Tag Archives: Change management

Digging a hole with Enterprise Architecture #entarchs

Some Sunday morning rambling & a couple of old Dilbert cartoons which may be pertinent & should at least be a amusing…

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So, you know the scenario. You’re in there with the senior management team & they want an answer to the question: why should we invest in this thing called Enterprise Architecture?

& the answer is: I dunno; or, you tell me; or maybe, you shouldn’t.

Because they are, of course, asking the wrong question. They should be saying: how do we improve our customer experience? Or, how do we reduce the cost of procurement? Or, how do we decide what we could target as shared services? Or…a thousand other critical business questions. To any or all of which EA may be part of the answer.

But you’ve been invited along to a meeting to explain why they need EA. So you’ve come to the wrong meeting.

& because they’re asking the wrong question, you’ll probably have to give them the wrong answer.

& you can’t directly tell them they’re asking the wrong question. Well, go for it if you feel like it. After all, they’re only senior management…

There’s a lot of discussion in EA circles about how exactly do we sell EA to senior management? & the answer is, of course, you don’t.

You don’t sell someone a spade if they don’t know they need to dig a hole. At least, I hope not – don’t want to be in the snake oil business. So senior management need to know what problems EA will solve, or what new opportunities EA can open up – they need to see what bigger better hole they can dig (themselves into?) with this shiny new implement (maybe not the best analogy, then, but you have to start somewhere).

So EA isn’t always the answer – it depends on the question, & you have to make sure the right questions are being asked then you can make sure you have the right answers.

So in that meeting, you need to get them to ask the right questions – ‘I dunno’ may be a pretty good first answer – followed by, you tell me what you need to do, & then I’ll tell you if EA can help you do it. Or, maybe not…because…

If you’re an Enterprise Architect, you might think EA is always the answer, or at least part of it – & I agree, you’re probably right. But the best way to test a hypothesis is to assume that you’re wrong – & maybe the customer doesn’t really need to dig a hole, at least, not until they’ve chopped down that tree. Great thing about EA is, it’s more like a Swiss Army knife than an axe or a spade – but if the customer only wants to dig that hole or chop down that tree, some kind of multitool might seem like overkill. So, find that hole that needs digging, use EA to help it get dug, & then…

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#fote13 Future of Technology in Education 2013

October 11th, Senate House, University of London, for this year’s FOTE. Random commentary:

Morning

Nicola Millard/Customer Experience Futurologist, BT: Clouds, Crowds & Customers. @docnicola. Customers. Students = consumers? The ‘Why can’t everyone be as easy as Amazon?’ syndrome. Critical: reduction of effort in things that have to do but don’t really value. Can we be as easy as Amazon to do business with? What is easy – what is business. Easy: reduce cognitive effort (finding stuff); physical (going places); emotional (frustration); time (ubiquitous impatience). Easy impacts vfm. Omnichannel customers – how do we manage customers who skip around channels. Link app, website, phonecall, email, F2F? How? Crowds. Collaboration – used to be called cheating. Ref: the prosthetic mind. No longer send naughty child to their bedroom, just where they want to be – <but wasn’t that the case years ago? Need to be very clear on what is really new, & what just appears new but fundamentally isn’t…definition of new?> Clouds. F2F can’t be replaced. <but who says it can/should be?> Seeing incredible flexibility in workspaces <but are most people seeing this? Again, have been hearing this for years…>

Alicia Wise/Director of Universal Access, Elsevier: Open Access: Challenges, Possibilities, Future Outlook. Developing business model. Rapid rise in R&D leads to rise in research, need for easy way to get it all out there <paraphrase!> Research = increasingly interdisciplinary; internationally collaborative & mobile; big data intensive.

Gwen Noteborn/Researcher, Maastricht University: Webcasts in Education: Mythbusters! Head of edl@b. Using mediasite/sonic foundry. Video collaboration software…The truth about webcasting! Is knowledge lost in translation? Research found not. Appreciation of/connection to teacher may be. Afraid seems to be just churning out a bunch of research results – most of findings intuitively available anyway. Will online recording replace F2F? No – social aspect. <Well, no, not comparing eggs with eggs, chalk & cheese, apples & pairs & all that – should have learnt from myth of TV replacing cinema – they are different things!>

Q&A: I only have one so far that I really won’t ask – “So, what else is new?”

