Working with digital specialists Rokk Media and potato research experts at NIAB-CUF we took over the management of an IT development project on an interim basis. Specifically, we clarified contractual relationships, put in place a recovery plan for delivery and ensured tight management was provided to get the project “back on-track”.
Developed by experts at Cambridge University Farm (now NIAB-CUF), the YieldCheck system is designed to integrate and add value to information that is already measured in commercial potato crops (e.g. canopy size and bulking digs) by producing forecasts of how total or graded yield will develop as the season progresses. This intelligence benefits both on-farm and supply-chain profitability and has been successfully used by growers, agronomists and commercial organisations in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.
In late 2015 NIAB-CUF were undertaking an IT development project to improve the reliability and scalability of the YieldCheck system, so that the product would have the potential to be marketed and sold to large numbers of new customers, mainly individual growers, in the UK or overseas.
We were commissioned to act as interim project managers to get the project “back on-track” and completed, as project coordination had failed and timeframes for delivery slipped repeatedly. Our work involved renegotiating the contract with Rokk Media, redefining and rescheduling expected outputs, coordinating user testing work and introducing regular project management meetings. As the project neared completion, product offer and price presentation were clarified, and responsibility was transferred to a permanent staff member of NIAB-CUF.