Showcasing Good Practice Week

18 - 22 September 2023

Following the huge success and popularity of our first HESPA “Showcasing Good Practice Week” in 2022, we are delighted to announce that we will be holding this event again from 18-22 September 2023.

The aim of this event is to provide a space for our members to share with each other the work they have done which they feel has been a particular success, and to celebrate and promote the hard work of planners in the HE sector.

Thank you to all our wonderful members who have volunteered to lead a session. We know the rest of the HESPA community will be looking forward to hearing what you have been working on. The programme is now announced below, and you can book on using the links for each session.

All sessions will be held on MS Teams and you will receive a link to any sessions you book on to before the event. Please note this will not come through automatically after booking, you will receive this nearer to the time of the event.



Monday 18 September

10:00 - 11:00

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Speaker: Vincent Bryce, HR Project Manager

Institution: The University of Nottingham

Vincent will describe how the University of Nottingham used Microsoft 365 to develop an in-house workload planning solution, and discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages of using in-house options. 

There will be ample opportunity for asking questions, so feel free to come prepared with discussion points or specific queries you may have. 


12:00 - 13:00

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Speaker: Dr Brooke Storer-Church, Director of Strategic Academic Engagement

Institution: Birmingham City University

In this session, we hear from Dr Brooke Storer-Church about her new role as Director of Strategic Academic Engagement, including how this new position came to be, why it was needed at Birmingham City University and what Brooke (formerly Head of Skills at OfS) has been up to so far.

Working broadly to shape and deliver an refreshed academic strategy, Brooke has been charged with improving internal awareness of the context in which BCU are operating and encouraging colleagues to think more strategically when taking decisions about provisions, partnerships, student support, etc.  In her first year, she’s led BCU’s new APP development, implemented a new 5-year planning process with faculties, and kicked off a review of home partnerships while working to expand her network in this new post.

There will be ample opportunity to ask questions so please feel free to pick Brooke’s brains on her experience in the role so far!


14:00 - 15:00

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Speaker: Dawn Matthews, Workstream Lead (Strategy Engagement)

Institution: Loughborough University

In this session, we will hear from colleagues at Loughborough University about the work they have been doing to support the implementation of their 2030 strategy “Creating Better Futures. Together”. They have developed a programme of change projects that will underpin and enable successful delivery of the strategy and associated core plans (action plans). This is a new approach for the University and a recognition that to achieve their ambitions they need to change, and in some areas transform their working practices.

There will be an opportunity for a Q&A after hearing from Dawn about her involvement in this work.


Tuesday 19 September

10:00 - 11:00

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Speakers: Al Carlile, Director of Strategic Planning & Change and Emma Hartley, Head of Planning & Performance

Institution: University of Sheffield

Colleagues from The University of Sheffield share their experience of transforming faculty and department planning away from heavy annual narratives and iterative target changes toward a five year focus with vastly improved annual action plans and progress reviews, and planning support that is focused around development and training. Catalysed by the development of the new University Strategy in 2020, the new approach aims to create clarity of which year is being planned for and reviewed, reduce workload, increase the engagement of academic colleagues and ultimately drive progress toward local and institutional aims. The approach includes a radical shift of planning activity from its traditional timing.


14:00 - 15:00

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Speakers: Clare Foyle, Strategy Delivery Account Manager

Institution: This session is being delivered on behalf of HERMN (the Higher Education Risk Management Network)

This session will explore a risk maturity model and how two universities worked to improve their risk maturity scores, the challenges faced along the way and their aims for improving risk maturity further in future. 


Wednesday 20 September

10:00 - 11:00

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Speakers: Garford Moore, Market Insight Manager and Ian Marsden, Market Insight Officer

Institution: University of Derby

In this session, the University of Derby will be sharing an overview of their programme approval process and the data required to inform this. The session will also explore how the University of Derby has used Lightcast's services to help with this, including:

  • A look at Lightcast's pre-set labour market reports and what they contain.
  • A case study of using Lightcast labour market intelligence for portfolio development.


