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SharePoint for Collaboration

Funded by JISC - Project duration: Nov 2011 - May 2013


UCLan are in the process of rolling out SharePoint (SP) as a system to facilitate collaboration across the university, documentation management, meetings and (to a certain extent) communication.

The SharePoint4 Collaboration project is being run to ensure that the business processes around the following tasks are correctly established on SharePoint – being led by the business needs rather than the technology:

  • annual monitoring (full time undergraduate) 
  • meeting management 
  •  in-School/Service communication are correctly established on SharePoint

The outcome of this should be that SP enables staff to carry out these tasks effectively and is set up to suit your needs rather than you adapting to a system.

JISC has been facilitating the JISC Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Group (EAPG) following a series of projects trailing the use of EA in HE. Due to the membership of the EAPG – now the Strategic Information Practitioners Group (SIPG), of a UCLan project manager and the recent field test of the Strategic ICT Toolkit, the University are keen to explore how an EA approach could improve UCLan’s maturity with regards to strategic ICT and ensure the university is in a position to be as effective, flexible and efficient in the delivery of its ICT provision to meet future demands of the sector. This project was submitted to the JISC Transformations funding call.

UCLan has a range of documentation and information that is required across the institution, for example meeting documentation. Currently UCLan shares information and documentation through email, shared areas on the UCLan network, VLEs and on paper, with no defining process. This can result in; lack of version control, duplicate copies, no audit trails and mis-information. As with other universities, UCLan is attempting to balance a number of priorities including cost reduction and sustainability. Reducing printing costs will be achieved through a number of initiatives, including paperless meetings. A number of channels are utilised for communication including email both across the institution and to identified groups, notices on plasma screens or through the staff intranet. Other than the email system, the communication tools available are generic and many staff do not engage with them as they feel they are not relevant. As a result a lot of key information can be missed.

To attempt to tackle this UCLan has introduced SharePoint as a tool for documentation management, collaborative working space and communication. It is anticipated that the introduction of SharePoint will improve efficiency with accessing and sharing documents, reduce printing costs with the introduction of paperless meetings and improving targeted communication at all levels across the university.

Project team

  • Roderick Dubrow-Marshall - Project Executive
  • Lucy Nelson - Project Manager
  • Helen Edgar - Business Analyst
  • Representatives from Schools and AQaSU

Results and Outputs

JISC Central Website for updates to this project


Aims and objectives

 Although the roll out of SharePoint and Outlook across the business is already underway, it would be beneficial for both the monitoring of the impact of the new systems and to ensure they are meeting the business need (being used effectively). Therefore this project will take an EA approach to map the business processes in the areas of documentation management, collaborative working space and communication.

The documentation management and collaborative working processes will be implemented within the scope of this project, with new policies for documentation management (using the JISC ERDM toolkit) and meeting management published. The review of the communication structure will be undertaken and a new service design created for to be reviewed for implementation.

This will be achieved by;

  • Using Archi to model the As Is for the current processes for documentation management and collaborative working processes such as meetings and projects.
  • Create a blueprint of the student experience of the processes through a service design review to identifying the fail points and periods of extensive wait.
  • Using Archi, create the model a To Be process for documentation management and collaborative working processes such as meetings and projects.
  • Implement the new processes with selected pilots and review
  • Roll out processes to the wider university.

It is intended that the JISC resources used to deliver this will include the use of the EA resources published in November, the current EA resources published and new resources when available, the JISC Archi modelling tool and the Service Design resources