Case StudyDigital Archive CapabilitySeptember 2012

Project: Digital Archive Capability

A Programme Management and Stabilisation case study

The foremost broadcaster in the UK had embarked upon a major and ambitious programme of work to convert its extensive physical archive into a Digital Archive linked to a comprehensive online search and preview capability. CLPartners were asked to help bring the programme under control, review its status and identify what could be rescued from the programme.

The Main Challenges Were:

When CLPartners started the assignment was facing a number of challenges: –

  • The programme had been running for 5 years
  • Bulk of the budget of £100m had been spent
  • 2 multi-national suppliers had been engaged but had failed to deliver

The recently implemented Search Engine was bug-ridden.   As a result the business was forced to take on extra staff to cope with their duties. The stakeholders were extremely unhappy and there was talk of reverting to the previous systems and the programme was felt to be out of control.

Solutions Used:

We brought in an experienced Senior Programme Manager. After a short initial review, a revised plan agreed to take the programme forward.   Key elements of the plan included:

  • Agreeing a formal communications plan including the setting up regular reviews with key users to agree priorities for fixing defects and bringing in new functionality
  • Upgrading the governance framework to provide clear line-of-sight communications across the business
  • Improving PMO / Admin functions to bring costs under control and to develop a robust forecasting process
  • Re-agreeing the scope of the next phases of the programme with all key stakeholders.

Takeaway:

Over the course of the next 2-3 months, the programme was brought under control, a forecast of the run-costs established and set of controls were introduced to manage scope and delivery.

An external audit took place a little over 6 months after our introduction and given a clean bill of health (although we were of course unable to recover the significant amounts already spent).

The programme went on to deliver 3 further major phases of work using an Agile development methodology (closely managed within specific cost and time envelopes for each phase). The last 2 phases of work were delivered to spec, on time and slightly under budget. All the bugs were eradicated and functionality developed and enhanced. User confidence increased and the communications plan was scaled back.