Closure Report

Background

The current version of the payments software was outdated and sitting on outdated infrastructure. The supplier asked all customers to upgrade the client version or move to the cloud product (PT-X).  This project upgraded the existing version of C-Series to the cloud product.  The support contract with the supplier ended in April 2020. In preparation for planning and moving to the new version, agreement was reached with the 3rd party supplier to extend the present support arrangement until 26th June 2020. This date coincided with a planned BACS change and a move to security standards SHA-2. 

Summary

The project was delivered over the period from the 9th June - 26th June, 2020.

Over the duration of the project, two Change Requests and two key decisions were taken:

  • A change in project milestones
  • A change in project priority
  • A Finance decision to defer live-proving of the larger payroll files
  • A project team decision to remove the auto-transfer of files from scope.

The Project Manager would like to acknowledge the support and commitment of all project team members, specifically:

Name Business Area Role
Douglas Stewart        Finance  Business Lead
Adam Scott Finance Senior Systems Support Administrator
Alex Michaelson Development Technology                                                  Systems Administrator
Alister Webb Development Technology Database and Systems Administrator
Vicky Galt Corporate Office Disability Information Officer
Anne Graham Applications Management Applications Manager

 

Scope

Scope Description Achieved
S1 A use and support contract is in place with the 3rd party supplier, Bottomline Technologies.       Yes
S2 The build and testing of the necessary infrastructure to enable data exchange with the 3rd party supplier.             Yes
S3 A managed transition is undertaken from C-Series to the PT-X product.       Yes
S4 A data archiving solution.       Yes
S5 Decommissioning of the present C-Series system.       Yes

Objectives and Deliverables

O1 Provision of supporting infrastructure is in place MOSCOW Rules Owner Achieved
D1.1 The provision of a device with internet connectivity i.e. a server with links to the cloud. Must Dev Tech        Yes
D1.2 The opening up of firewalls to allow for data access and data transmission. Must

Dev Tech

       Yes
D1.3 An auto transfer of files from a secure shell to the K-Drive (drive to be confirmed). Must Dev Tech

       No 

              

D1.4 A data archiving solution. Must Dev Tech        Yes
D1.5 Decommissioning of the present C-Series system. Must Dev Tech        Yes
O2 Consistency in data handling and processing is proven      
D2.1 Successful parallel testing of Accounts Payables. Must Finance        Yes
D2.2 Successful parallel testing of Direct Debits. Must Finance        Yes
D2.3 Successful parallel testing of Payroll. Must Finance        Yes
O3 Project Governance is met      
D3.1 A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) form is completed. Must Finance        Yes
D3.2 An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) has been undertaken. Must Finance        Yes
D3.3 Change Management is met via the issuing of IS Alerts and attendance at the Change Arbitration Board (Go-CAB). Must Proj Mgr        Yes
O4 Business Process Improvement      
D4.1 Improve the efficiency of the authorisation and sign-off process, to deliver the required level of security and financial control, via the most efficient means (e.g. minimise the steps in the sign-off process, without compromising controls). Should Finance          No

 

Benefits

The cloud version has a number of benefits which align with Finance goals to improve efficiency of processes.

Benefit   Features Description Achieved
B1 Security PT-X provides ever evolving security features and updates without requiring any intervention or management from the user. As techniques of modern fraudsters become more advanced, PT-X is developed to mitigate these risks, and updates are made to the platform automatically. It is the most up-to-date and efficient way of preventing, spotting and stopping fraud.         Yes  
B2 Access and Availability PT-X is a cloud-based web application which can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, from any device, including tablets and smart phones       Yes
B3

Regulatory Updates

PT-X provides swift response to industry events and new security regulation without delay. These updates become available to the user automatically.         Yes
B4 User Login PT-X features multi-factor authentication, providing increased user access security in line with industry guidelines.         Yes
B5 User Permissions PT-X offers improved admin rights for adding or changing user permissions without requesting support.         Yes
B6

Resilience

There is increased resilience to the application and the 3rd party software for the cloud based service. The UoE will continue to be secure and resilient for its infrastructure and data files.       Yes
B7 Compliance Adherence to BACS security standards, specifically SHA-2.       Yes

Success Criteria

Success  Description Achieved
SC1 Users can access and make use of the the PT-X application to ensure consistent results across the two products.       Yes
SC2 The performance of the PT-X application is at least as good as the current C-Series.       Yes
SC3 The PT-X application provides the same functionality as the current C-Series (albeit with additional features).       Yes
SC4 The project is delivered to time, cost, quality and scope.       No

Analysis of Resource Usage:

 Staff Usage Estimate:    30 days 

Staff Usage Actual:         35 days

Staff Resource Variance:  116%

Explanation for variance

The project budget was always on the most optimistic side of the estimate range. The actual project was closer to that submitted with the highest degree of confidence.

Two unplanned factors contributed to the increase:

  • The need to order a new server rather than to re-use an existing one.
  • An unplanned outage of the 3rd party software after go-live led to a logging script being written in-house to flag such an outage for Production Manage awareness.

Key Learning Points

 

Description Recommendations Impact Theme(s)
 

Planning assumptions proved false when it came to execution:

  • Rather than reuse, a new server was required with a lead-time of 1-2 weeks.
  • Also, the process for progressing with an HSM certificate was unfamiliar.
The build of contingency time-lines into the plan proved helpful on this occasion to accommodate unplanned tasks. Should implement as good practice Management of a Project

Resource from Finance, Development Technology and the 3rd party were willing to adjust their working schedule to accommodate a revision to the plan that maximised the order of delivery:

Drive/Encryption configuration v  Service Qualification Plan (SQP) testing. Both activities were on the critical path but the order of completion was independent.

Maintain fluidity in the project plan, where possible. Explore dependencies and adjust accordingly throughout the life-cycle. PM's should be active in their monitoring and control of tasks being carried out by others and encourage communication when it comes to looking at best viable options to undertake work. Should implement as good practice Management of a Project

A good working relationship was established from the outset enabling early guidance on tasks/activities that were not readily apparent across the wider project team.

 

Early involvement with a 3rd party establishes a positive attitude from all in terms of relationship management. Was beneficial Management of a Project

Outstanding Issues

Please refer to the minutes of the meeting held with the project sponsor: outstanding issues

Outwith the project, Finance will progress the following:

  • Seek a time-line from the 3rd party to enable their software to be fully compliant with the recommendations of the Equality Impact Assessment Report.
  • A review of the data archiving policy, to better understand the retention period of historical data.

 

Project Info

Project
C-Series Upgrade
Code
FIN134
Programme
Finance (FIN)
Management Office
ISG PMO
Project Manager
Kevin Hone
Project Sponsor
Craig Henderson
Current Stage
Close
Status
Closed
Start Date
15-Mar-2020
Planning Date
10-Apr-2020
Delivery Date
26-Jun-2020
Close Date
31-Jul-2020
Overall Priority
Higher

Documentation

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