The conference was excellent again this year - given the challenges of Brexit, and broader changes to the HE sector it was more upbeat than might have been expected. It seemed that there wasn’t much doom and gloom - instead people seemed to be confident in their abilities to meet the challenges. Mainly by building relationships and collaborating with people across the various organisations
For me, some major take aways -
The Service Design Manual at St Andrews was a practical tool to bring others across the organisation into to help spread good standards and practice. It’s likely that nit everyone needs something as extensive, but stating the teams’ opinions and decision so clearly in the open can only be good.
More broadly, thinking of threats as opportunities has been covered many times over the years, but the current climate really puts that to the test. Being optimistic at the start of what might be pretty difficult years ahead seems to me to be crucial.
I had so many good conversations with people in other Universities, seeing that we are ahead in some areas, behind in others. It’s been discussed before that the current state of HE might lead to some kind of contraction of the community around University Web teams, as people seek to gain some kind competitive advantage by discovering some killer technique or idea and not sharing it. This conference confirms to me what a wrong headed idea that would be.
Digital transformation was again on the agenda, but with people at very different stages and different approaches to make it work for them, neatly summarised by Stratos from Edinburgh -
Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture