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Organisational Design

The following sections provide an informed starting point for anyone wishing to set up a unit to deliver Work Focused Learning. It is derived from the experience of, and reflection on, the last 10 years with the Ultraversity and the IDIBL Framework (see Track Record section). Setting up such a unit is a non-trivial task. We also provide an alternative view on taking a 'Lean Startup' or 'Discovery Driven' approach. We do not discuss the policy and political discussions needed, which will be unique to each context.

Operational structure brainstorm

A brainstorm of the people, activities and tools required to make the model of work focused learning work. This was used to inform the enterprise architecture process modelling based on the Archimate modelling standard using the free Archi software implementation.

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Business Model Outline

Business Model for an operational Work-Focused Learning Unit

Business Model Outline - Read More…

Operational Model

This shows the main process flows, actors and functions, currently covering: marketing and promotion; recruitment; learning and teaching, with and without ICT; and the action inquiry cycle.

Operational Model - Read More…

Downloadable Model Files

This folder contains .png and .pdf images of the diagrams, together with the original Archi model that contains both the Business Model and all the Operational Models. It also has a link to the open source Archi Web site where the modelling tool can be downloaded.

Downloadable Model Files - Read More…

Operational autonomy

The experience from Ultraversity, IDIBL and Co-educate is that this work focussed learning model needs to be delivered through an operationally independent unit, as it involves a non-traditional curriculum and unique ways of working which challenge normal university structures, processes and culture. As its typical student differs from the norm, it also requires different marketing and lower pricing, both because its students have been shown to be price sensitive and because as an online course it has lower estates overheads than a traditional university course.

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A 'Lean Startup' Approach

When setting up a new venture, whether on its own or within an existing organisation, if it is innovative and differs significantly from what has gone before, there is no pre-existing data to inform a business plan. Rather than developing a complex business model based on guesswork, a learning process is undertaken which systematically tests initial assumptions, before major investment is made.

A 'Lean Startup' Approach - Read More…