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How do you do....it? Thread, Do you ever evaluate your department? in Technical; This is not about performance management, as that focusses mainly on individuals. It's about evaluating the whole ICT support department ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Do you ever evaluate your department?

    This is not about performance management, as that focusses mainly on individuals.

    It's about evaluating the whole ICT support department and the level of support you offer to the school, how its delivered and how staff perceive you in the school with the aim to improve some or all of these, identify problem areas and be able to show improvement as some sort of figure(s) on a piece of paper (we all know head teachers love statistics!)

    If you do, how do you do it? On-line surveys, E-mail surveys, questionnares, comments and suggestions box or any/all of the above? Or maybe something totally different. How often do you do it?

    Or maybe you see this sort of thing as a pointless exercise that will just invite people to make pointless criticisms and achieve very little in the process.

    Any input welcome!

    Mike.

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    We measure performance metrics as part of our SLA (mostly network /server load, uptimes etc). Things like number of helpdesk requests are also useful metrics. If we don't meet our response times or there is excessive downtime then we have a better chance of getting more money (or getting sacked, depending on how you look at it).
    I've not ever bothered with questionnaires, could ask a maths class to come up with some?

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    maniac (10th September 2008)

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Hmm, difficult. I suspect you may end up with a trouble-makers letterbox on your hands; it's always difficult to get staff (and people generally) to which you provide a service to be objective. You certainly don't want it to become a sore point for your own staff, where they might feel unmotivated and targetted by other staff.

    I agree with Cybernerd, it might be easier to come up with some metrics that are not personal, such as percentages of tickets closed within a range of times (same day, one day, five days, ten days for example), uptime, etc.


    Edit: For 'easier', read 'safer'.
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 10th September 2008 at 08:27 PM.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    One option which is something plan to do is meet with department heads to try and get understanding of any issues the department is having.

    Russ

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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    One option which is something plan to do is meet with department heads to try and get understanding of any issues the department is having.

    Russ
    I do this here twice per year. Meet with the department head on where they hope to use ICT in the department, what they want to achieve, anything where they feel ICT Support do well / not so well. etc

    I find it useful to see what teachers want and to let them know what departments can achieve through the use of ICT. If we leave them to their own devices, the school will quite often not push on or they will consider purchasing unnecessary hardware / software that a) won't get used b) a cheaper (free) alternative is available or the school already owns.

    I am not a fan of questionnaires I'd rather speak to people face to face and if they have any issues resolve them their and then if possible. It also forms good evidence for members of ICT Support for their performance management reviews. Which as part of the review process they identify two members of staff that give their opinion on:

    What does xxxxx do well to help you?

    what could xxxxx do to help you more?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    The only problem i can see from this would be getting responses like:

    "the network is slow"
    "the server crashes allot"
    "things are not done instantly"

    This is something i would like to do but not sure how to go about it.

    Z

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    I almost had to come up with something similar (time restrictions meant I couldn't deliver the talk) What do technicians do? You might find some ideas here. I'm still planning to do this, if only to get straight in my own head what we do.

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    I use different metrics to measure the impact of IT either positively or negatively, this includes downtime uptime ratios, hardware failure, software, requests, login times etc.
    Also every Friday for a couple of hours I pro-actively go round the school meeting people face to face to find out their needs and requirements which will benefit their dept and also them personally.
    I am also having meetings every month with dept heads to ascertain what the depts requirements are.
    All in all has worked very well so far, I thought about a questionnaire but the down side is it turns into a free for all as they can then give negative answers in a way which will deflate your team members and morale can drop very quickly.

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    budgester's Avatar
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    I do a presentation to SLT once a year on what we've done and what we are planning, and any issues we are up against.

    This presentation is then given to governors about a month later.

    I go to the Head of Faculty Meeting once a week, this allows me to listen to the challenges facing the teachers and if appropriate make suggestions on how technology may help.

    After the first week of general IT bashing it settled down to actual constructive discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by budgester View Post
    I do a presentation to SLT once a year on what we've done and what we are planning, and any issues we are up against.

    This presentation is then given to governors about a month later.

    I go to the Head of Faculty Meeting once a week, this allows me to listen to the challenges facing the teachers and if appropriate make suggestions on how technology may help.

    After the first week of general IT bashing it settled down to actual constructive discussion.
    Good idea

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    Might be useful if people could list the metrics that they use so we can compile a list for the wiki.

    Russ

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    We complete a self evaluation each year, I conduct a staff survey each year to help inform this process.

    On top of that our ICT steering group meets once per half term, where we discuss issues, projects, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    On top of that our ICT steering group meets once per half term, where we discuss issues, projects, etc.
    I presume that's a group of volunteer staff?

    Do any schools consult students at all about their perceptions of ICT, and what they might like to see. OK, I know a lot of it would be rubbish, but ocassionally they have been known to come up with a gem of an idea.

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I presume that's a group of volunteer staff?

    Do any schools consult students at all about their perceptions of ICT, and what they might like to see. OK, I know a lot of it would be rubbish, but ocassionally they have been known to come up with a gem of an idea.

    Mike.
    All members of the school (including students) are free to submit a change request, in the same way they report incidents. The helpdesk sift out the rubbish. Generally speaking the information we receive from students is more help than it is from staff. Probably because the students think a bit more before they ask for a change and they are better at sending screenshots etc.

    Might be useful if people could list the metrics that they use so we can compile a list for the wiki.
    We constantly monitor:
    processor usage on servers
    Disk space on servers
    memory usage on servers
    Uptime on all (core) network devices
    uptime for particular services
    response times for helpdesk (in theory we could,...)

    if metrics hit a threshold then it is logged.
    it helps for capacity and availability management, and because we know the services are monitored there is less chance services get interrupted without prior planning. Less sudden configuration changes 'just to see if it works'.
    I'm sure this is all in FITS.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 11th September 2008 at 08:53 PM.

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    steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I presume that's a group of volunteer staff?

    Mike.
    2 volunteers, 6 Selected.

    Head of Year 7 / Parent Communication
    Head Of English

    Vice Principal
    Assistant Principal (Exams / Data)
    ICT Curric Team Leader
    Technical Team Leader (Repro, Sci, Technology)
    Admin Team Leader
    and me.

    We develop and monitor a strategic plan for the whole schools approach to ICT - technical, taught, usage, etc.



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