Bombardier Transportation embraces their name in more ways than one. Transportation embodies movement, progress, and the opposite of staying still. This momentum also applies to Bombardier’s solutions—ranging from trains to complete rail transportation systems—as well as how they efficiently run their business.
For example, Bombardier’s planning process is an example of the company’s forward-thinking vision in action. With 60 production and engineering sites across 27 countries, and about 40,000 employees serving clients across 60 countries, they realized the importance of having one consistent, centralized planning methodology and system.
After evaluating multiple systems, Bombardier standardized on Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management. Their recipe for success: Executive leadership + change management + implementation = success
In 2014, Bombardier Integrated Planning chose Primavera P6 EPPM after evaluating multiple products. Their implementation approach involved four key steps:
Stakeholders established a clear plan to ensure a successful company-wide implementation. They reviewed their existing planning process, identified stakeholders, and set goals.
Bombardier understood how the success of their planning process relied on a well-thought out organizational structure. They created a centralized team to manage, implement, maintain, and support this methodology.
They also wanted to ensure that their solution benefited everyone at the company.
Bombardier identified “champions” as employees who were eager to support the Primavera P6 EPPM integration – regardless of their function or geography within the organization. These champions now make up a planning support network that’s key to both the implementation and ongoing success of the project.
Bombardier prepared for a successful implementation by taking the time to complete steps 1-3. They defined their rollout proposal, outlined and delivered training, and defined their data migration and management plan.
Implementation is not the end to a project. In many ways, it's just the beginning. Bombardier is using a central planning function to help optimize their technology investment. They’re taking the time to understand and refine current processes, adopt a “big picture” approach to data management, and look at interdependencies between systems and functions.
Automation and optimization can often be confusing, but it’s critical to avoid automating inefficient processes. Instead, assess and optimize existing processes within your organization before automating them.
The danger of operating in isolation is hardly limited to systems implementation, but it’s a common reason for failed technology investments. It’s essential to work with IT partners and stakeholders to put your data architecture and rules in place. Don’t feel constrained by what currently exists. Start fresh. Focus on what the best solution would be for all parties and functions. Drive company-wide standards to gain the benefits of data consistency.
Data doesn’t live in isolation, and neither do the many systems that manage this data. A few keys to Bombardier’s successful systems integration include: selecting open systems, defining consistent company-wide rules for API use, and developing clear reference documentation.
Here’s an example of how multiple systems can work together: You can assign someone from France to a German project, and vice versa, by clicking a button in the system. But if you want these users to be paid, and the hours to be recorded in the right part of the finance system, you can't just focus on the Primavera solution.
You must also record the work in the finance system and raise the purchase order to ensure that the hours are transferred. Employees tasked with planning must also understand the context of what they're doing. It’s not enough if users think, "I'll just do my bit in Primavera - that's enough.” It isn’t.
Because Primavera P6 EPPM is an open system, Bombardier uses APIs to interface to other systems. For example, the time-booking information from the solution interfaces back into the finance system to ensure consistent data is being used.
Bombardier has much to be proud of after reviewing their goals against current outcomes.
Local teams own their own data but in a consistent, corporate-defined format with company-wide visibility. Primavera P6 EPPM configurability helps ongoing process refinement and improvement.
There’s also strong system adoption. Stakeholders were involved upfront and Primavera P6 EPPM helps increase employees’ efficiency.
Lastly, Bombardier has achieved significant process improvement. For example, they’ve reduced the time to generate time sheets by an impressive 50%.