detail (1 of 2)
Prior to founding TiSCL, Neil
Thompson fulfilled a variety of challenging assignments with two global
management consultancies, over a ten-year period.
(Deloitte Haskins + Sells;
Coopers & Lybrand)
Regional electricity company:
- Neilís last assignment for C&L was as testing manager for the clientís
1998 Programme, part of a highly-ambitious nationwide initiative to extend
competition in electricity supply to all customers in England & Wales,
involving replacing or significantly amending a high proportion of each
organisationís systems. His role included representing the client in national
meetings of testing representatives, managing a team of around 15 staff,
liaison with the incumbent facilities management company, co-ordination of the
testing activities of a dozen or so projects, and testing of the integrated
products from the programme as a whole. His decision to leave C&L came as the
test scripts were being written; Neil worked his full 3-month notice period
handing over to a project manager appointed from the clientís own staff, and
handling liaison with the organisationís year 2000 Programme.
- He had moved into this testing management position from an initial role as
project manager of the business requirements definition and vendor procurement
for systems to bill for "Distribution Use of System", ie for the use of this
companyís cables, substations etc by other suppliers gaining customers in the
area. This involved participation in national negotiations to define and agree
an innovative mechanism for calculating DUoS charges.
National gas company:
- Quality Manager of a major mainframe-based client-server project to
implement a national billing system for all domestic customers, to deadlines
imposed by competitive legislation. This appointment followed a period of
quality assurance consultancy during which he advised on testing strategy and
change and problem management, also designing and facilitating risk management
workshops, and managing post-implementation reviews and specific reviews of
financial issues, technical documentation and business continuity planning.
His main achievement was to tailor and integrate quality assurance processes
into a coherent and pragmatic framework based on structured risk management.
Caribbean electricity company:
- Neil launched the system and acceptance testing work for a customer
information system being tailored by a package supplier. He organised and
facilitated workshops to determine capabilities and requirements for testing,
then managed the production of the testing strategy and plan and trained the
C&L consultant who remained on-site and led the testing through acceptance to
a successful implementation.
British railway company:
- He advised the company central to the industry's privatisation proposals
on issues associated with change management, and on testing of the complex
suite of train movement systems and their effect on access billing and
performance billing systems.
Eastern European electricity company:
- Preparation of approach to system and acceptance testing of a
client-server based financial systems package, commencing with a structured
workshop to refine options. This led to further involvement in managing
initial test design and execution, and assistance with implementation
Eastern European railway:
- Neil wrote, prepared and delivered training courses (each lasting several
days) in software testing, which included interactive workshop sessions to
identify and address specific testing issues affecting each of the diverse
railway systems represented.
Regional water company:
- Review of software development estimates and replanning of implementation
for a client-server architecture customer billing system.
Regional electricity company:
- Neil produced an acceptance testing strategy for a business-critical,
mainframe-based customer billing system to be implemented using
object-oriented, rapid application development techniques. He went on to
define detailed methods, plans and standards for test case specification, and
recruited and mobilised the team. This resulted in his appointment to lead the
acceptance testing activity, and perform quality assurance of later phases.
- The system went live on schedule, and Neil was retained as configuration
manager for the initial period of operation and enhancements.
- He was subsequently asked back by this client to advise on configuration
management issues for a major financial systems programme, and again on two
occasions to review the risks facing the programme as it approached
implementation, and to make remedial recommendations.
National electricity transmission company:
- Leadership of acceptance testing for a tailored-package payroll system
being implemented nationwide. His role included co-ordination and motivation
of all user representatives in the face of some resistance, and his team was
for a time responsible for some of the activities normally undertaken by
users. Neil was instrumental in rebuilding the credibility of the project
after earlier setbacks, and the system went successfully live to the revised
- Neil reviewed and replanned a data centre relocation project in sensitive
Life assurance company:
- Production of test strategy for key elements of an innovative distributed
Leading building society:
- Assessment of system documentation and reverse engineering options to
support proposed rationalisation of financial systems.
International publishing company:
- Rapid review of IS department staff, procedures and projects as part of
"due diligence" work preceding merger.
Leading stock exchange:
- Development of strategy and plan for formal requirements testing of
settlement system, based on SSADM entity life histories.
- Following acceptance of his strategy by management, Neil worked with
client staff to define the requirements for a Coopers Deloitte system
providing computer-generated test cases and data. Use of this tool led to
early identification of inconsistencies in requirements.
National electricity transmission company:
- Supervision of software development and testing of the nationwide
settlement system, both interim and permanent (relational database) versions.
Neil led a team whose role was to ensure (and demonstrate to industry
representatives) that the systems and software companies produced a
fully-tested system which was compliant with the innovative requirements,
without affecting the tight timescales. Both systems went successfully live on
Major oil company:
- Review of a strategically-important system project at a critical stage
during the requirements analysis. The review covered information engineering
methodology, required functionality, project management competence and
International prestige auctioneers:
- Project management of key areas of a major development project. The
system, developed using 4GL and database software on a small mainframe, was
successfully implemented on schedule, and computerised the main operational
functions of the business.
Multinational trading company:
- Neil assisted in the production of a framework of standards and procedures
to be applicable to IT projects worldwide, particularly those using 4GLs.
- For the same client, he later reviewed a shipping control project on
behalf of senior management and subsequently assisted in replanning a similar
project in another overseas subsidiary.
Middle Eastern utility:
- Assistance with system performance monitoring and capacity planning for a
nationally-important aluminium smelting and water desalination installation.
This followed a review of progress made against earlier Coopers Deloitte
recommendations for the whole IT function.
- Project leadership of the implementation of a tailored 4GL package for
journal subscription control. This was achieved successfully and smoothly, and
set the standards for other applications to follow.
- Review of the technical quality of a computerised capital project
management system. The review included an evaluation of the systemís design to
ensure it fully satisfied users' requirements and expectations.
- Co-ordination of a large data centre relocation project, involving over
100 staff and several mainframe systems vital to the business. Over a dozen
processors, over 100 communications lines, hundreds of discs and thousands of
tapes were moved or newly-installed without any unplanned interruption to
- For the same client, Neil reviewed the acceptance testing methodology for
a new warehousing and distribution system, and produced a user guide for a
networked in-store microcomputer system to be installed at over 250 locations.
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© Thompson information
Systems Consulting Ltd 1998-2002