Mid June update

scurl7Things are starting to get busy for the project, as over the next few weeks I’ll be working with the work package managers with the sole aim of gathering as much detail information as I can to define the overall scope and schedules of the planned activities, and as a result, finalise the project plan.  In parallel with this, I’ve been spending as much time as I can finding out about research pools and how they operate.

I have to say that at the moment there are more questions than I have answers for, but fortunately we have some great contacts in the area, and I’m very much looking forward to speaking with them.

We’ve also been approached by a number of institutions who have expressed an interest in participating in the project without even prompting for a response – a great result, and it demonstrates the demand for the project work in Scotland. I’m very much looking forward to collaboration across the board, and it will be much easier to work with enthusiastic groups!

I’ll also be presenting on the project for the first time – this will be at the SCURL Away Day on 17th June 2009 in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow. The presentation has been uploaded onto Slideshare and comments are welcome.

And they’re off!

As of 1st June, I have been able to formally take up my place as project manager for ERIS. We’ve been working on the project plan in a fairly staccato fashion over the last month, but I’ve been able to dedicate my time to it properly over the last few days.

As a result, I’m now very close to having it completed, but still need to spend some more time with the work package leaders  on the detailed planning of activities, identifying risks and planning how best to communicate with our stakeholders.

Some of the more fiddly things that I’m considering at the moment are around the notion that the project is technically more of a programme, and is seeking to deliver a set of outcomes – attitudinal changes and improved knowledge.  The real measurement of success will come after the project has been completed, but of course the project itself won’t technically be there to take responsibility for fostering this change, and the traditional approaches of formative and summative evaluations don’t provide for an adequate analysis of post project activity.

I think I’d like to see JISC taking a more proactive role in benefits realisation management in this regard.  As the tools and systems that are in place for the repository community continue to mature, the real improvements will be in less tangible progress, around development of valuable networks and social impact.

So, early days – but I’ve already been hugely enthused by the vision that the ERIS project has for Scotland.

James