Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why can't we all get along?

UoL Computer Centre Yesterday I (and a bunch of other people) attended a consultative meeting organized by UoL IT Services to discuss ... well, I don't feel I should publicize what was discussed at this stage, not because it's particularly secret, just out of courtesy. (It's really not a big secret, if you buy me a coffee, I'll tell you about it :-)

Yes, I'm being nice about IT Services. It's true that in the past I have occasionally had somewhat negative feelings about my colleagues in the pointy house, but the truth is I've always respected them as hardworking individuals even when I've disagreed with official policy.

After we finished our discussions about the stuff I'm not going to tell you about, the meeting turned to future plans, spending limits and how to persuade senior management budget holders to do the right thing. Turns out the academic staff present were only too willing to work closely with ITS to get to where we both want to be. Turns out, we're not in competition with each other and have many shared interests. Turns out that we both get more out of working together than we do by being locked in entrenched positions.

It may be that the time-honoured dept reps system has had its day at UoL, and that there's a lot more traction (for both sides) to be had from IT Services working with interested stakeholders rather than people who, in some cases, may be doing something because they've been told to do it by their head of department rather than because they have any particular interest. It could be that there are interesting times ahead. Fingers crossed.