Saturday, 16 December 2017

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #6

Update from week six

  • Sunday and Monday brought us lots of challenging weather so didn't travel to Wolverhampton as planned first thing Monday morning.  Spent time on a variety of admin activity - it was useful to catch up on  some of the things in my "to do list".  Since week one I have found myself in meeting after meeting and limited time to do any of the actions that I have agreed!  Just one of these which has been rumbling around is SAMS maintenance - now all sorted.
  • There was a "P1" incident Tuesday morning due to another power interruption affecting one of our server rooms. We will make sure a lessons learned report is produced and any actions identified and allocated.
  • Got up to speed with recent work on "lead nurturing systems" which had involved two workshops.  Arranged next workshop for mid-January and a pre-session with those involved from IT.
  • Held a number of  "account management" meetings this week:  made introductions and a very positive meeting with Strategic Planning; spent a couple of hours with External Relations on the list of outstanding issues - all now being picked up;  met with Purchasing about the upcoming contract reviews and those in progress.
  • Met with Ultimedia who had been involved in an Estates/IT workshop in the Summer about requirements for content management system.  Agreed follow up actions which will be picked up with Estates in the New Year.
  • A very positive meeting with Estates and Facilities colleagues. An extensive list of follow-up actions was circulated for review and comment.
  • After the JISC learner analytics meeting followed up with our JISC account manager and among other things discussed getting some outline costings for potentially moving/upgrading the core network.  The standard lead time is maximum five months from placing orders which is worth knowing - probably longest lead time items.  We also followed up about accessing further information about the JISC Shared Data Centre with our internal legal and procurement people - next steps agreed as this is not yet completed.

Good News Stories
  • Estates and DAS discussing and agreeing responsibilities for Server Room infrastructure.
  • Night out at Slaters to celebrate Christmas and a successful Christmas Jumper day for charity.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #5

Brief update from week five

  • Learned about a major African research project currently based in the Congo and met with the academic lead about hosting and "on premise" alternatives.
  • Met with local support teams and toured Telford and Walsall campuses.  Circulated short follow-up notes and took some photos.  Key issues raised by teams were staffing levels to provide professional service and AV support issues.   We noted potential for front of house "face to face" support provision for students (and staff).
  • Attended Cyber Security Centre Project Board and exciting £9M new build project in Hereford.  IT team has been actively involved in verifying and agreeing the numbers which are audit tracked.  Good to be involved early on in such a development.
  • Tender for AV next steps in progress with colleagues in Purchasing.  Various options under consideration with advice from external expertise.
  • Organised the Panopto Working Group on technical workstream - some great feedback from the team including those directly involved with the roll-out.  Notes circulated and next steps agreed to feed into Panopto Project board.
  • Organised useful Logicalis account management meeting.
  • DAS IT managers inaugural meeting covered a number of areas - meeting weekly from the start of the New Year.
  • Completed review of IT elements of the DAS risk register.
  • Introductory meeting with Schools Liaison including integration requests relating to systems in this area and tableau reporting.
  • Attended Tableau Implementation meeting with Planning and IT.

Good News Stories
  • DAS Leadership Team workshop - number of positive and specific outcomes.
  • No P1 major incidents in first week December.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #4

Brief Update from Week Four

  • Cascaded briefings from Leadership Team meeting.
  • Attended first DAS Exec meeting - good discussions on change management and service management system project as well as process for taking forward discussions on new DAS structures.
  • Met up with SUMS consultants ahead of initial workshop on Digital Strategy exercise
  • Discussed KX (catering/accommodation) system improvements and agreed action plan
  • Organised briefing session with Faculty IT  and set up team leader meetings from New Year along with others who have IT related responsibilities.
  • Involved in review of Library Platform award and procurement process.
  • Undertook a detailed review of project and program management observations presented by Faithful & Gould  as part of scope of works.
  • Ran a budget review event with Finance and allocated primary and secondary budget holders for all IT related budgets - next step is monthly budget profiling.
  • The team completed a review of capital investment projects (16/17 funding).
  • Attempted to understand some more about the FLEFTwatch research project ahead of audio conference with academic leaders next Tuesday.
  • Involved in several escalation discussions to resolve internal issues with services.
Good News Stories
  • Christmas drinks event at Slaters arranged (Wednesday December 13th).
  • Obtained GDPR Foundation qualification.
  • No P1 major incidents in November and survived major power outage and subsequent interruptions to resolve power issues, without any significant IT service disruption.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #3

Some brief highlights from this week include:
  • The NDNA mini competition tender document was issued at the start of the week. 
  • We are continuing to review the IT operational plan for 17/18 and will be bringing it all together in a team meeting shortly which has been scheduled. 
  • Set up date for lessons learned activity for Summer AV installation program and held further weekly review of progress with PMs. 
  • Set up a review session ahead of Christmas break for the major incident process which includes lessons learned from previous exercise. 
  • During this week dealt with a number of HR related matters. 
  • Provided IT sign off to Cyber Security Centre project team meeting after face to face review with academic sponsors, Estates and IT. Further work subsequently taking place on network pricing and clarifying revenue versus capital items. All in good shape for next Project Board. 
  • Interesting meeting with Wolverhampton City Council about a bid for new capital funding related to "Smart Cities" and city centre high speed broadband. Will be a very competitive national process - may need letter of support at some point. 
  • Attended GDPR foundation course which includes training materials for potential future briefing process. 
  • Planning to start on Christmas Jumper Day and a team night out before Christmas - watch this space and hold the date (December 13th provisionally).
    Good News Stories
    • Digital Strategy Committee went ahead with a full agenda, good attendance and engaged members - good stuff. 
    • No P1 major incidents so far in November.

