May 2014

Organisation Design

Discussions with College and University Services representatives about the organisation design are continuing. These discussions are focused on defining new research management support roles and structures across the University and involve detailed consideration of current and potential future activity in order to deliver the University’s vision.

Thank you for your patience during this time. Further information will be available once current discussions are concluded.

System Implementation

The upgrade of Agresso Business World (ABW) at the end of April resulted in some performance issues for users.  After working closely with colleagues in IT and the system supplier we have completed a full performance review and resolved the issues.  The patience of our users during this time was greatly appreciated.

Testing of the online tool within Agresso that will allow Principal Investigators (PIs) to create a new project and capture key information continued during May.  Issues have been reported to the supplier and updated versions of the product installed for further testing.  A review of the functionality and assessment against the system requirements (defined from the end to end research management processes) has been completed with no gaps identified.  Demos of the functionality and initial hands on testing will be scheduled with key stakeholder groups including PIs during June. 

A proof of concept development to validate the data migration approach has been built in the Agresso Research build environment and an initial review by the Project Team completed. Focus will now shift to reporting requirements to ensure that the data migration captures sufficient data to allow reporting across both the data that is migrated from the current to the new system and new projects that are created once the system is live. Discussions have commenced on the volume of data that should be migrated.  Key stakeholders will be consulted before a final proposal is presented to the project board.

The Project Team has been working closely with colleagues from HR and Payroll to develop and finalise the requirements for a new interface to automate the creation of pre-approved vacancies from awarded projects.  This will remove the requirement for a secondary financial approval of the vacancy within Core and therefore reduce the time to advertise a vacancy.  A second interface is being specified to automate the initial set up of the recoup of staff costs for employees that are directly allocated to an awarded research project.  The aim is to maintain the data within Core to enable the forecasting of salary recoup information, deliver improved financial reporting and decommission the existing spreadsheet solution.

The set-up of the project approval workflow in line with college criteria has provided some challenges for the team. We have worked with the system supplier to streamline the set up where possible and to ensure that the criteria that will drive the approval levels can be easily maintained to allow flexibility going forward.  Testing of the approval workflow will continue within the project team with the aim of inviting stakeholders to review the solution, to confirm it meets requirements, during July.

Work is ongoing to finalise the requirements to allow commitments to be posted to research projects within Agresso for postgraduate research student stipends and fees.  This will allow improved financial project reporting for PIs. Colleagues within Science and Engineering have assisted in driving this forward and we will be reviewing the requirements with the Student Lifecycle Support and Development team next month.