Workload Planner

Project dates February 2011 - April 2012
Project manager Ray Spicer (, Ext 6328)
Project status In progress, on schedule

Project aims and objectives

The workload model project has 2 aims:

  •     to implement a University wide workload planning system called Swarm that has been developed by Switch Systems in conjunction with the University
  •     to develop a University programme costing system

By introducing a University-wide workload planning system, the project will increase the availability and consistency of workload data related to academics within the University to support greater transparency and parity in academic workloads; a focus on 4* research and more accurate programme pricing.

The initial phase of the project involves enhancing and  rolling out an existing workload planning tool to each of the Colleges. A second phase of the project will later investigate how to calculate the costs of delivering individual modules and taught programmes, using some of the data captured in the first phase of the project.

Key documents

Project Plan

Project Initiation Document


Who is involved?

The Workload Planner project is sponsored by Professor Robert Van de Noort (Dean of SSIS), who sits on the project's steering group with Professor Nick Talbot (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer). The project is currently being managed by Debbie Judd from the Strategic Change Team, along with support from David Philips and Richard Watson in Central Finance. It also involves a number of nominated staff from each of the Colleges, and the TRAC Accounting team. The University is working with Switch Systems, who produce the Swarm system.

Latest News

The workload planning instance for 2012/2013 has been created. However, due to the varying levels of preparedness within each college, a high level review of the timings & resources available ahead of the April 2012 deadline for SWARM completion for 2012/2013 was undertaken. In view of the short time frame, it was agreed that Colleges would be allowed to upload certain datasets to allow a more responsive methodology for this round of planning. A further phase of the SWARM project will improve the timeline for data acquisition and upload for the next academic year and will also make clear the appropriate responsibility channels. A detailed description of tasks and deadlines is available.

Important: there is a new central email address for all SWARM queries -

 Phase 2, relating to module costing, is in the initial stages, where we are identifying the details of the requirements, and working out costings for the work involved. A proposal for this work will be published shortly.