July 1, 2014, by Zoë Goodwin

Transform Update (July 2014)

Excellent progress is being made in Project Transform: all deliverables due for completion by 31/7/2014 have been met and the project is well within budget.

Focusing on student experience, Project Transform will make a positive change to the ways of working in the university. The People-Process-Technology approach ensures that a new system is procured and implemented to suit the university’s needs, and that new processes are created to enable colleagues to perform their roles.

Please see the latest updates below.


  • The procurement process has successfully completed the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire stage which makes all potential suppliers aware of the university’s intention to procure. This generated widespread interest and many suppliers expressed their keenness to work with the university. From these, two candidates have been shortlisted and they have been invited to tender.
  • In this Invitation to Tender process, the two shortlisted candidates are being assessed in detail, including visiting universities that have implemented their products. Following a thorough, in-depth assessment, the successful supplier will be selected, with a view to appoint by November this year. Academic involvement has been a central part of the evaluation process.


  • Planning is taking place to an increasingly detailed level. This combines several interdisciplinary elements such as procurement, design, configuration, testing, training, readiness assessment and communications. An experienced team is working through this plan and sharing the initial findings. Key forthcoming dates are:
Activity/Milestone Completion Date
Recruitment of agreed external and internal resources and onboarding of new resources Spring 2015
Evaluation of system tender 1st September 2014
Appointment of chosen software supplier November 2014
Integration of 3rd party consulting team (for configuration management) Spring 2015
Production of High Level Design Spring 2015
Communication and Town Hall events with increasingly larger audiences September 2014 – February 2015
Engagement with student community Commencing September 2015 and ongoing
Launch of project intranet site October 2014
Finalising Design Authority and Change Control October 2014
Completion of first internal audit Report to Audit Committee, October 2014
Implementation of Admissions ‘Lite’ and related processes. May/June 2015
Implementation of full Admissions and related processes. September 2015
Implementation of links to Curriculum + Timetabling processes. March 2016
Implementation of Student Support services + Reporting processes (for Year 1 Students only), covering. September 2016
Migration of data for Year 2+ Students May 2017
Implementation of deferred processes from initial implementations. May 2017
  • The Town Hall events referred to above will address audiences in the range of 100-300 and will be in a “Question Time” panel format.


  • The Core Functionality Review has been completed. This work identified core areas of activity that are undertaken within the university and has been invaluable in informing the procurement process. This has led to the development of 300+ packages of work within the process team.
  • Key design principles for the project are Standardisation, Harmonisation and Simplification: the project will seek to improve the extent to which commonality can be established in the ways of working on processes across the university, along with the roles employed to effect such processes on the chosen system.
  • “Horizontal thinking” is also a key principle for the project: opportunities will be sought for to combine expertise and solutions across schools without diluting the local needs of schools.
  • A key aim of the project is to create value-added opportunities: process and systems improvements will enable colleagues to spend less time on workarounds and “fixes” and, instead, focus on more meaningful activities which create value.

Engagement and Recruitment

  • Colleagues from China and Malaysia campuses have visited Project Transform. A deeper understanding has resulted and the assignment of resources from these campuses will now begin.
  • Engagement with all schools and faculties has continued. This has been in the form of several one-on-one meetings and presentations to various forums in faculties, along with presenting to some larger gatherings. This engagement will gather pace with town halls and other events providing the opportunity to learn more about the project.
  • In addition to those colleagues already seconded onto the project, there are likely to be further such opportunities. Recruitment of some posts has begun and further roles will also be advertised in the usual way.
  • Four recent graduates of the university have been recruited to the project following advertisement of the positions and interviewing of candidates. Three of these will join as Change and Engagement Managers and one as Student Delivery Assurance Manager.

Next Steps

  • The next communication from Project Transform will be in mid-September which will provide a further update on procurement, the process re-engineering work and answers to comments that colleagues will have raised. There will also be a further communication at the end of October.
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