Subject Matter Expert Support

The client was in the process of taking final delivery of three new fleets of trains. These new trains relied far more heavily on access to the client’s IT infrastructure and external IP- based networks than the previous legacy fleets.

At this stage, the project was at a critical point of integration to bring together key business functions and suppliers, necessitating diligent management of the supply chain. Extraordinary circumstances, outside of the project team’s control, had depleted the resources available to deliver the management and delivery of the remaining technical rolling stock to IT architecture work packages.



The Challenge

Considerable design and development work was undertaken in the development of on-board systems for the new fleets.

The new fleets contain essential interfaces to intranet and internet-based services. Hence, collection, transmission and management of system and subsystem datasets were critical to realise the business benefits of the client’s digital strategy. The client’s IT group was already fully utilised maintaining their IT estate, focusing on workplace modernisation and on-premises infrastructure rather than having the necessary bandwidth to consider on-board train systems. In a similar manner, the rolling stock engineers, who had little or no experience interfacing with IT, were fully occupied developing engineering requirements. As is often the case, there was little experience overlaps between these two knowledge domains. The time to interface the new fleets to the wayside IT infrastructure and complete the integration of the technologies was very short. Governance of the final configuration of the numerous technologies for the implementation was critical. Insufficient team resources risked suboptimal final configuration, handover, and the project close out.



Our Response

Within one week from the initial mobilisation meeting, Infinitive Group readied an appropriate Subject Matter Expert SME to supplement the client’s team and support their project requirements.

Communication and engagement between business functions were bolstered immediately by the SME’s presence. Infinitive Group’s experience within rolling stock and IT allowed communication interfaces to be controlled and managed from both the rolling stock requirements and the client’s IT constraints, prior to new rolling stock introduction. Gaps in deliverables were identified and actioned prior to these risks causing issues during the new fleets introduction.



The Value to the Client

Introducing a “match fit” subject matter expert at short notice ensured that the project and business continued without delay or interruption.

Remaining deliverables, relating to IT architecture for the collection, transmission of vehicle datasets, were managed within tolerance and enhanced through the application of the SME’s technical know-how and domain knowledge. Detailed scrutiny and ratification of design options before handover ensured successful delivery of the closing stages of the project. Introduction of the new fleets was more rapid and successful with the support of the Infinitive Group SME, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.



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