Arkance Systems Finland and Wakeone work together to ensure the success of the Länsimetro system update

When metro operator Länsimetro Oy needed to update its existing information management system, the unique challenge was taken on by Arkance Systems Finland in collaboration with Wakeone. The finished METTI system constituted a full update to Länsimetro’s asset management system.

Commitment, seamless cooperation, efficient communication and a team familiar with the particulars of the customer’s business operations were among the factors that ensured completion within the agreed schedule.

From detailed specification to work in sprints

The system update was kicked off with a specification phase in spring 2018. From the outset, the project was characterized by the involvement of a wide range of professionals from a variety of fields. After the specification phase, the actual work commenced in early fall 2018 with a five-week prototyping process.

“We verified the technically essential and critical principles and, through minimum implementation, ensured that the system update could proceed as planned,” says Project Manager Jukka Kivelä of Arkance Systems Finland.

Estimating the amount of work involved proved to be a challenge.

“To use a mountain climbing analogy, I’d say we knew the incline of the climb but not its height. Even though our team was very experienced, we had to think hard as to the kind of expertise and amount of time required to complete the project,” Kivelä says.

Agile methods were employed to tackle the myriad facets of the project, which initially seemed quite daunting. Two-week sprint periods helped demonstrate project progress in real time.

Need for long-term maintenance places challenging demands on the project

The most demanding part of the system update was the exceptionally complex access management arrangement. The system had to account for the needs of everyone, from the designers, contractors, authorities and Länsimetro Oy staff to the transport operator. Currently, the system has more than 1,000 user accounts. Another indication of the project’s scope is that there are hundreds of thousands of documents to store, and the system will need to be maintained for the entire life span of the metro system.

“The large number of users, along with the various user roles and relevant access rights, ramped up the difficulty of implementing the access management system,” Software Developer Tero Tolonen explains.

As an added challenge, the Wakeone team initially had relatively little experience in the construction field.

“It was really important to us that the folks at Arkance Systems Finland had the patience to explain things to us, even multiple times if needed.  I also appreciated the opportunity to visit the worksite. Seeing the metro station with my own eyes made the work that much more concrete,” Wakeone’s Interaction Designer Jurkka Lemmetti reminisces with a smile.
“Every field has its specific operational requirements, and the collaboration with Arkance Systems Finland provided us with a smooth entry into the realm of construction,” Sales Director Harri Lammi of Wakeone says in praise of the partnership.

Commitment, smooth communication and close operation as the keys to success

The success of the system update hinged on three things. First of all, the team’s commitment to the work was exceptionally strong.

The customer-oriented approach and related communications were the second factor. Arkance Systems Finland’s software specialists Sanna Makkonen, Lassi Hörkkö and Toni Parmanen work in Länsimetro’s support services and are very well acquainted with the customer’s operating methods.

“Arkance Systems Finland’s role in terms of advance support, specification and the entire project process was very strong. Personally, I find that the open dialogue was one of the key success factors, because there was no substitute for it. Whatever we were unsure about, our questions were always answered,” Wakeone’s Tero Tolonen says, looking back on the project.

The third aspect that ensured success was Project Manager Jukka Kivelä physically working with the Wakeone coding team in Tampere. This contributed to enabling tight collaboration and interaction. As a result, the team held daily meetings with Kivelä, which resulted in general awareness of project progress and successes.

“The project will now continue with an update to Länsimetro’s electronic maintenance book. It will help create a genuine life cycle model to support Länsimetro Oy’s operations. It has been a privilege to be involved in developing new applications related to information management in the built environment and providing new kinds of services in Länsimetro’s operating environment,” Kivelä says in summary.

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