JISC Advisory Services Away Day 2009 March 15, 2009Posted by Chris Y in : Events, Updates , add a comment
A key internal JISC audience are the JISC Advisory Services and the 13 Regional Support Centres. Support and understanding from these groups is considered vital to the success of this project as they represent the most visible interface between JISC and its community audience(s).
On the 25th February 2009, the project ran three sessions as part of the Advisory Services Away Day at Coombe Abbey.
These sessions were supported by a handout containing outlines of the 4 Advisory Services projects and an expansion of the discussion themes to be used.
The first activity on the was a plenary presentation by Rob Allen on the BCE Programme, the role the Advisory Services have in its success and how they are collaborating to delivering specific projects within it.
The main session was focused around a series of breakout groups, each considering one of the 4 themes:
- Supporting Institutional Change
- Supporting Collaboration
- Supporting Individuals/Roles
- What we don’t know!
Participants were encouraged to discuss specific aspects of the impact of the BCE Programme on their work and how well positioned they (and their service) might be to provide appropriate support to their community.
It is probably fair to say that at the time of these sessions, penetration of the JISC “BCE agenda” was either limited to those with direct contact to the wider programme or focused on specific aspects of individual service remit. This happily has started to change with time – and the expanding activity of Advisory Services BCE team.
The questions collected from those discussing the final theme, “What we don’t know!” (and from around the conference), were used as the starting point for a FAQ to be used for a trial of the the JISC Answers platform. Unfortunately JISC Answers wasn’t (the answer!) so this FAQ resource will now be fed into the BCE Primer Package that this project hopes to deliver online by the end of 2009.
The overall conclusion drawn from the discussions was that although the Advisory Services were well placed to support the BCE Programme, there was a requirement for further activity to continue the embedding of a new agenda into service strategies. Perhaps more importantly though there was a lower-level need identified to improve individual staff awareness and understanding as Advisory Service resources are cross-mapped for a community audience using “BCE terminology”.
In a final, separate session, a briefing was held for all 13 JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) managers – along with Peter Cleall and Angela Harvey (JISC RCS Liaison). The RSCs were not identified explicitly in the original brief for this project and yet it has always been felt that they have much to offer it (and the BCE Programme as a whole).
The briefing itself (re)aired several recurrent issues about JISC Programme and Service communication with RSCs – all of which are beyond the scope of this project to solve! However the collaborative working amongst the Advisory Services through the BCE programme was seen as a positive step forward and it was agreed by all that it should provide opportunities for more cohesive future co-operation with the RSCs.
Since Coombe Abbey, project engagement with RSCs has involved much, largely positive discussion. This has also led to the participation, at cross-project level, of RSC representatives who have been able to exchange background knowledge and understanding with project and Advisory Service staff.
Photos © John Burke http://www.flickr.com/photos/bispham2/