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New office plans

We have a date for our move to new offices.  On April 18th, most of Applications Division will be moving from Old College to two refurbished floors above the Moray House Library, between Holyrood House and the Royal Mile.  The new space will be better equipped than our rather dated offices and will even include a staff room where people can eat their lunch, a luxury that we currently lack.

The planning has reached an advanced stage.  Last week we reviewed the specs for the audio-visual kit.  Our new meeting rooms will have wall-mounted display screens, which will make a pleasant change from having to book and set up our portable data projector.  We will also be able to use the displays to join video conferencing calls using Collaborate or Skype.

In addition, we will have wall-mounted displays in some of the team areas.  In Development Services, we will use these to show live database and system monitoring, which will help us visualise the behaviour of our servers.  We will also display project information such as burndown charts for Agile projects.

We also checked the furniture manifests.  When we first started to plan this move, the Estates and Buildings unit suggested we move all staff to small desks and sit them in long rows.  This does not work well for development staff: most of my staff have two screen on their desks plus notes and reference books, and they need quiet in which to think.  Fortunately we settled that discussion several months ago.

The last piece of the puzzle is the arrangement for the day of the move itself.  We've been told that we should pack up the day before and come in the day after; the removal company won't want us getting in the way on the actual day.  So we are planning how to use this time.  We may set up team away days or training sessions - these are still to be decided.

Overall, the new offices should be much better equipped.  A bonus for Development Services is that we will all be on the same floor, except for our members of the Student Systems Partnership who are colocated with their counterparts from the Academic Registry.   This will be an improvement from our current situation in which each of my teams is in a different room, on different floors, separated by swipe-card-controlled doors.  The location won't be as grand as Old College and I have yet to work out my cycle route from home but once we're inside the facilities should be much improved.

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