Archibus is the Estates Department’s Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) system. Archibus has been utilised by the Estates Department for over two decades and has been upgraded and maintained in that time in partnership with the reseller Mass Systems Plc (Mass). 

Over time there has been increased customization of the software including the co-developed reporting tool EBIS. The customisation however, has become increasingly complex to both understand and support due to the legacy issues, technology changes and the sheer number of customized elements.  

Following the last upgrade to Archibus V23.1 it was concluded that minimal future upgrades should be undertaken, due to cost of upgrades and the risk to Estates business given the criticality of Archibus to Estates operations. Instead, the expectation was that a full replacement of the system would be carried out via a procurement process starting in August 2020 and completing in 2023. The new CAFM solution procured via this route would replace the aging system and architecture. Due to a variety of reasons, including the impact of Covid-19 and the priority of People & Money, it was necessary to delay this procurement until at least August 2023.  

During this time, the vendor has released new versions of the software, to the point that the Archibus V23.1 is no longer supported. This results in Estates being on a ‘best endeavors’ arrangement with the reseller Mass to maintain the system. Archibus is currently at V26.4 and will be on version 2022.03 in late 2023. The release model now also includes one major and two minor releases a year and a process of deprecating older technology to enable migration towards SaaS delivery. This approach makes Estates and the University even more exposed to technology failure if we remain on V23.1.  

Based on work already undertaken by the Estates Systems Partnership Team between IS and Estates, there was examination and consensus that the Estates Department must upgrade Archibus to the optimum current version which will provide two things: 

  1. Ensure that Estates are continuing to use a system that includes the requisite levels of support from the vendor. 

  1. Removes as much of the customization as is possible, and thus provides the necessary capability to continue to upgrade the software without it being a major cost or risk to Estate operations. 

Given the complications involved in the upgrade, this project is therefore a detailed planning and investigation piece of work which will provide the necessary information to then feed into the actual project to upgrade Archibus and will help mitigate uncertainties associated with that. 



To undertake investigative work to provide the necessary insights to proceed with upgrading Archibus. It shall include the following: 

  • A report and plan highlighting the relevant detail to enable the smooth upgrade of Archibus V23.1 include timings, costs, human resources, versioning, risk profiles, required business process changes and technical considerations. 

  • Identification and recommendations for the various customisations including actions to remove and reduce customisations in all areas. It will identify where the necessary replacement functionality may exist in the target version of Archibus. 

  • An early demonstration and opportunity to test the capabilities of the target Archibus platform for Estates and ISG stakeholders. 

Out of scope

The actual upgrading of the Archibus system is not in scope and will be follow-up work. 

Objectives and Deliverables


To thoroughly understand the impacts including documented knowledge of the potential risks/benefits associated with a commitment to upgrading the Archibus system. 


Ref. MoSCoW Description Success Criteria Responsible Person
D1 Must   Upgrade Proposal from Mass  That the proposal and costings for the work is acceptable, agreed and can proceed.  D. Shannon / A. Jefferies
D2 Should An Interim report or a summary of findings and conclusions  The report(s) reflect a fair summary of the work and understanding by area or case by case basis.  D. Shannon / A. Jefferies
D3 Must A final written report highlighting the relevant detail to enable the University to make an informed decision   The report is accepted by the Project Board.  D. Shannon / A. Jefferies
D4 Should Updated documentation on what will be the likely state of customization at any stages during or after the upgrade.  The documentation is accepted by the Project Board.  D. Shannon / A. Jefferies
D5 Must A demonstration of and capability to learn about the target Archibus version, including access to a Mass hosted sandbox environment .  The relevant stakeholders have knowledge of the target capability to include feedback on the relevant merits or implications for Estates.  D. Shannon / A. Jefferies
D6 Must A sandbox environment to enable Estates to become familiar with the latest version.  That the sandbox environment is available to identified Estates users.   D. Shannon / A. Jefferies



Tangible / Intangible 


Improved Knowledge 


The analysis and report together with associated conversations will provide both IS and Estates with improved knowledge around the details relating to upgrading Archibus. 

Reduce Risk 


The report will include specific areas of concern, and this will enable us to understand and manage the risks relating to the upgrade. 

Productivity Gain 


By undertaking the work separate to the actual upgrade, this enables us to break the work into sensible chunks and therefore the benefit can be realized once we have the relevant information and carry it forward into the actual upgrade activity. 

Internal Customer Satisfaction 


Delivering this separately delivers knowledge to Estates and enables them to plan for the upgrade, particularly around staffing. This will engender further trust in the methods going forward. 


Success Criteria

The following would represent success for this project: 

  • A demonstration of the target version of Archibus for Estates and ISG stakeholders. 

  • The provision and use of a sandbox environment, supplied by Mass, leading to an evaluation of the latest version of Archibus.

  • A review of Archibus target version to self-assess the key changes required in customisations, Estates business processes and technology.  

  • A report with recommendations on upgrading which provides Estates with the detail on the following elements; customisations, impacts, technical platforms, database impacts, staff test and support levels, costs and time. 

Project Milestones

Stage Milestone Due Date
Initiate Start 22-Feb-2022
Plan Planning (Major) 17-Mar-2022
Execute Demo & Sandbox Environment Available 06-May-2022
Deliver MASS Analysis / Report Completion 24-Jun-2022
Accept Report Review & Sign Off 08-Jul-2022
Close Close (Major) 22-Jul-2022


Project Info

Archibus Upgrade Analysis & Planning
Estates Business Operations Optimisation Programme (EOO)
Management Office
Project Manager
David Shannon
Project Sponsor
Colin Pritchard
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority