Closure Report

Project Summary


The HESA Staff Return is an annual submission of staff data which is required to meet HESA requirements. This project covered any changes required to either collect the data in Oracle HR & Payroll, submitted the data to HESA or fixed any issues that were outstanding from 2016/17 return;

The HESA requirements changed for 2017/18 and the scale of these changes for 2017/18 were covered in the HRS094 Brief


  • The University provided HR staffing information to HESA for 2017/18. 
  • Post-deployment support from June to mid-November 2018, for the Business Area's validation and submission process
  • This year's return included one issue carried over from the last year's HESA return (16/17). The carried over JIRA was replaced by HRS094-21 to explain what was required for the long term solution in 2017-18.

Objectives & Deliverables

Item Objective & Deliverable Result
1 Undertook all development work required to meet the changes and requirements required for the 17/18 HESA return Achieved
2 Reviewed the necessary carried over work from the 16/17 return and determined the code required to update and successfully complete the 17/18 return Achieved
3 Supported the submission of the 2017/18 HESA return Achieved
4 Delivered all changes required for HR database, application, and extracts Achieved
5 Delivered all changes required for HESA, HESA Archive database, application, extracts, BI Suite and HESA universes Achieved


  •  Met the legislative HR HESA Staff Return requirements to enable the university to obtain the funding required from the government

Success Criteria

  • Successfully delivered the HR HESA Staff Return for 2017/18
    • Edinburgh University and
    • HESA have accepted this.

Analysis of Resource Usage:

Staff Usage Estimate: 122 Brief)

Staff Usage Actual: 102 days

Staff Usage Variance: 102/122 =  0.83% (Brief)

Other Resource Estimate: not applicable

Other Resource Actual: not applicable

Other Resource Variance: not applicable


Explanation for variance

  • Impact of strikes in Feb /March 2018 resulted on the Brief being delayed from early Feb until late April
  • Experienced contractor was extended from 4-June to 6-July
    • During this time the contractor covered work that made the business testing easier and the rest of the project work progressed very smoothly with minimal changes after his departure

Key Learning Points

Once the HR HESA Return has been implemented to Live

  • Always ask HR to run the return straight away to ensure any early bugs are found and resolved
    • Although the first deployment took place on 15-May the return was not run in Live until June (this almost missed the opportunity for the contractor to problem solve successfully on his last couple of days)
    • First it indicated that the archive had not been run in Live although it had been run in Dev and Test
    • Second after the archive had been run for 16/17 it then failed on one of the very first test logs (in JIRAs).
    • It took until 12 June to start testing the Live Data.
    • Extremely fortunate that the HESA contractor was extended or he would have left on the day the first issue was found
  • Benefits obtained during 2017-18 HR HESA Staff Return
    • HR now have project team cover for running this project which has worked very well. This has  meant IS Apps have more than the business lead to query with questions
    • Apps Support created a spreadsheet  of the skills set required to address the requirements identified (in a JIRA test log). This helped identify the skills we needed to address the HESA Return
    • Apps Support completed the areas of the HESA return they could before the contractor started to ensure the project could benefit as much as possible from his time with us
    • Weekly project team meetings held while the contractor was developing/testing really benefited the smooth running of the project and enabled all areas to successfully move forward as fast as they could
    • With the contractor having  both skill sets required (HESA pl/sql and APEX) plus being fully resourced only to the HESA return, this had a huge impact on meeting the deadlines even though he did not start until late April
    • Project benefited from contractor completing his own testing before passing through to HR
    • Contractor through his own testing solved several existing issues before the work was passed to the business
    • Final HESA Cost Centres must be loaded, usually via a spreadsheet, when available in early August (- this is not a new learning point, just a point to remember).   
    • Some useful information that should be referred to at the start of the 18/19 HESA Project has been held in Item 9

Outstanding Issues

There are no outstanding issues.



Project Info

HR HESA Staff Return 17/18
Human Resources (HRS)
Management Office
Project Manager
Anne Mathison
Project Sponsor
Susan McLaren
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority