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SEP / FTP announcement Q&As

What’s happening with SEP?

The University has resource challenges across two major projects, the Student Experience Programme (SEP) and the Finance Transformation Programme (FTP). 

As work on FTP has progressed it has become clear it will require more resource, both staff and technical, to deliver in full and to the required timescales.

Some of the same specialist staff and technical resources are needed to deliver both projects.

After exploring all possibilities, the University has taken the difficult decision to delay some elements of SEP technology and process implementation, as we need to prioritise the delivery of the FTP.

Some specialist staff and technical resources currently working on or required for SEP have been asked to refocus on the FTP in the immediate future.

The proposals for new structures and roles under SEP will go ahead on the original timeline. This will give colleagues clear structures and job descriptions, better ways of working, supportive ‘communities of practice’ and consistency across teams.

When will we know more details about what is being delivered?

A progress update on SEP will be provided initially on a fortnightly and then monthly basis. This update will be cascaded through the SE Leaders Forum and Faculty Leadership Teams.

The regular update will commence on 15 June.

Why do you have to do a full replan and why can't this start straight away?

There are hundreds of different factors which need to be considered, and because of this we cannot simply lift and shift the original plans to deliver them at a different time. Some of the resourced needed to start the replan will need to return from FTP before any new plan can be firmed up. Once we have this resource available, we can then start the replan for the remaining technology and process. We aim to start in October when resource is available and further updates will be provided regularly.

What mitigation are you putting in place?

There will be challenges in the next few months for teams who were expecting new technology and processes to accompany their new roles and structures. We will be working with local managers to make sure any impact caused by the delay of technology improvements is understood, and appropriate mitigations are put in place.

This will include reviewing staffing levels to ensure sufficient resource is in place and building technical solutions which are not dependent on expertise areas which are currently under resourced.

Are the cohort 3 people and structure changes continuing?

The final phase of people changes, which have just completed consultation, will be completed as originally planned.

This will deliver benefits to colleagues by removing uncertainties, and through introducing clear team structures and job descriptions, better ways of working, supportive ‘communities of practice’ and consistency across teams.

What is the Finance Transformation Programme (FTP)?

The FTP is a change programme which is looking at the need to replace our current finance system, Oracle Financials, as the current technology we use will be no longer supported. In addition to delivering a fully supported system built on new technology, the FTP will deliver more standardised and efficient processes, more automation, better reporting, an improved user experience, higher quality data and more effective financial controls.

Why does FTP need to be prioritised?

The FTP needs to be prioritised because without a supported finance system the University would risk not be able to conduct business, including ordering goods, making payments, invoicing customers and funders or collecting cash. It is vital that we complete the necessary changes promptly, as our current system will go “out of support” with the manufacturer from November 2023. We cannot risk any disruption to these critical services.

How will this affect my contract or secondment on SEP?

We are still working through the details of our future plans for SEP – once this replanning progresses further, we will understand more about the potential impact on colleagues who are either directly employed or seconded on the programme. Line managers will keep those colleagues updated throughout this process and provide further information about their own role.

How will this affect other projects or teams? What should I do if I think my project or work will be affected?

We are notifying other projects and teams that we think may be impacted by this decision, so they can start reviewing and re-planning their own work. We will work closely and keep them updated with further information and plans as we have them.

If you think you or your team may be affected, in the first instance you should approach your line manager, project manager or local leadership team with any questions or concerns. They may already be part of the replanning process and will make sure your input is considered. If you are outside the immediate area of SEP and have no local route to ask questions, you can email the programme team directly at

What has SEP delivered so far?

SEP has already delivered significant changes to some student-facing services and the teams that deliver them across the University. We have many excellent colleagues in new leadership and management roles across these areas and will be completing the structural changes for cohort 3., and we are currently delivering the changes to their teams that will support our new technologies and processes . We’ve released a new version of Campus Solutions, improvements to My Manchester, and streamlined some processes for admissions, immigration and student finance, among other positive developments.

Are we developing our capabilities to deliver these technical changes?

The University is reviewing the phasing of our overall strategic change portfolio as part of our lessons learnt.