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Refresh of Rolling Stock Drives Simplification of Ongoing IT Upgrades


How a Major Transport Agency Simplified IT Enhancements Across 450 Applications into Three Major Releases per Year.

During 2011, a large government transport agency was finalising a major refresh of their rolling stock fleet. This was in part of a new public private partnership agreement to improve the safety & comfort of their fleet to their customers. The refresh introduced a new service provider into the existing IT operational landscape, elevating the need to establish formal and ongoing IT change and release controls.

Kirk Penn from Service Management Specialists was engaged to assist with designing and implementing Enterprise Release Management (ERM).

The objective of the ERM Program was to ‘establish a structured release framework.’ This allowed for IT-related enhancements and maintenance changes to be implemented with minimal disruption to the business.

"I respect the determination Kirk displayed to take a sceptical CIO on the journey made the deployment of new release management process a success" Alan Lowe, Senior Manager, Service Delivery Practice, Sydney Trains

With over 450 applications split across six portfolio groups, each group operated in isolation to each other. Each had developed an on-demand response approach. The business often implemented high-risk change within very short delivery time frames. The intend for release management was to combine all changes into releases, ensuring a comprehensive level of testing could be undertaken.

Kirk assisted with the preparation of an initial ERM business case, articulating the value of the initiative to Senior ICT Management. Once approved, he created the overarching ERM Framework. This included the ERM policy and interim tool set solution. Kirk designed and built the ERM process documentation. He led the organisational change initiatives and ICT road shows with the business educating them on the reasons for introducing releases. Kirk established the enterprise release manager role, assisting with establishing release coordinators within each of the application portfolio groups.

The ERM program was extremely well-received from across the business and the ICT executive. Due to the success of ERM program, the ICT Executive sponsored other operationally-focused improvement initiatives (e.g. environment management and configuration management). It further encouraged the establishment of the service delivery practice group. The ERM framework is a well-embedded service management capability, and it has introduced a new level of application change control. This is in effort to reduce the amount of system outages to the business.

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