Managing Change

Risk management may seem like a scary term but compiling and managing a comprehensive register of risks and issues is critical to any project. Over the past couple of weeks this has been one area of the Main Library Redevelopment that I have focused on. Risks are forecasted events that are predicted to happen and issues are things that are currently happening.

‘Risk’ and ‘issue’ are often thought of as negative, but they can also be positive. Identifying risks can add value, call for change or perhaps encourage requests that are out of scope of the original works. Successful projects take a serious approach towards risk management and knowledge of this area can be very useful. Dominic Hunt and Zoe Makin (Library Strategic Project team) have arranged a series of Project Management training sessions and I advise all Library staff to contact Dominic and Zoe to find out more information.

It has been great getting the Champions group up and running with the help of Adam in the Marketing and Communications team. Their role in collating feedback from staff, in relation to their current thoughts about the redevelopment, has been very useful, and we’ve got more activities coming over the next month.

Last week a sample of the proposed new staff furniture arrived at Joule and although the furniture and the rest of the Thesis Room aren’t fully set up yet, I have had a sneak preview and I am very impressed with what I have seen. Once the furniture is installed the next steps will be to organise visits, firstly with the Champions Group and then with other members of staff. Information about this will follow soon.

Barnes Wallis
Barnes Wallis Building

We have acquired a space in the Barnes Wallis building to use for storage of items during the stock decant. Colin O’Neill and the estates team have done a fantastic job cleaning, preparing and securing the space, and it’s now ready for use. I visited the building this week and was amazed to come full circle and walk into what was Club Underground, a place that I DJ’d at on many occasions during my musical days. It was a really nice moment to realise that a space that I loved so much during my younger years in the 1990s would form a big part of a new generation’s youth.

Significant progress has been made on the audio-visual requirements of the project covering: digital signs; meeting rooms; video conferencing; signage; and study room fittings. The level of detail needed to ensure we are able to provide the Design Team with what they need, whilst ensuring the specification delivers the best possible solution, is vast. After such hard work by the team involved (the AV Specification Group and IT Steering Group), we are very pleased with the specification we have produced.

I met with Claire Hughes to learn more about the Manchester Doctoral College postgraduate space that is being developed. It was very interesting to see pictures of some of the original features of the Schunck Building and the conceptual visions for the redevelopment. It’s great to take in all the proposed spaces and facilities we are looking to develop for our postgraduate students and researchers.

As summer speeds along there are still lots of things happening. The Darkness and Light exhibition at The John Rylands Library has recently launched with great feedback so far. If you haven’t managed to see it yet, I strongly recommend the Making Monuments on Rapa Nui exhibition at the Manchester Museum, if only to see one of the original, famous stone statues from Easter Island. This weekend also sees the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester take place at Alexandra Park which is always a fantastic event.


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