Global Finance System Upgrade

CASE STUDY - FTSE TOP 30 COMPANY

CUSTOMER

FSTE 30
Food Manufacturer

TECHNOLOGY

Flex Resourcing
Replatforming
PMaaS

BUSINESS AREA

Global
Treasury

Manufacturing Plant

The Requirement

Maxica was commissioned to de-risk the finance service by taking full ownership of the upgrade of their finance system.

The use of third party providers, lack of involvement from the vendor and changes in team personnel resulted in a low knowledge base on how the system worked.

Manufacturing Line

The Challenge

Before undertaking the upgrade the manufacturing company encountered several issues:

  • System Usage: Key business processes were being undertaken outside of the IT system in Excel spreadsheets due to issues with the current version.
  • Platform: The software was installed on Windows 2012.
  • Maintenance Releases: Implementation of bug fixes was time consuming and were undertaken rarely.
  • Disaster Recovery: A test of the IT recovery process for the system had never been undertaken.
  • Security: The system had a known security vulnerability in messaging with a third-party system. Later versions of the vendor software addressed it.

Manufacturing Plant

Implementation

Capability: Gaps in capability were identified and partner suppliers that could provide the people and tools needed to deliver a complex project were engaged.

Procurement and Legal: Maxica worked with the procurement team and Head of IT for the evaluation process to select partner suppliers for the project and review statements of work with the Legal team.

Governance Model: Maxica established a governance model that recognised the complexity of the project and the number of partners external to the manufacturing company involved.

Stakeholder Management: A steering group (SteerCo) was created with monthly SteerCo meetings. The representatives from the software vendor were part of the SteerCo.

Quality Assurance: A Maxica Test Manager wrote and implemented a test strategy that encompassed System Integration Testing (SIT), Regression Testing, Automated Testing, User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Disaster Recovery Testing, Security Penetration Testing and Cutover Dress Rehearsal.

Cutover and Transition to Support: The support teams were part of this workstream and were key partners in the upgrade weekend. This facilitated knowledge transfer and a smooth transition into support.

Manufacturing Line

Results and Outcomes

Availability: The upgrade has significantly reduced the lost time due to software issues. Workarounds have been removed and business processes have been moved away from spreadsheets and back into the system.

Governance: The project governance model enabled workstream teams to collaborate across multiple companies and time zones. A structured project lifecycle with stage gates was followed. Close partnership with the Project Sponsor and Business Lead enabled project issues to be resolved creatively.

Compliance: The upgraded system has addressed the known security vulnerabilities and passed the security penetration test. It is now on a current operating system and has a disaster recovery plan that has been successfully tested.

Test Framework: The implementation of the test framework, test tooling (JIRA and X-Ray) and test automation tool enables the organisation to maintain the software through the deployment of maintenance releases and provides a simpler upgrade path for future versions of the software.

Manufacturing Plant

Conclusion

The successful upgrade of the financial system at the manufacturing company has provided a stable, secure, recoverable service. It also provides a platform for future development. The project has provided lessons on how to manage a successful project and introduced methodology and governance models that can be used for future projects.

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