ITI Project Brief - RSS408 Datavault 5

RSS 408 – DataVault 5: Code Refactoring Development



Project Brief


Document Sign-off  



Date signed off

Robin Rice


Project Sponsor


Ianthe Sutherland

Service Owner


Chris Walker

Project Manager


Maurice Franceschi

Programme Manager



Working draft should be version 0.x and 1.x Draft sent for Approval/Review should be version 2.x Approved Project brief should be 3.0 Post-approval changes should be change controlled via Issue Log and Scope Change Page, and version 3.x




DataVault is designed for long-term retention of research data, to meet funder requirements and ensure future access to high value datasets. It meets digital preservation requirements by storing three copies in different locations (two on tape, one in the cloud) with integrity checking built-in, so that the data owner can retrieve their data with confidence until the end of the retention period (typically ten years).

Previous development projects (I-IV), in summary, established a University service from a proof of concept developed in partnership with the University of Manchester; added encryption and a third ‘copy in the cloud’; created a distinct workflow that took advantage of architectural efficiencies; and created interface and performance enhancements, allowing deposits of up to ten TB without errors.

It is a known factor that the underlying DataVault (DV) application, the code that it is written in, is aging and requires a refresh / refactoring, having been first written in 2015. This was reinforced by the recent requirement to update the Oracle Cloud Storage from Gen1 to Gen2 where developers struggled with aging Java class libraries.  Also because of the way that DV has been developed over its lifecycle, it has been approached by several different teams / developers and it is known that there is a level of redundant code / some inefficiencies that could be improved on / cleaned up.


Technical workshops have been held in order to discuss, evaluate and analyse options for refactoring the underlying application / code that DV is written on, to look at options on improvements and ultimately provide estimations (high end) on the works that would be required in order to refactor DataVault.



Development (DataVault 5):

  • Technical analysis, identifying options and agile decision-making – 25 days


  • Update the code base / libraries to latest Java and test - Estimate 25 days


  • Write functional / unit tests / setting up continuous integration – Estimate 25 days  
  • Clean-up / remove redundant code – Estimate 15 days


Rewrite the Worker Webapp - 60 days Fully assess and review the options for rewrite of the workers. It was agreed that rewriting the worker is a minimum requirement for refactoring but would need further full analysis / a decision on the options.   

Out of Scope

Datavault IV

BAU Activity


Objectives and Deliverables and Success Criteria


The objectives of the project is to deliver the following;


  1. Upgraded DV 4 codebase
  2. Implement CI CD Pipeline
  3. Refactor codebase


Unless otherwise indicated, the deliverables are a success when accepted by the Project Sponsor and the Service Owner.





Description of the Objective

Success Criteria


Description of the Deliverables needed to achieve the objective


Objective 1

Upgrade Codebase

All Code Migrated

Deliverable D1.1



Deliverable D1.2



Objective 2

Implement CI/CD Pipeline

Able to deploy via Jenkins

Deliverable D2.1



Deliverable D2.2



Objective 3



Deliverable D3.1

Remove redundant code


Deliverable D3.2

Optimize existing code


Objective 4



Deliverable D4.1



Deliverable D4.2



Objective 5



Deliverable D5.1



Deliverable D5.2



Objective 6



Deliverable D6.1



Deliverable D6.2




This table can be used through Business and Technical Analysis, Design, Build, and Testing/UAT as a Traceability Matrix to ensure the project brief project objectives and deliverables are followed through.




The project is aligned with the following measurable requirements


  1. upgrading Java from 8 (came out 2014) to 17 (current latest LTS release).
  2. mysql db from 5.7 to 8. Tomcat from 7 to 9
  3. Spring Framework 4.16 used to build java apps to latest Spring Boot 2.6.7
  4. Spring Framework 5.3.19
  5. update javascript/ui libraries where available


*utilising Spring boot allows for many Java library’s to be updated autonomously rather than having to identify and migrate specifically.


Requirements are aligned with objectives and deliverables, and also the opportunity to realise the benefits.





Set By

Requirement 1



Requirement 2



Requirement 3



Requirement 4



Requirement 5



Requirement 6






The benefits that the deliverables will enable or act as a catalyst in making happen. These benefits may be immediate or may be realised after the project has closed.


1.           The university maintains data assets after individuals leave; chain of custody ensures proper decision-making about access and further retention

2.           Compliance with research funder requirements for long- term retention of research data

3.           Reduction in storage volumes associated with active data storage, as inactive data is deposited to long-term archive

4.           Those with data that cannot be shared openly or are too large for an online repository have an archiving option

5.           Minimal FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) facilitating good research practice in current terms

6.           Information security and digital preservation to avoid data breaches and data loss



Project will have these governance roles by default. Delete/Add/Change as appropriate.

