PSOM update from Richard Calvert

​Now that we are a few weeks into the New Year, I’d like to give an update on the Professional Services Operating Model, and in particular to set out what you can expect over the coming weeks and months.

Since the all staff sessions in October, our focus has been on applying the new Operating Model principles – which we set out in those sessions – to specific areas of professional service activity. This first wave of projects has included our student support services, including employability and careers; the support that we provide through our academic services for course development and delivery; our business engagement and commercialisation agenda; and the way in which we use insight and intelligence to support leadership and decision making across the University. These four areas are all critical to delivery of the University strategy, and represent a significant proportion of our professional service workforce. As part of the Hallam Deal we are also developing the professional service career offer, which is a critical part of the new operating model.

Many of you will have been involved in workshops or other discussions, particularly if you work in the areas covered by the first wave of projects. However if you don’t work in these areas, the last few months may have felt quite quiet on the operating model front. In either case, it is important to share progress and next steps.

So where are we up to, and what happens next?

First, a quick reminder of the context. We have been clear from the start of the PSOM work that this is first and foremost about designing a professional service model which matches the ambition set out in our university strategy – Transforming Lives. That means putting the user at the heart of our service design and delivery, using technology better, simplifying and joining up our work so that we operate consistently as “one university”, and investing more in our people and capability. It also means looking for opportunities to be more efficient; and as I’ve said on a number of occasions, I do expect that by the end of the programme we will not only be delivering higher quality services, but also that we will overall be a smaller and lower cost professional service.

In line with this set of design principles, the project teams will be setting out their proposed approach for each service area by the end of January. We will then be sharing these with you during the course of February and early March. While we will maintain our design principles, we do want to hear your feedback on how these have been applied. We will also then need to move quickly into finalising the design, and gearing up for the transition to the new model. For this first wave of projects, our aim is to have completed the transition for the start of the new academic year.

At the same time we will be starting work on a second wave of projects, which is likely to include the remaining areas of activity within student and academic services, as well as some new areas.

I recognise that this is a time of uncertainty, particularly for those working in areas covered by the first projects. However, I also know that there is much about our current ways of working which frustrates you, and which you believe we can do better; and that there is huge commitment across professional services to delivering the best possible service for our students and academic colleagues.

So thank you for your engagement so far, and we will come back to you over the next few weeks with further details and invitations to staff briefing sessions. If you have any questions in the meantime, please discuss with your line manager, or contact the PSOM team.


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