University of Edinburgh hosts start of term open days for new students joining the University twice a year; September and January.  September intake amounts to ca. 10,000 new students from across the world.  Professional Services concentrate on the administrative, IT and joining activities to ensure the best experience possible.  ISG is responsible for IT Services readiness, new cards, personal IT (Wi-Fi), Library tours, as well as learning and teaching technologies.

This project will be split into two distinct workstreams;

IT Readiness - which will focus on all the services and related projects going on across the university that have an impact on start of term,


Welcome Week - which will deal will everything that needs to be set up for a successful welcome week including IT access (WIFI), Banking Letters and Card distribution.

This document sets out the scope and accountabilities ISG undertake in the preparation for the new academic year. The objective is to ensure ISG has a consistent, repeatable and coordinated process in place. 



The scope of this project covers:

  • deliver a framework to allow the monitoring of collective readiness across Information Services for the start of term.
  • will leverage and build upon service-based work already carried out over the last three years.
  • will seek to highlight areas of potential uncertainty or hot spots in terms of resource requirements.
  • will seek to build upon and support the excellent work already done around the start of term period, and showcase best practice and lessons learned for future years.
  • Will implement lesson learned from the 2020/21 project.
  • Continue to improve engagement in areas including:
    • Ensure the engagement with the Welcome Week group, by having a representative on the project team.
    • Provide improved clarity around out of hours procedures, roles and responsibilities.
    • Ensure that SLT set the expectation that individuals involved can commit adequate time to attend meetings and provide two-way communication from their areas.
    • Engage early with Estates to overcome the challenges of the previous years and continue to build on the improvements from previous years.
    • Increase student involvement in the project through students in ISG Communications Team and Applications Project Services intern(s).
    • Improve comms with welcome week activities.
    • Ensure various improvements for welcome week are implemented.
  • Will monitor the progress of 13 projects identified by the CIO as having direct influence on the Start of Term as part of the IT readiness workstream.

Out of scope

  • This project does not replace existing activities for the start of session within the ISG Divisions or across the University as a whole.
  • Any areas of uncertainty will be communicated via the appropriate IS Divisional representative for management within the division (or service, or project as appropriate).
  • Improvements technical or non-technical to the Student Photo Upload.
  • Due to the uncertanties around future Covid restrictions any experiential student events/activities will not be included with in the scope of this project
  • This project does not take on the project delivery responsibilities of any of the projects identified within the IT Readiness workstream. These remain with the assigned project managers.

Objectives and Deliverables

As this project is split into two distinct workstreams the objectives have been separated  and fall into the following workstreams:

Objective 1 - IT Service Readiness 

Objective 2 - Welcome Week 

Objective 3 - Both 






   IT Service Readiness Workstream    


To reduce disruption to services as far as possible and to ensure that impacts on users is minimised.


Gosia Such


Business context for 2021/22 start of semester 1, in particular, any changes in student numbers, business processes, people or systems which may impact on risk.


Project Manager


Deliver a 'Start of Semester 1' Communications Plan for start of semester 1


Project Manager


Confirmation and visibility of the staff responsible for the start of semester 1 readiness in each ISG Division, and staff people needed to deliver support services over the start of term period; this includes out of hours support, and readiness RAG status.


ISG Division Contacts 


Confirmation and visibility of the staff responsible for the start of semester 1 readiness in associated Business Partner areas e.g. Student Admin, Estates and staff people needed to deliver support services over the start of term period; this includes out of hours support, and readiness RAG status.


Partner Area Contacts


Visibility of planned changes to existing services from Change Management, and from projects in progress with their delivery RAG status.


Change Manager


Visibility of planned new services required by Start of Semester 1 delivered by projects in progress and their delivery RAG status.


Project Manager


Risk and dependency management at portfolio level for all ISG projects needed for the start of semester 1. This will mean regular monitoring of all riskson projects with links to Start of Term. The risk management will still sit with the Project managers but ISG020 will escalate anything that has an impact on Start of Term.


