September 1999 - April 2003
IS Solutions, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middx
MS Office 97/2000, Windows NT4/2000, MS Project 98/2000, Broadvision, AS400, PRINCE2
I joined IS Solutions to work as client facing Project Manager, initially solely for Toyota GB (one of the UK's first adopter's of Broadvision), later to be given other concurrent clients including Raleigh Cycles and Wowgo. Toyota GB is the marketing arm of the UK Toyota presence, responsible for all advertising, set up and management of the dealerships, retail sales, etc but not the manufacture of the cars.
After a year, with the team now set up and working well, my focus moved such that I was based at Toyota working within their New Media Marketing team, in an all-enveloping role. My main responsibilities were to manage the Internet site from Toyota's viewpoint, and to manage User Acceptance Testing within the New Media team, testing not only work carried out by IS Solutions but also by other agencies supplying content for the Internet site.
- I had to rebuild the client relationship with Toyota
- Build up a new development team and define new procedures under which future work would be carried out
- Plan and manage multiple well defined small to medium sized projects for Toyota GB from feasibility through to post-implementation review
- Manage a larger complete new site through full cycle for Raleigh Cycles, make decisions within the boundaries of the projects, and manage client expectations
- Responsible for ensuring that customer needs were satisfied by providing successful planning, control and management of project deliverables, for overall project plan, estimating and budget, structure, scheduling, staffing and delivery of solutions that addressed the customer's business requirements and for performance in compliance with technical specifications
- Manage the efforts of team members and third party suppliers, managing the integration testing and/or development and delivery of agreed deliverables
Toyota projects were usually tied in with product launches, advertising campaigns or events such as the Motor Show, thus deadlines were immovable and often brought forward at short and late notice. I am well used to delivering a successful quality project under such conditions.
Amongst the projects I have managed and tested through full cycle are:
At the team's peak, I was managing a team of 3 core developers working on the Toyota project with other resources being brought in from a pool of 10 personnel depending on the skills required, such as Oracle DBA, studio staff, additional developers, etc. At Toyota the team within New Media Marketing was 4 strong, and I managed the relationships with three third party agencies.
- Rebranding exercise - managed a redesign of the look and feel of the Toyota GB site to comply with Toyota's new branding guidelines
- Redesign of the Toyota Virtual Showroom car configurator - my input provided the navigational and content structures from which the studio produced their designs
- Rollout of Broadvision V4.1 from V3. This involved a major rewrite of the Internet site to take advantage of the Content Management facilities within Broadvision which had not previously been used on this site
- Instigation, justification and structural design of the Toyota F1 site - I had to justify this site to senior Toyota management before receiving the go ahead. Having spent £25 million sponsoring the ITV F1 programme and ITV-F1 web site, they did not initially see the benefit of further spend on their own site. I produced the requirements specification to my ideas which were then accepted by Toyota
- Training of non-technical Toyota New Media staff in use of Broadvision Command Center such that they could manage their own site, amend and update editorial and graphical content, amend/create navigational items and create/manage personalisation rules
- Integration of Internet site functionality into Toyota back office systems - creation of a temporary interface between the Internet site, Toyota's Call Centre and their CRM system such that brochure and test drive requests are fed through to CRM correctly and the relevant follow up actions (call from dealer, etc) are made
- Advised as to the requirements for Internet when a third party supplier produced the Toyota Retail Asset Management System, a bespoke Documentum based asset database intended to be the single source for all Toyota GB assets both graphical and data. I sat in as representative of the Internet team for all original design brief meetings
- Integration of the Toyota Retail Asset Management system into the Internet site such that the site feeds from a central source for images
- User Acceptance Testing - the Toyota Internet site was owned by the New Media Marketing team who had no IT expertise of their own. I managed the UAT of all Internet changes large and small, producing test plans for the New Media team to follow, managing fault control and liaison back to IS Solutions and other third party agencies
- Responsible for proof reading all content supplied in-house, by third party agencies and written within the New Media team
- Managed the e-commerce section of the site to sell Toyota merchandise
- Responsible for data mining - reporting on user data held for targeting and cleansing purposes
- The update of site content to tie in with numerous new model launches, advertising campaigns, and events such as the Motor Show. This involved meeting immovable deadlines, some of which were brought forward at very short notice, very late on
- Managed external site usability trials carried out by Eunite
- Managed SLA meetings between Toyota and IS Solutions
- Managed the design, production and testing of an all-new Raleigh Cycles Internet site, a new customer for IS Solutions. I attended the initial brief at Raleigh, produced requirement specifications to fit within their budget, provided costs of alternative options, managed the development team (the site was SQL Server based using asp and an Access 2000 front end) including the graphical design studio, system testing, training of Raleigh staff in the use of Dreamweaver so they could maintain their own site, all the way through to live implementation and handover and project review
IS Solutions work to their own methodologies which are heavily PRINCE2 based and in July 2000 I attended a one week internal off-site course in these.
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