Project Management for a Radio Systems and Infrastructure Refresh
Our Project Management service consisted of several key factors; engaging multiple stakeholders on a complex project with tight deadlines and logistical challenges, proposal of a strategy for change backed by a solid business plan and the execution of the rollout of a time and safety critical installation while managing communications between all parties. We delivered the project with legacy savings for the client through lower running costs and payback in 2.5 years.
The onsite radio infrastructure was nearing end-of-life, and with the UK Government finally confirming that the UHF1 frequency would no longer be available commercially for radio use by end 2021, a decision was made to review the overall radios solution (infrastructure & service). The client had spent a substantial sum with the existing supplier, brought in a dedicated radio engineer and moved the project under the responsibility of the IT team.
Additional resourcing for improvements, resolved some of the issues and brought stability while a decision was taken to award a full infrastructure refresh and multi-year service to a new supplier. We were engaged to project manage the process with a six-month deadline, managing teams within and outside our client to deliver the project on time and ensure zero downtime.
The first action was to bring all the key parties together and enable the teams at the client and the supplier to communicate so that we could plan a no-fail strategy together. We put a project plan with contingency plans in place with the chosen supplier and redetermined the scope and budget, presenting it to the board with a sound business case for change.
With a global shortage of components and supply chain issues related to Covid, our team took additional resourcing measures to ensure delivery by a specific deadline. We worked with the onsite radio engineers, and sub-contractors to deliver a resilient plan, with backups.
We managed all communication between teams at the client, supplier and sub-contractors. Under most circumstances, the supplier would do the whole installation, but all cabling and electrical/power supply had to be done by preapproved contractors, so we built a plan to align our proposal with the client’s guidelines and rules.
The project was a like-for-like replacement and a measure of our success was that no one would experience downtime, so our focus was on identifying and addressing what could go wrong and mitigating any risk of failure.
Our experts created a strategy for success that met budgetary and safety requirements, then on approval managed the execution of the project. To ensure delivery we built in failsafe measures including comprehensive offsite factory acceptance tests and on-site low voltage tests to prove that the systems worked. Managing all communications and bringing a team on-site to do the cutover, our team ensured that there was minimal downtime; 90% of staff did not notice any interruption. We have left an onsite radio engineer with opportunities to develop the systems further so that the legacy value to the client is enhanced beyond the original scope.
This was a substantial investment project with a contingency for improvements. Our business case for delivery was solid, with a payback in 2.5 years due to lower running costs.
“With a fixed as well as challenging deadline, it was always going to require strong management and 'over and above' effort to achieve this.Simon Thomas
But with a clear plan established, solid governance in place and excellent collaboration between all the involved parties, the many obstacles were overcome and the radio systems infrastructure was replaced by the deadline – alongside a full contingency solution ... just in case.”
The Real Value Add
The key value add to our client was the ability to enable planning and communication between many teams that ensured a no-fail delivery. During our research and project management we identified opportunities for improvements that were not originally planned but fit comfortably inside budget and gave long-term benefits to the client. By completing the project on time our client was able to become compliant with new Government legislation ahead of the deadline.