Learn how academic workload modelling can work for you

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.

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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.

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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.

Decision time

We make thousands of decisions each day. Some are fairly trivial, but others have signficant and far-reaching consequences for us, for our organisations and for the people around us. Which is why it is vital that we make decisions in an informed way. Even if we have only seconds to do so. Continue reading

Alignment: The key to achieving your goals

The late computer science professor (and author of the truly excellent ‘Last Lecture‘) hit the nail on the head when he said that the way to achieve your goals is to chip away at them a little bit every single day.

And as we get into the new year, I suspect that you – like me – have a shiny, brand new list of goals ready to go. But in the hustle and bustle of doing all the things we need to do in a given 24-hour period, it’s all too easy to let our longer-term aspirations slide.

There is, however, a surefire way of making sure that we do indeed spend our days working towards the achievement of our longer-term aims. And it’s called alignment. Continue reading

Long-term planning in an age of uncertainty

Long-term planning in the current political and economic climate can seem like a bit of a mug’s game. But it’s not because things change. That, after all, is to be expected. It’s because everything’s changing. We can’t take anything for granted any more. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t bother with long-term plans, though. It just means that we need to approach them in a different way. Continue reading