Project Manager


Visibility of Risk and dependency management at portfolio level for any USG, Estates projects needed for the start of semester 1. This will mean regular monitoring of all risks on Estates projects with links to Start of Term. The risk management will still sit with the Project managers but ISG020 will escalate anything that has an impact on Start of Term.


Project Manager


Visibility of the IT and Library Business Services needed for the start of semester 1 (based on the Service Catalogue) and their readiness RAG status.


Project Manager


A single site providing an overview of projects, services, teams, and RAG statuses; this site should be accessible by anyone in IS to assess the position of the start of semester readiness; This will help establish the status of deliverables D2, D3, D4, D6.


Project Manager


Processes for reviewing the readiness of services, projects and people at least fortnightly during the period June to October 2021.


Project Manager


Ensuring clarity and effectiveness of the change management process focusing on the rules, process and details of the change control period before and during Start of Semester 1.


Change Manager


Ensuring measurement and reporting of Start of Semester KPIs with a comparison against the equivalent data for last year. These KPIs will include but is not limited to:

  • Service availability and reliability
  • overall student-facing systems availability over the Start of Semester period
  • usage stats
  • change requests requested and approved during the change control period All these should be compared against last year's data.
  • overall satisfaction score (introduced by IS Change Manager)


Project Manager

  Welcome Week Worksteam    


To ensure that Welcome Week, weeks 0, 1 and 2 are planned and delivered successfully, so that the experience of new and returning students is a positive and welcome one.



Coordinate and deliver activities around  Welcome Week in the Library including:

  • Financial estimate for all activities
  • Card Services (including cards distribution)
  • Coordination with other University activities
  • Printing and delivery of Banking Letters
  • Improvements to student access to WIFI (Eduroam)


Project Manager

  Both Workstreams    


To ensure that communication and reporting across ISG and other areas within the University are clear and timely 



Report to SLT Operations Meeting on a monthly basis from April 2021 and weekly from August 2021


Project Sponsor/Project Manager



  • Improved visibility across ISG and the University promoting awareness of service changes and improvements.
  • Improved data on the impact of previous and planned changes to assist in making better decisions during the start of term period.
  • Improved student experience.
  • Reduction to cost in ISG staff time resolving incidents resulting from service changes.
  • Reduction in costs to IS and the University of managing Major Incidents.
  • Establish maintain the start of term statistics and information which can be used for future years.


Success Criteria

Supporting the start of semester 1 with improved overall visibility of:

  • the readiness of services and any expected issues.
  • staff resources required to support start of term activities and services, and their availability.
  • improvement in overall satisfaction score.

Project Milestones

Stage Milestone Due Date Previous Date
Plan Planning Review 30-Apr-2021 No date available
Execute IS Staff Involvement Agreed (D1.2a, D1.2b, D3.1) 21-May-2021 No date available
Execute Established List of Projects, Services, and Teams (D1.1a, D1.1b) 18-Jun-2021 No date available
Execute Welcome Week Planning Complete (D1.3, D1.4, D1.5a, D1.5b, D1.6, D1.7, D1.8, D1.9, D1.10) 06-Aug-2021 No date available
Execute Start of Welcome Week (External Milestone) (D2.1) 13-Sep-2021 No date available
Execute Start of Teaching Week 1 (External Milestone) 20-Sep-2021 No date available
Execute Start of Teaching Week 2 (External Milestone) 27-Sep-2021 No date available
Deliver Change Freeze in effect 7th September until 27th September (External Milestone) 27-Sep-2021 No date available
Deliver Delivery Sign Off Review following Start of Session 05-Nov-2021 No date available
Close Project Closure 03-Dec-2021 No date available


Project Info

IT and Library Business Service Readiness for Start of Term 2021/22
ISG Portfolio Projects (OTHISG)
Management Office
Project Manager
Tim Gray
Project Sponsor
Neil Bruce
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority