Over the past decade I have provided independent specialist consultancy services extensively to the Higher Education sector, through my own company, Talcarn Consulting, including the development of investment business cases, business process re-engineering, business modelling services, requirements analysis, solution design and implementation management.

In doing so, I hope I have supported my clients in moving away from manual-, complex-, and inefficient ways of working, to modern, sustainable, and high quality processes and systems. Some of the highlights include:

University of Oxford

One of the most enjoyable contracts was at Oxford. I designed and delivered the new under-graduate admissions system (student records), working closely with university and college admissions. This included full requirements and design including data structures design for the SITS, UCAS processing and application processing, decision and response workflows, SITS Offer Library and external qualification verification systems. I oversaw the implementation of Phase 1, which included leading development staff and working closely with testers and end users. As the SITS system was to operate closely with an implementation of MS Dynamics CRM for handling college candidate selections, it was also necessary for me to design and implement an eVision management support system and batch-processing / lights-out operations service that kept both systems aligned and for each system to trigger downstream actions when data changes were detected. The old Oracle system and overly-complex processes were decommissioned.

University of Exeter

A short assignment, but interesting was to provide a data migration service to the University, including the delivery of tools for migration activities, principally to support implementation of the new Technology One Research Accounting system. Goals included a complete data mapping for current research projects between the new and old systems, developing a reusable, documented and coherent data transformation tool. This was written in VBA with an Access front end and SQL server backend. This was progressively used to migrate data to the new system.

University of Portsmouth

Another short assignment, but great fun. The brief here was to perform a full but rapid business process modelling and requirements analysis leading to the procurement of a new Admissions and Student Record System (SITS was subsequently chosen). This required a full capture of as-is and transitional to-be process models in order to facilitate systems procurement and implementation of the Registry Transformation of Student Services (RTSS), including swim lane, workflow and data process models. Significantly, this was followed by creation of a comprehensive requirements catalogue for Admissions and review of an existing requirements definition from faculty registries, and included up-skilling of Admissions, Registry and Faculty staff and team building in readiness for configuration and design activities.

Kingston University London

One of my longest and most wide-ranging assignments. The requirement here was to capture full as-is and develop to-be processes for the student life-cycle in order to facilitate a major transformation programme involving student management (SITS) and ERP systems. Deliveries included workflow processes and state transition models for the student life-cycle, implementation of the SITS Offer Library, the new Academic Management Framework and a major review of Admissions for the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education to support the new Target Operating Model. I also completed a redesign of data governance processes for courses and modules and staff data on behalf of the Academic Registry involving a significant update of SITS table data and implemented the University’s SITS Offer Library (including the new UCAS points system) on behalf of Admissions with the intention of implementing semi-automated result matching in future.

Other University Clients

Many of my other clients’ work involved re-architecting business processes, such as at the University of Bristol, London School of Economics and Anglia Ruskin. But I have also been involved with supporting changes to working practices, notably at the University of the West of England and Goldsmiths University of London.