Embedding BCE Workshops: Issues Raised

BCE is a strategic priority for Governments across the UK (see HEFCW policy area as an example) which JISC has been supporting formally for the last five years. JISC recently ran four workshops aimed at staff from across UK Higher Education, Further Education and Skills involved with BCE, highlighting outputs from the Embedding BCE project. The project developed a model that educational establishments could use to review and evaluate the extent to which BCE processes and strategy are embedded within the mainstream activities of their institution. This post aims to highlight some of the main discussion points raised during the workshops and highlight where JISC might be able to support you.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The Wilson Review recently warned: “an ineffective relationship management system carries significant reputational risks” . CRM was a topic discussed at all four of the Embedding BCE workshops and something many of the attendees required help with. JISC can help in the following areas:

Managing Intellectual Assets

Two key issues arose during workshop discussions relating to the management of intellectual assets.

  1. An academics valuation of their research/ideas/knowledge.
  2. The under-exploitation of intellectual assets.

Valuation isn’t an issue JISC have tackled head-on however, the under-exploitation of intellectual assets is. Working closely with Brian McCaul, JISC have rewritten the rule book for Knowledge Transfer (KT).

The KT 2.0 infoKit integrates current innovation theory, modern social media tools and current thinking on market behaviour or motivation, to provide a more effective model of Knowledge Transfer; a model that is capable of delivering more with less. It recognises that organisations don’t have the necessary resources/skills to realise every innovation opportunity, and so focuses on: building a virtual KT organisation; reducing transaction costs; and funding it on a combination of external and incentivised or intrinsically motivated, resource.

Joined Up Systems

It’s an age old problem no matter where you are within an organisation. Silo mentality, guarded information/data, inability to up-scale, IT say ‘no’, and so on. All issues typically arising from disparate systems, applications, and business processes. What if I was to tell you that there was a strategic technique designed to help senior managers achieve business and organisational change, that helps you to understand how your organisation’s information systems, processes, organisational units and people work as a whole and to develop a blueprint for moving to a future desired state?

Well I’m going to; it’s called Enterprise Architecture (EA) and JISC are supporting a range of organisations across UK Higher Education, Further Education and Skills to put it into practice. The problem typically faced by those organisations is that Senior Managers don’t really understand what it is or that it’s not just for the IT department to contend with. The ‘Doing EA’ publication is an interesting read highlighting the journey of three Higher Education Institutions. JISC Emerging Practices is currently providing support to a range of JISC funded projects and is planning a more open event for the sector in the Autumn.

Community Engagement

The perception at the four workshops was that JISC aren’t currently doing a lot in the area of community engagement. That’s probably a fair comment as a lot of the funded projects have tended to focus more on Business Engagement. However, the following might be of interest to those working in this area:

Point of Contact

Getting in touch with the right person at a University/College is still seen as a major problem, something JISC concluded back in 2009. One attendee described how they had employed secret shoppers to call the university so that they could assess responses. Secret shoppers were successful in reaching the right person 10% of the time.

JISC have carried out research in this area, Online Promotion of Research Expertise, and have developed a self-assessment tool to help institutions identify if their use of online channels in communicating information about the expertise of researchers within their organisation meets the needs of both business and wider communities, as well as the researchers themselves.

Stay in Touch

As mentioned in a previous post, you can access a comprehensive list of outputs from the JISC programme via the JISC Advance BCE Team’s high level plan. Their BCE blog provides regular updates on BCE activity across the programme or you can subscribe to the BCE mailing list.

Hanna Miettinen (JISC Netskills) co-authored this post.

1 thought on “Embedding BCE Workshops: Issues Raised

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