CIO Fireside Chat. Yousuf Khan/CIO, Hult International Business School (Chair); Adrian Ellison/Director of IT, UWL; Richard Maccabee/Director, ULCC; Heidi Fraser-Krauss/IT Director, York; Cathy Walsh, Principal & CEO, Barking & Dagenham College. RM: trends – tensions between IT & T&L perspectives? HFK: can do technology change, but behavioural change hasn’t happened. <Doing Digital> AE: does Cloud change behaviours? <IT Governance/Weill & Ross – ‘to encourage desirable behaviour in the use of IT’> Staff – have encouraged behavioural change in students without changing themselves. CW: modelling value-based behaviours, senior management walking the talk. HFK: deliver systems, don’t think about what the person at the other end is doing, enough. AE: be sure that you really have senior management (& other) engagement. How do we decide what technology to choose? CW: not about technology. HFK: only interested in what it can do for me, just want it to work. <Useful, usable, & used> What’s exciting? HFK: ease of use. AE: gap between choice of tools/new students & tools in use in HE. HFK: death of email? Can twitter/facebook replace? What can? CW: simplicity & openness. Open access. HFK: easy & just works = requirement. AE: technology & stress. Stress – when delivered without ease of use. RM: factors for success. Formula for change: dissatisfaction with status quo, vision of goal, tangible first step. Advice for changemakers: AD – engagement & communication. SAMO. HFK: the way we see the world isn’t necessarily how recipients of solution see the world – solve their problem, not yours. Shouldn’t assume you know. CW: communication. Don’t just engage with one set of stakeholders. RM: humble & brave; single-minded & flexible. Avoid bunker mentality. Q&A: should we be less flexible? RM: in danger of losing flexibility but need to deliver services. Tricky balance. Innovation: management & staff blame each other for lack of innovation, but technology has changed everything, how do we shift? IT role to tease it out & play it back. <probably management want efficiency & staff want effectiveness> CW: senior management humility, again walk the talk, don’t take themselves too seriously, senior management disconnected = huge blockage.

Afternoon

<insert photograph of woman in blue lycra bodysuit & wig>

Technology in Education – The Case Against/Lindsay Jordan, Senior Lecturer, University of the Arts. The Cup Song from PitchPerfect – wasn’t expecting that…demonstrates how great the internet is for short bite-sized focused bits of learning. Then piano! – not learnt on internet, impossible (?) & also parentally not self-motivated. Some loss when not in an F2F environment. So what’s the difference? With F2F:

  • Space for the purely social. Time off task. Architected social spaces.
  • Forging (forcing) relationships, very hard to hide.
  • Reduced flexibility/reduced choice. Flexibility about when & where do stuff is not always a good thing. How to focus in the age of distraction.
  • Very hard to resolve problems online.
  • Online communication can bring out the worst in people. Lack of presence makes it easy to be a bit rubbish. Alone Together – Sherry Turkle.
  • Eventedness: synchronicity, uniqueness, movement, difference, aesthetics. One night only.
  • Sacrifice/commitment

How do we bring it back? Harvard – SPOCS (Small Private Online Courses) not MOOCS. Interventions in physical world.

Interesting stuff!

Revolution – Include Me!

Martin King/Head of IT services at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (EHWLC). Enabling the disconnected to get online – here comes everybody. Biodiversity versus monoculture – education fosters the latter. Average is not normal. <but Steve Vai is not a great guitarist imho> Anyone can play guitar? Mmmm – yeah, but…anyone can learn how to play guitar, not the same thing. A mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work unless it’s open – Frank Zappa. What happens with technology mediated culture? Exponential effects of network connectivity. Different, anyway!

Research data – bothersome burden or treasure chest? Kevin Ashley/Director, Digital Curation Centre.

Data deluge will oustrip the ability of technology to deal with it. Data must be recoverable to be reused.

A game of two halves – afternoon much more interesting stuff. & that’s me done & off down t’pub…

UCISA 2013 – the Final Day #ucisa13

Mobile learning in the classroom – Mark Howell/Meru. Developments in the school sector. Mobile taking over. Technology permeates the very fabric of the school – it’s in the DNA (Primary School). Smartphone & tablet installed base will overtake PCs this calendar year. Informational ubiquity. Multiple automatically WIFI connected devices per student – will HE WIFI cope? Martini learning – again – how many more times? And so, what? Apparently things will happen that we weren’t expecting. Heavens above.

