Andrew Johnston: Architecture and Consultancy Services

Case Study - Field Force Systems for National Grid Plc (2003 – 2007)


Development and exploitation of the field force system platform

Key Outcomes

Delivery of a stable, powerful industry-leading mobile field force system. Progressive exploitation including a satellite “point of work” inspection system

Key Challenges

Multi-vendor environment. Constraints of corporate PC platform and various vendor components. Initial stability and performance issues

Key Technologies

Accenture FFE, AMT-Sybex FDCS/FieldReach, JCAPS, Windows and Windows Mobile, mobile networking


My work on the first generation of consolidated asset and work management systems for National Grid Transmission included supporting the development of a mobile field force management system based on Accenture’s FFE platform. When this suffered early performance and stability issues I took a leading role in improving the architecture and delivery of the system with its associated integration, eventually resulting in a reliable system which delivered significant business value.

I then led the upgrade of the mobile PC platforms for the various field force solutions throughout National Grid UK, replacing several disparate solutions with a solution family based on common software architecture. As part of this programme I persuaded National Grid to take an agile approach to introducing a PDA “point of work” inspection solution, which helped deliver significant business benefit much more quickly and cheaply than the normal waterfall method would have done.

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