Servicing ‘Core’ and ‘Chore’: A framework for understanding a Modern IT Working Environment


What is a ‘Modern IT Working Environment’? What does it mean for the individual and the organisation? In a world that’s changing much faster than Universities, what should we be considering to help prioritise resources and effort in realising the Modern IT Working Environment? A conceptual framework has been developed and successfully employed to help frame discussion of these issues amongst University staff.

The challenge presented was how to communicate the notion of a ‘Modern IT Working Environment’ in a simple and consistent way to all areas and levels of an organisation (the University), in such a way that it represents current and future strategic drivers and at the same time show the practical everyday needs of the individual. A conceptual framework was developed and successfully employed in a variety of organisations to facilitate communication and discussion on these issues. It places in context the evolving nature of internal and external services and how they impact on ‘chore’ and ‘core’ work tasks of the individual. It also provides a simple illustration of the factors that senior managers need to consider when planning and prioritising institutional resource, for example with regard to technology procurement/development versus training/education, in order to meet the service requirements of individual staff and students.

Cardiff University has embarked on a major programme of change spearheaded by a significant investment in technology. Technology is viewed as a fundamental enabler for business change, but its value and role with respect to other University services has tended to be less well appreciated. Many staff and students throughout the institution had acquired a false impression of the programme as being technology driven, rather than strategically driven in response to business requirements. So the framework was developed to address this confusion and promote discussion around the existing and future challenges staff and students were facing, and also portray the vision and the strategic alignment of the programme at an organisational level.

The framework and associated presentation has been found to be relevant and useful to many different types of audiences internal to the University as well as to external business organisations it has been presented to. From a senior manager’s point-of-view it helps clarify the range of influences impacting on strategy as well as the action plans that need to be developed. Individual staff and students gain a better appreciation of what constitutes their working environment and consequently the nature of their requirement for internal and external services.


The slides are hosted on Slideshare and embedded below:

The hashtags #iwmw2009 and #p2 were used for this plenary talk. A local copy of the tweets for this talk:

46 Twitter posts were found.