Supporting change through the Strategic Information Practice Group

The Strategic Information Practice Group is available to help universities and colleges become more efficient and effective in how they function across core business and administration, including all aspects of teaching, research and enterprise, and to be able to respond quickly to new opportunities and challenges. The JISC Transformations Programme will be supporting projects through this group, giving them the opportunity to engage in a framework of peer-to-peer support, collaborative working and professional development.

How will the Practice Group provide Support?

The Practice Group is made up of network of trusted peers, and engagement and support is made possible through face-to-face workshops, online social network site and professional development opportunities.

The projects in the Transformation Programme will participate in the Practice Group as part of the support provided by JISC, based on the principle of “learning by doing together”. A key element of that support will be delivered through the use of Action Learning Sets, made up of project staff from different institutions.

Face-to-face workshops

Three workshops are run in each academic year (November, March, June). The workshops to date have provided a useful forum in which to gather, process, create, share and disseminate knowledge and learning across the members of the Practice Group.

Participation in the workshops is chargeable, however two spaces per project will be allocated free of charge. Non project staff are welcome to attend these workshops, at the standard delegate rate.

Complementary workshops

Projects are encouraged to self organise workshops throughout the life of the programme, responding to the common needs of the programme. JISC and its partners, where possible, will assist in the delivery on these workshops.

Social Network Site

This online space allows both staff in projects from the Transformations Programme and the wider Practice Group members to keep in touch and share experiences. Successful bidders will be provided access to this site. Specifically it provides:

  • A place for sharing contact information
  • A space to hold online discussions
  • A place to form a sub-group (e.g. based on problem space or technology)
  • A place to manage events easily
  • A place for linking and sharing relevant resources

As part of the support for the Transformations Programme JISC will be using critical friends and Action Learning Set Facilitators. JISC staff will also:

  • Ensure the Practice Group remains focused on delivering impact and value
  • Perform as cluster leads / Action Learning Set facilitators as a framework for  project peer-to-peer support and live and iterative synthesis
  • Motivate and drive forward the community, helping to get new people engaged and interested
  • Identify staff to act as tutors for the various professional development offerings

Professional Development

Members of the Practice Group will have the opportunity for continued professional development and capacity building in practices around strategic ICT. The demand for professional development in 2011/12AY will be informed by the Transformations Programme activity. Currently, as there has been significant interest, there is an intention to deliver the following opportunities in Enterprise Architecture. However, there may be other opportunities offered during the duration of the initial Transformation Programme.

One Day Introduction to EA
A one day scene-setting workshop to introduce ‘Doing Enterprise Architecture’ in a higher education environment. The objective is to get managers and practitioners up to speed quickly and be able to understand the potential value of EA for their organisation and for their own professional development. It is to be pre-requisite for further EA training. Participation in this one day workshop is chargeable, however two places per project will be allocated free of charge. Additional project staff are welcome to attend, subject to demand, but will be charged the standard delegate rate.

EA Foundations
This professional development programme builds on the success and lessons learnt from the 2010 EA Foundations Programme, and attempts to economise on travel and tutor time and maximise on participant learning. It will continue to have action learning as a method of its core delivery.

Participation is chargeable, however  two places per project will be allocated free of charge. Additional project staff are welcome to attend, subject to demand, but will be charged the standard delegate rate.

Tutors are likely to include members of the Practice Group who have gained practical experience in EA by participating in earlier EA Foundations and thereby possess the expertise to tutor others.

Core Skills Workshops
Topics are yet to be determined and will be sought from the needs of the Practice Group members.

Possible workshops might include:

  • Strategic ICT Toolkit
  • Governance
  • Making the case
  • Managing benefits
  • Modelling