Why is Higher Ed Different? is a multi-part series where we’ll be exploring the unique needs and requirements of Higher Ed IT. We’re passionate about Higher Ed and feel that it’s unlike any other industry out there. Whether you’re a newcomer or an industry veteran, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle-and-bustle and forget to really take note of these idiosyncrasies. Paying attention to them, however, will make a world of difference in your projects.
It’s always good to remember the unique nature of Higher Education. Even with years of experience, it can be easy to lose sight of the quirks that surround you on a daily basis. In our last article, we discussed Higher Ed’s specific culture and decision-making process; now, we’ll talk a little more about the unique personalities you’re working with every day. Like we’ve said, Higher Ed has an extremely interpersonal culture, so being aware of the intricacies of Higher Ed team members and their needs is critical to any project’s success.
People Come to Higher Ed for a Reason
All of your co-workers have a reason for choosing Higher Ed. Many, like us, simply have a passion for Higher Ed as a whole, but most share certain other priorities—especially a strong emphasis on balancing work and personal life. In many–but not all–universities there is an openness in the scheduling that gives employees the opportunity to enjoy all parts of their lives, rather than focusing solely on work. A successful project leader must keep in mind how important a work-life balance is to most people who come to work in Higher Ed.
Everyone is Just a Bit More Relaxed
Low-stress does not mean low-productivity.
The IT project managers who value their work-life balance and appreciate more flexible schedules are the kind of people who are, as a whole, fairly relaxed. Few of them are here for a competitive, stressful work environment, and your management style should reflect that. There are two things that you should keep in mind, though: the first is that low-stress does not mean low-productivity. The second is that we mention this type of workplace because it is common; that does not mean that all Higher Ed environments will be relaxed. When they are, though, it can create a harmonious and productive work environment.
Building the Optimal Collaboration
In general, team members fit well into the culture of Higher Ed. Few of them simply stumbled into it; instead, they were attracted to it due to the environment. The world of Higher Ed may tend to attract more relaxed employees, but that by no means indicates laziness. As long as everyone, especially project managers and other IT leaders, is aware of the unique attitudes, needs, and preferences of their coworkers, the project can run like a well-oiled, effective machine.
A good Higher Ed team member recognizes the demands of the project, but a great one is attuned to the team’s specific idiosyncrasies. By keeping these things in mind, even if you’re a veteran of the industry, you can run a more effective team than ever before.
Avoid costly mistakes and wasted time – talk to an impartial peer in Higher Ed!
There is nothing like speaking with a peer who has implemented the same product – send us a request.
You can also provide general feedback, inquire about additional free resources, submit a topic you’d like us to cover, tell us about a feature you’d like to see, or request the best staff for your project.