Skip to main content

Time out: co-mentoring

A year ago I completed a year-long course run by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.  This course brought together 18 IT and library managers from universities across the UK and Ireland, made us look at who we are, what we value and how we work, and then gave us lots of pointers for how to lead our teams and projects more effectively.

This week we all gathered for a reunion and for meetings of our "action learning sets".  These sets are groups who help each other with problems we encounter in our jobs.  Sometimes these are practical problems; sometimes they are about relationships with other people; sometimes we just ask the others to help us understand our own thoughts and feelings.

I'm blogging about this because everyone in my action learning set has found it hugely valuable to have someone we can talk to who will give us their honest response, in an atmosphere of trust.  The fact that we are all from different institutions mean that our reactions are not tinged by concerns about how we will interact outside the group.  This trust allows us to challenge each other as well as to provide mutual support: we don't get an easy ride from the other members.  Our meetings tend to be both intense and exhilirating.

I've found it very worthwhile to have someone I can talk to like this, outside of work and family.  Several other people have also told me that they have benefited from mentors of some form or another.  So if an opportunity arises for anyone reading this blog to get this sort of advice and feedback, I'd definitely recommend that you give it a go.


Popular posts from this blog

A new EA Repository

One of my goals since starting this job two years ago has always been to create a repository for architecture documents.  The idea is to have a central store where people can find information about the University's applications, data sources, business processes, and other architectural information.  This store will make it easier for us to explain our plans, to show the current state of the University's information systems, and to explain what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

It's taken a long time to reach this goal, mainly because we're often had more pressing and immediate work to be done.  The creation of a repository is one of those tasks that is very important but never quite urgent.  So I'm now very happy to say that we are in the process of deploying a repository and modelling tool.

This is the culmination of a careful process to select the most appropriate tool for our needs.  We began by organising several workshops to gather requirements from a rang…

A brief summary of our major initiatives

I notice that in 2016 I wrote 34 posts on this blog.  This is only my fifth post in 2017 and we're already three-quarters of the way through the year.  Either I've suddenly got lazier, or else I've had less time to spend writing here.  As I'm not inclined to think of myself as especially lazy, I'm plumping for the latter explanation.

There really is a lot going on.  The University has several major initiatives under way, many of which need input from the Enterprise Architecture section.

The Service Excellence programme is overhauling (the buzzword is "transforming") our administrative processes for HR, Finance, and Student Administration.  Linked to this is a programme to procure an integrated ERP system to replace the adminstrative IT systems. 

Enabling Digital Transformation is a programme to put the middleware and architecture in place so that we can make our processes "digital first".  We're implementing an API framework, a notification…