Resourcing: Swarming for employer enagement

Resourcing remains a major challenge for employer engagement work- how can HEI’s that run on timetables with clearly defined workload parameters react to provide timely, high quality provision or invest the time to facilitate the external creation of arrangements. This challenge is always at the fore when turning proposals in to reality. Whilst there is perhaps no single answer I found it helpful to frame resourcing issues against the bigger picture of change in organisations painted here. In reading this I was able to step back and see that the resource organisation issues that may challenge us on a daily basis are perhaps experienced more widely  and perhaps these resourcing tensions exist as we switch from teacher centric to more rapid, learner responsive approaches. Good to see the bigger picture.

A pattern I can clearly identify with is ‘swarming’

Swarming is a work style characterized by a flurry of collective activity by anyone and everyone conceivably available and able to add value. Gartner identifies two phenomena within the collective activity; Teaming (instead of solo performances) will be valued and rewarded more and occur more frequently and a new form of teaming, which Gartner calls swarming, to distinguish it from more historical teaming models, is emerging. Teams have historically consisted of people who have worked together before and who know each other reasonably well, often working in the same organization and for the same manager. Swarms form quickly, attacking a problem or opportunity and then quickly dissipating. Swarming is an agile response to an observed increase in ad hoc action requirements, as ad hoc activities continue to displace structured, bureaucratic situations.

As new proposals arrive swarming seems to be the way that they are supported.

For many institutions, with resource constraints, work-load patterns and buy in, it is often a swarm of the willing. A challenge is to naturalise this work pattern to a wider range of others to most effectively respond to employers.

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