TNT and NATS win with SAP

Logistics giant TNT, the UK air traffic control organisation NATS, French sports retailer Decathlon and Irish power generator ESBIE have emerged victorious in the European SAP Quality awards.

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Logistics giant TNT, the UK air traffic control organisation NATS, French sports retailer Decathlon and Irish power generator ESBIE have emerged victorious in the European SAP Quality awards.

The global award was won by a TNT team based in the Midlands that delivered a worldwide roll out of back-office functionality, going live in 25 countries in the first year.

A key to the team's success was that the company had strong quality and project management principles deeply embedded into the whole organisation and these were rigorously enforced during the rollout.

The project also benefited from a high degree of executive buy-in. TNT chief executive Marie Christine Lombard attended twice-monthly project review meetings, said Dennis Beard, IT director in charge of delivering the project.

NATS, the air traffic control service, won the local implementation award for the introduction of a new integrated business system. The project delivered new back-office systems - on time and to budget - that were used by 1,100 staff in the first two hours.

The success of the project showed the organisation had learned lessons from its prolonged difficulties in delivering the Swanwick air traffic control centre, said Alistair Godbold, senior programme manager.

“We had clear success criteria for the go live, which we stuck to,” he said. "But the main thing was the involvement of the business throughout the project. Going live was not an end in itself, and there is now a lot to sort out with the end users.”

Svan Lembke, vice president of the SAP Quality Programme in Europe, highlighted the very formal project structure, clear success criteria and a project monitoring system that tracked progress on both deliverables and process adherence, as important.

Esbie won the SME award for implementing an end-to-end billing system in 10 months without a dip in performance. Although much smaller than any of the other winners, Esbie applied the same highly structured approach as larger companies to win the award.

The Upgrade award went to Decathlon for a complicated project to enhance its retail systems. The 11-month project delivered upgrades to 320 stores in 11 countries and the delivery team met all their commitments in terms of build quality, cost and impact on the business.

The team was sharply focused on business risks and had clear reporting making it able to identify issues and act quickly. The judging panel, which included ComputerworldUK, said Decathlon had also created a strong process and methodology for future upgrades.

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