Scoping and process development for nationwide IP infrastructure KPN
February 2002 to August 2003
In 2001 KPN started developing Epacity, a nationwide network based on IP technology. Using Epacity companies like Rabobank can have a network connecting their offices without having to build expensive leased lines between their locations. Via Epacity all customers make use of the same physical network, without noticing each other’s network traffic. It appears to be a private network, hence the name Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
After the foundation of the network was laid, a large second release of Epacity was started in 2002. The objective of this release was to add functionality to the network, to develop new processes and to automate manual processes from the first release.
The huge demand for new functionality clearly showed the commercial significance of the network. In fact, the demand was much greater than could ever be realised within one single release. Agreeing a well balanced scope prior to the project start was extremely important because functionality and processes influence each other. Say for example that network access via ADSL were added to the scope as a commercial feature, then this would have an immediate impact on the billing processes to ensure that the access feature would actually be billed. Because of this interdependence scoping was a complex effort in which seemingly simple choices could have enormous financial implications.
In the Epacity project I was responsible for the sub project Process Development. I managed a team of 12 process designers who were responsible for development and implementation of all operational processes. Think of network provisioning, billing, incident management, network inventory management, reporting etc. My team’s role consisted of translating commercial product descriptions into effective and efficient business processes, which were designed and tested before hand-over. The hand-over would be to operational implementation teams in the case of manually operated processes, and to systems architects of KPN’s external automation partner BearingPoint in case the processes were to be automated.
Furthermore I continually played a key part in the scope definition of new releases. Being responsible for process development an important role was to estimate the project cost and duration associated with scope choices. Apart from this, I developed a general approach to scoping and managed the scoping process to specify a balanced set of business requirements from the multitude of requests.