It's unrealistic to necessarily equate the commitment required by senior management and executives in any profession with a long-hours culture – in my humble opinion. I used to work in a City bank where it was mostly certainly the case that you needed to be seen to be "working" for long hours to achieve any senior management credibility.
That's very different to the position I have now in which I relish the challenges and rewards that my career has to offer, accept that often entails attending evening meetings or functions, travel, and the need to adopt a flexible approach to working hours that has benefits to me , as well as my organisation.
I imagined the article to have been written by an unambitious reporter who "didn't have time" to question the "facts". I know that's unfair as he/ she was factually reporting someone else's views, but greater probing of such information would be beneficial.
"The Quality of Working Life report finds that 88% of managers in the local government sector regularly work over their contracted hours – a figure that has barely fallen since 2000 (91%)."
Is this necessarily an issue that negatively impacts quality of life? For most people having an enjoyable career is a big quality of life factor. Achieving a work-life balance that they're comfortable with is the key.
"The report also indicates that Britain's long-hours culture is not down to over-bearing bosses. Asked why they worked over contract, only 2% claimed to be “pressurised to do it” and just 3% suggested it was “to get ahead." Says it all, really!
At the monthly meeting with Portfolio Managers, their first ICT Customer Services awards were agreed. This month's winner of the excellent customer care award will be announced at our next Team Talk.
We also reviewed a breakdown of ICT infrastructure support charges that Shane prepared for inclusion with customer Partnership Agreements. I guess this is long overdue as charges are often queried and widely misunderstood. They basically relate to three areas – "Core Charges" are those related to hardware and software through our partnership agreements with HP and Microsoft for generic server, storage, backup and desktop (or portable) systems.
"Discretionary Charges" are those that apply to hardware and software that is specific to a business area; "SSF (Service Support Framework) Charges" relate to ICT Service Charges from the ICT Support Centre and the Teams that back them up – all charged on an annual basis. Because of the variety of configurations that are possible, they can be easily misunderstood, so we are endeavouring to create a simple to follow look-up table and descriptions that will explain how they work.
It will include a comparison of how the equivalent charges would be likely to be levied by "PC World", as that's who we're most often compared to!
We also agreed that all staff should be CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked to ensure clearance to work on any systems that may contain sensitive data.
My "Exit Meeting" with internal auditors following their completion of an audit of ICT Inventory Controls, was disappointing as we clearly have not yet achieved this "Holy Grail".
However, when I invited a couple of management colleagues into the discussion, it was apparent that we have already acted, or are acting, upon some of the recommendations, and I was encouraged by the view that we are putting together an effective Management Action Plan, and I will have a positive tail to tell in another trip to the Audit Board.
As ever, a number of issues depend upon our completion of the migration to our new infrastructure domain.