IS Project Management – Hygiene Products

Client: Regional Director Business Logistics, Hygiene Products Company

Location: Bedfordshire, UK

As one division of a larger global organisation the business unit wanted to focus on the scope, definition and implementation of a replacement home delivery ordering system for use by users in the Health Service community. With the rapid growth in home delivery and increased competition in the market the replacement IT system needed to be web based and future proof, align with overall strategic plans for global harmonisation, and continue to satisfy country specifics.

The existing service and applications operated in a multi-faceted environment and struggled to support the various flexible service offerings to customers. There were a large number of issues with reliability and data integrity, inability to satisfy market demands, ownership of processes and data, and most importantly the implications of the National Program for IT (NPfIT) rollout within the NHS. The technology in place was no longer aligned with the central IT Strategy and the support for the systems had become bespoke and costly.

Project and Service Delivery Management

It was imperative that any solution for this business unit maintained a critical awareness of an overall ‘Harmonised Home Delivery’ project due to be rolled out across the wider global organisation and met the following objectives:

  • Improved communication and information
  • Streamline business and system processes
  • Streamline transaction/data flow
  • Be a web-based application
  • Provide a single database and application configurable according to Customer and user needs.

The client’s Business Project Manager had responsibility for all Logistics and had recently accepted additional responsibility for completing the local SAP R/3 SD rollout and development and introduction of a SAP Enterprise Portal solution for external end-customers use.

In this assignment we were initially tasked with in-depth business analysis identifying and documenting issues and requirements, the research of alternative system providers, the presentation of argumentation to allow the commercial teams to make an informed decision, and engagement of the company’s technical teams in the selection process.

The central organisation had however made a strategic alliance with SAP to rollout SAP R/3 globally and after internal discussions the decision was made to bring forward the implementation within the UK to meet the local business unit’s needs. It was subsequently determined that SAP Enterprise Portal would be the platform used for the home delivery system replacement for the end user application. This allowed close integration with the clients’ R/3 ERP platform. Deanne was tasked with project managing the implementation of R/3 on behalf of the business unit and for the development of the Enterprise Portal solution.

Formal yet pragmatic project management disciplines were introduced locally to aid in:

  • risk identification, monitoring and management
  • steering group engagement and informed decision making for milestones and critical path activities
  • opening of communication channels between the local UK business unit and central German and Swedish based IT and project support groups
  • overall coordination of multiple activities and resources
  • thorough testing and documentation
  • tracking progress against anticipated timelines

Through a combined effort we effected wider organisational awareness of local market needs and customer demands ensuring appropriate resources were allocated and focus given to the importance of the implementation on business growth and stability.

There were a number of resources involved in this project and they were based in a variety of countries including both on and off-shore developers provided through a partnership with a 3rd party supplier. Due to the number of resources involved facilitation skills were critical to achieve quick yet appropriate outcomes.

As the development project concluded we provided input into the planning process for the customer rollout and handed over all activities associated with this rollout to the business unit for completion during 2006/2007.

Other Comments:
“Deanne was a valuable resource in allowing the business to continue with its daily operations whilst she provided the project management acument to identify and focus on the critical success factors required. Her experience highlighted the need for the business to remain disciplined in defining and keeping to project scope, plus engaging the necessary operational and development personnel to resource the project. Throughout her assignment, Deanne maintained her commercial focus and encouraged all personnel to review and challenge their business processes and ensure effectiveness.”

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