Portfolio Governance



Division / Group / Team / College / School and Title

Project Sponsor

David Fergusson

Head of Research Services IT Infrastructure, Edinburgh University

Programme Owner

Robin Rice


Programme Manager

Maurice Franceschi


Portfolio Owner



Portfolio Manager



Service Owner




Project Board






Resources Skills and Cost



For small projects and project teams, state the estimated effort - build and test, project management. For medium and large projects, an estimate can be added to the Estimation Log and revised as project progresses. Also estimate costs of hardware, software, licenses, travel, other.


Priority and Funding  

Check the Forward Look and Annual Plan on ITI Sharepoint to see the project's priority within programme and portfolio (and reflect this also on the project info section of the website). Confirm that we have funding for this project.  

Project Team

The project team : who manages the team, lead and other technical people, business analysts, lead and other representatives, people in other areas of the University who will be involved in analysis, testing, acceptance and service handover.  



Division / Group / Team / College / School and Title

Project Manager

Chris Walker


Solution Architect

David Hay


Solution Development

David Hay, Ashton  


Testing, Contributor

Pauline Ward


Service Development



Communications Assistance







Quality of Project and Deliverables / Key Project Milestones  

The milestones are a key tool in ensuring that the project process itself is followed as set out by ITI, and that the product deliverables are to the required Quality.

Edit this template to list the key Milestones and who signs off on these milestones. Add milestones for Security, Accessibility,  UX, as required.

For medium and large projects, a project plan - MS Project, Gantt, or other - can be added to the Plan Log and revised as project progresses. The approach can be stated here.

You can also mention the approach the project is taking to set, measure and confirm the quality of the deliverables



Sign-Off means

Date of Milestone


Who signs-off (Accountability)

Start of Project

Project can begin, is in line with Programme and Portfolio priority, has resource

13 Mar


Sponsor, Programme Manager

End of Planning

Project can begin, is in line with Programme and Portfolio priority, has resource

13 Mar


Sponsor, Programme Manager












Change to Service can proceed

15 Jul


Sponsor, PM

service owner/ service operations manager (helpline)

Handover to Support

support can take over running of the Service



service owner/ service operations manager (helpline)


Project can close

28 Jul


Sponsor, PM


Other Milestones as Appropriate

End of Analysis

quality and completeness of analysis

business analyst / business lead / senior user / PM

End of Design

quality and completeness of design

technical lead / senior supplier/ business lead / senior user/ PM

End of UI Design

quality of UI - to show we have designed an interface that is usable, accessible, promotes equality and diversity

technical lead / senior supplier/ business lead / senior user

End of Build

quality and completeness of build

technical lead / senior supplier/ PM


overall quality of deliverable, UAT has been passed, Intergation testing successful, all components technically checked  - fit for delivery to live service

technical lead / senior supplier /business lead / senior user /business analyst /PM


Security QA

satisfies security

Section Head

Branding QA

for new, upgraded services, sign-off that branding guidelines for ISG, University, school/college has been followed by the project team

PM / and as appropriate ...


UoE C&M, college C&M and (pending) ISG Branding Team

Design UI QA

to show we have built an interface that is usable, accessible, promotes equality and diversity

Sponsor and Service Owner


For new services or services undergoing substantial change, there must be an Equality Impact Assessment completed, validated by equality office and deposited on eqia website

PM/ Service Owner / Equality Officer


Check if your project needs to undergo a Privacy Impact Assessment

PM / Service Owner / CISO


Set the appropriate date for informing GoCAB of the release/change to service





What are the key underlying assumptions for the project that underpin the planning? For example, that the requirements we have outlined are complete, that all our stakeholders have been identified, that the software we are using is ready and configured, that we have a ready to use TEST environment.



Are there constraints on this project? For example, specialist skills are needed, having to deliver in certain windows through the academic year, we need to share a TEST environment with other developers?



The project manager will ensure that the project team will review the risk log at every team meeting, and project owners update their risks at least once a month or more as appropriate to the project.


The project manager will ensure all changes to cost/timeline/scope must be recorded in the issue log, and reflected in miletones log, budget and estimations, and the project Scope Change log.


Previous Lessons Learned

Does the ITI Lessons Learned (see ITI Projects Sharepoint) indicate any issues or risks from previous projects? Is any other previous experience pertinent?



Are there other projects or work that this project is dependent on to start or possibly interact with at a later stage - or vice-versa that depend on this project.

Are we depending on certain events to take place?

Are we dependent on suppliers, or product releases?



For projects with an array of external stakeholders, a Communication Plan can be created and made available on the ITI Sharepoint space if preferred.

