Friendly atmosphere - Lots of interactivity - Really excellent speakers - Great visual aids - I welcomed the Show & Tell and chances to ask
Comments received from staff who met us at the Focus Showcase event.
Come to a Focus Showcase
Focus will be planning further Showcase events once we've returned to on-site working after lockdown. 'Showcase' is an informal drop-in event with coffee, cake and wall displays. It's a chance to meet our Continuous Improvement Practitioners, see examples of Focus tools that might be useful in your own environment, and learn how colleagues around the University are using these to improve ways of working.
We held our first Showcase in November 2019 - read a review of it here.
See us at other events
Focus featured strongly at the Professional Services Conference 2019 - download our slide presentations here. We also ran a popular workshop at the HR Conference 2019. Look out for us again at these, and similar, University events.
Focus also features in the termly Professional Services Induction. If you have a new member of staff attending, tell them to look out for us.
You made it fun - Involved every single participant - Got us thinking outside the box - Helpful practical examples - Fun interactive exercises
Comments from Focus workshop attendees at the HR Conference
Participate in a Focus project in your area
If there is a Focus project going on in your area, we encourage you to get involved. Our approach is based in participation and engagement and there are often opportunities to take part in workshops. These workshops are informal yet structured, and designed to create a stimulating and safe environment in which everyone has the opportunity to actively participate.
'I'm learning a lot just being part of this.'
Departmental participant in Focus project (Building Trust in Our Data)
Explore an idea with us for a potential project
If your team has a clear idea for an improvement project that you're committed to driving forward - and which would benefit from Focus support, we'd welcome hearing from you to explore your proposal. We don't do projects for you (you need to own and drive the project and free up staff capacity to deliver it). Rather, we bring skills, structured methodologies and engagement techniques which we teach and model while 'walking alongside you'. Read about the Focus approach here.
Please email us with the salient points of your proposed idea, to arrange a preliminary conversation.
Learn how others in the University are developing Focus approaches
Browse our news stories and case studies to find out 'who is doing what' with Focus approaches around the University. We hope you'll be inspired!
Share your own success stories
If you've taken your first step with a Focus tool/approach and you have a sucess story to tell - please let us know! No first step is too small! We're really interested to hear how you're adopting and developing Focus approaches in your team. And we want to join with you in celebrating your successes!
Consider becoming a Local Practitioner
Local Practitioner is a new role, which we'll advertise later in 2020. These roles are for individuals who want to lead and support Focus approaches within their department as a part of their existing role and who can demonstrate the aptitudes necessary to succeed. These roles will appeal to people who have a clear idea of improvement work their department wants to undertake, and who have departmental and line manager support to do it. Individuals accepted onto the Focus programme as Local Practitioners will receive training and support in Focus tools and methodologies. You'll be affiliated to the programme but there's no secondment involved or change in your employment. You will however need agreement with your line manager and department to protect a proportion of time amongst exiting duties to enable you to do process improvement work.
We'll announce further details and invite applications for Local Practitioners later in 2020.
'I identified with the sense of needing to improve things and my line manager saw the value in me developing my skills – how this could benefit our Divisional Office and the Division more broadly. They were keen to support me.'
Focus Practitioner, explaining why they applied to join the programme
Ask us about training if you're a Senior/Operational Leader
Training is available for Senior and Operational Leaders who are supporting a Focus project in their area or seeking to take forward Focus approaches locally. Training is delivered face-to-face and we'll be able to plan new dates once we've returned to on-site working after lockdown. Please email us to express interest and find out more.
'The training taught simple tools for making small improvements that anyone could get started with. I came away with an open mind, and sat down with my team to brainstorm the possibilities. [It gave us] a new lens through which to review our processes.'
Divisional Assistant Registrar
Ask us about training for your team
We offer short courses for teams with no prior experience of Focus approaches but a clear comittment to improve ways of working. This face-to-face, hands-on training introduces you to a range of practical tools to get you started. We can train you in one or more small groups: this gives your team a shared experience and a common understanding. It also creates a real 'buzz' with everyone keen to start putting the learning into practice! Courses are by arrangement and will will resume once we've returned to on-site working after lockdown. Please email us to discuss your needs.
'It was utterly brilliant!'
This was the most energised session our team has had in 3 years [of team development sessions] and it went down really well. People are discussing it, motivated and full of ideas!
Feedback received after a team training course
Look out for our new introductory training for individuals
We're developing a short introductory training offering for staff at any level who want to learn some simple Focus tools to use locally with colleagues in their team to improve ways of working. This will be delivered face-to-face and give you the opportunity to try out some of the tools through hands-on exercises / simulations. We'll be announcing this later in 2020 - watch this space!
Look out for our new self-directed learning resources
We're currently developing a suite of self-directed learning resources to introduce people with little or no prior experience of Focus to some of our tools. The emphasis will be on small, easy-to-use tools that don't require anything on the scale of a 'project'. These will include techniques for problem solving, finding out your customers' needs and organising your workspace. The aim is to help teams take their first steps in process improvement without the commitment of a project or attending training. You'll be able to download these learning resources from the Focus website. We hope they'll be ready in late summer 2020.
In the meantime, browse our resources page to get a taste of some of our approaches.