Change Champion Chats: Letty Gibson

Our change champions are an integral part of our change programme. In this blog we speak to Letty Gibson, Research School Services Manager, School of Life Sciences, about her role as a change champion.

Please tell us about your role.

I have been employed by the University of Dundee in Life Sciences since 1997 and my role has changed several times during this time as the School has expanded. I am now the Research Technical Lead in Life Sciences within the senior management team. I’m also a member of various management committees across the university. Part of my role includes responsibility for the delivery of the Laboratory Management Support Service which includes a team of lab managers and junior lab technicians. Our work includes dealing with procurement, budget management, health and safety and compliance with legal requirements and adherence to UoD policy in all aspects. We focus on these areas so researchers can focus on their research activities.

What made you want to be a change champion?  

It’s very important to me, in fact, I’ve been involved in initial design workshops, user acceptance testing and training since before I became a change champion.  From day one I’ve contributed to shaping and influencing the way Business Transformation will work. Procurement in Life Sciences is highly complex due to volume, range of funding bodies and types of spend. I’ve been fully involved to make sure the system can meet the procurement needs of Life Sciences regarding what we buy and where we buy it.  But I carry out this work as part of a team, with lab managers and other key Life Science staff, who join me in workshops so we can get the best of their knowledge and expertise.

From the beginning it was critical to me that our School should have a strong voice in the development stages of the Business Management System in order to influence. I’ve been involved in the introduction of new business systems in the School of Life Sciences before, namely in the development and launch of PECOS. Seeing the challenges that change brought, that’s where I learnt where potential obstacles can arise, what critical issues need to be addressed and what can be put in place to make change as seamless as possible.

The key to success is preparation, planning and strong communication. That’s my role as liaison between the BT programme team and the staff within Life Sciences who will be affected by the change.  Understanding and pre-empting what we will and won’t have is critical. I highlight our needs and identify if system solutions are in place and what will be available at go live. The smooth running of our labs during the cutover period is paramount and we do all we can not to compromise service delivery to staff.

What benefits do you see OneUniversity bringing?

I’m very excited about the undertaking to improve business management processes. Currently we spend time looking for information and aren’t always able to access the data required, often duplicating our efforts and not being 100% sure that the information we have is current and accurate. I have been at many sessions where the data provided in the new system is described as a ‘single source of truth’. I’m really looking forward to this and it’ll be fantastic when managers can go and access the data they want instantly.

I know that the grant holders are very excited when given an insight into the type of budget reporting that will be available and accessible using any device, anywhere. When the research model goes live it will have a huge impact on Life Sciences when researchers can trace a single pathway from idea to award. In HR too, to run my team of 25 people, it will be so useful to have a single source of information that’s easy, quick and efficient to access. Having simple access to complex data is going to help me do my job.

Fun fact about Letty

I love driving but have never mastered reverse parking!

Selfies mean prizes!

Banner selfies are pouring in as the competition passes the halfway mark. Our HR team was out and about on campus and clicked this cheerful pic to send all the way back to BT.

Have you spotted one of our four banners? They’ve been spied as far apart as the Life Sciences Street café, the entrance to DJCAD, 2nd floor of the Tower and the Dental School.

The BT Banners are on the move again. Where will they be this week? Here’s a clue to one of the four different locations. It’s a place you go to get better.

Don’t forget to read the banner to answer the question ‘What are we investing in?’ and send your response along with your banner selfie and where you snapped it to:

In a building near you for one week and one week only! Here is a reminder of the prizes you can win:

1. £30 Amazon voucher
2. One month’s free pass to Institute of Sports & Exercise (ISE)
3. A surprise hamper of goodies
4. Three separate prizes of tea and sandwiches or cake in the Tower café

Last snaps in by go live date 5 March please!

Accessing catalogues in OneUniversity: what you need to know

On Tuesday 27 February at 5.00 pm the PECOS purchasing system will close down. Over the past few months we’ve been testing how we can store, access and maintain catalogues in OneUniversity and we’ve found that the best option from 5 March is the PECOS Gateway.

What is the PECOS Gateway?

The PECOS Gateway enables public bodies like us at the University of Dundee to ‘punch out’ from their Finance and Procurement system and seamlessly ‘punch in’ to the Gateway. Here we can shop from a range of available hosted catalogues and punch-out sites.

How does it work?

We are going to access our catalogues and punch-out sites on the PECOS Gateway, which is not the PECOS you know as it contains no order functionality. Instead, you’ll be pleased to know, requisitioning will all happen in our new OneUniversity system!

