So common as to be a cliché, here are some of my reflections from the last year that I hope will help me process what has been a particularly interesting year professionally.
Training in Power BI. Some people seemed fascinated by my notes so here they are.
Training in ITIL. Lot of notes for 3 days worth of ITIL training.
One for the people in the audience hungry for detail about good tools to do something that will be increasingly important for Universities as they up their competitive games. It was nice to have a meaty talk with plenty of detail about tools alongside how they are important.
Another case study about content. There was a consistent theme emerging of content out of control, lack of expertise across the org added to the very unique needs of such a federated University. Got a big thumbs up from me for the
Big finish for the conference with a cracking talk, ending the conference on a nicely evangelistic note. Also loved the way that it wasn’t just an exhortation, but there were examples of Jenni and her team putting their own advice into practice.
Another good exposition of real world work, and the challenges along the way. Even though there are teams doing lots of similar transformation exercises, there’s always unique little things that come out of these. I particularly liked
Interesting perpectives on this panel. This conference has always been great for having sponsors that are a million miles away from a hard sell, and a few came and gave their advice on how to work with external people. Treating suppliers like people and making some effort to include them in a meaningful way means you actually get more out of the whole relationship. Who knew?
I was looking forward to Gareth’s talk based on the topic and the knowledge that he is one of those strange people that don’t seem to get nervous and actively enjoys public speaking. He didn’t disappoint.
This tour around some great content really got me scribbling down things to go and catch up on, steall and try. Dave even managed to make me reconsider my boredom with Campus shots of Buildings. And the advice about Press Releases was very pertinent.
Andrew’s opening bit about the severe panic attack that he experienced was a great way in to one of the conference highlights. If you saw his talk last year, you’ll understand that Andrew and his team at Dundee have been doing tons of great work, and perhaps this talk showed a little of the personal cost of such demanding work.
Chris and Jane’s talk about the use of customer journeys at Birbeck was a qualiity case study that I enjoyed mainly because it showed just how layered and hard it is to accurately model people’s behaviours onto a pretty unique organisation. It’s a wonder people manage to work this stuff out and make change happen. Birbeck and Headscape seem to have made a pretty good fist of it.
Alison’s talk was a great way to kick off the conference. As a well known and respected leader in multiple Web roles across multiple institutions, her personal insight into the difficulties often come with the territory of making change happen The open admissions that she found presenting hard, introversion challenging and mental health issues hard to talk about really seemed to resonate with the audience.
A very old book in tech terms, but the advice is still strong and sensible. So much so that I’d had absorbed a lot without realising that this was the source. I thought i would take some notes to help me remember the key things.
I’ve recently volunteered to take part in a JISC funded project around developing data dashboards. This blog post is my way of making sense of what I did, how it went and what I learnt. Before I talk about my efforts I need to explain a little about the context. The two organisations supporting this activity are
How I use the TODO.txt ‘system’ to get things done.
I consumed some media this year. I’ve listed some of the things that stood out. I’ll probably consume some more next year.
Took a while to get going, but the second half picked up. Suberbly well thought out and explained setting and great how it all came together. Much like ‘Hothouse’ it struck me as pretty promising film adaption material.
Tom’s talk was a showcase of some of the cracking work that students have created on his watch. He was very generous and explained how much progress the students are making when given the opportunity and a bit of support.
Overview of the thorny issue of creating a collaborative culture. No shortcuts. To get something valuable requires a lot of relationship building.