Key players in your project

6 June 2024
HE Transformation: Key players in your project main image

Get ready for your HE transformation journey: Part Two

By Jennifer Tavano-Gallacher
VP Higher Education at Inoapps

As mentioned in my introductory blog, To the clouds, and beyond, the key to Higher Education (HE) transformation program success is collaboration. That collaboration falls into three areas:

  1. Collaboration between the university, your software vendor (Oracle in our case) and your implementation partner
  2. Collaboration between your core program team and your wider organization
  3. Collaboration between everyone working on the project 

Big transformation programs touch most university staff and need a lot of specialized knowledge to implement successfully. Inoapps breaks these specialties into six key project disciplines.

The six project disciplines

In this blog, I’m going to give you a whistlestop tour of all the types of people needed to make your HE transformation a success, along with some tips to kick start your resource planning.

1. Project & Program Management

Ensures the program and associated projects achieve specific goals and success criteria at specified times.


Who: Project Managers What: Initiate, plan, execute and manage the project.

Top tips

  • You’ll need a project manager (PM) for both the university and system integrator (SI) team
  • If it’s a big project with many phases, you’ll need a PM to focus on individual areas (like HCM or Finance), or phases if the timeline is long
Who: Program Managers What: Keep an eye on the big picture and make sure the work of all the major streams is pulled together. Sit above project managers and discipline leads.

Top tips

  • It’s a good idea to have both a university and SI Program Manager
  • Program Managers need to stay focused on the big picture and the interactions between the various work streams, as micro-management risks missing critical interdependencies 


Who: University Functional Sub Team Lead What: Manages the day-to-day processes of each functional area.

Top tips

  • You’ll need this discipline if your organization is complex and you require a lot of formal project reporting and governance


2. Technical Consulting & Data Analysis   

Relates to aspects of data, reporting and security and requires robust understanding of tools utilized to import, export and report on the information in the system.

Who: Technical/Data Discipline Lead What: Supports detailed planning of technical activities and day-to-day management of delivery.

Top tips

  • You’ll need a technical lead for both the university and SI team
  • You may want a technical lead for project phases and/or to cover specific areas (data migration, integration, reporting)
Who: Data Analysts  What: Produce detailed technical designs and requirements, functional specifications, data mapping and security design. Report to both Technical Lead and Sub Team Lead.

Top tips

  • You should have one embedded in each functional sub team
  • Role can be filled by either organization, but the university should have some staff in these roles
Who: Developers  What: Develop, document and unit test technical elements incl. integrations, data migrations and reports.

Top tips

  • Typically provided by the SI, often offshore, but recommended that some come from the university, especially in relation to reports, to build continuous improvement skills for after go live 
  • Resource requirement best established once solution design is complete


3. Functional & Business Analysis

Experts in system configurations and Oracle Cloud (MBP) and how they’re executed in the system.  

Who: University Functional Lead  What: Key resource responsible for owning the requirements and designing the business process for each functional area.  Essentially the product owner.

Top tips

Needs the following characteristics:

  • Senior enough to have confidence to make process recommendations, but junior enough to be close to day-to-day processes and fully understand the detail
  • University employee experienced enough to fully understand the requirements
  • Open to staying in a systems role and supporting continuous improvement after go live 
Who: SI Functional Lead What: Functional expert with robust understanding of the product, configuration options, and best practice and process.

Top tips

  • Has ideally implemented in HE and has solutions for specific university requirements
  • These resources are some of the most important for getting best return on your investment, but are expensive—we will talk in later posts about maximizing their value
Who: Business Analysts    What: Assist with design and documentation of ‘to be’ processes and supports project activities incl. testing, data preparations, training.

Top tips

  • Important to have one business analyst in each functional team
  • Can be university staff, from your SI or recruited for the project
Who: Process Champions   What: Support delivery of both a robust solution and effective change management with project activities incl. design workshops, data gathering and user acceptance testing.

Top tips

  • Must come from existing university staff
  • Time commitment is typically around half a day to a day a week
  • Don’t be tempted to overlook this role as it’s a vital conduit between the project team and the broader business—we’ll explore this role in more detail in future blogs


4. Change Management & Communications

To prepare and support individuals, teams, and organizations to support the change required to the business to implement Oracle Cloud Modern Best Practice (MBP).

Who: Change Management and Communications Lead    What: Cross stream lead responsible for detailed Change and Communications planning and delivery management.

Top tips

  • Can be provided by SI but typically done by the university or third party as it ideally starts before implementation is in full flight 
  • For large, complex projects, you may wish to sub-divide the role by phase or functional area
Who: Change Analyst What: Delivers change activities incl. business impact assessments, stakeholder analysis and business readiness assessments.

Top tips

  • Role should be embedded in the functional sub teams
  • Can be provided by university, SI or a third party 


5. Testing and Quality Assurance

Looks after quality assurance and assists in design and execution of automated and manual tests to ensure the software configuration is fit for purpose.

Who: Test Lead   What: Owns the test strategy and execution.

Top tips

  • May be split into multiple roles by phase or test type depending on size and complexity of project
  • Can be provided by university or SI, but experience in testing large-scale package systems is essential


Who: Testers What: Generate test cases, write test scripts, perform testing.

Top tips

  • Needs at least one full time employee per functional sub team, ideally embedded from the start of design
  • Can be sourced from the university or SI, or if university data policies permit, may be a good role to offshore


6. Training specialists

Specialized experts who create and deliver training plans, materials and classes. Inoapps has three models for Higher Education:

  1. Inoapps develops the materials and does the training
  2. The university develops the materials and does the training
  3. Inoapps designs the training plan and strategy and the university delivers it—this is the approach adopted by the University of Edinburgh and is outlined below
Who: Training Lead What: Establishes and delivers the training strategy.

Top tips

  • For large, complex projects, you may wish to have leads for different phases or application pillars
  • Role can be filled by university, especially if a training function is already in place
  • However, if there’s little experience in this area, consider sourcing from your SI, who will have best practice approaches and templates for your project type
Who: Trainers   What: Deliver training, embedded in functional sub-teams.

Top tips

  • Should ideally be with their teams from the Design phase
  • Can come from either the university or SI

This hopefully gives you some ideas about your resource planning. When combined with your capability model, you’ll start to get a picture of the size of team you’ll need, and when you get into planning, you can decide how each role should be delivered. 

In our next two blogs, we’ll discuss the other two key pillars of your project: governance and your capability model.

If you have any questions or want to discuss your HE transformation project, just reach out and Ask Inoapps. 

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