EP SQUARE :: Project & Interim Management

Project & Interim Management

Alex van der Linden

Programme planner and project manager for NS SPRONG Programme

September 2015 to September 2016

In 2014 KPN and NS Dutch Railways ran a substantial joint programme aimed at positioning KPN in the role of ICT service integrator on behalf of NS. The underlying idea is that NS wishes to focus on their own specific business challenges and formulate ICT requirements on a functional level only, leaving development, delivery and service management of these ICT services to KPN.

Using ITILv3 as a guiding principle, many operational and tactical processes were being transferred to KPN. Examples are security, hosting, technical application management and end-user workspace services, and all operational ITIL-processes such as change, incident, problem and configuration management. In order to update and improve these services, and to enable their transfer to KPN, a large number of projects had been initiated, many of them interdependent and most of them running in parallel.

The programme continuously missed important deadlines because there were problems managing these projects and issues in keeping them geared to one another. This was largely caused by the lack of an adequate project control methodology. Although there was consensus that projects needed to be consistently planned and tuned to one another, there was no adequate approach on how to actually to this.

I was recruited as programme planner in order to find a solution, and in that role I developed an approach to control the various projects on two levels. On an operational level I formed dedicated teams for every service, and in each team I introduced a PERT planning and project control methodology. These approaches to planning and control enabled the service managers and project managers to plan all related projects in a single conveniently arranged planning, allowing them to focus on interdependencies and risk management.

At the programme level, I created an overview planning which showed the actual state of affairs as it was built on the operational team project plans. However, it also reflected the contractual agreements between NS and KPN. Therefore, this programme schedule showed the actual status in light of what was agreed between the parties, and it became an important document for KPN and NS steering committees which used it to manage overall programme progress.

After the successful introduction of this planning and control method, I was appointed project manager for Service Management Tooling. This concerned a cluster of projects mainly involving the introduction of ServiceNow, KPN’s service management tool, which was being implemented in NS. The most noticeable project was the migration of data and NS users from HP Service Manager to ServiceNow. I developed the approach and implementation planning for this migration project, laying the basis for a successful subsequent implementation by one of KPN’s own project managers.

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