Posts Tagged ‘project documentation’

Workflow Mapping

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Workflow mapping and finalising exactly how we plan for programmes to be approved and amended within iPaMS has been an ongoing task since the start of the project.  Over the past few months specific meetings have been held where we mapped out Business Approval and processes that currently occur in SITS.  However our focus has been on programmes and making sure that the programme template is fit for purpose.  Therefore any conversation about workflow has been connected to this.  For example the Graduate School of Education (GSE) run a number of ‘Continuing Education Short Courses’.  We met with GSE to discuss how these would fit into the programme template.  These non-credit bearing programmes are in fact approved in module templates, thus we looked into the approval workflow of these to ensure that it maps against other processes within the system avoiding us having to build a separate element of workflow for this handful of programmes.

Now that we have stopped looking at programmes we have finished mapping the workflow processes.  Squeezed onto a page of A3 our workflow diagram is complicated, to put it mildly.  Consultation with Marketing and Faculty has confirmed when individuals need to receive notifications about different stages within the process and to who will receive these.  Consultation with Admissions and the Library has allowed us to streamline parts of the Business Approval process so that each department’s involvement occurs at a slightly different stage, improving communication and efficiency throughout the development of programmes.

We are currently organising meetings with colleges so that those involved in the design and amendment of programmes and modules can comment on the proposed processes and we can make sure that iPaMS will work at this college level.  There have been a few discrepancies between colleges so far, but these are only minor- for example some colleges have a Learning and Teaching Committee, others have Programme Approval Committees, Educational Strategy Group Meetings serve a slightly different purpose in some colleges…  However none of these factors affect how the process works within iPaMS.  All feedback, so far, has been very positive and it looks everybody is looking forward to iPaMS being finished and seeking the benefits of an online workflow process.


Quality Assurance

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My name is Ruth O’Neale and I’m a IT Progamme Manager here at the University of Exeter, responsible for a number of projects of which CRIATE is one.  My role in the project is quality assurance, giving Sam and his project team day to day support but also acting as a critical friend and ensuring that the project is managed in the most effective way possible and in line with our University project governance and that of JISC.  I am keen that however possible project documentation is streamlined so no long onerous reports are produced and that we can easily keep JISC and internal stakeholders up to date on our progress  by using the same information but presented in the different templates required.

The project team are making good use of basecamp, an online collaboration website where we can share project information/documentation and this is a much more efficient way of sharing and maintaining project logs (risks, issues) etc rather than these being shared via email or on shared drives, especially as the project team is made up of individuals from various services (IT, Marketing, Faculty Office, Colleges).  It also alerts our basecamp members when updates are made so they are prompted to go and check the latest information.

A key success factor for our project is effective engagement with staff in the Colleges who have been maintaining their own separate databases up until now. Ensuring we communicate with them appropriately and in a timely way will be really important for our project.  As I’m delivering several projects across the University I may be aware of other factors outside of CRIATE which may impact on it and I see a role for myself in recognising these and in working with Sam  to mitigate any impact.  From a personal point of view like Sam I am relatively new to the University and to working in HE and I’m really enjoying working on the project and engaging with other institutions on the wider programme.