14:00 - 15:00

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Speakers: Liam Hassett, Senior BI Analyst and Paul Naylor, BI Manager

Institution: Staffordshire University

In this session, we will hear from Staffordshire University about their recent work reviewing their existing data and analytics environment and a Power BI demonstration of an example report and how this provides insight and analytics. 

The team are currently reviewing the data that we have available, how and where it is stored and how this links to our analytics and insight offer to customers.  The session will cover the work that we have done to review and understand our data and usage; uncovering further actions and the work needed to develop a more mature data structure and offer.  We will then discuss what this means for our customers (colleagues) and how we ‘advertise’ and make colleagues aware of what is available – impacting how colleagues interact with our dashboards and data.

We will also circle back to the discussion around the initial review and how we benefit from this going forward.  Highlighting that this will be on-going using elements such as colleague usage analytics to drive report efficiency and engagement as well how we can easily identify the impact of new or updated data as well as the removal of old and decommissioned sources.


Thursday 21 September

10:00 - 11:00

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Speakers: Katy Holmes, Data Strategy Lead and Charlie Croft, Graduate Management Trainee

Institution: University of Birmingham

A review of how the University of Birmingham have rolled out Power BI institutionally, including the development of a template for report design, standards for storyboarding requirements, development and testing and the deployment of a framework for workspace design. The aim of this governance and guidance has been to establish a Centre for Excellence and a Community of Practice with developers working to common goals and end users of the reports having a consistent experience when viewing reports from different areas across the University.


14:00 - 15:00

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Speakers: Rachel Parkes, Head of Project and Programme Management, Strategic Change Department, Phil Hopwood, Director of Strategic Planning & Natalie Carpenter, Project Support Officer

Institution: University of Liverpool

In this session we will hear about the work being done at the University of Liverpool to develop an ambitious new strategic plan. This includes a high-level framework setting out their aspirations for the next 10 years and an associated plan to map out opportunities for growth. The project is focused on ensuring a robust strategy implementation phase to hopefully avoid a meaningless “glossy” that only appears in the VC corridor, and instead to produce a plan that scaffolds meaningful change.

The impetus for this work was the appointment of a new VC in January 2023 and the aim is to have a strategic framework ready for the new academic year. Despite the tight timescale, staff in the Strategic Change team and the Strategic Planning team have worked together on a short-term project based approach to hit their challenging deadline (hopefully! This is being written in June for a September deadline, but it is looking good so far…). A key aim was for the process to be truly collaborative and supportive of maintaining day to day operations alongside the project. We will hear how the team worked to get colleagues on board, address concerns and what lessons they have learnt along the way.

There will be an opportunity for a Q and A following their presentation. 


Friday 22 September

10:00 - 11:00

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Speakers: Alicja Konstantinidis-Pereira, Head of Planning and Analytics and Rebecca Robinson, Reporting and Analytics Manager

Institution: Lancaster University

This session provides an overview of the new BI dashboard developments at Lancaster University, specifically the "Student Focused Indicator Dashboard" which delivers a “one stop shop” solution for all student focused indicators (across all study levels and different types of measures – access, quality, outcomes, student experience). We will also provide an overview of our approach to benchmarking, methodologies, data sources, timings and most importantly engagement with the data, as examples of our institutional thinking about strategic analytics. 


14:00 - 15:00

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Speakers: Tanika Dhiri, Charlie Dunkin, Joseph Bou-Nassif, current GMTs and Renae Huggan-Broughton, former GMT, HR Project Officer

Institution: Loughborough University

This session provides an overview of the Loughborough University Graduate Management Trainee (GMT) scheme and how The Planning Office have created a welcoming, enriching environment that has supported GMTs transitioning from student to staff within Higher Education.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask questions.


More Showcasing Good Practice

Showcasing Good Practice Week 2022 Recordings


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