Idea Street – creating a culture of change – David Cotterill, Cabinet Office. Deputy Director, IT Reform Government Digital Service. Idea Street -project at DWP. 100,000 staff – innovation team with 7 people. 3 great myths about innovation: don’t have time; don’t have resources; don’t have culture. But really all about prioritisation – culture key. Sounds familiar! Drucker: the culture ate the strategy. HR: will help, make innovation an objective in everybody’s performance plans – yeah, that’ll work. Economic and social bargains can be contradictory. Game dynamics are very influential – appointment dynamics, have to be there at certain times to do certain things, Farmville – more users than Twitter, have to obey the game. (Seth Priebatsch). Next dynamic – influence & status, desperate to be Level 10 etc. School is a game, just not very well designed – why not use game dynamics explicitly. Progession dynamic – like LinkedIn, only 85% complete. Great stuff. Another dynamic – voyage of communal discovery. Crowdsourcing approach to promoting innovation. Similar to OpenLivin – create buzz, vote, team etc – idea owners build the team to take the idea forward. Ideas marketplace. Final: people like doing fun stuff; the unit of delivery is the team; start with user needs.

Transformation of public sector services – Mike Bracken/Cabinet Office. Executive Director for Digital Government Digital Service. Spending a lot of time trying to get IT out of the way. What’s exciting is the users, not the IT. Digital by default. Fix publishing. Fix transactions. Go wholesale. Build services like Google & Amazon – iterative, agile, user-focused. How do we usually do it? Start with policy, requirements, development, end with user needs. Now: start with user needs, get it out there quickly – otherwise the world changes while the users are waiting. But: requires a level of user engagement/effort that we don’t usually get? Objective: digital services so good that people prefer to use them. Working on stuff that matters – IT doesn’t, user needs do.

#SCONUL12 Summer Conference 14th June 2012

Made a brief appearance on behalf of UCISA at the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Summer Conference, held at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool, for a panel session on sharing best practice in evaluation strategies – along with Kitty Inglis, University Librarian at Sussex, and Karel Thomas, Executive Director of the British Universities Finance Director’s Group (BUFDG). Plus a surprisingly large – standing room only – and vocal audience, and great chairing from Sara Marsh, SCONUL Vice Chair and Director of Learner Support Services at the University of Bradford.

I expected a rather dry session on what looked like a rather dry subject, but far from it! Each panel member gave their 5 minute view of the area, followed by a surprisingly lively discussion. Following bullet points are the usual vague, inaccurate and repositioned recollection of some of what was said:

  • Kicked off talking about ITIL for Service Management/Evaluation & Programme Management/Benefits Realisation for evaluation of development
  • Projects deliver the capability to do things differently; benefits management tries to make sure that we do do things differently
  • Particular challenge when the benefits have to be realised in changes in ways of working in areas outside of the management control of the project/programme – even more of a problem for JISC programmes where the benefits have to be realised in a different organisation
  • Information services need to be useful, usable and used (thank you JISC) – benefits are in the used part, needs more focus
  • UCISA/SCONUL collect a lot of statistics, but are they the right ones/much use?
  • When we evaluate, are we hard enough on ourselves?
  • Need to look at LEAN – being looked at more in the sector
  • Benchmarking – not enough effort goes into establishing where we’re starting from, which makes it hard to evaluate how far we’ve travelled
  • Strategy maps – important to make sure we retain the connection between institutional level objectives and project/programme outputs (benefits mapping could also be applicable here)
  • Need to get closer to our Finance colleagues – our Finance colleagues need to get out more – investment appraisal, cost benefit analysis and all that stuff needs to be shared venture between Finance, supplier departments and stakeholders
  • Do we make enough use of our suppliers, for their strategic input rather than just the functionality of their products?
  • & finally, pointer to what looks like a very useful report from the US Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) – Value of Academic Libraries Summit White Paper – which I shall read when I get the chance.

So – great session, poor summary from me, looked like a really good conference, and wish I could have stayed…

#AUA12 AUA Conference Day 3 Manchester

Ewart Wooldridge/Leadership Foundation: The Psychological Contract

Should read ‘What Matters Now’ – Gary Hamel.

Aggregate of reciprocal expectations between University & all stakeholders.

New psychological contract – a paradigm shift? Yes, first paradigm shift of the day. Ref Matthew Taylor/RSA & citizenship. Student as customer? Co-creator? Citizen? Comprehensive to differentiated; collaborative to competitive; sector to system; trusted to challenged; certainty to uncertainty.

So what are key leadership issues?

  • Top: handling uncertainty & ambiguity. Yes – building the capacity for change!
  • Challenging inefficiency & reluctance to innovate
  • Being entrepreneurial
  • Making change happen
  • Collaborate AND compete
  • Engagement, creatively
  • Citizenship

Disruptive innovation; unbundling/disaggregation of the value chain = shared services, outsourcing; OER. So, DARE is an example of unbundling, break up of vertical integration. Example: BBC/ITV – have mostly outsourced their core product = making programmes.

10 key things.

