One of the great things about being a school governor* (and there are a lot of great things) is that I get to learn about things that wouldn’t otherwise come onto my radar. One of these is the new Ofsted education inspection framework. This is important not just because it determines how the inspectors will assess ‘my’ school. But also because it has introduced me to the concept of intent, implementation and impact.
Academic workload modelling is an approach to understanding how members of academic staff spend their time when they are at work, from teaching and research to management, administration, academic citizenship and other activities.
It’s one of those things that universities and other higher education institutions and providers frequently feel that they should be doing, without really being sure why. And when they have a model, they’re not always entirely sure what to do with it.
This is why I’ve written the Sockmonkey Guide to Academic Workload Modelling.
This how-to guide seeks to lift the lid on the workload modelling process, to consider what a workload model can – and cannot – achieve and to explore how an effective workload model can be developed in practice.
It also, critically, looks at how institutions can use their workload models to improve what they do, to be more efficient in how they work and to bring about positive change for their people.
The guide is free to download in PDF form.
I’ve also developed a basic workload model template in Microsoft Excel format, which institutions can use to get a feel for how a model might work. You can download the template here.
I’ve released it under a Creative Commons license, so you can also play around with it and tailor it to your own needs.
And I’ve developed a suite of support packages for individual academic departments, faculties or institutions, too, which help them to design, develop and implement robust workload models. You can read about these packages and how they could help you in this brochure.
Please do let me know if you find the guide and/or the template useful. And if you’d like to discuss workload modelling in more detail, or to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
There’s something about management thinkers and measuring things. They just can’t get enough of it. They have a congenital need to count stuff. In fact, they just don’t seem to be able to get through the day without quantifying something. But there’s a reason for that. It’s because they’re right. Continue reading “On the usefulness of measuring things”
As the end of the year draws closer, our attention turns inevitably to what we want to achieve in the twelve months to come. It might be a personal goal or a professional one. Or perhaps something for our team. Or for the organisation as a whole. But setting ourselves goals and targets might not, it turns out, be the best way to go at all. Continue reading “Think systems, not goals”
When I work with people in the higher education sector, one of the most common things I hear is that universities are different from other types of organisation. The purpose is different. The structure is different. The people are different. Standard ideas of what constitutes good management just don’t apply in the higher education setting, people tell me. But I think they do. And now I have evidence. Continue reading “Good management is important. Even in a university.”