What difference does it make?

A normal day for me usually involves keeping a whole lot of different projects on track, whilst juggling many personal responsibilities and also ensuring that they key services provided by the team remain in full and effective operation. Not easy.

There are plenty of days when I question the value of my activities, and whether I’m doing the right thing. Here’s why.

Spending time working on organisational projects benefits many. Work of this type is always high on the agenda, and the complexities of larger development projects generally mean that they also demand the greatest investment of time. It’s usually staff who will benefit in the first instance, with learners often following a little later. Project focus is often more about the organisational needs and business functions than about the experiences of the learner. Now, perhaps that’s to be expected for a business support team providing facilities that enable others to complete their many varied functions, but the benefits are not instant. They are long term. They take time to build, time to implement and and time to become embedded in everyday process and culture.

When I’m working to help staff and students, the rewards are very different. So too is the level of input required to make a significant difference – often it is substantially less. Less doesn’t mean lower in significance. The difference can be immediate; for a teacher, or one of their learners, five minutes with someone having very different technical skills can be the difference between technology breakthrough and technology failure.

Of course, both are important, and finding the right balance is the best any individual can achieve. The trick is to knowing when to focus upon one in preference to the other – where is the biggest difference likely to be made, and what potential progression might you unlock from a brief change in your focus.

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