The client, a Guernsey-based utilities provider, had for many years been operating a suite of legacy systems to support its business operations that were varied, complex, and unable to meet their future business requirements. As a result, the organisation made a decision to deliver a significant project to replace their core billing application and associated business systems. This was not a like-for-like replacement, but instead a move to a cloud-hosted, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform that would enable the organisation to transform its processes and improve how it operates.
The Project objectives were:
• Application consolidation: Implementation of an integrated new system that can replace the systems currently in use
• Business transformation: The transformation of the way the business operates through updating its core processes to enable efficiency
• Greater control and governance: Improved control of the data held within the business, enabled by moving away from manual processes and updates
• Improved Business intelligence: Enhanced use of data to drive business decisions
CBO project managed the project from the start of the initial ‘Discovery’ phase to its successful go-live. We also provided additional project support and business analysis expertise during key project phases. CBO set up the project and managed the overall governance structure, the 65-strong project team (including 4 separate suppliers), and critical project processes.
CBO’s Approach and Impact
CBO set up a project management approach aligned with the organisations recommended practice, as set out by its Project Management Office, and utilised a project methodology based on Association of Project Management (APM) best practice.
The CBO approach focussed on a number of key areas:
• A consistent governance and management structure tailored to the business’ needs – This allowed the project team to focus on delivering the system and associated business changes, with the CBO-led Project Management activities, for example, workstream reporting, becoming second nature to users
• Consistent and regular communications – Throughout the project, the team and wider business were communicated with through a variety of mediums. These included weekly ‘stand-up’ meetings, weekly project management groups, regular workstream meetings, monthly newsletter entries and quarterly ‘town-hall’ meetings
• Clear roles and responsibilities for internal and external team members – All members of the project team were asked to sign up to clear role descriptions and deliverables throughout the project. This ensured that individuals were clear on their role, their deadlines, and how their activity added to the overall success of the project
• Clear understanding of project scope and deliverables – During the discovery phase of the project, the CBO Project Manager produced a breakdown of the scope into individual deliverables for the project each with detailed descriptions and quality criteria. This was then signed off during each project phase to ensure ownership of the outputs by the business
• Consistent budget management approach – For a project of this size, understanding by the Project Board of the current budget and future risks was key. Throughout the project, the CBO Project Manager worked closely with the business’s finance lead to report and understand the budget position, adapting reporting as the business’s financial reporting standards evolved
• Effective handover of the project to ongoing management – At the end of the engagement by CBO, a detailed project closure document was produced and handed over to ongoing management. This ensured that a full history of changes and the position of the project at go-live was documented and understood
Over the course of implementation, the project management approach was adapted to the changes and challenges that impacted it. Whilst the underlying project management methodology and strategies remained consistent, the meetings, communications and reporting were adapted to ensure maximum engagement and project success.
The project went live in May 2021 after extensive user testing. All legacy systems were switched to read-only, new processes put into operation and the business enjoyed a smooth transition to live.