      Friday, 17 November 2017

      Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #2

      Some of the things that I have been doing during this week:

      • Spent time with the team, individually and in small groups, to reach a decision on how we would handle departure of a senior colleague and handover. Communicated outcome through face to face meetings, DAS newsletter and prepared individual letters.
      • Briefly discussed MI Data Centre migration and obtained a timeline for planning purposes (ideally space vacated and refurbed for Sept 2018).  Started to think about options - and arranged onsite meeting with potential partner.
      • Attended half day workshop on Problem Management and Knowledge Management and contributed to identification of next steps.
      • Met with Timetabling project manager for a briefing on the timetabling project – aim is for fully personalised timetabling for Sept 2019 and online room booking by Sept 2018. This involves a major  "four version" upgrade to the CMIS system and investigations about CMIS GO which is a new web portal product.
      • Met with Business Analyst to understand role and recent activity – briefed on mobile phone review and views on broader BPM opportunities.
      • Helped with review and feedback on the Current Research Information System (CRIS) business case.
      • Completed first two elements of the review of IT operational plan. A number of key risks highlighted with respect to investment.
      • Briefed on FLEGT rainforest research project and potential costing which has been prepared for hosting on-premise. Organised a follow up with lead researchers in early December.
      • Sorted out commitment to refuel and service for the MX (and MI) diesel generators in time for Christmas/New Year break.
      • Weekly update on AV project with project management team and also reviewed contract paperwork, scope of works and organised follow up next week to review.
      • Briefing meeting with IT and Purchasing on the NDNA procurement of desktop and laptop computers.

      Good News Stories that have already been communicated:

      • Successful launch of new University managed Apple Mac platform (November 1st)
      • Successful launch of new guest wi-fi network (November 2nd)
      • Successful launch of Panopto through Apps Anywhere delivery on and off campus (November 10th)
      • No P1 major incidents so far in November – confirmed 3 P1s since April 2017.

      Thursday, 16 November 2017

      Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #1

      It has been a tremendous pleasure to return to the University to such a friendly team with so much experience of the University and its operations. Thank you for making me feel so welcome second time around.

      My primary objectives for the next six months are:
      • Line Management for a number of permanent roles which report directly. 
      • Management of a number of short-term contract staff, including two Business Analysts, and two Project Managers from Faithfull and Gould
      • Oversight of operational plan delivery
      • Oversight of the IT operational budget
      • Membership of a number of groups and committees, including: Change Advisory Board, Digital Strategy Board, IT task and finish group, Information Security Board etc
      • Membership of DAS Executive, contribution to DAS plans, and maintenance of Business As Usual

      During my first week there have been a number of formal and informal opportunities to meet with people and begin to get up to speed with just some of the recent activities. Among other things, I was involved with:
      • A TRIBAL briefing on future system strategy – I prepared and shared a briefing note and organised a follow up with the SITS Team in Registry.
      • Attended DAS Leadership team meeting – emphasis on carrying on as planned, line management changes relate only to recent departures.
      • Met with IT management team both as a team and in brief individual 1-2-1 sessions
      • Developed and discussed viable options and consulted on line management plans for upcoming departure of senior IT manager.
      • Organised a handover meeting and process to document outstanding tasks in progress
      • Kicked off piece of work by IT managers on review of the current IT operational plan – specifically any projects that are “at risk”.
      • Attended Panopto Project Board – some very positive feedback on Summer progress.
      • Delegated and followed up on PwC penetration test paperwork
      • AV supplier – both pre-meeting and face-to-face meeting with Directors. Successful outcome including resolution of all significant outstanding snags.
      • Arranged to hold weekly review meetings with IT managers and on alternate weeks extend invitation to others involved in IT who report elsewhere - this schedule will commence from January.

      Thursday, 30 March 2017

      Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #21

      Here is my final update as the contract at Wolverhampton successfully ends.

      This week I have been making sure that there are no loose ends and handing over various things that are in progress.  Therefore quite a few meetings and conversations with colleagues in the Directorate and beyond.

      I will continue to be available over the coming weeks and months for any follow-ups that are needed.

      I plan to return at the end of April in a personal capacity for the JISC/UCISA digital strategy forum, and the agenda includes an update on the University Digital Strategy.

      During this week I have also:
      • Provided feedback on the Nexus sessions for the DAS newsletter
      • Prepared input for the monthly DAS highlights (based on scrum meetings among other things)
      • Followed up the regional get-together with Birmingham City University, which has proposed a joined up IT and Library approach
      • Met with Purchasing ref partnership landscape
      • Met with an academic colleague regarding his Professional Doctorate thesis (absolutely fascinating regarding Digital Campus and future strategy)
      • Invited Wolverhampton City Council to speak at the UCISA digital strategy forum on its digital journey
      I have also provided a summary of my 90 days at the University with a personal reflection on the original objectives.

      I will next be back at Wolverhampton University on April 28th for the Digital Strategy Forum.
      It has been a great opportunity to work with new colleagues and create new friends.