LOCLBus Ltd are a bus operator in the East of England, in the UK. With a fleet size of 60 vehicles, ranging from large minibuses to 60 seater vehicles, they are a well-known independent operator in the region, second only to the main contractor, First, Group who operate the main local authority contracts in the region.
In response to demand from customers and the local authorities who contract LOCLBus to operate key services on their behalf, the management team have decided at a recent board meeting to stop accepting cash payments on all services where customers pay the driver (so not, for instance on school services) and replace cash with card payments and, they hope an App for mobile devices. The board realizes this is a huge change for them, as since their inauguration in 1972, the only way they have accepted payment is via cash and it totals £2.7m per year, around 40% of their revenue (the rest being from local authority payments and other commercial contracts).
You have been recruited, due to your experience in commercial vehicles, to project manage this process, from fact finding to roll out of the first phase (card payments on vehicles) to the full roll out which will cover Contactless card, Apple Pay and Android payments and their App which will allow customers to buy virtual tickets in advance. The current status is that the project has been discussed, and you have some guidance documents from the board, but nothing has been started yet. You are expected to plan the complete process, and write a discussion report which will go to the board in the form of a 2500 written report and supporting documents outlining the key steps in the project.
On your first day in the office, you bring your trusted guide books; Project Management by Harvey Maylor and the PMBOK Guide from the Project Management Institute. You will be referencing these as best practice and anything else you think is suitable in terms of sources.
You admit to feeling a little overwhelmed by the new job, but with the tools and techniques you have learnt and guidance from best practice, you think ‘if they sent man to the moon’ you can do anything…
Further information and tips to help you complete and create your project plan:
You are required to deliver a 2500 word report on “Best practices in Project Delivery for a regional transport provider” This report should detail the approach you will take to deliver the project at LOCLBus and will detail best practice in Project Management, including, but not limited to:
Balancing cost, time and quality
Team structure between the three companies
Plan for strong communications with the selected suppliers and internal team
Supplier choice and management
Project management processes and methods to be used (methodology)
You will also additionally need to include, the following (As Appendix A, B, C and D of the report)
Project Management Assignment Case Study
This document will need to include references to academic works where appropriate, and any industry bodies (Axelos, PMI etc).
Appendix 1 – Pole Star systems supplier
A supplier “Pole Star” has provided a response to the request from LOCLBus for the cashless payment system which outlines implementation timings and phases. Pole Star are market leaders in cashless solutions and provide global customers a complete package including software development, control units and integration with the end customers requirements. Pole Star have recently completed fitting and operating a cashless solution across all buses in Sydney, Australia.
Pole Star have an “off the shelf” solution, but would need a level of customization to meet LOCLBus’ project requirements and have provided the costs as stated below. There is a plan to deliver the project based on their existing technology platforms that includes a mobile app, prepaid cards, contactless and QR scanner for people with travel vouchers.
LOCLBus has asked for a solution to provide customers reduced cost or free trips depending on time of day, events, loyalty scheme and special offers. This type of technology is new to Pole Star and currently there is no capability to integrate this into their existing solution, which will cause additional costs and timing. Pole Star are extremely busy with other customer projects and there is limited engineering resource to implement this functionality and features. Timing for implementation is under negotiation, but LOCLBus management are demanding this functionality is implemented on launch.
The plan is to install the equipment using the in-house maintenance team, who will be split across different sites due to the physical location of LOCLBus and eliminate any effects on the scheduling of the vehicles. Due to the complex system, the IT server will be set up 3 months before the vehicle integration is planned and initial testing to be completed, to resolve any problems before the equipment is fitted to the vehicles. There will be training provided to all the staff of LOCLBus that includes accounts team, bus drivers, maintenance staff and management.
The mobile app will be custom developed with LOCLBus branding and imaging, but Pole Star are concerned on project timing and different management direction on the look and feel of how Project Management Assignment Case Study the mobile app should work. This issue has been raised by Pole Star and logged as a potential project risk and requirements need to be defined, agreed and accepted within three months of the project starting.
The aim is to define all the graphical content, layout, styling, design, functionality and operational as a separate project and will run in parallel with the main project. LOCLBus have provided a dedicated project lead to manage the mobile app development. LOCLBus will communicate to their customer base the move to a cashless payment system and have concerns that some customers will change to other competitors due to the difficulty with payments. Pole Star and LOCLBus will enter into a partnership with an advertisement company to roll out an advert campaign on TV, radio, Internet and social media to inform the customer base on timing and how to pre-paid for the services.
LOCLBus company will start a mini trial with a selection customer base on a single vehicle to gain knowledge and experience, they will use this to ensure a smooth roll out across their complete fleet of vehicles.
Pole Star’s engineering facility is based in California, US with a sales team based in Cologne, Germany. Both companies will establish a project team structure, which will include lead project managers, applications, integration and testing/validation leads. Due to the split global team, formal roles and responsibilities have been defined as Mr S.Wolfgang from Pole Star managing the project and acting as single point of contact to LOCLBus company. The team structure within LOCLBus has yet to be defined, as this is the first time they have worked with a technology company there are some questions about who should lead the team. In the short term LOCLBus the maintenance and service manager Mr L.Smith will lead the project and construct a suitable project team once the project has started.
The aim to provide a phased roll out of the system in different locations and vehicles, there is risk to the system not working and customer problems. Risks include poor quality installation, lack of suitable training to the staff, customers not understanding how to pre-paid for travel credit and payment processing. A risk mitigation plan will be established by the project office team and will be updated within the supplier review meetings.
The following suppliers have provided costs for the system
Server Control unit Wiring Software Integration testing
Pole Star £803 £292 £62 £8032 £2922 £12,111
Dia System £922 £123 £53 £6404 £2322 £9,824
Tri Technology £1032 £245 £66 £7202 £3022 £11,567
AM Solutions £783 £353 £74 £8076 £5022 £14,308