Skip to main content

Project Management Case Studies: R&IS

Project Manager: Gillian Lane

Why the University needed this project

Following increasing volumes of work over a 10-year period Research and Impact Services (R&IS) made the case that their administration system was no longer fit for purpose. The replacement system that was identified was Ideate - software that could be used for costing, pricing and approval of research applications and awards and a system that was more intuitive that the current one and which offered enhanced functionality and greater speed of processing.

What we did

It took 2.5 years to make sure Ideate worked with other University systems and that staff users were fully trained. There was a short period of parallel working with the old and new system and Gillian organised drop in meetings to resolve staff queries.

Ideate went live in July 2014. Now fully operational it supports the set-up and costing, approval and governance of over 1500 research applications per year with a value of £400 million.

What benefits the project brought about

Ideate has delivered a number of benefits to the University, all allowing for faster and more efficient processes and more accessible and accurate data for research support:

  • Improved processing with contract lead times being reduced by 25%
  • Improved data and management information.
  • Improved support for core business activities.
  • The ability for future development.

Moving forward

Regular reviews with the Ideate Delivery Manager will take place at least once every 3 months to review key metrics and ensure close monitoring of the day-to-day service.

The new software was well received by users. Navdeep Bains, Head of Research Support, Funding & Contracts in R&IS commented “The unique benefit of Ideate is that it is a workflow management system, enabling all functionality from costing to approvals to be undertaken in one place. This has led to a more efficient way of working and has also resulted in an improvement in governance and data management, which has benefited academic departments as well as senior management at the University”.