As one of the key stakeholder groups, the formation of the User Group has allowed the project team to engage with users face to face and gain valuable feedback, which has informed the business process and system design work streams.
Earlier this year we worked with a small sub group of users from each college to finalise the system requirements and solutions regarding peer review, workflow approval criteria and fast track approval to allow the system build to commence for these areas. This activity involved each of the sub group members consulting with a wider group of stakeholders within their College before the solutions were finalised.
We ran some 1 hour sessions between the 18 and 26 September to provide information on the implementation of sub project numbering. This allowed us to gain a wider understanding of the implications of the change at a local level, for example existing forms, spreadsheets or databases which use project numbers.
This implementation provides the opportunity to address the current issues about the numbering of research projects throughout their lifecycle. At present a research project is allocated one number in the research system and then a different number in Agresso once funding is awarded. In addition, where a research project has multiple internal co-investigators across a college or the university each co-investigator is given a different number for their element of the project budget. Each of the numbers bears no relation to the original project number or where there are multiple Co Investigators the post award parent project number.
We therefore plan to move to a single project number for a research project throughout its full lifecycle and related sequential numbering for Project Investigators and Co-Investigators. This is achieved by the implementation of Sub Project numbers below Project numbers. To achieve such a change we are required to implement sub project numbers across the full Agresso system. This will therefore result in a change from using project numbers for transactional processing to using the new sub project numbers. All existing project numbers will be suffixed with a number 1 to increase them from a 5 to a 6 digit number which builds sufficient capacity for project numbering going forward. A sub project number will then be created for each converted project number by adding a ‘-01’ to the end of the project number. It is this sub project number that will be used for transactional processing and budget management.
The implication of such a change to the financial coding in Agresso is that after the conversion all users will be required to use a sub project number for processing. All other systems that also utilise project number need to be updated to use sub project number. We are currently in discussion with the other system owners regarding the update of project numbers to sub project numbers in these systems.
For conversion the simple logic will apply:
Put a 1 at the start of your existing project number and add a hyphen 01 at the end e.g. 41744 = 141744-01
Further information and guidance will be issued to all Agresso users in advance of the change being applied, and further information is included in the presentation slides above.
We are now working with a number of user group members to finalise the detailed requirements for the electronic storage of project related documents. We have also received the required developments from the system supplier and will be scheduling sessions with user group members to review and complete high level testing on specific areas of functionality.