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Royal Air Force Selects AMS REALTIME for Improved Management of Communications Systems Projects

Project and resource management system to improve efficiency of electronic systems design and installation

Henley-On-Thames, April 1, 1998 - Advanced Management Solutions (AMS) has announced that the UK Ministry of Defence - Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment has placed an order worth over 340,000 (US $560,000) for AMS REALTIME project management and resource management software together with related implementation consulting and training services.

The Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment (RAFSEE) is responsible for the design and installation of satellite communication, data communication, radio communication and electronic systems for the Royal Air Force around the world. In addition to ongoing programmes to improve the communications capability of the Royal Air Force, RAFSEE also provides rapid reaction to support deployment of new and secure communications systems wherever needed in case of war or potential conflict.

RAFSEE became a Defence Agency in November 1994 and employed a management consultancy to look at areas where improvement in performance could be made. A Future Business Systems (FBS) IT Strategy was formulated and as a result, investments were recommended in technology and software applications to improve RAFSEE's efficiency in planning, managing and executing projects.

RAFSEE currently has almost 1200 active projects ranging from half a man-day's effort in duration to projects requiring 55,000 hours of work. The scope of projects range from rolling programmes lasting ten years to refit air-traffic control facilities, to short tasks to evaluate and provide advice to civilian planning enquiries on the impact of new structures such as wind farms on the performance of existing communications systems.

Bill White, RAFSEE Project Manager and member of the FBS Implementation Team, describes the goal of the implementation of the new project and resource management system. "With the diverse range of projects or different sizes, complexities and skill requirements, we wanted to improve our control of schedule and cost on these multiple interdependent projects while making more efficient use of resources across our whole organization."

White highlights the challenges RAFSEE faces, "large projects, such as major systems installations are relatively easy to plan and manage in that the effort required is predictable. Smaller projects present a greater challenge to resource as often they require specialist skills for brief periods of time and at short notice."

Previously, RAFSEE used a customized system for project management. This no longer met user requirements in two main areas. It lacked facilities for resource planning and management which is especially important with skilled resources shared across projects. It also lacked a graphical user interface, which reduced user productivity and increased learning time. RAFSEE identified that the new system should provide better reporting for senior management, improved planning and control of work with greater visibility of resource usage, and the ability to make better use of key skilled staff by matching capacity with the requirements of customers.

During 1997, RAFSEE undertook an extensive evaluation of all the products from leading project management software vendors, including AMS, Artemis, Aran and Primavera. Bill White comments, "AMS were unique in providing a solution which supports our project management and resource management processes." The agency believed that a successful implementation required more than just software from a supplier.

Seven hundred staff within RAFSEE will use AMS REALTIME in three main areas; to support improved project planning and control across all projects; to better manage the allocation of resources across projects and operational work; and to provide electronic timesheets and enable automated updating of project plans and resource availability information. The system will run on a Windows NT Version 4 network on Pentium 200 workstations.

In addition to software, AMS is providing product training together with consulting services for defining standards and procedures to ensure effective and speedy implementation of the system.

"RAFSEE are typical of many modern organizations in their desire to efficiently share resources across a multitude of projects and other work," said Diane Angell, Chief Executive Officer with AMS. "This order further demonstrates the attractiveness of our AMS REALTIME solution to organizations implementing enterprise-wide systems for project and resource management," she added.

About Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment
The Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment (RAFSEE) exists to provide an essential communications and electronics engineering capability in support of the United Kingdom Armed Forces. RAFSEE capabilities include the design, installation and integration of airborne and ground-based communications and electronic systems, and the provision of engineering advice.

RAFSEE was launched as a Defence Agency within the Signals Units Group, now the Support Units Group, of Royal Air Force Logistics Command on 22 November 1994.

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