  1. Leading the whole student experience. LFHE website: Developing the Whole Student/Dr Kathleen Quinlan. Creating organisational conditions; modelling a meaningful life; leadership of learning
  2. Public & societal engagement. Placing universities at the heart of social & economic advancement (UUK: Futures for HE/Analysing Trends)
  3. Distinctiveness. Components: Narrative Place Values Community Clusters. NPVCC. Dropped vision & mission – 50% of someone or other couldn’t identify their own. Mnemonic – Needs Positive Vice Chancellor Commitment – Oxford Brookes.
  4. Learning from Academic Leadership. Academics don’t see academic leaders as leaders. Academic leadership = oxymoron. I repeat, after all it was leadership that got us into this mess. Must be careful not to fall into traditional approaches to leadership. Listen; nurture; create; stimulate; engage. Quote from academic: ‘I really dislike this concept of leadership’.
  5. Professional vs Academic Leadership. Needs breaking down. No such thing as non-academic – no one should be referred to as what they’re not.
  6. Alignment. ‘For me, it’s more about a job well done & less about the cheese’. Cheese = strategy at end of the maze.
  7. Learning from other sectors. John Lewis; professional services; third sector. Not just private sector; note 58% of FDs now from private sector.
  8. Entrepreneurial leadership. Kanter: Measure themselves not by the standards of the past but by the vision of the future.
  9. New leadership qualities of challenge & support. Meaning, business focused, confidence, balancing support with strong challenge, clear narrative at ‘point of sail’, collaboration, energy.
  10. Discovering the magic in leadership. ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on…’ Yeah, but depends on interpretation – the next bit goes ‘& our little life is rounded with a sleep’.

See new connections; transform the obvious; cross boundaries; use humour; trust & respect.

University answer to man from mars: ‘But we don’t have a leader to take you to’. Might be a good thing…my closing quote: ‘Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters’.

#UCISA12 UCISA Management Conference 2012 Last Day, Last Post

Session1 – A cloud by any other name… Simon Daykin/CTO, Logicalis

Are we ready for cloud? From a technology perspective, yes. Loughborough – totally cloud. Transition to customer centric experience. janet brokerage. Really excited. Put your arms around that experience. Perfect storm. Immersive. iPad6. No longer central service that you can put your arms around. Lot of putting arms around things. Current approach is no longer viable way of delivering IT. Is this telling me anything? Can’t control the endpoint – so don’t try…liberate our services. Put all our services behind the firewall & then…put our arms around them! Should have seen that one coming. The general internet forms a core part of what we do! Noooo! Really? *fake surprised expression* Private cloud – that you need to wrap your arms around! Going forward. What I would say is. You can’t put your arms around a memory, can you put them around a cloud? Wrap them in a security blanket. Mutual authentication & posture. Collaborative & connected. Cool. Know what to do, just need to do it.

IT services in the HE sector: a private sector perspective, James Salmon/CIO, BPP

Global requirements for efficient, fast, standardised IS. Don’t start with technology – start with process! Actually, don’t start with process – start with people. Have to engage people first. People, process & technology – here we go again. We know the ducks, but can we get them in a row?

Review the data, understand the data, be the data…& then be out of here.

 

#UCISA12 UCISA Management Conference 2012 Day 2 Part 1

Session 1: A good student experience in changing times, Ruth Farwell/VC & CEO, Buckinghamshire New University

Introductory video by John Lynch asking students what they use technology for & what their expectations are. Want to connect their own stuff, use University stuff, about as expected. One comment: downloaded University app but useless so dumped…would be interesting to know why.

Ruth Farwell: kicked off with emphasising the heterogeneous nature of the student body. White paper emphasises student focus – but focus may be on regulation, not students. & the Bill may never happen. But irrespective of the outcome, student expectations have been raised, including greater expectation of engagement in the business. Need to develop an ethos of shared action planning & partnership with students.

In these changing times (as opposed to the time when the times didn’t change?) need to consider the proposition that the student experience should be defined by the students. Hmmm. Needs to be mission specific. Mustn’t see students as consumers – HE is both transactional & transformational. Student engagement must permeate all levels – fact that a good relationship exists at a senior level doesn’t mean this necessarily happens.

Impact on sustainable IT service: financial (increased pressure on resources); environmental – maybe high priority for students; & most significantly, human: does this make us more dependent on having the right people & culture, the right mix of skills? That would be a yes. So need our people to engage with technology in a way that enables them to engage with students in the way they want to be engaged with (?) – I think I know what that means! Refocus the IT department on engagement & relationship management, & away from technical infrastructure – services not systems, yet again.