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Case study of analysis and re-engineering of railway allocation systems

Objective

British Rail (BR) has a number of legacy applications associated with Train Operations. To enable these systems to continue to provide support for key business processes it is vital that they be modern, flexible and easy to use. Re-engineering the existing applications is seen as the best way of achieving this. No process-based metrics currently exist within BR to allow this type of development to be carried out in a controlled manner. The PIE will run against the first such development, providing metrics both for later stages of the baseline project and for future re-engineering work.

Re-engineering these systems will only be successful when it has been proven possible to predict the time and cost of each application. Without such metrics it is likely that no further such projects will be undertaken due to the unknown cost and time scale implications. This would leave a number of systems in key business areas which use out of date technology and which would be increasingly difficult to integrate into the portfolio of systems operated by train operators to manage the train service.

THE EXPERIMENT

The PIE will be a parallel project to the baseline re-engineering project. The baseline project is divided up into 4 phases, Analysis, Development, Testing, and Implementation. For each of these phases estimates for each of the activities will be produced and the baseline project executed. Actuals will be captured for the work taken to complete each phase of re-engineering, and used to refine estimates for the succeeding phases of the baseline project. The deliverables from the experiment at each phase of the baseline project will be metrics, procedures and standards appropriate to the activities in that phase, which can be used for re-engineering legacy systems.

The baseline project will reaffirm the key business processes in the train operations area. From this, those systems that are needed to support those processes will be selected and a development started to re-engineer the systems from their disparate technical platforms to an integrated, ORACLE-based modular system with a standard WINDOWS interface.

British Rail Business Systems (BRBS) has around 1400 staff.

EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE

British Rail currently has a number of technically disparate systems supporting real time train operations. The privatisation of BR will increase the focus on these systems to become part of a train operator's integrated database and application. The challenge for BRBS is to be able to successfully move these systems from their present state to that needed to support the train operators. The success of the PIE is vital to BRBS's ability to re-engineer these systems to commercially successful time scales and costs. During the life of the PIE other baseline projects of a similar nature will need to be done. These projects will benefit from the lessons learnt throughout the duration of the PIE, the PIE being used on several re-engineering projects simultaneously, providing valuable further validation and refinement of the metrics being provided by the PIE.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

British Rail Business Systems Ltd
Address
High Holborn 233
WC1V 7DJ London
United Kingdom