Also confirm that :

Project Sponsor and Project Manager meeting schedule has been agreed with Sponsor.

Project Team meetings schedule has been arranged (these may be combined with Sponsor meetings).

 Check the ITI Annual Planning Engagement with Stakeholders on ITI Sharepoint to see the level of engagement our partners expect for your project.

Check the ITI Forward Look to see if your project will be using the Major Governance Toolkit.




Run / Grow / Transform

Which activity does the project contribute to? The project could be one or more of R/G/T  

Alignment with 2030 Strategic Vision 

This project will deliver benefits, change and innovations in alignment with the IS Strategic Vision and the University's Strategic Vision for 2030. ** Check the Annual Plan on ITI Sharepoint to see how the project's deliverables and benefits have been aligned to Run/Grow/Transform and the Strategic Themes **

2030 Themes



























Teaching and Learning









Social and Civic Responsibility



Local Community






City Region Deal / DDI





IS Change Programme - How will this project's Deliverables and Benefits promote the Themes 

Indicate if the project deliverables and benefits contribute to the themes with the IS Change Programme.


IS Change Programme Theme

How the project deliverables and benefits contribute to change

Project Management


Working Together


Standards and Technical Leadership


Staff Learning and Development             


Service Based Culture


Equality and Diversity


Partnerships and Philanthropy


Flexible Resourcing


Communication and Branding



Service Excellence - Information and Security

Are we using standard builds for the project (that is, pre-validated security controls will be in place for infrastructure and data)? Or Do we anticipate having to develop non-standard infrastructure?

Will we have third party integrations on installations?

Are we dealing with data outwith our standard set of controls?

If so, What level of risk is associated with the data? What are the appropriate controls?

The project must outline how it is dealing with risk, how the need to design/build/test impacts on project scope, budget and timeline.

Confirm which University or divisional polices are providing guidance here.

Set Security design, execution and acceptance as a Deliverable Quality Assurance

Create a Security Milestone for Delivery - and Design, Build and Acceptance depending on project complexity - that must be signed-off by Project Manager and Section Head.

Create any specific risks around security


Service Excellence - Process Improvement, efficiency, quality and best practice (Social Responsibility and Sustainability)

If the project could or will lead to recycling of hardware then Create a milestone called 'Recycle - Engagement' so that the project can engage with the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the appropriate time

Add a Benefit to the ITI Benefits Management and Realisation log (ITI Projects Sharepoint)

Is there an opportunity to take advantage of the Green IT Initiative for further funding?

Otherwise set as Not Applicable.


Digital Transformation

Indicate if and how the project itself is contributing to Digital Transformation.

WiIl it use available resources or funding specific to the initiative? e.g. using the services of the ISG Usability Team, applying for Digital Transformation funding.

Are we using new techniques or tools or processes in this project that can be used to transform how we work in general?


IS Change Programme - How will the execution of this project promote the Themes

Indicate if the project itself (during plan, execution, implementation) contributes to the themes with the IS Change Programme.

IS Change Programme Theme

How the project deliverables and benefits contribute to change

Project Management


Working Together


Standards and Technical Leadership


Staff Learning and Development             


Service Based Culture


Equality and Diversity


Partnerships and Philanthropy


Flexible Resourcing


Communication and Branding



Some expectations and suggestions from ISG Directors

IS Change Programme Theme

How the project process will contribute to change



Project Management

Is the PM developing skills and experience? Are we using new techniques, tools or using them for the first time?  

Is this project offering PM opportunity to colleagues in rest of ISG?  

Working Together

Will the project team talk to other colleagues across IS? Can they bring previous experience and fresh thinking to the project?

Add working together to your Communication Plan - go beyond the stakeholders. How will you raise awareness of the project with your colleagues across the divisions? Might you work closer - co-locate, for example?

Could the processes involved in the project itself be improved - what is difficult to do? Is the Admin cumbersome, time-consuming? Add to the Closure Report.

Look to guidance from the IS Change Management team on how to approach this.


Standards and Technical Leadership

Will we develop new or improved standards or processes as part of the delivery? Are we leading on adoption of new technology?  

Staff Learning and Development   

Is there an opportunity for the project to offer development opportunities for colleagues?

Could someone from another team in our division or another ISG division be seconded to the project to provide skills we may be struggling to find in this period?

Can we offer a development opportunity for someone in our division at a lower grade - to come into our project and be skilled up, fulfill a higher grade role for a while?

For planning, make sure you allow the necessary time to engage / recruit in your project, and feed back to the annual plan/forward look?

Set out why this project does not or cannot take advantage of this change theme.


Service Based Culture

Are we helping the service to shift-left?

