Closure Report

Project Summary

This project was completed to ensure that users of the University’s Academic Blogging platform benefit from blogs.ed.ac.uk being on the most up to date and secure version with the latest features available to them. The WordPress system was upgraded to the latest supported version (5.4) and new functionality was delivered to enable email notifications to Instructors when Students publish new posts or reply to Instructor comments. Improvements were also made to enable the Educational Design and Engagement team to provide support to users.

Analysis of Resource* Usage:

Staff Usage Estimate (Project Management): 7 days

Staff Usage Actual (Project Management) : 6.5 days

*DLAM days are not included in resource estimates

Outcome

  • www.blogs.ed.ac.uk l was upgraded from WordPress 5.2 to version 5.4 (9 July 2020)
  • PHP was upgraded from 7.1 to 7.3 for www.blogs.ed.ac.uk
  • Notifications to Instructors when Students publish new posts or reply to Instructor comments were enabled
  • User acceptance testing of changes was completed prior to the upgrade
  • The new notifications were checked for accessibility, and the accessibility statement was updated
  • Information was made available to the Academic blogging user community in advance, and User documentation has been updated to reflect the changes

Objectives and Deliverables

 

Priority

Status

O1. To ensure that the UoE instance is kept up to date with community supported software releases and GDPR requirements

 

Completed

D1. A fully tested and working upgrade of WordPress to the latest version of the 5.4 build including all plugins and themes.

Must have

Completed

D2 An updated TAD

Could have

Reviewed

D3 Un updated BRD

Must have

Completed

D4 An updated SDS

Must have

Completed

D5 A communication plan for Blog users to inform them about upgrade features

Must have

Completed

D6 Updated user help and guidance materials.

Must have

Completed

 

Success Criteria

Current functionality including plugins work with the new version

Achieved

Themes are fully compatible with the new functionality

Achieved

New enhancements resulting from the new version are made available to users

Achieved

There are no issues with maintaining current data quality

Achieved

User help and guidance documents are updated

Achieved

 

Key Learning Points

  • The scope of this project was limited to high priority changes which helped keep the project simple
  • Additional time spent documenting requirements and checking these with stakeholders at the planning stage would have helpful to the development team
  • WordPress plugins had been reviewed and updated shortly before the project began, which reduced the time needed for testing
  • It may have been helpful having a representative from apps on the project team to help with scheduling the PHP upgrade work
  • A list of responsibilities for the deployment plan e.g. who is contacting apps, who is putting up or taking down banners, who is upgrading the WordPress instance, tagging the code, ensuring the team had the relevant access required to upload the code. etc would have been helpful during the implementation itself
  • Accessibility checking of custom functionality was helpful to ensure new features are accessible to all users
  • Finding staff for User Acceptance Testing was difficult at this time of year as preparations were underway for the new hybrid teaching model and people were being encouraged to take annual leave
  • Including the original feature requesters in UAT may have been useful
  • Short weekly team meetings were useful as a regular checkpoint
  • There are a number of additional features requested by users that will need further development work. These were considered at the planning stage but excluded from this project because of resource and time constraints

Outstanding Issues

None. All Project Risks have been closed.

Project Team

Karen Howie

Project Sponsor

Karen Beggs

Project Manager

Mark Finlay

Blogging Service Owner 

James Slack

Senior Supplier

Lorna Campbell / Craig Gilliland

Senior User

Andrew Millington

DLAM team manager

Richard Lawson

DLAM software developer

Dave Gillard

DLAM software developer

 

Project Info

Project
Academic Blogging upgrade 2020
Code
TEL067
Programme
ISG - Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
Management Office
ISG PMO
Project Manager
Karen Beggs
Project Sponsor
Karen Howie
Current Stage
Close
Status
Closed
Project Classification
Grow
Start Date
03-Apr-2020
Planning Date
23-Apr-2020
Delivery Date
02-Jul-2020
Close Date
24-Jul-2020
Overall Priority
Normal
Category
Discretionary

Documentation

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