In the last few years all the sections of the German Force – Army, Navy, Airforce and Auxiliary Services - have undergone massive reconstructions. It is against this background that the Herkules programme, to align its IT, was characterised by its size and complexity. Yet they managed to deliver it within its EUR 7 Billion budget. Due to the number pf people involved and diversity the contract alone consisted of 17,000 pages. Representatives of all the parties signed the contract to manage communication between the 60 stakeholder groups.
The implementation took 55 months instead of the planned 36 months using a customised Microsoft tool. The complexity meant that new programme methods had to be developed as the contract progressed. Initially Herkules had no certified programme managers. To assure quality of the project deliverables they adopted the IPMA certification route to competency. The overall project sponsor changed several times as required at various stages of the implementation. Partial results were presented at intervals in two main formats – status without other projects and status with other projects.
Three main cultural organisations had to work together – the Army, Siemens and IBM. 60 people were selected for Leadership workshops. Their consequent role was to extend the practice of the new programme methods developed. Each individual project had no project goals. The requirement was to contribute to the overall programme delivery. As trust was built up they reached a 99% agreement over the benefits realisation.
The main contributor to success was a strong and centralised programme management supported by a PMO of 16 persons. Prof. Dr. Schnert then gave some statistics to illustrate the size of the challenge and the standardisation that had been achieved. This included
- 140,000 IT Work stations
- 45,000 employees on a resource management system
- 3,000 projects
- 100 project managers
- 21,000 printers from one manufacturer instead of 90,000
- 300 software products instead of 6,500
It is intended to review the system every 4 years.
A number of questions were asked at the end of the Webinar. One was from a student who asked how to get involved in project management.
Prof. Dr. Silke Schnert’s advice was to get involved in real projects even whilst still studying and in professional networks, getting a combination of theoretical and practical experience.
Programme Management SIG committee member
The speaker has very kindly allowed her presentation to be available for viewing.
These can be found in the APM resources area and are also listed below.