Jisc has been going through changes; new staff, structures and ways of working have all had an impact on the way we feel and behave. It’s been really easy to feel negative about some changes. For me personally the sense of losing the team that we have, Organisations and User Technologies, even though we were a disparate group has been hard. Then there was the announcement that we were no longer going to do programmes, as a programme manager that was really a bit of a shock.
But the structure and the way we are going to work is starting to clarify. We recently had letters telling us that rather than Programme Managers there would be a new role called Co-design Manager. I have an idea of what co-design is, it’s similar to work we did when designing projects in partnership with HEIs in the Users and Innovation Programme. And I still have the word manager in my job title – I guess that means that under the new structure I’ll be working with institutions to design interventions that meet their needs. There is some information about the co-design approach here, and more information will be coming out soon.
Beyond that Sarah Davies and I are working up a project under the co-design principles to work with institutions around the digital student experience, and using the approach that we developed with our experiences on the Changing Learning Landscape programme (Jointly with the LFHE).
In addition Jisc have allowed me to take on a part-time role as the Yorkshire, Humberside and North East Regional Coordinator for the Leadership Foundation. This is only 18 days per year, but it means I’ll be talking and working with University Management Teams about their needs and aspirations, bringing an obvious synergy with my work at Jisc.
At Jisc at the moment it would be unfair to say that it is business as usual, but in many ways, if you remove the idea of programmes and look at the new models of working more directly with partners and institutions, then actually I think I may enjoy it more than having large portfolios of institutionally owned projects, giving me a chance to work more directly with staff in the sector and seeing impact first hand. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but from my perspective the vision is clearing, and I can see how I’ll be working. So watch this space, and keep an eye the Jisc website for opportunities to work with me and my new (old) colleagues in our new roles.