EFFICIENT, USER-FRIENDLY AND TRANSPARENT: THE ELECTRONIC PROJECT PORTFOLIO CONTROLLING OF BLS

In Switzerland railway infrastructure projects are built in collaboration with the Bundesamt für Verkehr (BAV) and therefore must be reported: The BAV stipulates the methods of allocation and traceability of the corresponding budgeting. This detailed transparency was required when implementing the new, electronically managed BLS portfolio controlling. Another significant requirement: The solution was to be efficient, and especially user-friendly.

THE CHALLENGES

User-Friendliness and Performance
Once a month, the project manager of BLS consolidates and analyzes a vast amount of data, thus expecting a highly performant solution. Often the user of the project portfolio controlling show a technical background without advanced SAP knowledge. Therefore, the new web-based solution had to be intuitive, fast and easy to use, so that data can be structured clearly, with minimum effort and processed in high quality.

 

Custom development on customer’s wish
Therefore, certain BLS processes or key usability requirements needed additional functions beyond SAP standard and needed to be developed individually. This concerned, inter alia:

  • Status lights, which show the project status regarding budgeting, deadlines and possible risks at all times
  • A comprehensive search function
  • An approval process in order to approve master and transaction data during the entire project life cycle
  • A project status report, which is versioned quarterly together with comments and budgeting
  • Display of the project status report as PDF via technology “Interactive Forms by Adobe”
  • Access Token in order to manage the simultaneous access of multiple users to the same data in the web application
  • Sophisticated validation as well as mandatory and optional field controls

THE CHALLENGES

User-Friendliness and Performance
Once a month, the project manager of BLS consolidates and analyzes a vast amount of data, thus expecting a highly performant solution. Often the user of the project portfolio controlling show a technical background without advanced SAP knowledge. Therefore, the new web-based solution had to be intuitive, fast and easy to use, so that data can be structured clearly, with minimum effort and processed in high quality.

Custom development on customer’s wish
Therefore, certain BLS processes or key usability requirements needed additional functions beyond SAP standard and needed to be developed individually. This concerned, inter alia:

  • Status lights, which show the project status regarding budgeting, deadlines and possible risks at all times
  • A comprehensive search function
  • An approval process in order to approve master and transaction data during the entire project life cycle
  • A project status report, which is versioned quarterly together with comments and budgeting
  • Display of the project status report as PDF via technology “Interactive Forms by Adobe”
  • Access Token in order to manage the simultaneous access of multiple users to the same data in the web application
  • Sophisticated validation as well as mandatory and optional field controls

ABOUT BLS

Die BLS gehört mit dem 420 Kilometer langen Eisenbahnnetz zu einem der grössten
Verkehrsunternehmen der Schweiz. Mit ihren 3000 Mitarbeitenden verbindet die BLS Menschen durch Bahn, Bus, Schiff, Autoverlad und Güterverkehr quer durchs ganze Land.

OUR APPROACH

The PM tool and the expansions were developed based on the SAP modules SAP-PS (Project Systems), SAPCO (controlling) & SAP-BI (Business Intelligence).
The functions in SAP-PS were used for master data management and deadline planning; SAPCO was used for project budgeting. SAP Standard-Reporting and SAP-BI are responsible for the evaluation of data.

The principles of “Single Source of Truth” and data base normalization inspired us to avoid data redundancies. To meet the high usability requirements, we implemented the PM tool as SAPUI5 application. First, we integrated it to the customer portal and later to Fiori Launchpad of BLS AG. In the end it was very helpful to have a large chunk of pragmatism as well as having the guts to keep gaps open because using our solution on a daily basis will more likely identify current new optimization potential.

THE RESULT

Agility, pragmatism and a close collaboration with the faculty, business analysts and our developers ensured a quick realization and a Go-Live without problems. Thanks to our long-term partnership and our growing common understanding regarding technologies and processes we could realize the faculties input efficiently into further advancement of our product.

Up to today, about 2800 projects were processed at BLS with the project management tool, all that by replacing paper documentation with a web application. Every month, 70 project managers successfully track the data of around 300 projects.

With the resounding success of the project management tool, a sister project could be launched for the whole BLS group in March 2019. A second tool, a version without railway infrastructure specific requirements, was implemented successfully in August 2019.

OUR APPROACH

The PM tool and the expansions were developed based on the SAP modules SAP-PS (Project Systems), SAPCO (controlling) & SAP-BI (Business Intelligence).
The functions in SAP-PS were used for master data management and deadline planning; SAPCO was used for project budgeting. SAP Standard-Reporting and SAP-BI are responsible for the evaluation of data.

The principles of “Single Source of Truth” and data base normalization inspired us to avoid data redundancies. To meet the high usability requirements, we implemented the PM tool as SAPUI5 application. First, we integrated it to the customer portal and later to Fiori Launchpad of BLS AG. In the end it was very helpful to have a large chunk of pragmatism as well as having the guts to keep gaps open because using our solution on a daily basis will more likely identify current new optimization potential.

THE RESULT

Agility, pragmatism and a close collaboration with the faculty, business analysts and our developers ensured a quick realization and a Go-Live without problems. Thanks to our long-term partnership and our growing common understanding regarding technologies and processes we could realize the faculties input efficiently into further advancement of our product.

Up to today, about 2800 projects were processed at BLS with the project management tool, all that by replacing paper documentation with a web application. Every month, 70 project managers successfully track the data of around 300 projects.

With the resounding success of the project management tool, a sister project could be launched for the whole BLS group in March 2019. A second tool, a version without railway infrastructure specific requirements, was implemented successfully in August 2019.

LEARN MORE

YOUR CONTACT PARTNER

ROBERT JOHNER

SAP Development Consultant

Contact

LEARN MORE

YOUR CONTACT PARTNER

ROBERT JOHNER

SAP Development Consultant

Contact

ROBERT JOHNER

SAP Development Consultant

Contact