Building Capacity: Brick by brick

These Getting Started guides offer a condensed overview of learning and best practice from the JISC Building Capacity Programme (2010/11). Specifically, they offer insights into how JISC outputs and outcomes can be used to accelerate institutional progress towards a stated strategic aim. The guides are written to be “just enough to get started” rather than all-encompassing.

The JISC Building Capacity Programme enabled 23 institutions to conduct a review of previous JISC-funded projects, programmes and services, selecting and utilising appropriate outputs, learning and resources to help meet their specific strategic issues that had been raised internally.

Institutions involved in the programme highlighted that cost savings were made by harvesting existing ideas and processes from previous JISC work that would have incurred considerable design and realisation time. Indeed, this is one of the main takeaway ideas from the Building Capacity programme as a whole; within the JISC community there may already be solutions to many of the strategic issues you are addressing. It is likely that you can save a considerable amount of time, money and effort by conducting some research into what has happened before in similar institutional contexts to your own. These guides are intended to help you to get started, building your capacity to meet institutional strategic aims through JISC outputs, outcomes and learning.

What is the Building Capacity approach?

  1. Identify the institutional strategic aim(s) you are addressing.
  2. Engage Senior Management and ensure buy-in, commitment and support. Building Capacity is about finding a dialogue between innovation in institutions and the Senior Management Team. [Read our Supportive Guide: Strategies for engaging senior management]
  3. Stop reinventing the wheel – commit to undertaking a review of previous JISC outputs and outcomes. Identify other institutions’ approaches and findings, filtering their learning for relevance and applicability within your institutional context. The information that you discover within these Getting Started guides should help you to shortcut that process. [Read our Supportive Guide: Making the most of JISC outputs & outcomes]
  4. Accelerate progress towards your institutional strategic aim(s), continuing with open dialogue both inside and outside of your institution.

“The innovative work within selected JISC-funded projects has been a catalyst to inspire us with ideas for our own projects and enhancing our own practice.”
(University of Leeds Building Capacity project)