Underpinning Excellence in H.E. Toolkit


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Mark Crabtree, Assistant Director of HR (Training & Development) & Claire McDonald, Change Programme Manager, Durham University

- To discuss the aims and objectives of the Underpinning Excellence Project.
- To share (briefly) the research methodology.
- To give participants the opportunity to explore the toolkit.
- To enable participants to consider a report from the toolkit and how this can be used to facilitate positive change in the department.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Underpinning Excellence in H.E. Toolkit

  1. 1. Slide 1Underpinning Excellence in HigherEducation
  2. 2. ∂Project FocusSlide 2PerformanceManagementMetrics &MeasuresInvestment inPeople,Training &DevelopmentWhat is the link betweenindividual/team behaviours anddepartmental performance?
  3. 3. ∂Background and AimSlide 3 Aim: Identify the key performance attributes, attitudes,behaviours and competencies evident within high achievingacademic departments or units. Underpinning principle: leadership, governance andmanagement behaviours are essential for success. Outcome: a toolkit which enables academicdepartments/units to benchmark LGM behaviours againsthigh achieving departments and to suggest areas forimprovement
  4. 4. ∂Uses of the toolkitSlide 4 Current Heads of Department assess their own behaviour and thebehaviours across the Department relative to some of the bestacademic units in the UK Incoming Heads of Department consider what they might do toimprove academic performance in the shortest time.
  5. 5. ∂CollaboratorsSlide 5
  6. 6. ∂Defining Success – League TablesTimes Good University GuideSlide 6 RAE data NSS data Entry standards Graduate prospectsHigh performance over three years or rapidimprovement over three years
  7. 7. ∂Project MethodologySlide 7Stage 2Data GatheringMarch 2010 – Jan 2011Stage 1PreparationOct 2009—Feb 2010Phase 1 – Preliminary QuestionnairesPhase 2 – InterviewsPhase 3 – SurveyStage 3ToolkitDevelopmentFeb 2011 – Sept 2011Stage 4DevelopmentSept 2011 – Oct 2011Stage 5DisseminationOct 2011- Dec 2011
  8. 8. ∂Data GatheringSlide 8Open questionsBased on McKinsey 7SRange of staff in successful deptsCritical case samplingIn-depth discussionDefine key features of successful deptsTest out on a wide range of deptsFixed-response questionnairePrelim questionnaireInterviewsSurvey
  9. 9. ∂Findings – Phase 1Slide 9Name Sources ReferencesExcellence 74 91Strategy 73 121Leadership 67 91Supportive 65 85Departmental Dynamics 64 84Communication 61 78Reward systems and performance review 61 66Shared Values - Teaching and Research 53 53Committee 53 86Collegial and Collegiate 51 82Top-down 49 52Budgeting & Finances 42 46Alignment of direction, strategy 42 49Staffing 41 49Well coordinated 39 41Open decision making 31 32Shared goals 27 30Teamwork 24 32Mentoring 16 16Student Satisfaction 15 15Technology 13 13Commitment 13 14Transparency 12 13Autonomy 12 13Well discussed 12 12Workload model 12 12External Forces 11 12Open door policy 11 12Pressures 9 10
  10. 10. ∂Incorporation into Phase 2Slide 10 The key findings from Phase 1 were incorporated into the interviewphase. An interview question list was developed around the major themes.LeadershipGood managersLeadership roleLeadership trainingGood leadershipTop-down leadershipLeadership role importantLeadership in teaching and researchGood Head leadershipGood engagementNot always the best decisionProactiveLead by exampleApproach?ConsultationGood and clearCan be improveddepartmental communicationConstant communicationInternal communicationsTechnology updates?decision making relatedCommunication of strategyInformal discussions, social roomsGroup meetingsCommunication
  11. 11. ∂Findings – Phase 2Slide 11Name Sources ReferencesBudgeting and Funding 31 62Central services (Positive and Negative) 29 78Collegiality 28 43HOD Traits 26 79Room for improvement 24 78Teaching 23 39Department size 20 38Reward systems (Formal and Informal) 22 48Supportive Informal networks – importance Training and Support191210321613Department structure Coordination-positive aspects18113319Definition of excellence 17 24Performance review 17 23Shared values 13 20Informal networks-importance 12 16Mentoring Scheme 11 15Shared goals 11 15Good support services 10 16
  12. 12. ∂FindingsSlide 12
  13. 13. ∂LeadershipSlide 13―I know that from experience, I go up there (his office) and there aremembers of academic staff in with him and they just turn up and ask to havea chat with him so yeah I think its quite good‖―the Head of Department was very hands on, he wanted to speak to the staffand make sure everybody was happy with the way things were going, sothere was more of a discussion―"Yes I think weve become a more top down department and again Im sureopinions will differ as to whether that is a good or a bad thing but it hasmeant that things can happen, decisions can be taken much more rapidlythan kicking them around endlessly at boards of studies‖ApproachableLeadershipHands onIndividual StyleChanging StylesReceptiveTop-downPersonalityStaff InvolvementInformal ApproachConsultative Decision MakingTrust
  14. 14. ∂∂Phase 3• Closed response questionnaire• Expanded to a larger range of departments toexamine findings so far• Departments wide ranging in terms ofposition in league tableSlide 14
  15. 15. ∂Slide 15FindingsPhase 3ChangeManagementCommunicationRewardsLeadershipResearch &TeachingDepartmentalDynamicsand CultureDirection, Strategy &SharedValuesStaffingUnderpinningExcellence in HEKey factors forsuccess
  16. 16. ∂∂Toolkit DesignSlide 16InputShort self-assessmentquestionnaire withfixed-responsequestionsOutput 1Report on areas ofstrength andweaknessOutput 2Related resources,links to furtherinformationSystemcompares self-assessmentresults toproject findings
  17. 17. Demonstration
  18. 18. ∂∂ToolkitSlide 18
  19. 19. ∂∂Toolkit DesignSlide 19InputShort self-assessmentquestionnaire withfixed-responsequestionsOutput 1Report on areas ofstrength andweaknessOutput 2Related resources,links to furtherinformationSystemcompares self-assessmentresults toproject findings
  20. 20. ∂Case Study1. What are the key issues for this department?2. What advice, from a staff developmentperspective, would you give the Head ofDepartment regarding the outcomes shown inthe report?3. How could ―staff development‖ help tofacilitate the improvements needed by thisdepartment?4. If academic departments are using this toolhow could you support its use?
  21. 21. ∂AnalysisSlide 21