Archive for May 7th, 2010

Friday Mixture

A varied day today – audit, corporate review of IT, budgets, and ISMG.

Started the day briefing TU colleagues about the paper I’ll be releasing next week setting out the final IT Service Delivery Model, and the senior leadership structure. Susan Tallents, who is providing the HR change support to the project, was also there and we had a useful discussion about the principles of ring fencing. This will become important as we move to fill posts in the new service structure, starting obviously with the senior leadership roles. Whilst the discussion wasn’t about determining who would be in that affected group, it did provide usefully pick out some of the issues relating to the principles that will be used to do so.

On to ISMG and a relatively quiet agenda. There were standing items for EGIS and the ‘Information Systems and Technology Strategy’ alongside updates on area annual plans, and on progress from a couple of tenders being worked on at present, amongst other items.

My main afternoon meeting was with the University’s internal auditors, looking at information security and also process compliance. There was quite a lot from that discussion that needs to feed into phase 2 planning for the Corporate Review of IT, and also into how processes and policies from different areas will need to be reviewed and brought together into a single set of policies and practices under the new IT Service.

The last few minutes of the meeting with the auditor reminded me how careers don’t always follow a planned path. We were talking about what we’d hoped we might do, when we were younger. The auditor had wanted to be a professional footballer, and I’d been through a number of potential career routes including joining the RAF or working as a foster parent in a children’s home. Clearly, neither of us were doing what we’d thought we might and neither of us specifically set out to do the jobs we do today.

I talk to some people and they have a career and life plans mapped out years ahead and I used to worry that I was missing something because I haven’t ever had a plan like that. I’ve realised now that you don’t necessarily have to have a plan (though if it works for you great) and that life sometimes doesn’t take you where you expect anyway, so a plan would always need to be flexible enough to respond to things that happen around you.

Final meeting of the day with Bernie Marshall, to discuss financial planning and how the ‘Information Systems and Technology Strategy’ is looking to deliver additional savings and benefits. Having regular meetings with Bernie is really helpful as it means she has a clearer and more detailed picture of what is happening, and I’m able to get some expert finance input from her into things before decisions are largely made.

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