Growth and new offices!
It’s been a busy few months at work, I mean, when is it not. But in the last year, Lourdes IT, the team I lead, has more then doubled in size and in the schools we support.
This rapid growth has been rewarding, and challenging. With more people and more no schools comes more risks, and more paperwork. But the impact is bigger from the good work we do.
One of the things I am really proud of is how our setup has coped with the expansion. We had well laid foundations and good systems in, that for the most part coped. Our helpdesk, for example, was changed at the right time to be ready for the increase in requests and technicians, our documentation and our communication strategies worked well with customers.
However, we have seen a need to improve some internal systems, mainly because we used to be small enough to all talk everyday! However this has been addressed by using SharePoint and Flow to create a range of standardisation and automation of processes that have reduced worked load for staff and increased oversight.
But the really exciting part of growing is that a couple of weeks back we moved into our brand new offices, as part of the central team of the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic MAC.
We used to be located in the old caretakers bungalow at one of the schools, and it wasn’t fit for purpose, we had quite often times when we had to move people to other sites within the MAC to work. We got through it, but not ideal.
So finding somewhere large enough for us, the rest of the central team – and having space for training was critical. Training is something I personally really enjoy delivering and I don’t think is provided to staff anywhere near as much as it should be. It’s why we include sessions for free in our SLA.
After the disappointment of finding somewhere, and then missing out – it’s all proved worth it when we moved in to our new offices last week.
The space is immense, plenty to grow into, but it’s by no means empty. Training space is flexible and we are already seeing improvements in our setup as our second line team, who work on projects and man the helpdesk are able to work more efficiently and effectively.
I have held a couple of events in our new space, and these have been really good – we used to be able to hold events in classrooms, but there is nothing like your own space.
I have a new office as well, and although I was a little worried about having it downstairs (oh, yes, we have two floors now!) away from the rest of the team, it actually works well.
I consider myself really lucky to work with others within the MAC central team who have such belief in not only my team, but in the importance of central services and their impact on the children we are all there for. Some of the things we are doing as a MAC are really groundbreaking, and to enable that, you need a good backing and drive to be the best. We certainly have that.
If we can save or generate money operationally, then we can invest in more resources for learning. At the same time, Lourdes IT, whilst not for profit so not actively making money, is saving money for schools we support.
The offices have been kitted out to support a number of teams and scenarios, they had nothing in terms of cabling when we arrived, but using in house expertise we have cabled them up, installed flexible solutions and really created a great space, usable by those throughout the MAC, including young people.
I still have to pinch myself a little when going into the new building, as I’m proud that Lourdes IT have helped to enable this space. It is such a great resource, and I fully intend to make the most of it.
See for yourself here: https://www.lourdesit.org.uk/lourdes-it-offices/