Polaris Program

Polaris Program – a key enabling strategy (ensuring that our systems support our progress)

Polaris Program is named as such because we see this program as Our North Star guiding us towards a simplified, consolidated, and integrated applications architecture.

Charles Sturt University requires a strategic application platform architecture to position us for a highly competitive and digitally connected future. This architecture needs to be future-focussed, sustainable, and serve to consolidate the myriad disconnected applications currently in use.

The key principles of our approach are:

  • Focus on fewer, bigger, more impactful initiatives
  • Centre the strategy on the student experience
  • Build upon our existing excellence in online delivery
  • Be more agile in the delivery of large programs of work
  • Enable systems and processes to progress our research capability

The final result will be to significantly reduce Charles Sturt’s total number of individual applications from 150+ to a much smaller number, centred around five key Strategic Application Platforms:

  1. A core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Platform – platform validation in progress
  2. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for relationship management – CRM Project currently in progress
  3. ServiceNow for workflow automation – The Course Design, Accreditation and Publication (CDAP) / CourseLoop (built on the ServiceNow platform) project is in progress
  4. A contemporary Learning Management System – platform validation in progress
  5. A Marketing Support Platform focussed on Marketing and Communications Management – platform validation in progress

The University Council endorsed this approach on 9 December 2020. Council then approved Phase 1: Feasibility (Platform Validation & Program Planning) to proceed at the 26 February 2021 meeting.  This phase is now underway. Deliverables of this phase will be:

  • Validate the platform strategy and the capabilities (functions) that each platform should be able to address
    1. Map out the Phase 2 (initial 6-months) of deployment:
      • Detailed project plan
      • Detailed costings
      • Identified team(s)
      • Change Management, Communications and Engagement Plan
    2. Map out a high-level program and change management and communications plan for the duration of the program (next 3-years)
    3. Determine a high-level costing of the overall program
    4. Recommendations will go to Council for approval in July 2021.

John Peake has been appointed as Program Director. He is leading and coordinating the overall effort.  Lisa Perry has been appointed as Change Management Lead.  Lisa is coordinating the overall Change effort. Matt Morton-Allen is leading the platform validation and technical assessment with a team of DIT architects and specialists.

This program is sponsored by Chief Operating Officer, Rick Willmott.