External website programme update – spring 2018

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote an update on our external website programme. Since then, there have been a few changes to the projects that we’re working on – particularly the research project. This blog post will provide an update on the changes to the projects and the overall programme deadline. 

In-flight projects

Digital communications currently have three in-flight projects; news and media centre, research and events. The news project is progressing as expected, and should be completed in early June in order for the team to use the new system for Graduation. However, there have been some changes to the delivery of the research and events projects, due to some resourcing issues.

As a result of these issues, the University’s Business Transformation Board approved a change to the research project, and as a result, we have also been offered some additional project management resource for May and June.

Research project

The main change to the research project has been that we have postponed some elements of delivery until later in 2018. Specifically, we have agreed to complete the following elements of the project in spring 2018:

  • Complete and launch the research blog
  • Create the research showcase section, including ten new case studies
  • Create a new version of the research homepage
  • Help to update the completed content in T4v7

We are effectively creating a new top level of the Research section, but we will be deep linking from the new homepage to the old-style content pages. We will then come back to the child sections within the research section at a later date.

The changes to the project have now been communicated to all stakeholders, and the scaled-back version of the project is on track to be completed in early June.

Events project

The outline business case for the events project was discussed at our external website programme board in March, and it was decided to pause this project until we had received some additional project management resource to push this project forwards. We have now been allocated some additional project management support from the University’s Business Transformation Portfolio Office, and this project manager is now pulling together some possible solutions which can go into a full business case. We anticipate that a full business case with a recommended solution will be put to the board by the end of June 2018.

If the full business case is accepted, then the digital communications team will have three months to implement the solution, apply our patterns and theme and create the processes for uploading, approving, publishing and removing events. This means that the events project is now due to be completed by the end of September 2018.

Programme deadline

Due to changes to the programme and the impact of reduced resourcing, we have extended the deadline of the external website programme by four weeks, meaning that the programme is now due to be completed by the end of September 2018. Between now and then, we have graduation, the launch of the 2019-entry Digital Prospectus pages, the Admin A-Z project, the homepage refresh project and orientation – so we’ll be quite busy! However, we think it’s still realistic to have the programme completed to this deadline.

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