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SSR Project Update - Issue 3

Sent 20 November 2017

This third update for the University of Otago Support Services Review project contains information about upcoming IT transition work, AskOtago updates, vacancies, and an opportunity to register interest for future Voluntary Redundancy information sessions.

We encourage staff to continue to send through any questions or comments for this newsletter or the website using the ‘Have your say’ form.


The first tranche of recruitment will result in appointments at Director and Manager level, and we anticipate that most of this will be completed before the end of 2017. The currently listed vacancies are:

For a full list of vacancies please be sure to check the Current Vacancies section on the HR web site.

Project Activity


The project team is continuing to focus on the collection and review of information for the AskOtago knowledgebase. Thank you to all those areas across the University that have contributed to this large piece of work thus far. This work will be ongoing for some time and we will be in contact with a number of other areas throughout the remainder of this year and into next year.

Activity is also increasing with regard to IT transition (see below) and a considerable amount of effort is being directed towards space planning. We will share these plans as they are confirmed.

Planning is also underway for resourcing discussions with PVCs, Deans and HoDs to determine how resources will be embedded based on specific divisional variations and needs. Although dependent on the appointment of key staff, it is intended that these discussions will commence this year and continue into next year.

IT survey

A critical aspect of the transition to the new IT operation is the collection of additional information to complement the work that has already been completed by the project team. We are extremely conscious of the wide variety of IT uses across the organisation and the importance of ensuring that all areas have the support that they need during the transition phase and beyond. To assess needs, a survey will be sent to existing support areas. The responses to this survey (along with discussions with the various teams) will help inform the transition plans for each area and ensure clarity about how IT activity will be supported in the future. The survey will be sent this week.


Given the important role of AskOtago within the new operating model, a Transition Manager (Philippa Hoult) has been appointed to oversee the set up and initial operation of AskOtago. This will include activities such as overseeing the development of the knowledgebase, informing the fit out of physical spaces, putting in place the necessary training for staff, liaising with various areas to confirm the hand-off points for requests that cannot be handled within AskOtago, and incorporating continuous improvement practices into the ongoing operation of AskOtago. These activities will all help ensure that AskOtago is able to meet the needs of students, staff and the general public.

Voluntary redundancy information sessions

The Voluntary Redundancy information sessions have been well-attended by staff, and we believe that there may be more staff who have not been able to attend one of the sessions held to date. We would like to gauge interest before scheduling another session to include Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue Department staff.
If you would be interested in attending a future Voluntary Redundancy info session please register your interest using the form below:

Any questions about this please contact Carolyn King, Change Manager on 021 278 3034 or by email

We welcome your feedback on the project implementation as it progresses. Contact us to discuss, or let us know if you need more information at

From the Support Services Review Project Team