Capita Ltd (London Congestion Charging Scheme)

Capita
Transport for London

Configuration Management Consultant

Andrew was initially engaged to develop an Asset Management solution to very aggressive timescales to enable Capita to meet its contractual obligations to Transport for London (TfL). Merant PVCS Tracker – part of the Merant PVCS Professional suite – had already been chosen to perform this role and, whilst not the ideal tool for the task, timescales dictated that it must be used. Andrew researched across the seven sites involved in the programme, gathered and then collated all available asset data into a consistent format. He then developed a PVCS Tracker database (with underlying Oracle RDBMS) to hold all the data, plus forms for users to upload, maintain and report on the data, before loading the 4,000 CIs he had gathered into PVCS Tracker. Andrew finally designed an Asset Management Process before documenting both it and the Tracker solution, testing thoroughly, training Support users and handing it over to Capita permanent staff.

Concurrently, Andrew designed and implemented a library system using Merant PVCS Version Manager (VM) – another product in the Merant PVCS Professional suite – to hold the programme library of approximately 1,700 documents. As with the Asset Management solution, Andrew gathered and collated all the available data in MS-Excel before writing a number of VBA macros to validate and clean it. A further macro then generated a number of NT command scripts for use by VM’s CLI through which all CIs were imported into Version Manager. Andrew subsequently implemented a number of triggers to automatically label certain documents when created/updated for use by other tools for which he later developed an interface. This system is now in daily usage for document management.

Andrew was also responsible for reviewing the Change Management Process, identifying flaws in it and proposing improvements in line with ITIL standards. Some of the changes were quite radical and included the introduction of a formal Change Approval Board (CAB), also known as a Change Control Board (CCB), as well as a complete revision of the Impact Assessment procedures. Andrew documented his recommendations, obtained approval for them from Capita’s senior management and revised and documented the Change Management Process before obtaining final approval and implementing it. This done, Andrew then temporarily acted as Change Manager and chaired the first few CABs (CCBs) to ensure smooth operation before handing over that duty, along with responsibility for maintaining the Change Management Process, to Capita’s own Change Manager.

All the above tasks had to be completed to a very aggressive timescale, dictated by the go-live data for the London Congestion Charging Scheme of 17 February 2003. The above work has since been audited by Transport for London’s (TfL’s) independent auditors and passed successfully.

Primus Answer Engine and to gradually develop a full intranet-based knowledge-management solution for use by Support staff whilst supporting the now-live London Congestion Charging Scheme. As project manager, Andrew was not only responsible for developing a project plan using MS-Project but also for resource scheduling issues, regular project and progress reviews and ensuring that the implementation remained on track and within budget, negotiating direct with external suppliers and resolving problems promptly whenever they occurred.

Primus Answer Engine (AE) is a web-based natural language query engine. It is designed to query static documents only, and a certain amount of creativity was therefore required on Andrew’s part to enable it to query support cases within Clarify Clear Support and Remedy Helpdesk without the need to purchase additional, expensive, modules from Primus.

As a further part of the intranet-based knowledge-management solution, Andrew reviewed all existing CM documentation and performed a gap analysis to establish what was missing. Andrew then either developed this documentation himself or, where more appropriate, arranged for somebody else to do so. Andrew then developed a small intranet website to show interfaces and interconnections between both different Service Areas and supporting processes and documentation, complete with links to display the process documents themselves in the browser. Andrew developed this intranet website using mostly HTML and a small amount of Java Script where necessary (required as every page included a link to interrogate Primus Answer Engine).

Andrew also reviewed all Software Configuration Management (SCM) and Release Management processes and advised upon changes required to bring them in line with ITIL standards.

Keywords

PVCS Professional, PVCS Tracker, PVCS Version Manager (VM), triggers, ITIL, Change Management, Asset Management, Project Management, CAB, CCB, Primus Answer Engine, Clarify Clear Support, Remedy, SCM, version management, release management, service management, MS-Project, Excel, VBA, SCC, web, intranet.

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