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Trans4m/Metronet alliance

Trans4m is a joint venture between Atkins, Balfour Beatty, EDF Energy and Engenica (Thames Water) set up to modernise and refurbish London Underground stations.  They work as an "alliance" with Metronet Rail.


They used an internet-based document storage system, "BuildOnline",

to which documents would be 'uploaded' when completed.  

However, most users weren't concerned with what happened when a document was finished.  What they actually needed assistance with was how to START a document - for instance, where to find the right template, how to format their document correctly, how to apply a document number to it and how to flag a document for someone else to review.  In these regards, BuildOnline did not provide any assistance.


To address this issue, I designed and implemented a menu-driven system of macros (above) to help users pick from a range of templates, identify their documents using 'metadata' (information about the document's subject and category) and apply a relevant number to the document.

This functionality was reviewed by the Document Control Managers of Trans4m and arranged for it to be implemented in the BuildOnline system.


Also supplied were macros to send 'instant messages' to each other (like MSN or AOL) about any document open in Word, so that users could discuss the documents they were working on in real-time, without having to send e-Mail attachments to each other.  This also meant that everybody had direct links to the latest version, rather than having to check whether the last version they had e-Mailed to them had since been changed or not.


Because some users did not always want to have to pick from long lists of codes on their screens, I also gave them the option of looking them up from a printed leaflet.


I also created similar leaflets for other lists of frequently-used codes and information, for ease of reference.


Different users 'subscribed' to different leaflets (rather than sending everything to everybody).  To manage these subscription requirements, I used a modified version of the database I had started to develop at Heathrow Express.  I used this to track the issue status of these leaflets, so that updated copies would be distributed to anybody who had been sent them before.

Each partner in the 'alliance' was very brand conscious.  I was employed by Atkins, one partner.  However the other partners wanted copies of these leaflets, but using their own branding.  The alliance management themselves required versions in generic alliance branding.


I therefore developed presentation templates which would be identical apart from 'stakeholder' elements such as colour palette, logo and font.  I could therefore take a design produced for Atkins (or one of the others) such as the leaflet shown above, simply apply the appropriate Design Template, and leave the main design and content as it stood, with only minimal amendments.  This enabled me to produce multiple-branded versions of essentially the same documents very easily.