Shortlisting for the engagement and comms role
  7. Feedback to HR ref shortlisting grid
  8. Web App Developer post not filled

  • Attended the Tribal Account management meeting with Student Registry team - updated on GDPR, HESA Data Futures, Curriculum manager and Dashboards/reporting capability.  Roadmap for product which will be presented at next month's SITS conference - includes new product called Edge.
  • Put together IT budget materials for 18/19.
  • Reviewed the new draft of  the IT Acceptable Use Policy .
  • Completed P1 incident report for recent network/power interruption.
  • Chaired CAB meeting and obtained agreement to proposed approach for standard changes, non-standard changes and emergency changes.  There is a need to clarify DAS business changes process going forward.

Good News

  • SOABE/Springfield - positive meetingref using the UX training and techniques which DAS organised to apply to the project.  We also had a very positive meeting with Estates preparing the IT related strategy for network (local area and wide area) for the Tender
  • No P1's this week.