Dear System Owner,

This year we would like to propose some changes to the annual ICT System Freeze period. The changes are mainly due to the disruptions caused to both the academic and administrative sectors by COVID-19.

From our previous communications, we noted that Freeze serves the critical purpose of:

  1. Allowing departments with student-facing services sufficient time to run through their system environments before academic registrations.
  2. Minimising the risk of system and process failure during registration by limiting the number of functional changes applied during the registration and registration-preparation period.

The proposed changes are as follows:

  • There will be no prescribed Freeze period for the 2020-2021 registration-preparation period.
  • In the case of a project that has the potential to influence planned UFS events, e.g. registrations, the relevant Project Owner will be responsible for maintaining and updating the appropriate risk register and negotiating and communicating possible risk-mitigation actions.
  • All ICT services will continue to operate as usual. In cases where a change is requested to core systems or infrastructure in the period leading up to registration, ICT will ask:
    • For the request to be accompanied by written approval from the Process/System Owner.
      • It is the responsibility of the relevant Process-/System-owning department to inform ICT of who may approve and request such changes where a departmental change-control procedure already exists.
      • The Process-/System-owning department will be responsible for any operational risk assessments leading up to the change, as well as backup mitigation processes, should the change fail.
    • The fact that there will be no formal Freeze period does not exempt the relevant Process-/System-owning department or ICT from performing routine maintenance and preparatory checks and balances. For this reason, preparation work must be planned, and the relevant stakeholder must be contacted, to ensure resource availability.

Where can you raise your concerns regarding System Freeze?

You are welcome to raise your concerns directly to the Academic Registration Committee representative in your faculty or department. Alternatively, you can contact your departmental IT representative or email directly.

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