Improving the Modules Catalogue

Follow up demos of the Programmes Plant prototype application (see previous blog) went well and we have another technical sprint booked to begin on June 14th. This is a double sprint giving developers four weeks to work on the next version of the prototype. In preparation for this Mark Fendley, Scrum master and I met with customer representatives on Monday to refine user stories. Following a final sprint planning session on the first day of the sprint we will hand over to the developers to do their stuff.

Meantime the project team have begun the work of looking at Kent’s module catalogue. It is beyond the scope of our XCRI-CAP project to deliver a new application to deal with modules. The current module catalogue software works well but we have identified a few possible improvements which are within the project’s remit.  Our project plan states that we will do some work to

  • improve data quality,
  • add or enhance searching, grouping and collections functionality and ;
  • clarify the purpose and remit of the Modules Catalogue.

Nick Thurston kicked off the practical work on this by running validation reports to identify ‘orphaned’ modules – the Student Data system appears to confirm they exist and are active but detail is missing from the Modules catalogue. (Details of these modules are available on the School or Faculty websites). The missing data is not evenly spread across the schools – but I shall not name names.  Now these anomalies have been identified the Faculties have been asked to rectify things but that is just the beginning. To have a lasting legacy the project will put in place workflows to try and ensure data stays in synch in the future.

It is interesting to observe that as a result of getting stakeholders from departments who deal with the different parts of the module and programmes lifecycle many of the problems identified at the beginning of the project can be solved almost immediately. For example: Person A says I need to know when X happens. Person B says well when X happens we send out an email to Y & Z. Shall I add you that list? One of the greatest values of projects like the Kent  XCRI project is that it gets people together and gives them the space to talk about things. In our busy day-to- day working lives we often just don’t find time for that.


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