We select content from the PECOS Gateway and the requisition comes back to OneUniversity. Here, we add the financial coding and submit the requisition for approval. Once orders have been approved, OneUniversity transmits them directly to the supplier.

What are the benefits of using the PECOS Gateway?

  • a straightforward tool for Procurement to manage and maintain catalogues
  • reduces administrative burden of catalogue maintenance
  • best and familiar means for searching for required catalogue content
  • existing PECOS catalogues and punch-out sites available from go-live
  • national and local suppliers familiar with of PECOS catalogue formats
  • many suppliers on APUC frameworks produce catalogues in PECOS
  • access to punch-outs set up by other organisations using PECOS
  • minimises University risk as the Scottish Government hosts our catalogues

So get ready to walk through the Gateway and go live!

Important changes to cash processing

Deputy Director of Finance Kevin Mallett

Monday 12 February marks three weeks and counting to delivery of the Finance stream of the OneUniversity solution on Monday 5 March.

Deputy Director of Finance Kevin Mallett shares some important news on changes to the processing of cash.

Cash office
The University has made great progress over recent years in reducing its cash transactions, with volumes handled from students and staff down by around 40% in the last 12 months.

The introduction of the OneUniversity solution will enable the University to continue to modernise its cash handling policies and processes. Two important areas relating to cash handling with the introduction of OneUniversity are:

• Staff requesting expenses reimbursement at the cash office desk
From Wednesday 28 February there will be no further staff expense claims made through the Cash Office. All approved staff expense claims will be paid in Sterling directly in to employees’ bank accounts by BACS.

• Foreign currency requests from staff which are facilitated through the cash office
Provision of cash funds across the counter, whether in Sterling or foreign currency, from the Cash Office will end on Wednesday 28 February. All approved cash advances will be paid in Sterling directly in to employees’ bank accounts by BACS.

I’ll issue a further update before the go-live on 5 March. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please direct them to


Change Champion Chats: Dawn Ingham

Our change champions are an integral part of our change programme. In this blog we speak to Dawn Ingham, PA to the Vice-Principal for Learning and Teaching, about her role as a change champion.

Please tell us about your role.

I work with Prof. Karl Leydecker and I love my job! It’s probably – aside from cake decorating – my favourite of all the roles I’ve held. I work almost paperless, which gives me more time to do interesting things that aren’t printing and collating. My job consists of liaising, supporting meetings, organising travel and managing emails. I’m also coordinator for the National Student Survey here and it starts on 5 February 2018. Karl is the most inspiring person I’ve worked with in my whole career and he’s very supportive of me getting involved in things where I have time, like being a change champion.

What made you want to be a change champion?     

The change champion role fits nicely with the structures and review processes I have undertaken previously. I enjoy attending quite a few meetings because I can see progress from one meeting to the other. Similarly, I embrace change and I am happy to speak up for myself and others. Change champion brainstorming sessions encouraging staff to come along, to listen and to be heard are great. Seeing people develop is very important to me; encouraging and supporting them all the way is my goal, and to be a trainer and/or project manager at the University is my objective now.

What benefits do you see OneUniversity bringing?

The benefits of OneUniversity will be having one central hub for information. When I joined UoD you could find information locally but if someone had duplicates elsewhere it created problems – there were too many systems. Now we’ll have up-to-date, readily available and centralised information. It will save so much time and that can only help people.

Fun fact about Dawn:

I love designing and creating edible works of art, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they see and taste them.

Ready, steady …

Change is everywhere these days, whether at work or home, it’s all around us, especially advances in technology and communications – think Alexa, Amazon Prime and Netflix – which are constantly challenging the norm and changing our behaviours. 

How we deal with change and uncertainty is part of our genetic make-up. For some it’s a breath of fresh air, something to be welcomed and an opportunity to see, do, or be involved in something new; for others it’s something to fear and resist where possible.

Over the next five years, the transformation programme and OneUniversity solution will continue to bring about significant change at the University, not just in terms of the technologies we use and processes we implement, but also in the ways we work, our behaviours and perceptions.

Preparing for change
First, let’s acknowledge that it’s okay to feel apprehensive, scared, angry or even hurt by the changes taking place.  In some cases, the things you hold dear to you are being challenged. That process you’ve been responsible for is going to change and, we recognise that you may not like it initially.

So, what can you do about it?
In this, the first of our series of blogs on change, we’ve put together a few suggestions for helping you get ready for OneUniversity Finance.

Take control and get involved:
– It’s up to you! Take an interest in what’s happening and ask your manager how you can get involved. Speak to your colleagues about what this is likely to mean for your team and look at the things you can do together to help

– Your change champions and managers are a great source of information about the Programme and are available to support you.

