Closure Report

Project Summary

The Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) degree finders are part of The University of Edinburgh’s online prospectus – marketing programmes to applicants and prospective students.

This project produced an options appraisal paper for replacement of degree finder applications. This project was driven by the need to  consider replacement of the existing framework for the applications now reaching end-of-life. The options appraisal paper provided a recommendation which included: 

  • Business benefits
  • A high level solution design
  • An indicative plan
  • Costs for delivery
  • Clarity of risks.

The Project Manager would like to acknowledge the role of others for their contribution to the content:

Name Business Area Role
Mark Ritchie ISG Senior Supplier
James Thin ISG Programme Manager
Niall Bradley CAM Project Sponsor
Neil Allison CAM   Head of Student Recruitment
Steve Ross CAM Head of Digital Marketing 
Adrian Richardson       Development Services        Senior Analyst/Developer

Objectives and Deliverables



O1 To summarise the 'as-is' position for the Degree Finders


D1. A diagram describing the existing system architecture, business processes, users, data (including flows) and security      


O2 To gather and document the high level requirements for publishing degree programme content


D2. A vision statement for the required solution Yes

D3. A high level business requirements document summarised by category and priority


O3 To present and appraise options, and make recommendations, for publishing degree programme content


D4. An options appraisal document to include pros, cons, risks and indicative costings



Analysis of Resource Usage:

Resource Estimate: 35 days

Resource Actual:      30 days

Resource Variance:  86%

Explanation for variance 

As part of project handover to the present Project Manager, direction was given not to spend time on analysis of the ‘as-is’ processes. Furthermore, it was explained that business requirements would not be forthcoming but instead come from a future project when time would be allocated to allow for business discovery. As a consequence, planned business analysis effort was withdrawn in favour of a focus on identifying those build components necessary to replicate current functionality. 

Key Learning Points

Although the project was well supported by all stakeholders, it wasn't always possible to come together for regular meetings. Non-availability of decision makers and to ensure content was representative of all project team members,  the Options Appraisal Paper was revised with more iterations than had been expected.

As a consequence of industrial action and more immediate BAU pressures, getting agreement on project closure took longer to achieve than had originally been planned.

Of the eleven change/issue records raised, two related to loss of project resource and seven were as a result of milestone movement. Project stability and the meeting of timelines was a challenge.

The lack of continuity in the use of project team members inhibited collaboration and prevented more proactive design. This did result in duplication of effort  and contributed to delay.

Outstanding Issues

None. The paper was accepted as a worthy submission and would be considered for future funding as an implementation project.

A risk was raised with Project Sponsor ownership on a need to comply with Accessibility Regulations - Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications). An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) form would need to be completed and the application tested. This work would be scheduled as tasks in a future project. The Disability Information Officer would oversee such effort.


All project artefacts are version controlled and held in the STU266 projects folder on the K: drive.


File stu266_-_project_options_v1.7.pptx86.03 KB

Project Info

UG & PG Degree Finder Options Appraisal
Student Services (STU)
Management Office
Project Manager
Kevin Hone
Project Sponsor
Niall Bradley
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority