What happened to "this is a quiet week for once"?

So, it’s Thursday and the only reason I’m able to blog this is because I’m at HBP today and not in endless meetings.

This week was supposed to be a quiet one, where I could do some thinking following the consultation closing last week, and to catch up on all the things that were held over whilst the consulation was happening.

However, it doesn’t seem to have quite worked like that.

Two major areas absorbing time are annual planning, and preparing for Executive Group: Information Strategy (EGIS).

We’ve been working through our Revenue non-pay budget to ensure we can meet all our needs and cover our costs. That’s gone well but has been a lot of work particularly for Mark Lee, Laurie Nicholls, Nigel Williamson, as well as their respective teams, Kath Burgess and Bernie Marshall (previously Senior) in Finance, who have had to pick through all the figures.

We were also asked to pull together a 10-year Capital plan, which has been very worthwhile but again a huge amount of work for all concerned. Mark and Nigel have reasonably mature capital plans for their areas of spend already so it was mostly about ensuring it was up to date, that new capital lifecycles (such as the move to 5-years for PCs) are factored in, and to build Faculty and Departmental requirements in as well. For Laurie it was more complex as she has had to attempt for the 1st time ever, so far as I am aware, to chart where we might be doing reviews of major corporate applications. A very interesting picture emerging and it will be refined year on year of course.

The EGIS work is about presenting the group with sufficient information for them to have a picture of all that’s going through the Portfolio Strategy groups at the moment, and then to build on that with requests that are coming up in other areas of the University’s business planning. Tracey Holland and her team have been doing some interesting work to produce diagrams to map projects underway comparative to each other based on timescales, priority (as set by the relevant Portfolio Strategy Group) and resourcing. They look deceptively simple but we’re hoping EGIS will find the diagram approach helpful in begining to rank projects.

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