work/UWE Subject Readiness Review

UWE Subject Readiness Review

UWE’s Subject Readiness Review is an ambitious programme to review the University’s academic portfolio against its vision and 2030 strategy by autumn 2023.

What the UWE Bristol needed

UWE’s Subject Readiness Review is an ambitious programme to review the University’s academic portfolio against its vision and 2030 strategy by autumn 2023. When completed, every subject should have: 

  • a roadmap to improved alignment with UWE values, greater future-focus, and excellence across all key performance indicators; 
  • clear requirements for strategic investments/interventions; 
  • integrated, streamlined and risk-informed capability to continuously enhance and develop its offering. 

What we did

The programme needed to achieve a rapid shift in mindsets, aligning different factions within the university to the overarching strategy, as well as reconciling people’s biases and priorities. Our solution was to apply agile principles in the form of a strategic sprint model, which we tailored for UWE to ensure it would deliver impact and value in just four days. 

We supported the roll-out of this model across the university’s faculties, trialling and refining sprint delivery in a pilot phase before quickly scaling the refined version across several subjects to build momentum and start to create a culture of change.

We provided expert facilitation for each sprint, but also helped train UWE in-house facilitators so the University can continue to deliver the model beyond their engagement with us.

The outcome

The benefits of the sprint model include: 

  • structure, focus and pace; months of planning meetings are condensed into just four days; 
  • removing hierarchies and encouraging open discussion and different perspectives, ultimately aligning staff towards a single goal; 
  • encouraging change from the ground up; giving individuals permission to improve and enhance from their own sphere of influence and control, as well as forming action groups that can influence the wider faculty (and ideally the entire university). 

“I enter these things with trepidation but it was really useful – what I liked most is rather than sit at the end and say ‘Will we ever be able to do any of this?’, we’ve already started doing it.” 

Subject Readiness Review participant.

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