For services impacted by the change we are delivering : check the Service Catalogue (due for 2016/17) for Service Owner and Service Operations Manager. Confirm with them who should be stakeholders on the project. Also check with head of IS Helpline. Confirm at what stages if the project SO/SOM want representation and sign-off - especially around Design and UAT and Delivery.  Do we need a Handover? Add Stakeholders to these Milestones.

Is there a CMDB entry to update to reflect changes?


Equality and Diversity

Planning: Discuss the Project Board, project team and key stakeholders with your Sponsor - do the groupings reflect/promote diversity?

Be aware of particular periods or dates that may conflict with religious or social or domestic obligations.

Design: Are we designing a User Interface?  Are we designing with best practice in Usability and Accessibility for all devices? Please explicitly ensure that the Design of the UI has been checked for promotion of Equality and Diversity. e.g.  Use 'Mx' in the Honorifics section- - but do we even need honorifics - how much information do we actually need to collect from a user? Does our interface make assumptions about the kinds of people our users are? Do we accommodate people who are at a distance, working flexibly, may not wish to be identified by gender, race, age or show a photo?   Do we give options as to what services users might want or do we assume they will want what we want, or what users have wanted in the past?

Are we being creative in thinking about use cases beyond the metrics and other ‘evidence' we have for users in the past -  not simply recreating/perpetuating old ways of working?

How are we naming a Service (or even Hardware) ? Consider a naming convention to highlight or promote Equality and Diversity. Do we have the opportunity in this to promote role models or show our understanding of  diversity?   Would this give us an additional route for comms or stakeholder engagement? e.g UCL named their HPC ‘Grace’  which gave them an added ‘good news story’ and a chance to dispel myths that there are no women in computing.


Partnerships and Philanthropy


Flexible Resourcing        

Have we considered contract staff, students and interims (and in future, apprentices)?

Can a difficult resourcing situation be resolved by use of fixed term staff or limited  secondments?  

Communication and Branding

Communication: Ensure that you have a session as part of planning for Stakeholder identification and analysis.

Set out the communication plan by the end of the project brief - or set a milestone date for when you will have this in place if end of planning not possible. Project Manager is the accountable person and will sign-off the milestone.

Branding: Are you delivering a new Service or significantly upgrading a new service? If so, then the project team must engage with the new Branding guidelines and Change Management Theme team for ISG, the branding for the school or college via the college marketing team, the University's Comms and Marketing team - potentially all of these.

Use to access assets and guidelines for branding of communications, websites, mobiles.Use the Student Digital Guidelines.



Project Sponsor – Project Responsibilities

The sign-off milestones are associated with specific responsibilities of the Sponsor role.

This sets out the Sponsor responsibilities on this project - please review and amend as appropriate for this project and agree with Sponsor


Start of project – Explicitly Included in the Initiation Milestones Sign-Off

  1. Negotiates and confirms funding for the project
  2. Ensures the project is in line with organisational strategy and priorities
  3. Chairs the project board, appoints its members and ensures they are effective
  4. Advises the project manager of protocols, political risks, issues and sensitivities
  5. Makes the project visible within the organisation 


End of Planning – Explicitly Included in the Planning Milestone Sign-Off

  1. Works with the project manager to develop the Project Brief
  2. Ensures a realistic project plan is produced
  3. Sets tolerance levels for escalation to themselves and to the project board
  4. Ensures that project team have representation and engagement from users and suppliers
  5. Helps identify Stakeholders
  6. Approves Communication Plan
  7. Agrees on frequency of meetings with Project Manager
  8. Agrees of frequency of meetings with Project Team
  9. Agrees on milestones and who signs-off


Development / Execution – ongoing

  1. Provides strategic direction and guidance to the project manager as directed by the Board
  2. Approves changes to plans, priorities, deliverables, schedule
  3. Encourages stakeholder involvement and maintains their ongoing commitment
  4. Chief risk taker
  5. Makes go/no-go decisions
  6. Communicates change in organisational structure, priorities, business benefits or funding
  7. Helps the project manager in conflict resolution
  8. Helps resolve inter project boundary issues
  9. Gains agreement among stakeholders when differences of opinion occur
  10. Assists the project by exerting organisational authority and the ability to influence


Delivery – Explicitly Included in the Delivery Sign-Off

  1. Ensures that Service is ready for change


Closure - Explicitly Included in the Closure Milestone Sign-Off

  1. Helps with publicity for the change delivered
  2. Ensure that benefits will be managed, measured and realised post-project
  3. Evaluates the project’s success upon completion

Project Info

Data Vault V : Code Refactoring Development
ITI - Research Services (RSS)
Management Office
Project Manager
Chris Walker
Project Sponsor
David Fergusson
Current Stage
In Progress
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority