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Friday, 17 August 2018

Bruce Norris, Senior Manager IT Projects Unit

Bruce Norris

What does your role involve?
Currently it's getting a handle on what projects are in-flight, and what have been flagged as pipeline projects. Proposed projects are then assessed against a number of criteria, focusing on what benefits they bring to the UoO, what resources are required, and how they fit with our strategic goals.

For each project my team helps develop business cases, and other appropriate documents, to help the University make funding decisions.
As the Project Unit matures, we'll be able to prioritise projects based on benefits / resources, which may involve halting or reprioritising existing projects.

What were you doing previously?
For the past 10 years, very similar roles in the UK. The last two roles were at universities in Leicestershire and Oxfordshire. Both were in a similar position to here, so I'm quite used to the challenges (of both universities and implementing project offices!).

Prior to this IT malarkey, I researched sex determination in reptiles. Well, everyone has to have a hobby...

What are you looking forward to in the role?
The challenge of setting up a Projects Unit, and integrating that into ITS to improve delivery of projects – good project managers can help tech teams by giving them time and resources to do the tech work, without being constantly bothered for updates and documentation.

Part of this improvement will be greater visibility of projects being worked on; ITS are doing some great work, and I'd like people to know about it. Conversely, if we're unable to resource a project, it's easier to explain why if we can show people what other projects are in-flight.

What do you like about living in Dunedin?
Coffee. It's a struggle to find good coffee in England! Also, having spent a lot of time in Wellington, the harbour and hills here (or mountains to my friends in the UK) are great – and I'm looking forward to my bike arriving so I can start cycling up them (it's somewhere between the UK and NZ, along with most of our gear).

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