Educate yourself:
– Learn about the Programme and why it’s happening.
– Think about what the risks are if things just stay the same. Can we sustain our current working practices?
– Find out what new skills and abilities you’ll need in the new world and speak to your manager or change champion about training you’ll need.

Stay positive:
– We’re talking about new ways of working so there are likely to be opportunities arising as a result of the changes, and a chance to learn new skills on new technology (think of what that will look like on your cv).

And finally, don’t just ignore it because it is happening.

Next time:  what can we expect to see as a result of the changes?

Key activity in Finance & Procurement

As we fast approach the go live date for Finance & Procurement, here’s an overview of some of the key activity taking place.

An expanded training programme offering more sessions on more topics has been issued to School Managers and Directors who have been asked to nominate appropriate colleagues to take part. The focus for training is to make sure that those people who need to do certain activities as part of their job, can do them from day one.

This means that for some of us, training will continue to take place after go live. If you feel that you need specialist training please speak to your School Manager or Director who will contact the Programme if appropriate.

Data mapping and reconciliation
We’re working with colleagues in central Finance teams to make sure that the accounts data we migrate over is accurate.

Details about what information you can expect to see in OneUniversity – suppliers for example – will be shared soon.

Getting ready for go live
Our cutover activity is in the final stages of planning and will be communicated early February. This will include key dates such as when PECOS, CODA and Key Travel will be unavailable and, more importantly, the last day for getting your expenses in using paper!

Change Champion Chats: Stewart Kerr


Our change champions are an integral part of our change programme. In this blog we speak to Stewart Kerr, Category Manager for Finance, about his role as a change champion.

Please tell us about your role.

I manage the process of procuring goods and services. This means I place contracts on behalf of the University and provide support and guidance to end users when they are sourcing the items and services they need.

I help people to make purchases that are appropriate and achieve value for money. My remit is also to minimise the exposure of University procurement to fraud and collusion by ensuring we act in a legally compliant manner with fair, transparent and open competition.

What made you want to be a change champion?     

I want to stay dynamic, proactive and be a part of the exciting changes ahead. As a contributing member of the change team I have the opportunity to anticipate challenges that the programme may present to myself and my work colleagues. Through looking ahead and understanding the challenges, I can directly motivate myself to respond and help my team to do the same. It’s great to be part of the positivity and drive of this particular journey.

What benefits do you see OneUniversity bringing?

There will be great opportunities for the University to work collectively in one process. The shared undertaking will reduce risk and increase efficiency. It’s something we can all be part of.

Fun fact about Stewart:

I have been on Blue Peter and am the proud owner of a badge.

What your Change Champion does for you

A group of committed individuals is working with the Business Transformation programme to support you in the changing workplace. They are our change champions and, most of all, they are your champions, advocating for you in your Schools and Directorates.

We have chosen change champions who are people-oriented and enthusiastic communicators. These are some of their goals:

‘I would like to do whatever I can to ensure the transition process runs smoothly.’

‘I want to share the prospect of new processes that will streamline and modernise our current methods.’

‘We need to emphasise how change is both good and necessary for the future of the University. It will take hard work to make it happen. I’m up for hard work.’

As we prepare for the launch of OneUniversity Finance in March, you can turn to your Change Champion for guidance, reassurance and information.

The important role of the change champion is to focus on people and:

  • Communicate the need and nature of the change to their teams
  • Identify the impact the change will have on their colleagues
  • Present the benefits of the change and let you know ‘What’s in it for you’
  • Help prepare you for working with the new solution

Read more about what makes a change champion and how to become one.

Do you know where to find your champion?

This week sees the start of a regular blog feature ‘Change Champion Chats’ where you can meet the individuals engaged in changing your future.

Banner selfie competition

Business Transformation team member Mike McDonald with one of the green banners.

Our Business Transformation banners are going on a seven-week tour around University buildings from Monday 15 January and they could earn you a tasty prize if you spot one.

To be in with a chance of winning one of six prizes is take a selfie with the banner and answer the following question:

During the post-implementation phase of the programme, what will we be investing in? Here’s a little clue for you … you can find the answer on the banner.

Please email your photo and answer to by Thursday 1 March 2018.

The six winners will be drawn from the proverbial hat and announced after we go live on 5 March.

The prizes up for grabs are:

  1. £30 Amazon voucher
  2. One month’s free pass to Institute of Sports & Exercise (ISE)
  3. A surprise hamper of goodies.
  4. Three separate prizes of tea and sandwiches or cake in the Tower café.(Competition open to UoD staff and students only)