Helping to plan innovation on rails!

In 1999 SET Ltd was formed to develop an innovative motor-in-wheel, the “Wheelmotor”, offering a host of improvements to the Light Rail and Tram Industries, including significant energy savings and true ‘low-floor’ designs to improve vehicle access. The project developed through the next decade spinning off a few products including rail tugs, and a prototype product retrofitted to a Blackpool tram. In parallel SET developed and sold various bespoke power electronic solutions including static frequency converters and induction heater power supplies.

Following a significant management restructure SET is now reinvigorating its innovation activities and has relaunched the Wheelmotor project with a new set of objectives; supported by industry demand and government backing.

In Summer 2014, PPS Project Plan Services were approached by SET Ltd for assistance with initial project planning for the Wheelmotor project and to help SET select and adopt a relevant planning tool to help track the project.

Below, we asked for some feedback on the work carried out by PPS thus far..

What were the Challenges? – “We are a new organisation bringing together team of people with diverse planning experiences and methodologies. Significant experience within the team in leading programmes, new product development and design but very little practical MS Project experience. No need/budget limitation for a full time project planner but need to get project plan established, operational and tracked. Unsure of how to get the best project planning toolset solution on SME version of office 365 ie Project Online

How did PPS help? – “Investigation and recommendations of project planning toolsets available in support of office 365 including foresight of changes in offerings from Microsoft. Workshop on project planning methodologies, rationalising the existing experiences into a more common methodology. Then assistance in running a training session leading to the creation of some project plan content.”

What have been the benefits of the services? -“Team alignment on planning and enthusiasm for more involvement in the plan….But it’s still early days and I may need further support as the programme develops”

Would you recommend PPS again to other companies? – “Yes in a guiding and training role.  This was my requirement of PPS.”

Neil Cooney, Project Manager


Additionally one of SET engineer’s had this to say following the initial planning workshop –

“Excellent last few days, the processes adopted have really made logical sense and give us direction”

Chris Gration Project Engineer SET